Can Stalin Be Linked to the Great Purges Beyond Doubt?

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Stalin's Great Purges of 1932-1939

"Can Stalin be linked to the Purges beyond doubt?"

Abstract

For my Extended Essay, my research question is, Can Stalin be linked to the Great Purges beyond doubt?". There is a lot of evidence supporting that he was responsible for the purges. By using several different sources I investigated each purge individually. The three purges include the chitska, the show trials, and the overall mass terror. For each purge I explain how he was related to them, his possible motives, and if the purge was achieved. I will attempt to link Stalin to the purge by finding evidence that he was involved through my sources. I have obtained translated Soviet documents from the time of the purges to help me. After my investigation I have concluded that indeed Stalin was responsible for the purges. He was the one who ordered them and he wanted to use the purges to maintain his power and stability. There were many people who opposed Stalin so his solution was either to arrest, assassinate, or expel them from the party.

Table of Contents

Abstract………………………………………………………………….…..…2 Introduction…………………………………………………………………..4-5 Body…………………………………………………………………….…...4-11 Conclusion…………….……………………………………………….…..11-12 Bibliography……………………………………………………………...……13

For my research I will investigate if Stalin can be linked to the Great Purges beyond doubt. I decided to research this topic because during Stalin's rule he was portrayed as demagogue, meaning god-like. So, no matter what actions were done by the party or anyone, Stalin was always the innocent one. So I'm going to investigate if that concept was true by linking it to the Great Purges and see how responsible he was for those political persecutions. In my opinion, I believe Stalin was directly linked to the purges and that he ordered them himself. I will attempt to approach this investigation with the least amount of bias as possible, however it will be difficult, because many sources accuse Stalin of being completely responsible. One of the sources I will be using is The Road to Terror: Stalin and the Self-Destruction of the Bolsheviks, 1932-1939. This is a very good source because it contains nearly 200 Soviet documents translated into English from the era of the purges. These documents include excerpts from speeches, police reports, secret transcripts, etc. This also prevents bias because I can read the documents in the book and analyze them for myself, instead of the author doing it. Also the fact that these documents were top secret at the time of the purges is intriguing, because what could they be hiding? Another source that I will be using in my investigation is Robert Service's A History of Twentieth-Century Russia, which is another reliable source because it is written by an experienced well-known author. Robert Service is also know for his unbiased analysis of historical events, especially Russian history. I find his book is more interesting to read and his style is also easier to read. He is also fortunate to be one of the historians to obtain access to secret Soviet documents after the collapse of the USSR. Other sources will include Communist Russia: Under Lenin and Stalin, which is a history text book that provides information on the purges, though not in great detail, but the general main points. Another reliable source that I will be using is titled, Stalin's Generals. It provides information on how Stalin could have been linked to the purges. These are not all my sources, but some of the most interesting. Hopefully through these sources, I will be able to prove beyond doubt that Stalin can be linked to the purges. The word ‘purge' refers to ‘cleaning out' or ‘cleansing' an organism of impurities. I will try to connect this definition to each of the three purges to see in what way Stalin was trying to ‘purify' his party. What could his motives have been for the purges? The first of the purges was known as the chitska of 1932-35. During...
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