In the Russian Revolution, blood purges can be defined as the elimination of Joseph Stalin’s opposition or anyone who criticized or opposed the Bolsheviks. Stalin believed that he was threatened by the people inside Russia who disliked him or the government. The purges were not planned at all and were random. Victims of them included anyone who had sympathy, acquaintance, or association with the Trotskyites (the enemy), or anyone who doubted or opposed Stalin’s government. Stalin would hunt down any person who was even the slightest bit suspicious (The Great Purges 1 and 3).
Stalin was so obsessed with the idea that people were trying to destroy him and his government that any accidents or errors of the doubters were considered intentional sabotage. People with foreign sounding names were also accused of being foreign spies. As a result of so many purges, the people of Russia feared the government and recognized Stalin’s power, which is what he wanted. Some of the Russians that Stalin had killed were even devoted to Bolshevism. Throughout Stalin’s time as leader, failure increased, mostly due to him killing so many citizens. When Stalin was not accusing people within Russia though, he blamed any of Russia’s agricultural, industrial, or construction failures on his opposers outside of Russia. In addition, there were no limits on the blood purges. Therefore the blood purges victimized around 1.5 million people and killed 680,000 people in 1937-1938 (time period of the Great Purge). “About 100,000 Party members (from Stalin’s government) were arrested, often tortured to confess concocted charges, and sent to concentration camps” (The Great Purges 5). In the end however, the purges did not succeed in eliminating Russia of the problems it was supposed to (The Great Purge 1, 4, and 5).
"Purges, The Great."Encyclopedia of Russian History. James R. Millar, ed. 4 vols.
Macmillan Reference USA, 2004. Reproduced in History Resource Center. Farmington...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document