National Alliance of Russian Solidarists (1967)
NTS Narodno-Trudovoy Soyuz
National Alliance of Russian Solidarists
Russian Revolutionary Resistance Movement 1967
Soviet press on the NTS . . . 3
I. History . . . 5
II. Philosophy and Practical Ideas for post-Communist Russia . . . 7
III. Activities and Achievements, Strategy and Tactics . . . 10
IV. Internal Structure . . . 13
V. Countermeasures of the KGB . . . 14
Publisher: Free Russia Fund. Printed by Possev-Veriag, V. GoraAek K.G. 623 Frankfurt/Main-Sossenheim, Germany.
SOVIET PRESS ON THE N. T. S.
"In March 1955, the NTS printed 14 million leaflets and despatched them by ballons from the German Federal Republic in an easterly direction ... It has been ascertained that the NTS send not only leaflets but also secret agents into the countries of Eastern Europe. Besides this, their daily task consists in the infiltration of the state and administrative organs of the socialist republics ... It has been proved also that the NTS is in possession of a clandestine wireless station".
(" Literaturnaya Gazeta", 9 March 1957)
"Any means are legitimate to the NTS in its work of spreading anti-Soviet forgeries throughout the country. Pamphlets, leaflets, calumnious letters are sent to such addresses as they succeed in obtaining; these are slipped into parcels of books, in folders, into the packing of machinery imported from abroad".
("Sovetskaya Moldavia", 11 October 1960)
"The NTS is no myth. NTS stands for 'Narodno Trudo-voy Soyuz'. Its purpose is the overthrow of the present system in the USSR. It has its publishing house and even a radio station ..."
("Sovetskaya Belorusia" and Sovetskaya Latvia", 24 July 1965)
"... The weapons which Mr. Brooke brought into our country are probably more loathsome than bombs, currency or narcotics. He filled his secret pockets with a different product, so to speak, one of an ideological type — with anti-Soviet literature ..."
("Trud", 23 July 1965)
"... The NTS leaders are trying to step up their activity by making use of the expanded cultural and economic relations between the USSR and the capitalist countries. . . They do everything to send their accomplices into the Soviet Union, and other socialist countries as well, in the guise of tourists, business men, and members of various delegations".
("Pravda Ukrainy", "Pravda Vostoka", "Sovetskaya Moldavia", Sovetskaya Belorusia", 23 July 1965)
"Every day one can hear on the air . 'Greetings, dear countrymen...' This is how the station which calls itself 'Radio Free Russia' begins its broadcasts ..."
("Sovetskaya Rosiya", 24 July 1965).
The N.T.S. (Narodno-Trudovoy Soyuz) — The National Alliance of Russian Solidarists — was established by Russian emigre students in European universities in 1930. They wished to oppose the Bolshevik ideology and its inhuman methods in Russia; the excessively rationalist and materialist tradition of much Western liberalism; the passivity of their "fathers" — the older emigres.
They considered that the firm establishment of a Communist dictatorship in Russia called for a serious and profound intellectual effort to produce a set of ideas with greater relevance and stronger power of attraction for the people of Russia than the dogmas of Communism. They did not wish to create a new emigre organization. Such existed in abundance. Their organization aimed to be an internal Russian oppositionary force. They wished to penetrate Russia with ideas (the first leaflet raids — by balloon or in plastic packets sent down rivers — started in 1935) and with men (the first NTS members illegally crossed the Russian border in 1932).
On 6 December 1938 Moscow radio for the first time announced the arrest of "N.T.S. saboteurs in the capital". There were other losses too, but there were also successes.
During the war, most N.T.S. members in German-occupied Europe crossed into German-occupied Russia and, despite endless obstructions by the Germans, established (by 1943) 120 NTS groups in 54 Russian towns. Increasingly persecuted by the Nazis as well as by the Communists, N.T.S. provided the main drive behind the idea of "The Third Force" and the slogan "Neither Stalin or Hitler".
At the end of the war more than 200 N.T.S. members were in German concentration camps, one-third of whom were to be "liberated" by Soviet troops only to exchange Hitler's camps for Stalin's.
Out of the chaos of the end of the war N.T.S. emerged with an extensive base of supporters both inside and outside Russia, with a definite understanding of the need to replace the Communist system of terror by a radically different system, with a ready set of philosophical and practical ideas for a post-Communist Russia.
