KHRUSHCHEV, Nikita Sergeyevich (1894-1971). O Kulcie Jednostki I Jego Nastepstwach. Warsaw: Marzec, 1956.

Very rare first editions in both full and abridged issues of Khrushchev's 'Secret Speech' attacking Stalinism.

2 volumes, 8vo (205 x 146 mm.) Original printed wrappers, the full version is marked with serial number ‘05635’ and the abridged version with ‘3063’ to top right corners, beneath printed statement ‘Wylacznie do uzytku organizacji partyjnych’ (‘Exclusively for party organisations’) (extremities lightly rubbed, some small faint stains to upper covers).

Extremely scarce and important first editions of Krushchev’s secret speech, one of the defining texts of the 20th century and the history of the Cold War. His speech, made on February 25 1956 to a closed session of Communist Party delegates, denounced the deceased Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and aimed to destroy the image and legacy of the late dictator. ‘Khrushchev recalled Lenin’s Testament, a long-suppressed document in which Vladimir Lenin had warned that Stalin was likely to abuse his power, and then he cited numerous instances of such excesses’ (Encyclopaedia Britannica Online). The decision to make a speech that promised so acutely to disrupt many long-held Soviet beliefs was not taken lightly. ‘The leaders who inherited the party from the old dictator agreed that Khrushchev should make the speech only after months of furious argument - and subject to the compromise that it should never be published’ (John Rettie, The Observer, 2006).

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