Reminiscences of Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev, 1967-1971


Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971
Reminiscences of Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev, 1967-1971
The Reminiscences of Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev contain several components, though, only the tapes have been digitized. Khrushchev's self-recoded audiotapes are the source for all memoirs and total over 600 hours of audio. In late 1966 or early 1967, at the state-owned dacha in the village of Petrovo-Dalneye on the outskirts of Moscow to which he had been consigned after his fall from power in 1 964, Nikita Khrushchev began the series of tape-recorded monologues that make up this memoirs. He continued, with one four-month interruption because of illness, until a few days before his death in 1971. The memoirs were dictated without benefit of interviewer, papers, or a reference library. Khrushchev's son Sergei assisted with many logistical elements. In 1970, the KGB confiscated the original tapes but a copy of the tapes were already smuggled abroad. The memoirs cover a broad subject of the history of the USSR, including such topics as the Communist Party and its ideology, Soviet internal and external affairs, military, agriculture, repressions and terror, war, etc. Spanning his entire life and career, the memoirs detail Khrushchev's biography; early steps up the Party ladder; first impressions of Stalin; the failures of collectivization; the years of the purges; campaigns of World War II; Stalin's behavior in post-war years; the state of Party leadership after Stalin's death; Khrushchev's exposure of Stalin's crimes in the secret speech at the Twentieth Party Congress; and a topic-by-topic discussion of foreign and domestic affairs in the years that followed, generously sprinkled with earthy anecdotes and vignettes of Soviet and world leaders. The list of names covered in the memoirs is extensive. Vladimir Il'ich Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Lazar Kaganovich, Vyacheslav Molotov, Lavrentii Beriia, Georgy Zhukov, Mikhail Tukhachevskii, Georgii Malenkov, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Fidel Castro, John F. Kennedy, Ho Chi Minh, Josip Broz Tito to name just a few. Columbia University received the tapes in two batches, the larger arriving in 1974. The second batch, the so-called "Glasnost tapes," was received in 1990. These tapes contain material removed from original tapes. Before transferring initial batch of memoirs abroad, Khrushchev deleted segments and fragments for self-censorship reasons (passages that might constitute military secrets or refer to people then in power, etc.). The original sequence of all tapes was lost. So far, it has been impossible to restore the sequence or assign a new one. The quality of the recording in many cases is poor or unintelligible. There are also duplications of content, which could be attributed to previous manipulations, discrepancies in the duplications done for security purposes, or Khrushchev's manner to retell the same story. There are also discrepancies between the sequence of dictation, sometimes even between the parts of one tape. Khrushchev's memoirs were published first in abridged versions in the West as Khrushchev Remembers (1970) and Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament (1974). Then in 1990, a third volume was published Khrushchev Remembers: The Glasnost Tapes. In 1999, a full version of Khrushchev's memoirs was published in Russia under the title Vremia. Liudi. Vlast' followed by the English edition, Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev in 2004. Each of these editions underwent significant editing, so the tapes remain a valuable source for researchers who want to hear the "first draft" in Khrushchev's own words
Collection Name
Individual interviews oral history collection
Heads of state--Soviet Union; Agriculture--Soviet Union; World War, 1939-1945--Soviet Union; Soviet Union Politics and government; Soviet Union Foreign relations; Soviet Union Military policy; Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971; Stalin, Joseph, 1878-1953; Kommunisticheskai︠a︡ partii︠a︡ Sovetskogo Soi︠u︡za
oral histories; sound recordings
Note (Biographical)
Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev (1894-1971), Soviet politician, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 and premier of the Soviet Union (chairman of the Council of Ministers) from 1958 to 1964
Note (Provenance)
Time, Inc., Gift, 1974
Time Warner, Inc., Gift, 1990
Library Location
Columbia Center for Oral History, Columbia University
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Oral History Archives at Columbia
Time-Based Media
Time-Based Media
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