Prison ... has put an end to my scientific work, and put a stop to it at the most critical and interesting time; the years are passing and my scientific plans are disintegrating and being scattered like sand.
(Kondratiev, 26 May 1932)
The following chapter examines the demise of the Conjuncture Institute between 1928 and 1930, the campaign against
at the end of the 1920s, Kondratiev’s arrest and interrogation in 1930— 31, the Menshevik trial, Kondratiev’s writings while in jail between 1930 and 1938 (including the letters to his wife), and the fate of other Conjuncture Institute members after Kondratiev’s arrest. Sources are still somewhat restricted in this area, so further revelations may change some of the details of this account, although are unlikely to alter the basic outline of the narrative. The story of Kondratiev’s imprisonment and eventual fate is certainly a sad tale to tell. However, the fact that Kondratiev still continued working in such terrible conditions is a testament to the power of his vision of what Russian conjunctural economics might become. Alexander Solzhenitsyn described the campaign waged against Kondratiev by the Soviet regime as painting him as a ‘future Prime Minister’.
Kondratiev was certainly a key player in any opposition that might have developed after 1928, one that Stalin felt was absolutely necessary to discredit.