Nikolai Krylenko quotes

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Nikolai Krylenko

Birthdate: 14. May 1885
Date of death: 29. July 1938

Nikolai Vasilyevich Krylenko was an Old Bolshevik and Soviet politician. Krylenko served in a variety of posts in the Soviet legal system, rising to become People's Commissar for Justice and Prosecutor General of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic.

Krylenko was an exponent of socialist legality and the theory that political considerations, rather than criminal guilt or innocence, should guide the application of punishment. Although a participant in the Show Trials and political repression of the late 1920s and early 1930s, Krylenko was ultimately arrested himself during the Great Purge. Following interrogation and torture by the NKVD, Krylenko confessed to extensive involvement in wrecking and anti-Soviet agitation. He was sentenced to death by the Military Collegium of the Soviet Supreme Court, in a trial lasting 20 minutes, and executed immediately afterwards.

Quotes Nikolai Krylenko

„After two decades of building socialism in the USSR there is no reason for anybody to be a homosexual.“

—  Nikolai Krylenko

Krylenko on the law re-criminalizing homosexuality in 1936. Quoted in David Tuller, Cracks in the Iron Closet: Travels in Gay and Lesbian Russia, University of Chicago Press, 1996

„The basic mistake in eyery case is made by those women who consider 'freedom of abortion' as one of their civil rights. We need new fighters - they built this life, we need people.“

—  Nikolai Krylenko

On penalizing abortion in 1936. Quoted in Wendy Z. Goldman, Women, the State and Revolution: Soviet Family Policy and Social Life, 1917-1936. Cambridge Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies, 1993

„In the absence of a criminal code, a court might give a reprimand for a punch in the nose in Ryazan, while the sentence in Tula might be shooting.“

—  Nikolai Krylenko

Krylenko on the importance of having a universal criminal code, quoted in Yuri Feofanov & ‎Donald D. Barry, Politics and Justice in Russia: Major Trials of the Post-Stalin Era

„We will secure peace, over the corpses of the counterrevolutionary command staff if necessary.“

—  Nikolai Krylenko

Krylenko after being named commander-in-chief on the Russian Army in November 1917. Quoted in Brian Taylor, Politics and the Russian Army: Civil-Military Relations, 1689-2000

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