Chronology of the Terror

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  • Chronology of the Terror
    • 1930-1: At first the Purges concentrated upon technical experts, who Stalin blamed for the failures of the First Five Year Plan. They were accused of sabotage and there was a series of trials. These were the so called 'Wreckers Trials'
    • 1932: More than 800,000 members of the Party were expelled. Stalin was trying to ensure his control of the Party machinery.
    • 1934: Some Party members try to persuade Kirov to take over Stalin's post of General Secretary . Kirov refuses.
    • In the elections for the Central Committee at the Party Congress some delegates do not vote for Stalin - It is rumoured Kirov gets more votes. The ballots are destroyed.
    • 1934 Dec 1st: Kirov is assassinated by Nikolaev - a party memeber. His bodyguard was mysteriously absent. Stalin passes a decree giving the NKVD great powers to arrest and detain suspects. Stalin is implicated in the removal of Kirov, a potential rival.
    • 1935: The Society of Old Bolsheviks is abolished.
    • All members required to exchange their membership cards for new ones - an attempt to improve membership records. Another 9%of members were removed from the Party.
    • 1936: A new democratic constitutuion is announced, guaranteeing freedom of speech.
    • 1936: The First Show Trial, Zinoviev and Kamenev and others, begins in Moscow.
    • 1937: A Second Show Trial, Radek and others, begins.
    • 1937: The Purge of the Army begins.
    • 1937: Torture is legalised.
    • 1938: The Third Show Trial begins in Moscow. Bukharin, Rykov, Tomsky and Yagoda are the star names.


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