Causes of the Great Terror - Stalin's Russia

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  • Created by: Maddie
  • Created on: 20-02-14 10:34
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  • Causes of the Great Terror
    • Congress of Victors
      • When it voted to elect CC, Kirov not Stalin came out on top
        • A group of ex-Bolsheviks tried to convince Kirov to run as General Secretary
      • Reason Stalin had to purge the party as it could no longer be trusted
    • Paranoia
      • Stalin believed he had many enemies
      • He feared he would have the same fate as Trotsky, Zinoviev + Bukarin who all fell from power
      • Stalin feared the Red Army and secret police had too much power
      • Stalin felt unable to trust many in the party + acted to remove those he saw as a threat.
    • Terror Economics
      • Allowed Stalin to blame political enemies for economic problems
      • Ongoing 5YP difficulties could be blamed on "wreckers" in the workforce by Stalin
        • scapegoat
        • seen to be working to sabotage Russia's economy
      • The purges provided cheap labour
        • most purged sent to prison camps
          • Form of slave labour
          • large amount of labour in 5YP done by prison workers
    • The Murder of Kirov
      • Stalin attempted to exclude Kirov from the Politburo
        • In 1932, Kirov helped defeat Stalin on an important issue relating to a document that was highly critical of Stalin
      • Dec 1943, Kirov murdered by lone gunman in Leningrad
        • Soviet pinned murder on Leonid Nikolayev.
          • Claimed to be working for a secret 'Trotskyite-Zinovievite' group
            • Wanted to overthrow government
            • Zinoviev and Kamenev arrested for conspiracy to murder Kirov.
      • Rid Stalin of main opponent and imprison two old ones.
        • Gave a reason to hunt down 'secret terror group'
        • Could show that people were plotting acts of terror.
          • Justified the execution of party members that opposed to policies.


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