INT: And how about the relations with the Chinese, in particular Mao Tse-tung?
SK: Well, I think that... when we talk about Chinese, it was such moving of the illusion, because in the beginning my father's feeling maybe was more naive than the real politicians. He thought that all of us the same Communists, we have to help each other like brothers. And from the first meetings, it's came step by step that it was something wrong was here. And when it was beginning this split, he feeling himself really fooled and hurt. Where it was his such decision to withdraw all the Soviet specialist engineers, doctors from there, because he thought we try to help them and they're blaming us for something. I think it was very strong lesson to him.
INT: Could your father have behaved like Stalin in terms of laying down the law to all the fraternal parties, that I am the...
SK: Maybe you could repeat...
INT: Yes. I mean, could your father... I mean, did your father ever think that, hang on, in Stalin's time, people in the fraternal Socialist countries, they listened to him, I will make them listen to me in the way that they listened to Stalin. Did that ever occur to him to think like that?
SK: When we talk about relations with the other Socialist countries, my father's behaviour was different from Stalin. He did not think that they must live under the Moscow decisions, like the satellites, they were the puppet countries. He tried to speak with all of them, to find out what they want and really he thought that you cannot survive sitting on the Soviet bayonets. Why he talk about withdrawal the troops, thought you must show to the West (inaudible) withdrawal troop, we will show to the West that these governments, supported by the people, so his feeling was... maybe to be surprise to you, was close to the West feeling and the relation with their countries. He think that each of these countries must be free, make their own decisions, but they must, all of them, support one idea. The same like democracy here and the free market here, the same the Socialism there.
INT: How much of a threat did your father believe that West Germany in particular constituted?
SK: It was two period. Before 1956, '57, it was the real feeling of the threat of the Germany, because it was the reminiscence, the reminding of the war and it was the feeling that if Germans will receive the nuclear weapons, they could begin the war. But after that, after 1956 maybe, or '57, the Soviet Union became so strong that my father never believed in any possibility of the war with the West, which will begin by purpose. He thought, it can be circumstances where somebody will begin to shoot, you cannot stop this. It was the most, how to say, what make him scared, but he never thought that it will be possibility to begin this war, not Germany, not any other country on the NATO.
INT: He was obviously very concerned about the position of West Berlin within the GDR, for example.
SK: Oh, but when we talk about the West Berlin and the GDR, it is different...
INT: How did your father regard West Berlin?
SK: When we speak about... West Berlin, when we speak about West Berlin and GDR, you must understand that the GDR and West Berlin were the weakest point in our Socialist world. It was not recognised by the West and the main goal of my father was recognition. So first, he wanted the recognition of the West that GDR is independent country and his idea was that the level of life in the GDR will be higher than the West. It will be example to the West Germany. It was his idea, it was never happened, but we must understand this. And the second, he looks at the West Berlin like this enemy island inside our territory. So he tried to eliminate this, or if it isn't possible, to naturalise it. So it was these two real goals, but he never thought this like some threat to our security.
INT: Did he initiate the decision to have the Wall built, or was this an initiative coming from Walter Ulbricht?
SK: It was different explanations. I heard that it was initiate from the Walter Ulbricht. My father thought, no, it was his initiative. He thought it. Walter Ulbricht pressed him to help East Germany. He thought that really it is the fleeing of the people to the outside of the East Germany is weakening the GDR, that the Western Germans are buying the cheap goods on the territory, weakening the GDR and at last he even asked to send some workers from Soviet Union to work in Germany. And my father thought, whom you asking? And he told, oh we ask not qualified workers and he told, we won the war and now we will send our workers to clean your garbage in your back yard, it's impossible for us. And his idea, if we will stop this fleeing, then the economy of GDR will grow and at last it will be stronger than in the West. It was another mistake, but it was such understanding.
INT: Did your father come to regret the propaganda opportunity that the building of the Wall gave to the West?
SK: Yes, he understood this, but he thought it to (inaudible) for the West. The long time victory, it was jgrowing of the economy. Because he thought, it is... we cannot compete with Western military, they're much stronger economically. If we try to build more weapons, we will lose from the very beginning and we mustn't try. Only we can take over in this race if we will grow faster, if our level of life will be higher. If not, it will no idea to compete. So he thought that the long time racing in GDR, the level of life will be higher than in the West and then everybody will see who is right and who is wrong. It's happened for those in opposite.
INT: We come back to talk about the principal personalities. One more I think. How about your father and Lavrenty Beria, for example? What was your father's thoughts on this man?
SK: When we talk about the relations in the Soviet leadership, we must understand that all of them knew each other for long time. My father first met with Laventry Beria when he was the Party Secretary in Georgia. It was in the early thirties. And at that time, they established close relations, maybe not close, but relations. And they met time by time until Beria came to Moscow and became the chief of the KGB or the security police. After that, especially after the war and the Stalin death, it was the fear. They were close. All of outside it was looked that it is three close people on my father, Laventry Beriand Malinkov. But from the other side, my father thought that specialafter the Stalin death, that if they will not take the Beria out of power, I will use this word, it will be the life threat to all of others, because they will be arrested and eliminated. So, until the last days, he show very friendly himself to Beria and from the other side, he plot against him and he plot successfully.
INT: Was there a real possibility...
INT: Continuation of the interview with Mr. Sergei Khrushchev on the second of June. Was there a real fear, a real possibility that Beria would move against his colleagues in the Politburo?
SK: My father thought it was one hundred per cent what he tried to do, that he found that he began to do this, to try to establish support from the republics, by using their nationalistic feelings, to strength the KGB forces. Then he thought he will free some of the prisoners and after that, blame their colleagues for something, arrest them and then establish the new period of the purges and all these cruelty which was during the Stalin, was similar. And he told that he knew Beria, he knew that he the person who nothing which can stop him, from here trying to achieve the highest power. So my father was really scared about this and he thought that it is real threat to the life to the most of the leadership.
INT: Beria was also accused of wishing to hand-over the GDR to the West or to a united Germany, which would not be aligned with the Soviet Union. Was that a factor, do you believe, in your father's calculation in this respect?
SK: I don't think that it was part of my father's calculation, because one must understand that at that time it was very different circumstances and I don't know the real Beria's ideas, but I think that it was part of his plan of the taking power with his hands, to buy the Western support by selling the Germany. And my father's, as I told, idea was more maybe not ideological, but more... I don't know which word to use, but he really believed in Socialism and the thought why we can create the lives of the Germans, who really could achieve better life in the Socialist and we will sell them to the Capitalists. And from the other side, of course, at that time he was frightened by the united Germany and he was afraid that it will be some threat to the security of the Soviet Union. So he opposed this.