The Great Terror

Mind Map by willo118_murphy, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by willo118_murphy almost 7 years ago


Mind Map on The Great Terror, created by willo118_murphy on 03/28/2014.

Resource summary

The Great Terror
  1. Consequences of the terror
    1. Who were the victims?
      1. Around 1.5 million people were arrested
        1. 635,000 people were exiled
          1. 680,000 people were shot
            1. Urban and educated people were targeted, only 5% of all shootings, arrests and exiles were women. It is estimated that 19% of the adult male population were executed or exiled.
              1. The focus changed, originally it was aimed at members of the Leningrad party and bourgeois specialists. Later the purges extended to former opportunists and leaders of the communist party, NKVD and army.
                1. 35,000 army officers were exiled or shot.
                2. Terrorised families
                  1. In cities, some apartment blocks became utterly deserted.
                    1. Common for children of those arrested to publically denounce their parents. The elder children of those arrested were expelled from school
                      1. Wives were not generally considered to be enemies of the people because their husbands were.
                        1. The wives and children of top party officials were arrested along with their husbands and fathers.
                          1. Wives would often petition to the authorities to release relatives
                          2. Eliminating the old elite
                            1. In some cases the entire workforce of a factory would be involved in the trails of their bosses. These trails were heavily publicised.
                              1. Stalin issued a list for party officials to be elected to senior positions.
                                1. The starkhanovite movement was very active during this period to make existing managers of soviet industry scapegoated for problems with the Five Year Plans.
                                  1. Trade union candidates were required to disclose detailed biographical information to help convict them
                                  2. Forging new identities
                                    1. Sometimes this was the only way to escape the purges.
                                      1. People were often discovered with forged identities and killed.
                                        1. Richer middle class people changed their class origins by marrying genuine members of the working class and crafting a new family history.
                                          1. People destroyed existing identity documents to avoid exile.
                                          2. The economic impact
                                            1. Many of Russia's most experienced economic planners were eliminated.
                                              1. The Great Terror was designed to produce economic production by eliminating 'wreckers'. But this was not a success because people lied about economic facts to avoid execution.
                                                1. The was a shortage of trained workers. The Donbas coals region accounted for 77% of coal production but one-quarter of its management was purged.
                                                  1. Production barely improved when it had doubled in previous years: 29 - 35 - 64.
                                                  2. Political impact
                                                    1. Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin and all Trotskyist were now exposed traitors
                                                      1. It provided scapegoats or popular discontent with the failures of the Five year Plans and regular drama in the lives of ordinary people.
                                                        1. Part bosses were purged and many people thought this was justified because in order to divert people's attention away from economic issues, Russia's 'little people' held their bosses to account fot ehir luxurious lifestyles.
                                                          1. No crimes had ben committed by the workers' bosses because luxury was often enjoyed by the communist elite.
                                                        2. Awakening terror - Stalin and Yagoda
                                                          1. Lenin's origins and the police state
                                                            1. Lenin believed terror was central to the survival of a communist regime
                                                              1. During the 1930s the soviet government extended its influence over the economy, censorship and unleashed huge terror.
                                                                1. The Cheka suddenly expanded as Stalin's power increased.
                                                                  1. During Stalin's rule, the rol of the OGPU changed again. They organised dekulakisation that involved huge exile and organised labour camps
                                                                    1. Totalitarianism
                                                                      1. This describes a form of government in which all areas of life are brought under government control
                                                                        1. Different from traditional dictatorhips such as Tsarist because it demands commitment from its citizens
                                                                      2. Causes f the Great Terror
                                                                        1. The congress of victors
                                                                          1. When the congress voted to elect the central committee, Kirov beat Stalin.
                                                                            1. Kirov was becoming more popular then Stalin. This was evidence that Stalin needed to purge the party. They could no longer be trusted.
                                                                              1. The Red Army and the scret police al had too much power and Stalin lacked control of these factions.
                                                                              2. Paranoia of Stalin
                                                                                1. Stali feared old communists that had been members of the party since before the Civil War. They what Lenin had said about him in the testament.
                                                                                  1. He acted to remove those he saw as any sort of rival.
                                                                                    1. Recent events had made him anxious. Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev all held leading positions within the party and then fell from power.
                                                                                    2. The murder of Kirov
                                                                                      1. Following the congress of victors, Stalin viewed that party members should be killed for opposing him.
                                                                                        1. Kirov had defeated him in important debates.
                                                                                          1. He was killed by a lone gunman, Zinoviev and Kamenev were arrested for the conspiracy to murder him.
                                                                                            1. This was very convenient for Stalin because his most important rival was defeated. Now Stalin could justify killing members who opposed his policies.
                                                                                            2. Terror economics
                                                                                              1. Stalin was able to create scapegoats for the on going problems with the Five Year Plans. He blamed 'wreckers' who were employed by his enemies.
                                                                                                1. These wreckers were directly in the employ of Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev and were working to sabotage the soviet economy.
                                                                                                  1. \The purges provided a huge reservoir of cheap labour, the majority of people purged were sent to prison camps and were a source of slave labour.
                                                                                                2. The Great Terror begins
                                                                                                  1. The murder of Kirov provided Stalin with a great excuse to launch a wave of terror against the communist party.
