The Secret Police

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  • The Secret Police
    • Attacks on opponents of the Government, 1917 - 1928
      • Terror was an important strategy for staying in power for Lenin
      • From seeing French revolution, believe terror was an important weapon, however hoped it would be less severe and temporary (abandoned once revolution secure)
      • Cheka were the first secret police, although there was little secret, arrests and executions public to create terror
      • Political police who targeted counter revolutionaries
      • During civil war, Cheka protected communist held territory, also attacked capitalists with other socialists (removed Constitutional Assembly)
      • Did not impose or follow laws, dispensed 'revolutionary justice'; helped in requisition of grain closed down newspapers, killed opponents, used extreme violence, killed any men in retreat. ran concentration camps, stopped private trading
      • After civil war red terror was in less force, but still targeted opponents
      • Monitored press and intellectuals, organised deportations, kept public opinion under close control, monitored civillians
      • Lenin was worried about power security, therefore organised trials of socialist leaders, all defendants sent to death, however most were only killed in Stalin era
      • Cheka turned into GPD in 1922
      • GPU protected revolution by; imprisoning Nepmen, harassing women who wore western clothes, persecuting young who danced to jazz, persecuted priests
    • Stalin's Terror
      • Stalin used secret police to remove political opponents, sent millions to gulags
      • After the war Beria continued mass persecution; Soviet prisoners of war sent away, Leningrad party purge, Doctors arrested in Moscow
      • After Stalin's death it was agreed there would be no more mass terror, Beria was killed for treason
      • in ww2 secret police removed minorities who may be sympathetic to Nazi rule
      • Yezhov attacked all aspects of soviet life, 1.5 arrested 10% of men, 635,000 deported, 680,000 executed, 95% targets were men, few working class
      • Yezhov spread great terror to union, he accelerated terror by; Stalin set targets, removal of old agents, new loyal agents, around the clock workers
      • Local initiative meant civilians helped apprehend government officials etc
      • Yagoda appointed head of NVKD and arrested Stalins opponents, turned against communist party, but Stalin wanted more
      • consequences of terror; Stalin was strong, mass economic problems, Yagoda and Yezhov killed
    • Andropov's suppression of dissidents, 1967 - 1982
      • 1967 Andropov placed in charge by KGB by Brezhnev
      • Khrushchev was dedicated to cultural freedom this was backtracked with conservatism, strategy was to achieve maximum control with minimum violence, but also highlight corruption in party
      • After failing to deal with artists, KGB tried to deal with dissidents in a subtle way
      • KGB adopted policy of Warnings, those warned kept under surveillance, 70,000 received warnings, stopped 2000 oppression groups
      • Goal of KGB was prevention instead of repression; Stalin repression ineffective, socialism incompatible with repression
      • Human rights activists and church leaders internationally known could not be arrested so forced to remain in single cities instead
      • Stricter policies introduced in anticipation for dissent (1970)
      • Those who were low profile were sent to psychiatry hospitals, gained less attention, records were private
      • Helsinki agreement meant accused could embarrass government
      • if warnings were ignored; demoted or sacked, psychiatric institutes, exiled, prison
      • Andropov reformed KGB; no gifts allowed, if relatives broke law agent fired, promoted based on merit, special branch made to deal with dissidents
      • High profile dissidents allowed to migrate, artists, jews
    • Monitoring of popular discontent 1982 - 1985
      • Andropov retained control of KGB, continued to monitor public opinion
        • He did this by; fake western initiation, phone tapping, intercepting mail
          • Andropov used discontent towards corruption, anti communist east to justify authoritarian policy
      • Growth in discontent in 70's and 80's; slow improvements to living standards, unsatisfied with quality of food and consumer goods, insufficient opportunities for promotion, resented privileges and corruption of party managers
      • People lost faith in social contract, loss of faith led to; alcoholism, poor labor discipline, increased black market, demand for western goods, sympathy of strikes, increased Church, falling birth rate
      • To deal with discontent Andropov; created anti corruption campaign, anti alcohol campaign, operation Trawl.
        • anti corruption undone with Chernenko to keep his supporters happy


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