Presentation on theme: "Propaganda, Purges & The Totalitarian State"— Presentation transcript:
1 Propaganda, Purges & The Totalitarian State Stalin’s Show TrialsPropaganda, Purges & The Totalitarian State
2 Stalin’s Route to Power A marginal figure in the October Revolution (1917)General Secretary of the Communist Party (1922), allowing him to control key appointments throughout the Party.Trotsky, Kamenev, Zinoviev & Stalin were all possible successors to Lenin after his death in 1924He conspired with Kamenev & Zinoviev to marginalise the favourite – Trotsky – before subsequently outmaneuvering both Kamenev & Zinoviev to assume total power by the late 1920s.
3 Factors in Stalin’s Show Trials Collectivisation: An agricultural revolution with enormous human & political costsEconomic Modernisation: A miracle of modernisation over 10 years requiring rigorous planning, central authority & absolute obedience.Leon Trotsky: the heir-apparent to Lenin & a target of Stalin’s personal & political paranoia. Trotsky’s alleged treachery would be used as a scapegoat for much of the Purges.The ‘Old Bolsheviks’: Participants of the October Revolution (1917) who could undermine Stalin’s revisionist role and oppose his dictatorial plans.Sergei Kirov: Kirov’s murder would be the pretext for a state-wide purge of opponents & dissidents
4 The Old Bolsheviks Grigory Zinoviev Lev Kamenev Nikolai Bukharin The original, surviving members of the October Revolution of 1917, including Lenin & Stalin.Would present an obstacle to Stalin’s revisionism of his minor role in the October Revolution of 1917.Stalin targeted these Old Bolsheviks as traitors who sought to undermine the Communist Revolution.Most of these, particularly Trotsky, advocated International Communism, while Stalin advocated ‘Socialism in One Country’.Grigory ZinovievLev KamenevNikolai BukharinGenrikh YagodaKarl RadekSergey KirovVyacheslav Molotov
5 Leon Trotsky: Shadow of the Revolutionary Commander of Red Guards in October Revolution 1917Founder of the Red ArmyVery capable organiser & public oratorConsidered the natural successor to Lenin“The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end.”
6 Collectivisation: an Ideological & Economic Imperative An attempt to end private ownership of land by peasants and introduce large, collectively-owned farms in which machinery, labour & profits were shared. In some cases, collective farms were state-owned, where farmers were paid a wage similar to workers in a factory.Opposed bitterly by the ‘Kulaks’: peasant land owners.‘Kulaks’ were an inconsistency with Communism – a wealthy, land-owning class in a Communist State. They were created by Lenin’s New Economic Policy of Many communists supported the forced eradication of these private land owners.Due to opposition to collectivisation, Stalin introduced forced collectivisation by 1929.Kulaks slaughtered their animals in protest and in some cases burnt their grain. Famines resulted in Roughly five million people died.In response, Stalin attempted to eradicate the Kulaks, sending out requisition squads who either killed the Kulaks or sent them to prison in the Gulags.Roughly five million Kulaks had been dispossessed and/ or imprisoned by
7 The Five - Year Plans: GOSPLAN GOSPLAN: Central Planning Commission now planned all economic & industrial activitySet targets & quotas for all industriesFirst Five-Year Plan concentrated on developing fuel production for heavy indiustries e.g. coal, iron, gas & electricity-producing stationsWorkers who exceeded their quotas were rewarded the ‘Order of Lenin medal as an incentive
8 The Five - Year Plans: GOSPLAN The 1st Five-Year Plan:The 2nd Five-Year Plan:3rd Five-Year Plan:HEAVY INDUSTRYMachinery Production ( x 4)Oil production ( x 2)Electricity ( x 3)New towns: MagnitogorskHEAVY INDUSTRY & INFRASTRUCTURENew metalworking industriesTransport, especially railwaysMoscow UndergroundConsumer goodsSome armament productionARMAMENTSMassively increased armament production*(interrupted by German invasion in 1941)
9 SERGEI KIROVLeader of the Communist Party in LeningradLoyal supporter of StalinSupported Stalin’s policies of Collectivisation and even the readication of the Kulaks.Very popular member of the Communist Party who was elected to the Central Committee in 1934.Crucially, Kirov was in favour of a more relaxed style of Communism, even including certain dissidents in the Politburo.Assassinated in 1934, probably by order of Stalin, who feared his growing popularity & influence throughout the Communist movement.
10 N.k.v.d. Peoples’ Commissariat for internal affairs Origin: The ‘Cheka’ (1917 Revolution)State police founded in 1934 from reorganisation by Stalin to be both regular police force and state security apparatusThe NKVD, from 1934 onwards, were given a wide mandate & enormous power, including control of fire services, security of borders, civil acts & responsibily for the operation of ‘Gulags’Chief state instrument of Stalin’s purges and the Show TrialsProminent leaders of the NKVD: Yagoda, Yezhov & Beria
11 Genrikh Yagoda Director of NKVD (1934-1936) Director of the NKVD, 1934 – 1936Responsible for the deaths of 7 – 10 million Ukranians during forced seizures of grain supplies under the regulations of CollectivisationOrganised the Trial of the Sixteen (1936), including the arrest, detention and interrogation of the ‘Old Bolsheviks’ e.g. Kamenev, Zinoviev.Replaced by Yezhov in September when Stalin accused him of being ‘’unable’’ to expose the true extent of the ‘Trotskyite conspiracy’.Was put on Trial in 1938 (Trial of the Twenty-One), found guilty and shot.
13 Trotskyite-Zinovievite Rightists & Trotskyites The Show TrialsThe 1st Show Trial (1936)The 2nd Show Trial (1937)The 3rd Show Trial (1938)Trial ofTheTrotskyite-ZinovieviteTerrorist CentreTrial ofTheAnti-SovietTrotskyite CentreTrial ofTheAnti-SovietBloc ofRightists & Trotskyites
14 The 1st Show Trial: The Trial of the sixteen: (1936) ‘Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Centre’
15 Verdict: All guilty & sentenced to be shot Trial of the Sixteen (1936)ChargesThe AccusedAccused of murdering Sergei KirovAccused of plotting to murder StalinAccused of working with Trotskyites in an effort to undermine Communism in USSRZinovievKamenev14 other leading ‘Old Bolsheviks’Verdict: All guilty & sentenced to be shot
16 Trial of the Sixteen The ‘Influence’ of Trotsky Each of the Sixteen defendants took turns to denounce themselves, pleading guilty, incriminating themselves under the false pretense that their lives would be spared once they had publicised Trotsky’s anti-Soviet conspiracy.“I am guilty of this that after Trotsky, I was the second organizer of the Trotsky-Zinoviev bloc which set itself the aim of murdering Stalin, Voroshilov and a number of other leaders of the party and the government.”- Grigory Zinoviev (1936)
17 The 2nd Show Trial: The Trial of the seventeen: (1937) ‘Anti-Soviet Trotskyite Centre’
18 Trial of the Seventeen (1937) ChargesThe AccusedAccused of conspiring with Germany & JapanAccused of plotting with TrotskyAccused of ‘wrecking & sabotage of the economy’RadekPyatakov15 othersVerdict: All guilty & sentenced to be shot
19 The 3rd Show Trial: The Trial of the twenty-one: (1938) ‘Anti-Soviet Bloc of Rightists & Trotskyites’
20 Trial of the Twenty-one (1938) ChargesThe AccusedAccused of plotting to murder StalinAccused of ‘wrecking & sabotage of the economy’BukharinRykovYagoda18 othersVerdict: All guilty & sentenced to be shot