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Causes and course of the Terror

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1 Causes and course of the Terror
Objectives Outcomes To understand Stalin’s main motivations for carrying out his purges and main ways in which the purges were carried out. Know – why Stalin wanted to remove certain people from the Party Understand – Stalin’s motivations and make a judgement about which is the most important. Be able to – explain how the purges were carried out in different sections of Soviet society. - identify and explain causal links between the different aspects of the Terror Skills: Analysis Note taking/revision Public speaking/presentation Students will make decisions, explain, and justify them. Students will create their own note taking aides for one section of the topic and share these with the rest of the class - Students will be involved in sharing information with their peers in a clear, simple way for others to learn from.

2 Vocabulary : Totalitarian - totalitarianism describes a form of government in which all areas of life are brought under government control. Purge – To rid (a nation or political party, for example) of people considered undesirable

3 Nature of the early purges
The purges were Stalin’s principal weapon for achieving supreme power. The Stalinist purges, which began in 1932, were not unprecedented. Under Lenin, in the early 1920s, tens of thousands of 'anti-Bolsheviks' had been imprisoned in labour camps. Public trials, such as the Shakhty affair, had been held during the early stages of the First Five-Year Plan as a way of exposing industrial 'saboteurs'

4 The Party Card All members of the Communist Party were expected to carry a Party Card. The cards gave members access to all Party activities as well as privileges in regard to employment, housing and food rations. At the beginning, Party purges were not as violent or as deadly as they later became. The usual procedure was to oblige members to hand in their Party card for checking, at which point any suspect individuals would not have their cards returned to them. This amounted to expulsion from the Party and removed all privileges.

5 Motivations for the Terror
The Congress of Victors - Intended to be a celebration of Stalin’s economic achievements. However, the Congress worried Stalin for several reasons. Congress voted to elect the Central Committee, Kirov rather than Stalin topped the poll. a group of old Bolsheviks approached Kirov following the vote and tried to persuade him to stand as General Secretary.

6 Motivations for the Terror
2. Stalin’s paranoia Stalin felt unable to trust many within the Communist Party . - All other main contenders for the leadership had fallen from power; Trotsky, Zinoviev and Bukharin, Kamenev - Fearful of old Communists, they knew the truth about Lenin’s opinion of him - Lack of control over the Red Army and the Secret police - Yagoda fuelled Stalin’s suspicions

7 Motivations for the Terror
3. Terror economies Allowed Stalin to blame economic problems on political enemies. Claimed there were ‘wreckers’ working for Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev - Provided a huge reservoir of cheap labour. The majority of the people purged in Stalin’s Great Terror were sent to prison camps.

8 Motivations for the Terror
4. Murder of Kirov - December 1934, Leonid Nikolayev shot Sergei Kirov. The Soviet press quickly claimed he was working for a secret ‘Trotskyite-Zinovievite’ terror group who wanted the overthrow of the Soviet government. Following the announcement, Zinoviev and Kamenev were arrested for the conspiracy to murder Kirov. This explanation was convenient for Stalin. The murder had rid him of his most important rival, whilst allowing him to imprison two of his old opponents. Stalin could claim that the murder showed that political dissidents were plotting acts of terror. This justified the execution of Party members who opposed Stalin’s policies.

9 !Analysis activity! Thinking about the information you have written about – which of those motivations do you think was the most important reason for beginning the Great Terror? Explain your decision.


11 In your groups – read through the information sheets that you have
In your groups – read through the information sheets that you have. Make sure everyone understand the main points. Prepare notes on your topic to present to the rest of the class. Think about: 1. Can you create any headings/categories to group the information under? 2. Can you create any diagrams that might help people to make sense of/remember the information? 3. Can you draw any parallels with other regimes/events that you know about?

12 Moscow Show Trials

13 Radicalisation Of the NKVD

14 Purges of the Army, the Party and the People

15 Create three parallel timelines, like the ones below, on A3 paper.
Place key events on your timeline. Add detail to your timeline to explain the events Use different colours to show causal links between different events. Write a short explanation of how each event could be seen to have caused the other. 1936 1937 1938 1939 Moscow show trials NKVD Purges and mass murder

16 Homework task: Complete causal links time lines Read the information sheet, summarise the 4 sections in the boxes in your booklet. Add your own knowledge and information from your wider reading as well.

17 Scale of the purges The Quota System The Leningrad Affair The Doctors Plot

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