Stalin Vs Mccarthyism

1453 Words 6 Pages
Three particular traits were responsible for the majority of the atrocities during the World War II era; for example, in Soviet Russia, persecution lead to millions of deaths in Gulags, the Soviet government 's complete control of individuals and society lead to the deaths of millions of Ukrainian peasants, and the use of police and military terror was responsible for the deaths of millions of civilians during the Great Purge of Stalin.
Persecution was a key trait of totalitarianism that lead to millions of deaths in the Soviet Gulags during the World War II era. Persecution happens when perceived enemies of the state are mistreated and/or eliminated for ethnic, religious, or political reasons. Often, these enemies were the scapegoats for
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Normally, the police are expected to respond to criminal activity and protect the citizens; in a totalitarian state, the police serve to enforce the central government’s policies. Stalin built a police state to maintain his power; terror and violence was used to force obedience from his subjects and crush any opposition. The police force was used more often than not to protect the interests of the government, not those of the people, and was a key tool to induce fear into his opponents. The police used brute force and often murder, to achieve these goals. Stalin’s secret police was a key part of Stalin’s control over his subjects. They used tanks and armored cars to stop riots, monitored telephone lines, read mail, and planted informers everywhere. Children were instructed to tattle on their families if they heard anything that could be dangerous to Stalin’s government. A knock on the door in the early morning hours was dreaded as it usually meant the arrest and death of a family member who was accused of being a so-called traitor. The secret police arrested and killed many innocent citizens and were also used for conducting surveillance projects and executing espionage missions for Stalin (Textbook, page 442). In 1937, paranoid about retaining his power, Stalin turned against even members of the Communist Party. He launched the Great Purge, a terror campaign whose purpose was to keep his government from encountering any road bumps and eliminate all those who stood in his way. Those who challenged his power, such as the Bolsheviks that helped stage the revolution in 1917 were forced to stand trial and were eliminated or sent to labor camps. Among others killed were the kulaks, communist party officers, red army officers, and the intelligentsia (doctors and lawyers). When the Great Purge ended in 1938, Stalin had gained total control of the Soviet government

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