The Great Terror Essays

The Great Terror Essays

Length: 947 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Great Terror, an outbreak of organised bloodshed that infected the Communist Party and Soviet society in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), took place in the years 1934 to 1940. The Terror was created by the hegemonic figure, Joseph Stalin, one of the most powerful and lethal dictators in history. His paranoia and yearning to be a complete autocrat was enforced by the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), the communist police. Stalin’s ambition saw his determination to eliminate rivals such as followers of Leon Trotsky, a political enemy. The overall concept and practices of the Terror impacted on the communist party, government officials and the peasants. The NKVD, Stalin’s instrument for carrying out the Terror, the show trials and the purges, particularly affected the intelligentsia.

The NKVD, transformed by Stalin from the original secret police set up in 1917 known as the Cheka, was a secret police service formed in 1934 with Genrikh Yagoda as executive until 1936. The NKVD was a law enforcement agency of the Soviet Union that had direct power over the Communist Party. This secret police organisation was no longer controlled by the party, but rather it controlled the party and only Stalin stood above it. Although the agency contained a regular, public police force of the USSR that included traffic police, firefighters and border guards, the agency ultimately directed mass executions that were not legally authorised, directed labour camps, inhibited resistance and were responsible for mass deportations to deserted regions. The main role of the NKVD was to enforce Stalinist policy, impacting society as people became frightened of the police, rather than feeling safe, until it dissolved in 1946.


... middle of paper ...

...cruited by French writer, Andre Malraux, a spy for France. Babel was tried by an NVDK troika, a commission of three persons who issued sentences, and was prosecuted for being a spy for the French, Austrians and Leon Trotsky. Babel was imprisoned in Butyrka Prison and was shot on January 27th 1940.

The Great Terror that occurred from 1934 to 1940 greatly impacted Soviet society due to the enforcement of the Stalinist policy by the NKVD. The implementation of the policy through the purges of innocent individuals and government members, the forced convictions of the innocent during the show trials from 1936 to 1938 and the effects this all had on groups in society such as the intelligentsia, greatly affected the lives of Soviet people making them fearful for their safety and their future. The Terror not only removed dissent from society but also made people fearful.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Great Terror Essays

- ... The main role of the NKVD was to enforce Stalinist policy, impacting society as people became frightened of the police, rather than feeling safe, until it dissolved in 1946. The removal of individuals who are considered to be undesirable by those in power from a government, organisation or society is a concept known as purges. Though Stalin’s initial purges between 1930 and 1933 were targeted at those who opposed industrialisation and Stalin himself, Stalin’s purges became centred on eliminating his main rivals, his political opponents and their followers....   [tags: communist party, soviet society]

Strong Essays
947 words (2.7 pages)

The Great Terror in Russia Essay

- ... Bolsheviks Zinoviev, Kamenev and their associates were accused of conspiring against Stalin and the government, with each confessing to their supposed crimes, which were then broadcast around the world. It was later discovered that these confessions were forced after long months of psychological abuse and cruel acts of torture. As Stalin’s paranoia grew, the party began eradicating itself of undesirables. Of the two million people that were repressed during that two-year period at the height of the Great Terror, over half were members of the party at the time of their arrest, making that 90% of his former Communist party....   [tags: stalinist, dictatorship, purge]

Strong Essays
843 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on The War On Terror During The Great War

- Throughout the 20th Century, the world was engulfed in global conflicts, engaging in one war after the next. When looking at these different conflicts, interconnected themes and issues seemed to lead to the later conflicts. The first of the conflicts to affect the globe was the Great War. Since the Great War, numerous conflicts have followed including World War II, The Cold War, and eventually the War on Terror. These wars share similar goals and themes of gaining power and prestige, seeking revenge, and fighting ideologies....   [tags: World War II, World War I, Cold War, Soviet Union]

Strong Essays
1084 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Stalin's Launch of the Great Terror

