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Flashcards in Stalin's Terror State Deck (37):

When did Stalin become that vozhd (supreme leader) of the Soviet Union?



When did the purges begin?



How many 'anti-bolsheviks' had been arrested under Lenin?

tens of thousands


What was the trial of the Ryutin group in 1932?

Had published an attack on Stalin:
- were publicly tried and expelled from the party


How many members of the party were excluded between 1933-1934 on the grounds that they were 'Ryutinites'?

1 million = 1/3rd of total membership


What were the methods of early party purges?

Get any suspected members party cards and not hand them back if they were suspected


Why is 1934 an important year in the purges?

When Stalin began to terrorise not just obvious opponents but colleagues and party members


Who was the NKVD directly answerable to?



What new type of court was set up in 1934?

A special military court to deal with 'serious crimes' = similar to AIII


Why might it be the case that Stalin was involved in Kirov's murder?

- he was a highly popular figure in the party
- was elected into the politburo by the CA in 1934
- was known to be unhappy with many of Stalin's policy
= dissatisfied members may rally around him in opposition


What was the Decree against Terrorist Acts?

Signed 2 hours after Kirov's death
- gave the NKVD limitless powers in pursing enemies of the state and the party
= hunting down Kirov's murderers caused a fresh purge on the party to begin


Why were new members of the party during 'the Stalin enrolment' eager to support the elimination of the anti-stalinist elements of the party?

- owed their position directly to Stalin
- improved their chances of promotion


Out of 1996 delegates who attended the Party Congress in 1934, how many were executed in the next 3 years?



Out of the 139 Central Committee members elected at the 1934 PC how many survived?



When was the Great Purge?



What did the secret letter sent from the CPSU headquarters in 1936 contain?

Warning all the local party branches of a terrorist conspiracy by the 'Trostkyite-Kamenevite-Zinovievite-Leftist Counter-Revolutionary Bloc'
- instructed party officials to begin rooting out suspected agents and sympathisers


Why were Kamenev and Zinoviev put on trial?

Charged with involvement in Kirov's death + plotting to overthrow the Soviet state
= both men pleaded guilty


Why did Kamenev and Zinoviev confess?

- revealed that torture was used
- sense of demoralisation of having been accused and disgraced by the party


What did the confessions of Z and K create?

An atmosphere in which innocent victims submitted in open court to false charges = if great men accepted their fate then lesser men would also have to


Who were the 'anti-Soviet Trotskyist Centre'?

17 communists, denounced as this, were charged with spying for Nazi Germany


What happened during the third of the major show trials 1938?

Bukharin and Rykov and 18 other 'Trotskyite-Rightists' were publicly arraigned on a variety of counts, including sabotage, spying and conspiracy to commit murder


What were 2 of the major things claimed in the 1936 Constitution?

- Socialism had been established - no longer 'classes'
- The basic civil rights of freedom of expression. assembly and worship were guaranteed


Why were the parties powers not described in the Constitution?

Meant they could not be restricted


What happened in May 1937 when Vyshinsky announced that 'a gigantic conspiracy' had been uncovered in the Red Army?

Tukhachevsky the talented Chief of General Staff was arrested along with 7 other generals, all of whom had been 'heroes of the Civil War'
- accused of having spied for Germany and Japan


How many army commanders were removed 1937-38?



How does the purge of the armed forces show Stalin's mental instability?

Left the USSR's defence completely crippled
- services were undermanned and staffed by inexperienced or incompetent replacements


How many ordinary people were arrested during Stalin's purges?

1 in 8


On average how many loved ones did each family in the USSR loose?



How was there a quota system in the purges?

The number of people to be arrested was laid down in sets of quotas - numbers not the names that mattered


What was the purpose of terrorising ordinary people?

To frighten the nationalities into abandoning any thoughts of challenging Moscow's control and to force waverers into full acceptance of forced industrialisation


What was the 'Leningrad affair' 1949?

Leading party and city officials were arrested, tried on charges of attempting to use Leningrad as an opposition base, and shot


What was the Doctors Plot 1953?

Kremlin announced the Jewish-dominated medical centre has planned to murder Stalin and the other Soviet leaders
= deaths prevented due to Stalin's death


In 1934 how many people were executed?

1 million


By 1937 how many people had been deported to labour camps and how many of these died?

7-8m, 4m died


Between 1944-46 what did the 'screening' of returned prisoners of war lead to?

10m sent to camps, 5-6m died in captivity


Why did many members of the party welcome the purges?

- opportunity to settle old scores
- a way of advancing themselves by filling the jobs vacated by victims


What benefits did the nomenklatura have?

- plentiful food rations
- luxury accommodation
- motor cars
- top quality education for their children