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Choibalsan’s New Team

Every time Choibalsan returned from Moscow, he brought with him a list of people who were to be eliminated. this time, several days after he arrived back in Ulaanbaatar, Party Chief Baasanjav and Union of Revolutionary Youth Chief Sengedoij were among those arrested.

A Vacancy Opened Up

     This was a mop-up operation to inaugurate a new team just prior to the opening of the Tenth Congress of the MPRP. Of the three secretaries of the MPRP Central Committee, Luvsansharav had been arrested and deported a couple of months earlier, and Damba had been taken care of and replaced,  but Baasanjav, who had been called back from Hovd and promoted in 1936, was to be handled with care since he had become an important witness of history.

     Baasanjav was personally interrogated by Choibalsan. This young man of thirty-six gave in to the excruciating torture. He died in prison several months later, and thus a vacancy opened up for Tsedenbal. Tsedenbal was made the Chief of the MPRP by the Party’s Tenth Congress, as had been decided by the Soviets. Tsedenbal, Lhamsuren, Tsedev, Lodoidamba, and Namsrai, who had come back from the Soviet Union upon graduation, formed Choibalsan’s first team.

Beria’s Instructions for Choibalsan

     First of all, you must work to have reliable people around you. They must go where you ask them to go and do what you tell them to do. You are the Internal Affairs Minister and you should not have difficulty finding such people. They need not be educated; if you cannot find educated people, use illiterate people. What matters most is that they are trustworthy. If you wish to send four or five people for training here, we have no objection. After you return home, you can and must send them. from among the monks, some could be employed for propaganda purposes; they could be bought. They will, most probably, pray for the Party and the government, and for you, too. And those who oppose you must be put behind bars.

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