The Life & Execution of Nikolai Krylenko
July 29, 1938
Nikolai Krylenko’s trial was short and sweet. All of 20 minutes. He was then quickly led off and shot. The judge was not interested that days of torture preceded his forced confession.
Innocence was not an adequate defence. There could never be a defence once accused. The Soviet system was infallible.
Ironically, Nikolai Krylenko had himself helped to create this ruthless death machine. Estimates of a minimum 700,000 executions. The infamous Purges.
Stalin insisted on a steady stream of victims to terrorize the people, the more innocent the victim, the greater the terror!
Krylenko’s name, photograph and all traces of his life were erased from history. Only after Stalin’s death was his guilty verdict annulled.
Slowly, by the early 1960’s, Krylenko’s enormous contributions to Soviet chess earned him the reputation of being the Father of Soviet Chess. But his work to promote Soviet chess extended far beyond the Soviet borders: Krylenko re-shaped the contours of world chess…and this influence still exists today!
The Remarkable Nikolai Krylenko