Stalin's Dictatorship - The Purges and Show Trials

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  • Created by: Abbie
  • Created on: 13-06-12 13:27

Stalin's Dictatorship - The Purges and Show Trials


Murder of Kirov:

  • In December 1934 Sergei Kirov, the leader of the Leningrad Communist Party, was murdered
  • This was probably on Stalin's orders - he was popular and could've possibly been a future leader
  • Government newspapers announced murder as part of a conspiracy to kill Stalin
  • Stalin used this as an excuse to organise massive purges in which anyone who was suspected of disloyalty was murdered.

Other reasons:

  • Stalin never felt secure
  • He was aware that some Bolsheviks were cleverer than him
  • Convenient way of excusing failure and setbacks
  • Targets not met
  • He was paranoid?/a sadist?/weak and influenced?/mad?
  • It unified the country by appealing to nationalism and loyalty so people are behind government for when Russia is under threat
  • Provides workforce for labour camps

Political purges:

  • Communist leadership  - 93/139 of the central committee were killed
  • Armed forces - 81/103 generals and admirals were executed
  • Communist Party - about 1/3 of it's 3 million members were killed
  • Photographs and history books were altered to eliminate the memory of people who'd been arrested

Armed forces purges:

  • 1937 - Stalin turned his attention to the armed forces, he was scared because the leading officers could end his dictatorship
  • Marshal Tukhachevsky and 7 other generals (experienced Red Army leaders) were secretly tried and executed
  • 75/80 men on the supreme military council were executed
  • All the ranks of the army were purged - 35000/70000 officers were shotor…


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