Analysis of the Great Terror Essay

1954 Words 8 Pages
Sidimohammed Mbarki
Professor Whittaker
History 3352
Fall ‘05

Wanderings Through an Inferno: An Analysis of the Great Terror as Seen Through the Eyes of Eugenia Semyonovna Ginzburg The following paper will be an analysis of "The Great Terror," that is, the arrest and often execution of millions of Russian and Russian minorities from 1936 to 1938, carried out by the Soviet secret police, known as, and hereafter referred to as the NKVD. The analysis will use Eugenia Semyonovna Ginzburg's, a Russian professor and writer who was arrested early into the purges and experienced, as well as survived, it in its entirety, memoir a Journey Into the Whirlwind as a primary source. More specifically, it will focus on Ginzburg's arrest and
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For that same reason many of the famous Russian writers, like Boris Pilnyak and Osip Mandelshtam (133) to name a few, as well as most of Ginzburg's colleagues at the university (8, 77, 101) and on the "Red Tartary" (94) were imprisoned. Other groups targeted were those in the opposition, like the Social Revolutionaries (104, 111), or those who had ever been connected with them, like the communist Pitkovskaya who was arrested because her husband once fought for the opposition (17-19), or a factory manager who was imprisoned because he was in the printing business historically known for being a Menshavik trade (28). The early victims were accused and charged with roughly the same things, either they were accused of having and spreading ideas outside of the party line, i.e. Trotsky, Plekhanov, (8, 28) or of belonging to an "underground terrorist organization" (173) responsible for the murder of Kirov and whose goal was to overthrow communism in favor of capitalism (175). Those who knew people accused of holding "illegal views" or being terrorist were also arrested for "lack of vigilance," (8) or for "associating with the enemy" (11, 18). At this point in time, almost every arrest was written about in local Communist Party papers that told "exaggerated, not quite real" (31) accounts of what happened, this helped instill fear into the masses of a widespread underground opposition and would allow for Soviet society's' acceptance of future purges. As the Purges

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