10 Facts: Stalin`s Great Purge - More Than Half A Million Shot
The Great Purge, also known as the Great Terror, was Stalin`s way of dealing with political opposition. Brutal and without mercy, he instigated the greatest political repression campaign in the history of the Soviet Union. The Great Purge lasted from 1936 to 1938, but its aftereffects included such actions as the mass murders of political prisoners by the Soviet secret political police, the NKVD, in 1941. Since Stalin`s position in power was questioned by his former colleagues from the Party, most notably Leon Trotsky and Nikolai Bukharin, he decided to use the opportunity to get rid of the two dissidents, including all of the original Bolsheviks that participated in the Revolution of 1917.
Review: Stalin's Iron Fist by J. Arch Getty and Oleg V. Naumov
"We should shoot a pretty large number... no trials are necessary. Everything can be done in a simplified process," wrote Nikolai Yezhov to Stalin as he let loose the Great Terror in 1937. Yezhov - 'Iron Fist' aka 'Bloody Dwarf' - was the People's Commissar for Internal Affairs, chief of the secret police, the NKVD, and the second most powerful man in Russia. This butcher appears in history for two years in the mid-1930s and disappears just as quickly - after Stalin liquidated him in his turn. In 1937 he suggested to Stalin the start of a purge in which about a million people were killed, adding that most of the victims should be chosen at random.
Russian couple reunited after 60 years apart because of Stalin's purges
When Anna Kozlov caught sight of the elderly man struggling out of a car in Borovlyanka, she stopped dead in her tracks. There, in front of her, was Boris, the man she had fallen in love with and married 60 years earlier. The last time she had seen him was 3 days after their wedding, when she kissed him goodbye and sent him off to rejoin his Red Army unit. By the time he travelled back, Anna was gone, consigned by Stalinís purges to exile in Siberia with her family as an enemy of the people. Without leaving forwarding address. Now they were reunited, an extraordinary coincidence resulting them both to travel back to their home village on the very same day.
List of Stalin terror victims published - Over 2.6 million names (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Memorial rights group has compiled a database on more than 2.6 million victims of Joseph Stalin's purges. "Our database this far is only 20-25% of the total number. This is a result of the work conducted by hundreds of people in many regions throughout nearly 20 years," Arseny Roginsky said. 12.5 million people are estimated to have fallen victim to the purges, which began in 1937 with mass show trials against Communist leaders and Red Army generals.
The Great Terror: 70 Years Later, Stalin's Image Softening
As Russia marks the 70th anniversary of Josef Stalin's drive to purge opponents of his regime, the ceremonies have sparked a debate on how Stalin is portrayed in Russia. --- Arseny Roginsky is running out of space: The shelves of his office are crammed withfiles about the victims of Soviet repression. This includes the one out of every 10 Russians estimated to have been executed or sent to prison camps under the orders of Josef Stalin in the late 1930s. Roginsky - the chairman of Memorial, a group trying to unearth the truth about the Stalin-era purges - says there is a worrying trend in Russia toward portraying Stalin as a great leader.
Stalin's Purge 1937 remembered - Darkest pages of Russia's history
Children of the victims of Josef Stalin's repressions remembered one of the darkest pages of Russia's history in Moscow as they laid flowers to honor the victims of the Great Purge of 1937, when millions were labeled "enemies of the state" and executed without trial or sent to the notorious labor camps. The 70th anniversary comes as the Kremlin has been trying to whitewash Stalin's rule and hushing up the full horror. Putin, speaking to history teachers, said that no one should try to make Russia feel guilty about it because "in other countries even worse things happened," suggesting the US' use of atomic weapons against Japan was worse.
Remembering the Moscow Trials - Stalinís Great Purges
In August 1936, radios all over the world broadcast the Bolshevik Party leaders confessing at a Moscow court, to crimes against the Soviet Union that they had never committed. Around the world, the court proceedings by Communist Party leader Joseph Stalin against those who had led the October 1917 Revolution caused debate. Yet today they are almost forgotten. The Moscow Trials were and remain important. They coincided with the final climax of Stalinís Great Purges. 1936-1938, millions of Russians were arrested and more than a million executed. Up to 1950, Soviet forced labour camps never held fewer than 8 million prisoners, and ran death rates of 10%.
The cannibal hell of Stalinís prison island
Thousands of Soviet-era prisoners rounded up in Joseph Stalinís brutal purges were dumped without food or shelter on a remote island in Siberia where they turned to cannibalism, according to documents from a former KGB archive. More than 4,000 of the 6,000 prisoners abandoned on Nazino, an inhospitable slip of land in a river 1,500 miles northeast of Moscow, died in less than 4 weeks in the late spring of 1933. A new book, Cannibal Island, draws on documents and witness accounts that have been kept secret for 7 decades. Historian Nicolas Werth reveals that hundreds of people were shot by guards or drowned as they tried to flee the island on makeshift rafts.