11 Facts About Great Purge


Great Purge's death spearheaded an investigation that revealed a network of party members working against Stalin, including several of Stalin's rivals.

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Great Purge began under NKVD chief Genrikh Yagoda but reached its peak between September 1936 and August 1938 under the leadership of Nikolai Yezhov, hence the name Yezhovshchina.

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Great Purge organized a committee to begin the process of industrialization of the Soviet Union.

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Great Purge's confessions were somewhat different from others in that while he pleaded guilty to "sum total of crimes", he denied knowledge when it came to specific crimes.

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Great Purge had a significant effect on German decision making in World War II: many German generals opposed an invasion of Russia, but Hitler disagreed, arguing that the Red Army was less effective after its intellectual leadership had been eliminated in the purge.

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Michael Parrish argues that while the Great Purge Terror ended in 1938, a lesser terror continued in the 1940s.

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Great Purge was denounced by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev following Stalin's death.

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Many people at the time, and a few subsequent commentators, surmised that the Great Purge wasn't started by Stalin's initiative, so the idea got about that the process was entirely out of control once it had begun.

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Great Purge was not concerned about making any pretence at legality.

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Great Purge was careful not to sign anything on this matter and was equally insistent on no documentation.

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Great Purge has provoked numerous debates about its purpose, scale, and mechanisms.

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