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TRAC
Interview Transcript

Paul Pozner     (cont)

No, it's nomenclatura of the Central Committee, then it calms down.  So I was never in this nomenclatura--Central Committee, part of the nomenclatura, I was never in that.  Still because of what represented my father in France before the war, in the United States from '40 through '48, and then what his impact in the Russian movie, and movie is also culture, and also it had a lot of impact, plus the general family, cause I have a lot of family in the States, they're not much impact.  But in France it's different, a lot of impact there.  Plus to that my brother is not the last man in this society, but also he made his way because of having this backing, it helped.  In some way, it didn't help.  Because we were not quite classical Soviet career people.  On the other hand it helped a lot.  And the same with me!  I also made my way, and had my impact.  So I was not a translator only, I had a first degree doctorate, I wrote books, I published books on the Vietnamese studies, I had knew this one, and this.  I could talk to these people being equal to them.

Interviewer:  This is what a lot of journalists in the West and even some Soviet experts aren't fully aware of how many social circles there were in the Soviet Union.

Pozner:  There were and there are, still.  Of course they are, nothing changed.  

Interviewer:  Yes.  Okay, you know if you have, and had then and you have now, different angles, I would say, on the culture.  Because you were a scholar, you were also a translator, you also had this social position, etc.  If you can just begin to generalize, how did this change happen so fast? How did the culture go from a Communist regime to this present situation so fast? One of the fastest transitions in history.  Why?

Pozner:  To my mind it was not so fast, not so fast at all.  And I wouldn't agree to say the Communist regime.  Okay, you may say it's a Communist regime under quotes.  It's not a Communist regime.  Up to now the world has known a Communist regime, maybe in the Ancient Greece, in Sparta, but not in the modern times.  It didn't exist.  Let me just go a little bit back, in the history.  When in 1917, in February the Boleshevik Revolution, in October the Socialist, so-called Socialist Revolution happened.  It was not by mistake.  Today, you know, the Russians, and I would say not the Russians, I would say a lot of people who make the career, and they like to make--they, as we say, there are not worse anti-Semites than the Jewish themselves.  There are not worse anti-Communists than the Communists themselves.  They say today it's not a revolution a lot on the television, it's a turnover, it's a coup.  In 1917, a lot of people say that.  Really, they say that how good it was before the revolution, like the Tatars.  If it would be so good, and so nice, and so beautiful, there would be no revolution.  And if there would be a revolution, as we did, Bolsheviks would be never able to win in the civil war.  Because they were surrounded in Moscow and in St.  Petersburg, in Petrograd.  And the whole country was under five or six white armies, plus the French in Odessa, in Crimea.  The Japanese and the British in Vladivostok, plus the British and the Americans in Archangel, they had no chance to survive, and still they won in this war.  That means that the true population supported the Bolsheviks.  Without that there would be no possibility that they would win in a four-year civil war.  And for the population to support them, there must be a good reason.  They say it was a terror.  Okay, if there are 20,000 persons and they live in 2 million people who are terrorizing a hundred and fifty million, a population, they would just kill them, and not submit to them.  So, it means, you can't explain it like that.  What happened after that, I would say it's very close to what happened in France.  And the Russian history is very similar to the French history.

Interviewer:  After the French Revolution?

Pozner: Yes.  There was the revolution, there was the government of the French Revolution, that time Robespierre, all that, yeah?  Then there was the civil war, and during the civil war, Napoleon, as a general of the revolutionary army, grew.  And then there was a turnover, and the empire came in with Napoleon.  And all the people, all the leaders of the French Revolution were executed.  It's almost exactly what happened in Russia with Stalin.  And the purges, starting not in '37,--'37 was the top of it--it started already, approximately middle, after Lenin's death in '24, and the civil war ended in '21, '22.  And slowly all the comforts were taken away.  And where was the main problem in Russia.  All this beautiful development of Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union, it's not true.  There was no base for economic growth.  You don't have the first economic basis to develop.  You had to make the growth, economic growth.  And how you could do it, only with two possibilities.

 

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RAO > Catalgoues > Transcripts > TRAC > Paul Pozner p.5

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