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How far was Stalin Responsible for Purges of 1930s

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How far was Stalin responsible for the purges of the 1930s? Stalin was responsible for the great purges of the 1930s to a certain extent. The great purges can be divided into three components: The purge of the party, the purge of the armed forces, and The purge of the people. Of these three segments of the purges, the purge of the party and the armed forces can be attributed to Stalin while the last one, the purge of the people, can instead be attributed to the head of the NKVD, Yezhov. Thus, we can say that Stalin was only partly responsible for the great purges. The great purges can be defined as a cleansing of perceived threats to Stalin's rule, executed on a large scale, through the use of terror. ...read more.


taking the stand. By the end of the show trials, Stalin had gotten rid of all the old Bolsheviks and had gotten rid of all potential threats within the party. Stalin's hand in the purging of the party can be seen in his signing of the "Decree against terrorist acts", which, under the guise of hunting down Kirov's murderer, he began a purge of the party and his old enemies. Even after that first round of purges, Stalin declared that the Soviet Union was still in "a state of siege". During this time, he also gave the NKVD nearly limitless power to persecute whoever they wanted. In doing so, he alone can be held responsible for the events that took place during the purging of the party. ...read more.


The Yezhovschina involved NKVD squads going into a selected region and dragging off inhabitants to be executed. Unlike the other two purges, Stalin had little involvement in the actual carrying out of the Yezhovschina; here, Yezhov was the overall the co-ordinator of this round of terror. In conclusion, we can see that Stalin was only partly responsible for the great purges. It is true that he started it because of his paranoia and his need to remove all his possible opponents but at the later stages, the purges gained a momentum of their own. The purges began to be used by those who wanted to settle old grudges and those who wished to gain favour with the NKVD; this willingness to denounce others thus increased the number of victims. As such, Stalin cannot be held completely accountable for the terror that was unleashed during that time. ...read more.

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