Motives of the Great Terror

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Motives of the Great Terror * The political events that led to the Great Terror began in February of 1934 at the Seventeenth Party Congress. * Dissatisfaction between party members about Stalin, and this was the first time he knew his position was threatened * Events of this congress are not completely known, but it is said that conspirators met at this congress to discuss replacing Stalin with Kirov * Kirov was told about this and instead of wanting it, he decided to inform Stalin of the threat * Stalin did badly at the vote of central committee * Kirov was one of the most likely candidates to have taken over Stalin and because of this Kirov was assassinated * On December 1, 1934 Leonid Nikolaev assassinated Kirov inside the Smolny Institute. * The assassination of Kirov caused the great purges and in the future many part members would be assassinated or imprisoned * Stalin became paranoid and at this time he was totally alone with the mistrust of the party members and the suicide of his wife * The Bolshevik government had established the Gulag prison camp system soon after their seizure of power * Prisoners in these camps were seen as potential sources of slave labor for the mining and manufacturing industries. * These camps allowed Stalin to take all his potential threats and put them in these camps only for them to become slaves

Consequences of the great terror

* Its psychic consequences among the survivors were long- lasting and incalculable. * The Great Purges resulted in chaos. About 100,000 Party members were arrested, often tortured to confess to concocted charges * More than 680,000 people were killed in 1937 and 1938, and about 630,000 were deported to Siberia * The national economy and the administration suffered from the loss of valuable specialists, and the hunt for enemies in the army decapitated the high command and decimated the officer corps. Many of the victims were sincerely

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