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About Russia, Its Revolutions, Its Development and Its Present


Michal Reiman

The author analyzes modern Russian history from a new perspective. Due to the ideological heritage of the XIXth and XXth centuries, the social settings of the sociopolitical history of the USSR (1917–1945) have not been fully identified. Detailed examination of ideological and political concepts shows that the revolution of 1917 became not a middle class, proletarian movement, but rather a plebeian one. The misjudgment by the new power enabled growth but caused tremendous losses of human lives and material damages. Socialization of economy and strict centralization led to a new social structure and established terror as an instrument for social reorganization. WWII revealed the necessity of a correction of these developments, but the events of the Cold War circumvented any further considerations.

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6. Stalin’s “St. Bartholomew’s Day”


The important thing about the ‘constitutional’ was that, as they were being pre- pared, Stalin was also beginning to carry out his acts of repression on a gradual basis� In the beginning, Stalin likely anticipated significant resistance, but he managed to prevent this in the end� In January 1935 in an atmosphere satu- rated with the murder of Kirov and the trials that followed and affected so many former leading party officials, a remarkable investigation got underway in the Kremlin� Its target was the source of rumours of a ‘counterrevolutionary’ nature, and the investigation centred on the ‘terrorist intentions’ of a ‘conspiracy’� In the end, 112 people were taken into custody� Investigators stated there were three terrorist groups in the Kremlin and proposed penalties for 109 people�166 There is much speculation about the meaning of the investigation� Aside from changes to the protection of the Kremlin, its tangible result was the removal of Avel S� Enukidze, Secretary of the VCIK Presidium, who also oversaw the federal legislation� The party leadership reproached him for lacking a personnel party and criticized his lifestyle, with the result that he was transferred to the Trans- caucasia, where he fell victim to Stalin’s repression�167 The leaders of the VCIK were replaced and legislation was now subject to the party, i�e�, to Stalin, V� M� Molotov, L� M� Kaganovich, K�Voroshilov and A� A� Zhdanov�168 We have already spoken of Stalin’s effort to break through the walls of the ‘fortress’ to present...

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