7 Comments

  1. gracehemmingson
    15 October, 2014 @ 10:28 pm

    It’s easy to see through your post why Stalin was able to create such a stable government. The negative side to this stability (besides the millions killed) was that in the long run the censorship and purges would prevent new ideas from emerging in society. Much the same thing happened in China during the Cultural Revolution, and many intellectuals who could contribute to government and society are scared underground in similar circumstances.

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    • A. Lengyel
      16 October, 2014 @ 12:20 am

      I agree. Though I feel that this is the problem of any totalitarian regime. There are no new ideas because those in power become disconnected with those that they govern by surrounding themselves with people who agree with their view. This is definitely the case with Stalin.

      Reply

  2. jmhawkins
    14 October, 2014 @ 11:35 am

    I like how you almost created a timeline of what happened during the great purge. There was alot of back lashing in the political parties because they wanted to survive, so they turned in their friends to live.

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  3. Kelly Cooper
    13 October, 2014 @ 6:56 pm

    This is an excellent post about the purges. It is truly frightening to see how many people were killed or disappeared, with little explanation as to why. One can only imagine how frightened and confused people must have been. Stalin was controlling how the media portrayed him, so on the one hand, the only image one sees of Stalin is this great leader, yet people knew or at least heard rumors that people were being executed or disappearing. Great job on this topic!

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  4. A. Nelson
    13 October, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

    This post does such a good job of appreciating the complexity of the purges and the absence of an easy or singular explanation for them. Terrific illustration too!

    Reply

  5. kathaskew
    12 October, 2014 @ 7:29 pm

    I feel that this time period can be summarized as ‘saying one thing but doing another.’ When I was doing research for my own blog post, I came across several speeches that were well written and rather inspiring from the Soviet leaders. However at the same time, these Soviet leaders were also persecuting people from within their own party, eliminating dissidents, and persecuting peasants, the kulaks in particular. It’s harrowing to see how different their words are from their actions.

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    • A. Lengyel
      16 October, 2014 @ 12:09 am

      I think that a lot of the purges and the infighting within the party itself was caused by a sense of insecurity, almost to the point of paranoia, among the higher ranks of the party and the government. At this time Soviet-Russia was only about 20 years old, and was still in a time of great change. The failed economic experiments and the intermittent famines and depressions made the public unhappy, and I think that many in the government feared rebellion. Getting rid of opposition groups, both political and societal, was one of the few choices that they had.

      Reply

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