II. PHILOSOPHY AND PRACTICAL IDEAS FOR POST-COMMUNIST RUSSIA.
The NTS does not believe in opposing the Soviet regime by bomb-throwing, sabotage and assassination. For although there is an inevitable conflict between the aspirations of the people for freedom and the firm intention of the Communist rulers to keep themselves in power, with time these aspirations will express themselves irresistibly on a mass scale. The philosophy of NTS is fundamentally Christian: Man should be his brother's keeper; one has an obligation to help people who are suffering oppression. The flexible and undogmatic "ideology" of NTS is called Solidarism.
Unlike Communism, Solidarism provides a twentieth-century basis for dealing with present day issues. It rejects a purely materialistic approach to social, economic and political problems. It postulates that man, rather than matter, is the chief problem today. It rejects the concept of class warfare and hatred, and seeks to replace this dubious principle with the idea of co-operation (solidarity), brotherhood, Christian tolerance and charity. Solidarism believes in the innate dignity of the individual and seeks to safeguard as inalienable rights his freedom of speech, conscience and political organization. Solidarists in no way claim that their ideas represent the final answer to all problems, but they believe that man who is master of the atom bomb must also become master of himself and his destiny.
The NTS is a revolutionary movement, and since the Communists will clearly never hand over the reins of power to the Russian people voluntarily, the final aim of NTS
is nothing more nor less than the overthrow of the Soviet regime, an armed overthrow if necessary, but as bloodless a one as possible. The NTS aims to avoid petty party politics, but in Western European terms NTS policies are roughly similar to those of progressive Christian democrats and other centrist parties. The -NTS seeks for Russia what is enjoyed and taken for granted in the West — freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
It is very difficult to compare the practical ideas of NTS for a post-Communist Russia with the state of affairs in the free world, because of the immense difference between the two situations today. In Communist Russia everything is ordered from above, everything is centralized, everything is owned by the all-powerful State. Hence an immense programme of democratization which must be quick and thorough, of decentralization and denationalization which would have to be more gradual. The denationalization, obviously, would not be total.
In the political field the aim would be a representative federal government with a hierarchy of elected territorial authorities with varying degrees of outonomy ammounting, in some cases, to complete internal self-government. In areas with a strong separatist sentiment the question of remaining a part of Russia or of assuming complete independence would be settled by plebiscite.
In the economic field three inter-acting sectors of the economy would be encouraged to emerge. The State-owned sector would deal with national resources, heavy industry, power production, heavy transport and so on. The local government or public sector would be organized on the ba
sis of the requirements of local administrations. And the private sector would take over an ever-growing proportion of industry and commerce. In the rural economy, the basis would be privately owned farms, but this would not preclude certain modern agricultural enterprises run by local or State authorities, nor the encouragement of farmers' cooperatives.
III. ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS STRATEGY AND TACTICS.
The first objective of the NTS, having renewed its offensive after the war, was to make known to the whole population of Russia that there was an active Russian organization fighting Communism; that this organization was called N.T.S. and that its final goal was the overthrow of Soviet Communism and the establishment of freedom, democracy and rule of law. To achieve this objective, more than a hundred million of leaflets, newspapers and pamphlets were dispatched to Russia by balloon (this method has now been effectively discontinued for various reasons), in merchandise exported to the USSR, in mass dispatches by post, and so on. Two small N.T.S. radio transmitters (Radio Free Russia) began, and have continued ever since, to beam their programmes to Russia for up to ten hours daily. Because of this activity, because of Soviet counter-propaganda which was forced to disclose much about the NTS to Soviet citizens (especially at the time of the Brooke trial in 1965), and thanks to the activity of NTS groups in Russia, the first objective is in effect achieved: NTS, and its main aims, are well-known in Russia. This does not minimize the necessity of a continuing NTS propaganda drive in Russia, but the main resources can be diverted towards the second objective — the further development of the underground NTS organization in Russia.
The work towards this goal was also started shortly after the war. At first, members were sought mainly in the Soviet occupation forces in Germany, Austria and other countries. Small groups of NTS members from the West were clan-
destinely sent into Russia. Of these, four NTS members — Makov, Remiga, Lakhno and Gorbunov — were tragically caught and executed. Twelve others were also caught and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. Others have settled in Russia, keep up their contact with the centre abroad, and carefully widen the NTS organization in Russia.
