(1953) Alleged conspiracy of prominent Soviet medical specialists to murder leading government and party officials. In January 1953, the Soviet press reported that nine doctors, at least six of them Jews, had been arrested and confessed their guilt. Because of Joseph Stalin's death in March, no trial occurred. Pravda later announced that the charges against the doctors were false and their confessions obtained by torture. In his secret speech at the Communist Party's Twentieth Congress, Nikita Khrushchev asserted that Stalin intended to use the doctors' trial to launch a massive party purge.
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