INT: Your father's relations with Stalin from the 1930s. Sorry to ask you that one again...
SK: My father was close, maybe (inaudible) with Stalin from 1930, maybe couple years later, until his death in 1953, so it was more than twenty years. And his feeling about Stalin, his relations was very different. Because in the beginning, he was very strong supporter of Stalin, because he thought that it is the best choice for the Soviet Union in the fighting against the opposition, that Stalin is a person who can bring the country to the success. But after the purges and all these crimes of the thirties, especially after the war, when my father begin to accept himself as a much stronger political person, and he saw how many bad things were done with Stalin and the how many crimes. He (inaudible) after the war to look at Stalin as the disaster of our country, so he was prepared for this speech through all his life and all changes from the inside from the oldest period, from the supporter to the person who opposed him.
INT: Why do you think that he gave the secret speech in the way that he gave it? What was he trying to do?
SK: When we talk about the secret speech, we must first of all understand that my father was strong believer in the Communism, not like the possibility to stay in power or to have something for himself. For him it was the best life to the people, just like the heaven or the earth and he many times repeat that it is impossible to live in the heaven surrounded by the barbed wires. So he tried to introduce what later we named the Socialism with a Human Face. So he told, we have to tell our people what we're planning to do. If we want to do the same policy like Stalin, it will be impossible, it is impossible. But if we want to change this, we have to tell this to the people. And second, as a politician he thought it was only one choice to do this and the first Party Congress after Stalin death. Because if we will change our policy and we will free ten million people from the concentration camp and then they will begin to ask us why we were imprisoned, why we were purged, why we were suppressed and we will try to answer them later, they thought they will never accept this. Because it was only one choice to do this in 1956, so it is his main goal and his practical goal.
INT: Could he have anticipated the consequences of his speech, particularly in places like Poland and Hungary?
SK: Well, of course he did not anticipate it about this possibilities that in these two countries. But he understood that it is very difficult decisions and it will bring the country to the hard time, to the explanation why, what was happened. But he thought it will be impossible to us to go forward without this.
INT: What did your father offer as an explanation for the Soviet invasion of Hungary in November 1956? What was the thinking that he gave you or others that you know of?
SK: Well, you know, at that time, it was (inaudible) the United States invaded in Guatemala, because it was their part of the influence, it was our part of the influence. So to my father and to me also, because we never can give possibility to Hungary, to Poland, to any other countries to leave our part of the influence and to go to the West. It is other side what's happened there. Because it is the same weakness of the politicians, because Imre Nagy was not very different from my father or Waclac Gromulko in Poland. All of them were Communists. But when my father went to the Poland, he strongly show this last line, last frontier. He ordered the Soviet army to move to Warsaw. The Polands thought that they will arm the peoples of Warsaw, it will be just possibility to beginning fighting, but it was only possibility and they show the strength from both sides and then they begin to negotiate. And in Poland, it was Imre Nagy and it was two Soviet representatives, Mikhail Suslov who really was mostly care about the quotation of Marx, nothing more, and the Mikhail, who was very good person, but he tried to solve all the problem to cut all the sharp angles. And so all of them, three of them, was losing step by step their positions and at last, when it begin fighting, they lost the control.
INT: Cut it there...
INT: You were saying that two senior members of the Politburo went to Hungary, can you tell about them?
SK: No, when it was beginning, all these traumas of the Twentieth Party Congress and it was in each part of our role it was different, in each East European country. And in Hungary, what's happened there, when we talk about Imre Nagy, Imre Nagy was not different, maybe not too much different from my father or Wladyslaw Gomulka in Poland, he was Communist, he tried to reform the Communism there and did not think in the beginning to join the West. But even when my father went to Poland, he saw this last frontier, last line. He very strongly ordered to the Soviet troops to move to Warsaw. It was tank division. They Polish leadership began to arm the Polish workers in Warsaw. They saw that they will fight and then when they understood both of them, they begin to negotiate and it was the first assurance of Gomulka, no we didn't want to break our relations with Soviet Union, we will work for the Communist, but in our understanding. But what's happened in Poland and what's happened in Hungary? Imre Nagy was weak, so the circumstances push him further and further. The Soviet representatives who were sent there, it was Mikhail Soslov who was the chief of ideology and he really didn't understand the realities. He was not the decisive person, he was more cared about the quotation of Marx, it was what was Marx told and it was the Mikhaian who was very good negotiator, but he tried to cut out all the sharp angles and so all of them lost the control, step by step, lost one, two, three and then they begin fighting and then... and after that it was only two possibilities or to raise your hands and tell you may go, you will agree with me that it was impossible in 1956, specially with Hungary, who fought against Soviet Union on the German side and they was much more cruel in the war than even Fascists. And the second because they were part of our society, our part of the (unintelligible) and we couldn't do this. So, it was one possibility to use the force. It was very complicated decision to my father. He thought for three or four days, he talk with the Chinese, with other representatives and one time they decided not to use force and they don't know. We have to use force, yes, no, yes, no. At last it was decision, yes, to use it.
INT: Your father made a crucial visit to Marshal Tito in Bjulioni in that time, did he ever speak to you about the discussions there?
SK: Yes, he told about his visit to Tito just before using force in Hungary and he flew thein the awful weather and he just landed at the same where this American plane crashed this year and he also thought that they will not finish this flight successfully. He told that he was surprised that he received the full support of Tito, because he thought that it was much stronger support that he received from Gomulka, because Gomulka told him that you mustn't use the force, but you mustn't accept the Hungary leaving to the West. And Tito told, no, you have to use force and you have to, oh how to say, defend the Socialism in our country.
INT: How important was your father's repair of relations between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union after the split that Stalin had engineered?
SK: When we talk about the repairing the relations, first of all, let's step back to the beginning. The West thought that they defended the democracy, the freedom, their way of life and they want to spread it all over the world. The Soviet Union thought that they defended their freedom, their democracy, their way of life and it would spread all over the world. So the same policy is more... one more country will join us, it will be one more our victory. From the other side, my father had this feeling that our country was guilty, because he first of all set down the commission, is this something wrong with Socialism in Yugoslavia and these scientists don't know. He told it, these people fought against Fascism and really there's only one country in the Europe who want itself no by the help of the Soviet Union itself. So he thought, I have to go there, not invite Tito in Soviet Union, because we're big country and we have to show them that we were wrong. So it was very important to him. And his feeling about Tito was very high.
INT: And how about the relations with the Chinese, in particular Mao Tse-tung?