Essay On The Great Purge

1048 Words5 Pages
The Great Purge of Russia Communism is when property is publicly owned and people are paid according to their abilities. Joseph Stalin was the communist leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and a paranoid leader. He initiated the Great Purge because he feared people were plotting to remove him from power. During the Purge, his agents would torture the accused, and over half a million people would die. An explanation of how the accused died, who was targeted, and who carried out the killings will enable one to understand who was responsible and how they carried out this event. Those accused of treason by Stalin were arrested and sent to gulags - harsh political labor camps where they were questioned. For example, “The NKVD……show more content…
Research shows that “the NKVD had its eyes on the rich peasants, academics, artists, and scientists. The purge was also directed against national minorities” (Budanovic 7). This explains who was targeted by Stalin’s agents - anyone who could have the knowledge of how to, or the idea, take control of the country from him. By targeting Russia’s critical thinkers, he was eliminating ‘threats’ to his power, and removing dangerous people with dangerous minds from the public eye. Placing the blame on foreigners, by taking the minories residing in Russia, turned the loyal Stalinists against other nationalities, keeping the facts of the arrests relatively contained. The secret police also targeted “... Everyone accused of being an anti-Soviet element” (Budanovic 12). The Purges were not limited to only the enlightened and the minorities, common people who expressed displeasure with the government would also find themselves in a gulag. Stalin not only wanted his reign to go on unopposed, he wanted the people to think in the Soviet mindset, making the people easier to manipulate. This would also make it easier to weed out those he thought were against him, making the interrogations and killings easier to carry out. Minorities, wealthy and influential Party members, knowledgeable citizens, and dissatisfied common folk were the primary targets for the great Russian
Open Document