                                                                                                    1. Yagoda was responsible for the implementing of this new wave of terror. He oversaw the arrests and interrogation as well as the trial of Zinoviev and Kamenev.
                                                                                                      1. By removing those who had personally known Lenin, Stalin's version of socialism was unchallenged.
                                                                                                    2. The Great Terror 1936 - 1938
                                                                                                      1. The Moscow show trials
                                                                                                        1. This was Stalin's way of proving the communists were the only trustworthy party
                                                                                                          1. This was he most public aspect of the Terror, to remove communists who had once served Lenin.
                                                                                                            1. For the first time, well known communists were on trial.
                                                                                                              1. The trial of the sixteen
                                                                                                                1. Zinoviev and Kamenev were the main participants of this trial. They wee charged with the murder of Kirov, plotting to disrupt the Five Year Plans and conspiring to overthrow the government.
                                                                                                                  1. Stalin promised them a full pardon if they confessed. Stalin broke this promise.
                                                                                                                    1. Zinoviev and Kamenev begged for mercy until the very end.
                                                                                                                    2. The trial of the seventeen
                                                                                                                      1. This one dealt with Trotsky's allies and they were charged with the same crimes.
                                                                                                                        1. Torture, sleep deprivation and questioning were applied until they confessed.
                                                                                                                          1. Evidence was often forged by the NKVD. One defended 'confessed' to being involved in a murder while he was actually in prison.
                                                                                                                          2. The trial of the Twenty-one
                                                                                                                            1. The trial of Bukharin and his 'accomplices'. They were personally tried with attempting to assassinate Lenin.
                                                                                                                              1. Stalin threatened to execute their families.
                                                                                                                                1. Bukharin was shot but died honourably with curses against Stalin on his lips.
                                                                                                                              2. The doctrine of "sharpening the class struggle"
                                                                                                                                1. Stalin needed to persuade the party congress to allow more terror.
                                                                                                                                  1. He argued that as socialism advanced, the class struggle intensified.
                                                                                                                                    1. Stalin provided ideological justification for more terror. 70% of the people at this party congress meeting would die as a result.
                                                                                                                                  2. Radicalisation of the NKVD
                                                                                                                                    1. The fall of Yagoda
                                                                                                                                      1. Yagoda was replaced by Yezhov as the head of the NKVD
                                                                                                                                        1. This was because Stalin never trusted him properly.
                                                                                                                                          1. Yagoda had failed to provide evidence against Bukharin in the trial of the twenty one. There were also claims that he supported the party right wing.
                                                                                                                                          2. The new NKVD
                                                                                                                                            1. Stalin was not impressed by the old NKVD and therefore set targets for arrests and executions.
                                                                                                                                              1. Stalin purged the NKVD because they were opposed to indiscriminate terror.
                                                                                                                                                1. The new NKVD were mainly thugs who enjoyed the violence and persecuted enemies with vigor.
                                                                                                                                                2. Purges and mass murder under Yezhov.
                                                                                                                                                  1. The party and the army
                                                                                                                                                    1. 330,00 enemies of the party were convicted of being enemies of the people. 20% of the party.
                                                                                                                                                      1. Stalin never trusted the Red Army because its senior officials were appointed by Trotsky.
                                                                                                                                                        1. He feared the military would seize power
                                                                                                                                                          1. 34,00 soldiers were purged.
                                                                                                                                                            1. The final phase of the terror targeted minority groups, Yezhovschina.
                                                                                                                                                            2. Mass murder
                                                                                                                                                              1. The show trails had provided 'evidence' of an anti-Soviet conspiracy. The NKVD produced a list of 250,000 people who were involved.
                                                                                                                                                                1. Russian people denounced their friends to prove their loyalty
                                                                                                                                                                  1. Workers denounced bosses hoping for a promotion
                                                                                                                                                                    1. Yezhov resigned and was shot. Beria was the new leader who finally managed to kill Trotsky.
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