First 360 words of the document:
Totalitarian & Revisionist views
Totalitarian View Revisionist View
"Top Down View" = Instructions given by "Decisionist View" =See purges as result of
those at the top & carried out by those at the decisions made by Communist leadership in
bottom/ below. reaction to 1930's crisis.
"Internationalist View" = Stalin intended Focus on Stalin done too simplified &
to kill his opponents & increase his power convenient interpretation. On the whole
Stalin was the architect & planner of the Stalin is responsible for the terror & sees it
purges. He exercised much personal control in process, but his personality alone is not a
over arrests & directives sufficient explanation for the scale & form
of the purges
Stalin's personality was central to the way
the purges were carried out. Stalin did not have a master plan for the
Stalin sought to get rid of old Bolsheviks
who might present a threat to his leadership The machinery of terror was not well
organised. Many people were selected at
The NKVD was the instrument of a random, denounced or implicated by their
disciplined state apparatus which carried out colleagues or other people. Terror was
orders passé down from the top generated from below as well as above.
Stalin used purges in 1937-1938 as a terror The NKVD was driven by internal divisions.
mechanism to control the populace Units within the organisation often acted on
their own initiative.
Stalin used purges as a weapon to establish
control of the party The Soviet state was chaotic in the mid
1930's. There was confusion & conflict
between Moscow & the rest of the USSR.
The centre used the purges to try to get
control but they spiralled out of control &
gained momentum of their own.
Stalin did not exercise the personal control
of the process ascribed to hi 7 he himself
had little idea about some of the things
going on in Russia.