Friday, January 23, 2009

An indicator of how crazy the Stalinist '30s were in the USSR: Yezhov

Yezhov was Stalin's head of the secret police before Beria. As told in Semyon Aronovich's film "I worked for Stalin" Yezhov decided to do something called "The biological model" with the members of the Communist Party. What this meant was simple: people who were members of the Communist Party had to periodically fill official biographies of themselves that were then entered into permanent files; Yezhov and his subordinates went through the files and compared the different versions of people's biographies to each other. If there were any discrepancies, like a slightly different date or a slightly different retelling of the facts, or new facts or facts that were absent, the person was called in, arrested, interrogated, and then likely either sent to a labor camp or shot. Eventually the toll became to great and Yezhov was found, of course, to have singled out people who were absolutely not guilty of anything. I think it was called "The biological model" because the vulnerable and weak were culled.

He was replaced by Lavrenty Beria, unfortunately, who was an even bigger, sadistic, monster.

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