Red Terror in Russia

How terror was used in Russia

HideShow resource information
Preview of Red Terror in Russia

First 341 words of the document:

From the start, revolutionary terror was an essential feature of Bolshevik rule.
Lenin said: "We can achieve nothing unless we use terror."
The Bolsheviks rejected Western notions of legality in favour of "revolutionary
justice" ­ guilt or innocence would be determined by a person's class origins
rather than objective evidence. This meant that anyone not actively supporting
the Bolsheviks was automatically assumed to be a "class enemy".
The main instrument of repression was the CHEKA (The AllRussian
Extraordinary Commission for Fighting CounterRevolution and Sabotage),
established in December 1917 and led by Felix Dzerzhinsky.
In March 1918, the CHEKA set up its HQ in the Lubyanka building in Moscow.
Dzerzhinsky said: "The CHEKA must defend the Revolution and conquer the
enemy even if its sword falls occasionally on the heads of the innocent."
By Summer 1918, the CHEKA had 40,000 agents operating throughout
Sovietcontrolled territory. Lenin urged them "to apply mass terror immediately,
to execute and exterminate hundreds of prostitutes, drunken soldiers, former
officers etc."
In April, the CHEKA crushed an uprising by Anarchists in Moscow.
The SRs were angry about the BrestLitovsk Treaty. In July, they assassinated
the German ambassador and staged an uprising, which was also brutally
suppressed. In revenge, an SR named Fanya Kaplan shot and seriously
wounded Lenin himself in August.
The most famous victims of the terror were the former Tsar Nicholas II and his
family. They were shot by the CHEKA in Ekaterinburg on 17 July 1918, almost
certainly on Lenin's orders.
The terror intensified during the Civil War, during which an estimated 300,000
people were executed by the Bolsheviks. Thousands more were arrested as
suspected counterrevolutionaries or class enemies and sent to special
concentration camps and detention centres. Zinoviev said: "The Bolsheviks' aim
is to win over ninetenths of the population and annihilate the rest."


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all resources »