Stalin's Terror


Terror under Nikolai Yezhov 

Sharpening of class struggle

  • Stalin put forward a new theory- the docrine of sharpening class struggle; as socialism advanced the class struggle intensified.
  • Capitalists fought harder as socialism suceeded.
  • 180 from Lenin's assumptions and provided justification for increasing terror.

How Yezhov transformed the NKVD

  • Stalin set targets for arrests, executions and deportations.
  • In 1937 NKVD purged- communists loyal to Stalin's opponents who were opposed to the use of terror. Allowed Stalin to increase pace of terror.
  • New NKVD agents recruited who had no loyalty to the party and no ideological opposition to terror.
  • Conveyor belt system meant torture and interrogation could continue relentlessly until prisoners confessed.


  • Terror attacked all aspects…


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