NTS supporters were also sought and found among other Soviet citizens abroad — diplomats, tourists, sailors, students, artists, members of cultural and scientific delegation, sports teams, and so on. Some NTS members in Russia, joined the organization by "auto-affiliation" after e.g. reading NTS literature, managed to establish contacts with the centre abroad, and were thus included in due course in (he underground network of the NTS organization in Russia.
At present, this network is gradually expanding. Individual groups, which in Stalinist times were asked to have not more than three members, have grown in accord with their needs and local possibilities. They have no connection with each other, even in cases when a member of one group forms a whole new group in a different place. In such cases, old links are abandoned. The groups keep up two-way contact with the centre in the West, in the Western direction by coded messages in invisible ink through the ordinary mail, and in (he Eastern direction by coded radio messages and, necessarily on a limited scale, by couriers. Couriers are sought among those NTS members in the West who are not known to be such, and among those Russian and foreign friends of NTS who fully appreciate the aims of NTS and are willing to take risks to achieve them. The changes which occurred in Russia since the death of
Stalin have given many people the chance to start, individually or in small groups, an active campaign for freedom against different forms of Soviet oppression. Some people fight against the oppression of religion, others — mainly authors and artists — fight for freedom of expression, and others fight local mismanagement in industry and illegalities against workers and employees.
The NTS establishes contact — deliberately and sometimes by chance — with such groups and tries to help them in their causes. If the activity of these groups is in principle nonpolitical (in fact, almost everything has a political nature in contemporary Russia) the NTS does not normally try to politicize them, but, rather, puts them in touch with, e.g., the literary group around the journal "Grani".
The activities of this group have led to the publishing in the West— in Russian in "Grani" and also in many other languages all over the world — of many works by Russian writers and poets which could not be published in Russia. "Grani" has initiated in the West campaigns for the release of persecuted Russian non-conformist authors, and it took an active part in the campaigns on behalf of both Valery Tarsis and Sinyavsky and Daniel, as well as helping in the fight against the closure of the Pochaev monastery in 1962.
All these activities are parts of the general strategy of the NTS. Despite the difficulties, is not only the network of a revolutionary organization being spread all over Russia, but an independent public opinion is growing up in Russia: the fear which surpressed every anti-Communist activity in Stalin's times is rapidly decreasing, while the fear which the communist authorities feel in face of the mass of the people is growing.
IV. INTERNAL STRUCTURE
The internal structure of NTS is determined by the objective of organizational efficiency. As a matter of policy, the number of NTS members is not divulged, so as not to let the enemy (the KGB) know the current number of NTS groups connected with the centre abroad; also because there is no possibility of knowing the exact number of "auto-affiliated" NTS members in Russia, i.e. those who have joined the Organization and act according to its general instructions, without establishing contact with the centre; and finally because in the West there are, not surprisingly, both inactive members and very active supporters.
The supreme authority of the NTS is the Council, composed of not less than 15 members. These are, if they live in the West, elected for a period of six years by the "Leading Circle" composed of the most active members. The Council also co-opts leading NTS members in Russia. The Council determines the current policy of the NTS, elects out of its members the President, for a term of three years, and the Executive Bureau, with its Chairman, for a term of two years. The Council nominates senior members to the Leading Circle, thus forming a tight system which has been outstandingly efficient in preventing infiltration. After the liberation of Russia, the Council will hand over its supreme authority to the Congress of the NTS.
The international headquarters of NTS for contacts with the West is Paris. In Frankfurt/Main is the publishing house Possev (The Sowing), where, in addition to books, the weekly newspaper "Possev" and the literary quarterly "Grani" are published.
V. COUNTERMEASURESOF THE KGB.
It is impossible to estimate the results of NTS activities without giving brief account of the countermeasures of the enemy — the Soviet government and its Secret Police (KGB).
Severe sentences on NTS members caught by the KGB in Russia (see Activities) are by no means the only counter-measure.
Several kidnappings of NTS members in the free world by KGB agents are common knowledge. The kidnapping of Dr. A. R. Trushnovich (member of the NTS Council and Chairman of the Russian Berlin Refugee Committee) on April 13th 1954 in Berlin is the best known, and brought protests from the three Western governments. Four other kidnappings occurred during the fifties, and some further mysterious disappearances were also in fact officially unproved cases of kidnapping.
