- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Beria My Father - Inside Stalin's Kremlin Hardcover – 21 Jun 2001
|New from||Used from|
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"An invaluable document...Stalin's leaders up-close and personal" Figaro
For almost 20 years two men from Georgia dominated the Russians and its empire: Stalin and Beria as head of what was to become the KGB. This book is a memoir of daily life with these two men who sent millions to their graves. It vividly paints Stalin's increasingly psychotic nature and the dread that pervaded everyone's life, even that of Beria, but also the incomprehensible loyalty that Stalin inspired among women such as the author's mother, also a Georgian. It also contains Sergio's anecdotes like the time he was chased by Svetlana, Stalin's nymphomaniac daughter. Upon Stalin's mysterious death, Beria dramatically lost the struggle for power with Khrushchev, a Russian, who murdered him with the aid of his fellow politburo members. This book shows what it was like to grow up at the top in a duplicitous and deeply immoral and violent atmosphere.
Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
As F. Thom states in her introduction, L. Beria was `a combination of an insatiable libido, ruthless ambition and unspeakable cruelty'.
After being co-responsible for the fate of millions of victims (executions, deportations, concentration camps, famine), the liberation of one million of Gulag inmates or the stopping of the jamming of Western broadcasts after Stalin's death outweigh in no way his evil doings.
L. Beria wanted a more efficient economy free from the Party tutelage (`All we have is a Gosplan, a sewer incapable of even assembling statistics'). But, that was a part of his master plan for becoming the new Tsar: break the influence of the Party by shunting its power to the State bureaucracy and the secret services.
For his son, L. Beria simply wanted to free the soviet people from feudalism. Under Stalin, three-quarters of the people were firmly bound to their collective farms.
As a person, Stalin was `Satan incarnate' taking a wicked pleasure in destroying whatever resisted him.
Nationally, he left the USSR on the verge on collapse and insurrection just before WW II, with a ruined peasantry, an exterminated elite and intelligentsia and a devastated arms industry.
Internationally, Stalin never wanted peaceful existence. For him, democratic States were incapable of a rapid and concerted reaction because they needed the support of public opinion. With his atom bomb, he was convinced that the USSR would achieve world dominance.
For L. Beria, `the Party had become a superstructure that accomplished nothing concrete, yet controlled and involved itself in everything without being responsible for anything.'
The members of the Politburo were nothing more than a bunch of opportunists and blackmailers. At the highest level, `there were only two exits - one straight into the other world, the other one into prison until they sent you into the other world.'
The USSR, its population and communism
These memoirs stress astonishingly a big USSR nationality problem: the struggle of the populations of the republics against `Russian chauvinism'. For S. Beria, communism was only a pretext for the interfering of Russia in the affairs of other countries and ideology was a mere instrument for claiming hegemony.
The USSR economy was pure State capitalism where people were exploited in an incredible degree and where the State grabbed absolutely everything.
Overall, those in power didn't give a damn for the fate of their citizens. More, these citizens were so terrorized that they even were afraid of their own shadow.
This book, with essential annotations and corrections by Françoise Thom, is a kind of hagiography of one of the masters of the USSR with very dirty hands. A must read for all those interested in the history of the Left.
At school we spent a year studying Ancient History of Greeks and Romans, but we did not have any time to spare for the detailed study of our immediate history.
After reading this book I have greatly broaden my understanding of that period, the events & the people that formed Soviet Union and that created the world situation we still find ourselves in now.
Sergo Beria is very fond of his father, and while he does not mention anything regarding his father’s womanising brutality and does not pass any judgement on his father’s involvement in mass repressions in 30th and 40th, this book gives a rare witness account into the mechanisms of the power intrigues within the Soviet state.
One begins to understand that, apparently, such people like Khruschev, Malenkov, Molotov, Zhdanov and many, many others who we were made to believe to be selfless and incorruptible leaders of the humanistic Socialist state, in fact, were just as guilty, perhaps, in some cases even more so, and just as covered in people’s blood from head to toe as the ‘brutal monster and traitor’ Beria.
What, however, sets him apart from the other scoundrels, that, apparently, Lavrenty Beria had progressive economical and political ideas. It appears, supported by various documental references, that he tried to implement these ideas and such radical reforms threatened the position of other scoundrels at the top leading to his downfall.
We know what happened to USSR after that oaf Khruschev had taken over. I, for one, would like to know how the country and the world could turn out had Beria been successful getting his reforms through. It appears that Gorbachev had read Beria’s works too, but, while being a weaker man, Gorbachev’s reforms came 30 years too late.
The opportunity to turn things around has been lost in 1945 and again in 1953…
Sergo Beria says that his father was an unwilling scoundrel rather then a willing one. If you are not yet prepared to accept this, at least keep an open mind.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?