Khrushchev & reaction to Stalinism

  • Created by: 08rdunn
  • Created on: 15-03-17 18:20

Political & Party change

  • Party split into urban & rural sections
  • new rules limiting how long Party officials could serve
  • membership expanded
  • local soviets strengthened
  • comrade courts revived (minor offences)
  • economic decentralisation (moving power from Moscow to provincial authorities)
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Khrushchev's Secret Speech

In a ‘closed session’ of the 20th Party Congress (1st since Stalin’s death), Khrushchev made a 4hr speech. He denounced Stalin, the cult of personality & his regime/crimes including:

  • Terror, purges, mass arrests/executions, gulags
  • execution, torture & imprisonment of loyal party members on false charges
  • foreign policy errors
  • failings of Soviet agriculture
  • ordering mass terror
  • mistakes e.g. loss of life in WWII & German occupation of Soviet territory
  • betraying Leninist principles

The speech tried to justify continuity, whilst distancing leadership from Stalinist mistakes

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Destalinisation

  • renewed importance of Party & State government institutions
  • police brought back under authority of Party
  • dismantled coercive machinery
  • reduced secret police
  • introduced political amnesties
  • partially revived independent justice system
  • reverted back to traditional hierarchy of power (like Lenin)

Khrushchev helped to restore the Party's position to that of 1920s

Autocratic Terror State disappeared (replaced by central government system)

Stalin's body removed from the Lenin Mausoleum 1961

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