Agents have also been sent by the KGB to kill prominent NTS leaders in the West. The KGB's "Operation Rhein" gained world-wide notoriety in 1954, when the KGB Captain Nicolai Khokhlov was sent with two German agents to kill the NTS leader George Okolovich. Instead, Khokhlov went over to the NTS and disclosed the whole plot to Western Intelligence, handing over his famous cigarette-case pistol. In 1955 an East German called Wildprett was sent to kill the President of NTS, Dr. V. D. Poremsky, but he also gave himself up to the NTS.
Several bombs have been thrown to blow up NTS installations in Germany and Austria. In 1958 a three-storeyed house in Sprendlingen near Frankfurt collapsed under the
impact of one of these. This was a Soviet attempt to stop NTS radio-transmissions to Russia (the transmissions were not interrupted). In 1963 seven smaller bombs detonated in the woods around the well-guarded NTS radio station, "Free Russia", an attempt (which failed) to stir up anti-NTS feelings among the surrounding farmers.
In 1961 a bomb exploded in the court-yard of the Possev Publishing House, just before the lease on the house was due to be extended. All the windows were smashed in neighbouring houses with the result that the lease was not extended.
On two occasions bombs have been found by the NTS and handed over to the authorities before detonation — one at the Possev bookshop in Vienna (1959), the other at the building site of the new "Possev" office in Frankfurt (1962).
From as early as 1935 agents have been sent to infiltrate the NTS. Special security measures have made it impossible for them to penetrate the inner circle of NTS, which has a clean record against such attempts. From 1933, intimidation and blackmail — using threats against the relations of NTS members in Russia — have been tried in general unsuccessfully, by the KGB and its predecessors.
But the main weapons of the KGB in its fight against the NTS have been simply big lies, libel and disinformation, as well as recurring attempts to suppress all information in Russia about NTS.
According to Soviet sources, NTS members are always "enemies of the people", "collaborators with the fascist in-
vaders" during the war, "foreign agents" and "spies" (the foreign governments, for which NTS "spies" change according to the political situation), murderers, drunkards, etc.
The name of NTS has sometimes gone unmentioned in the Soviet press for several years, NTS member even being caught and executed without any mention of their organization. Then the silence suddenly ends as in 1965 during the Brooke trial, when all the newspapers wrote about the NTS, trying to point its activities as criminal. But very soon the authorities notice that people know how to read between the lines, and that their anti-NTS campaign serves only to publicize the real activities of NTS. Then the campaign is stopped and a new period of suppression of information begins, until the time when NTS activities press the authorities to launch a new attack.
The force of these counter-attacks seems sometimes, even to the NTS itself, to be out of proportion to NTS achievements. But it must be remembered that the NTS headquarters abroad does not always have full reports on the activities of those "molecular" groups in Russia which are not in touch with the headquarters, whereas the KGB feels the effects of all NTS groups, only remaining ignorant, usually, of the identity of the participants.
Thus Soviet countermeasures are often an even better guide to the real level of NTS success than NTS's own information.
As early as 1953 a special instruction to Soviet secret service, signed by the Minister of State Security, called the NTS "Enemy No. I of the Soviet Union". Since that time the strength and influence of NTS have grown steadily.
FREE RUSSIA FUND (Fund-raising for the NTS) NTS NEEDS YOUR HELP
Russian Freedom Fighters — in the frontline of the battle against Communism — are protecting your freedom while fighting for theirs. They need your help!
Trained, experienced, dedicated, they attack Communism where it is most vulnerable — inside the USSR and in Soviet outposts throughout the world. They use the weapons most dangerous to Communist — the truth . . . positive ideas of freedom . . . and practical means for achievieving it in Russia and other captive countries.
Donations should be sent to:
NTS - FR Swiss Bank Association, Basel, Switzerland Conto No. XXX XXX or forwarded through any NTS members in your country.
The NTS can be reached at the following addresses: NTS, 125-bis rue Blomet, Paris 15e NTS, c/o Verlag "Possev", 623 Frankfurt/Main-Sossenheim, Flurscheideweg 15 6 FRANKFURT/MAIN Postfach 4111