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From the Archive: “A small piece of brown colored mass” Part 1/3

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Presidential Archive of the Russian Federation, f. 3, op. 3, d. 65, l. 25-26

To: Cde. Stalin
Copy to Cde. Kaganovich

On 16 October an employee of the Special Department, Cde. Sentaretskaya, opened the daily mail addressed to Cde. Stalin.

In one of the open packages there seemed to be a letter with a small piece of brown colored mass, which appeared to be excrement. According to Cde. Sentaretskaya and other employees, a strong order emanated from the opening of the package.

Appalled and upset Cde. Sentaretskaya, taking the mass, carried it to the bathroom, where she threw it in the toilet. According to her, Cde. Sentaretskaya got dizzy upon exiting the bathroom. Entering the room, she fell on the floor hitting the back of her head. Coming to after several minutes, she said that she was blind. A doctor was sent for, who looked at Cde. Sentaretskaya and not finding any sign of injury, declared that it was necessary that Cde. Sentaretskaya go to the hospital for further observation and examination.

After Cde. Sentaretskaya was taken to the Kremlin hospital, an envelope with leftovers of the mass was taken for examination in the NKVD laboratory.

According to the medical examination (enclosed) and observation in the hospital Cde. Sentaretskaya’s blindness was allegedly caused by hysteria and not from the effects of a chemical substance.

At the present time, since 22 October her sight gradually returned to her.

In regard to safety precautions for employees, workers who open mail are taking the following measures.

1. Those who open mail will be provided with rubber gloves which must be worn with opening letters.

2. A supply of disinfectants has been acquired.

26.10.1935

Deputy OS TsK Poskrebyshev

There is a resolution on the document: “To Cdes. Molotov, Andreev, Mikoian, Kaganovich” The document was sent to Molotov, Andreev, and Mikoian.

This document was published in Istochnik, 3, 1993.