- Stalin's Launch of the Great Terror The Great Terror of 1936-1938 came after a period of success, with the completion of the First Five Year Plan and the Peasants had been collectivised to make food for the workers in the factories. Yet there was still opposition to Stalin's leadership inside the party from Ryutin; Ryutin argued that Stalin should be removed from the position of General Secretary. Stalin then called for the execution of Ryutin (most communist did not believe in killing their own), Kirov, Stalin's supporter and the head of Leningrad headed the majority against the execution....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
1391 words (4 pages)

The Labels of Perpetrators do not Adequately Represent the Great Terror

- When writing about historical events, historians often make use of labels such as minorities and the oppressed, for the sake of clarity and brevity. One of the more commonly used sets of labels is that of perpetrators, victims and bystanders. These are generally used to separate and identify the groups present in human tragedies, such as in the Holocaust or the Rwandan genocide. While this arbitrary ascription could perhaps serve a purpose in simplifying, what is certainly a convoluted and enigmatic period of history, it fails to take into account the fluidity and complexities of personal experience in Joseph Stalin’s Great Terror of 1937-38....   [tags: NKVD,soviet union, growing pains]

Strong Essays
1163 words (3.3 pages)

How Torture Crafted The Inquisitions and The Great Terror Essay

- Intolerance, animosity and suspicion of other groups have always shown up throughout the history of humankind. This behavior has been founded on reasons such as religious, ethnic, and political differences. The comparison between the Great Terror of Stalin’s regime and the persecutions of the religious Inquisitions bring up key similarities in the two events, which are the interrogations and the applied torture, and in both cases, the severity and trepidation of the applied torture led to many false confessions....   [tags: catholic church, edward peters]

Strong Essays
1169 words (3.3 pages)

The Reign Of Terror Essay

- The Reign of Terror      History is said to be written by the winners, but is it possible to rewrite history. In a way, the French, like many who have preceded them, and many who will proceed them have done the impossible, rewriting history. From trivial folklore, such as George Washington chopping down a cherry tree, to the incredibly wrong, the African slave trade; people's views of history can be shaped and molded. The French have done a superb job of instilling all of us with the concept that their Revolution was a fight for liberty, justice and the good of all Frenchmen everywhere....   [tags: History Historical Terror Essays]

Strong Essays
4588 words (13.1 pages)

The Great Writ of Liberty" Essay

- Introduction A Writ of Habeas Corpus is an authoritative order forcing governments to provide the “body” of the detainee in which the legality of their detention and individual liberties will be challenged. Historically associated with civil liberty violation and the injustice of illegally detaining potentially enemies of the state, jurisdictional issues regarding their detaining location have made justice difficult to administer and deliver. Detaining enemies for their participation, involvement, and/or ties to threats of terror towards the United States will result the confinement of combatants, as solidified by the US Constitution, however, to what extent will they be forced to stay?....   [tags: injustice, threats of terror, freedom]

Strong Essays
1749 words (5 pages)

Essay about The Declaration Of The Terror

- The declaration of the Terror was a direct result of the growing discontent and ravenous violence that had been occurring since 1789. Revolution could have occurred in an orderly member as it was obvious that Louis XVI was a weak leader but the French citizens set the tone early on with the Storming of the Bastille. This event shows that the French were inclined to achieve their desires through violence and not negotiations. The Bastille was attacked as a response to Louis’ addition of troops in Paris and the fear that they would be attacked....   [tags: French Revolution, Reign of Terror, Guillotine]

Strong Essays
1641 words (4.7 pages)

Alexander: The Not So Great Essay example

- Alexander the Great is hailed, by most historians, as “The Great Conqueror” of the world in the days of ancient Mesopotamia. “Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, single-handedly changed the nature of the ancient world in little more than a decade. Alexander was born in Pella, the ancient capital of Macedonia in July 356 BCE. His parents were Philip II of Macedon and his wife Olympias. Philip was assassinated in 336 BCE and Alexander inherited a powerful yet volatile kingdom....   [tags: legacy, terror, king, conqueror, Macedonia]

Strong Essays
1861 words (5.3 pages)