Stalinist Repressions
20 January, 2011
Stalinist Repressions

In 1937, Stalin ordered his interior minister Yezhov to arrest Enukidze and the entire top brass. He had everyone apprehended, including marshals Tukkhachevski, Blukher and Yegorov. The same year Stalin signed the document specifying the quota of persons to be executed. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.
GJ – In 1935 Stalin (the ethnic Georgian, but a typical communist leader) started the new series of repressions in the entire Soviet country. This time, his victims were his old friends and his

own comrades-in-arms, the Soviet political elite.
SM – Their court case was made public. Even the foreign journalists were present at trials. In 1936, Stalin had promulgated the text of the new Soviet constitution which happened to be the most democratically sounding text in the world at that time. In compliance with it, Georgia and other Soviet republics were absolutely free sovereign states. They remained part of the USSR as the republics comprising the Soviet Union. Also, based on the constitution, every party and even the non-members of the communist party had the right to participate in the elections.
GJ – So Stalin was out to play democracy, wasn’t he? 
SM – Yes, on the one hand, he was pretending to be ultra-modern and ultra-democratic and on the other, he was doing all his possible best to get rid of his opponents whom he made confess at trials that they were involved in the anti-Stalinist activities against the USSR.  
GJ – As it became known, such confessions were made under terrible duress and torture . . .
SM – Yes, the indicted persons hoped that they could survive that way.
GJ – What did playing of the role of a democrat give to Stalin? People knew everything anyway. 
SM – People knew nothing. Stalin was pulling the wool over the people’s eyes and he was bluffing to the West too. In 1934 the USSR became member of the League of Nations. Right at that time, fascism was gathering momentum and Hitler took over the power in Germany. Hitler’s and Stalin’s slogans sounded almost similar. Both of them perpetuated the continental orientation and fiercely opposed the Anglo-Saxon, British-American leadership. Hitler’s emergence on international political arena had promoted Stalin’s cause. The West became rather loyal towards Stalin, who as a result managed to better manipulate with his new constitution and the election code. Even if he held the elections the way it was stipulated in the Stalinist constitution, his opposing powers would not have been able to achieve victory.
GJ – And why would that be so?
SM – In the first place, he had gotten rid of his old opponents as early as 1936. Secondly, he had adopted the constitution and election code. Meanwhile, he acquired more clout, and he still had about two years left for further action. This was ample time for making additional serious steps. Stalin knew very well that he had enemies in his entourage, but the group of his adversaries had no idea that Stalin was well aware of their intentions and plans. Stalin paralyzed them step by step and very methodically. He appointed Yezhov the head of federal KGB and entrusted Beria with the Caucasus. He also appointed his buddies in the key governmental positions.   
GJ – Does this mean that some new faces had appeared on the political arena who obeyed Stalin blind-fold?  
SM – Very true! That was exactly the time when Khrushchev and Malenkov were promoted. In 1937, Stalin ordered his new KGB chief Yezhov to arrest Enukidze and the entire top brass whom Stalin had ceased trusting. Before arresting them, Stalin had tried to numb their alertness.
GJ – What do you mean by numbing their alertness? 
SM – When in 1934, Stalin learnt that 90% of the top brass were opposed to him, he awarded five of them the rank of a marshal (he deliberately introduced this new military rank). Then, in the spring of 1937, three of those five marshals – Tukhachevski, Bliukher and Yegorov – were apprehended. Nobody knows what happened exactly with Sergo Orjonikidze, whether he was killed or Stalin had him commit a suicide. In their place, he had promoted Mikoyan, Malenkov and Khrushchev. Soon after Stalin had arrested his opponents, he started the trial of the military. Then the election time came and complete purge became necessary.
GJ – Why did he do it? Because he wanted to be free of competition?   
SM – Certainly! He punished the main group of his opponents, and then other members of the Politburo into bargain. For example he had executed the candidate for the Politburo membership comrade Eikh.
GJ – Why? Did he do it for the sake of more credibility?
SM – Yes! In 1937 Stalin signed the document stipulating the quota of the people who were deemed as subject to repression.  
GJ – Was it thousands of people?
SM – The quota of ‘punishable’ persons was broken down by Soviet republics and regions. Somewhere the figure could reach 50 thousand, in other places it might be 20 thousand and still somewhere else would go up to 40 thousand men and women.
GJ – Was it like a plan to be fulfilled? 
SM – It sure was! There were no names specified in the quota papers. The general figure was one million. One million persons were supposed to fall under repressions, and the Soviet historians and archive specialists kept calculating for quite a while the real figures. Nobody can come up with an exact figure, but it is said that the number is fluctuating between two and twenty million repressed people.  
GJ – Would it be true to say that the quota gave an opportunity to Stalin-entrusted people and his faithful performers to find the ‘culprits’ locally and execute them on the spot?
SM – Exactly! For example, the-then leader of Georgia Lavrenti Beria received the quota which stipulated the punishment of twenty thousand people during the period from August to January. Beria would make a personal decision about the list of people to be punished. If the list of the punished people was not complete Beria himself would be the next one to be excoriated. So Beria distributed the quota among Georgian regions. In principle, it was locally known very well who was supposed to be executed immediately and who was subject to exile and who should be punished in addition to those ones. 

Print
Other Stories
Mariah Carey may perform in Georgia
American singer Mariah Carey may arrive in Georgia within the framework of the Check in Georgia project, - Giorgi Kobulia, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, said.
Hollywood star Dolph Lundgren visiting Georgia for "Ragnar" commercial
Dolph Lundgren, a Swedish actor, will pariticpate in a Ragnar commercial in Georgia.
Nanuka Gudavadze’s photo session for ANOUKI
Nanuka Gudavadze is a Georgian model.
7 citizens died from suspected CO poisoning in Tbilisi
Police are investigating the incident that took place on Ketevan Tsamebuli street, leaving seven people dead.
Miss Georgia 2009 to marry Rustavi 2 TV channel owner
Nanuka Gogichaishvili, a famous Georgian model and a former TV presenter of one of the leading TV broadcasting company Rustavi 2 is marrying to Nika Nakopia.
The Sun: Georgian girl speaks about Jack Shepherd
A 24-year old Georgian Maiko TChanturidze has spoken about the moment Jack Shepherd admitted he was wanted over the death crash.
New shirt with “Kmara” and “Borjghalo” symbols by Demna Gvasalia cost 491.67 Euros
Demna Gvasalia is a Georgian fashion designer, the creative director of Balenciaga and head designer of Vetements.
Returning from Germany to be a role model in Georgia
Tina Davadze, a young entrepreneur from Georgia, creates leather accessories in Kharagauli, Imereti (western region of Georgia).
Bera among 12 gorgeous men breaking beauty standards
Georgian rapper Bera Ivanishvili is among “12 Gorgeous Men Who Made Us Forget About Beauty Standards”.
Lia’s Georgian Cookery School opening in Oxford
The Oxford Times has recently published an article about Lia’s Cookery School opening in Oxford in January this year.
Georgian library opened at the Queens Library, New York City
Georgian library was opened at the Queens Library, a public library serving New York City.
Mikheil Saakashvili together with Georgian emigrants plan to return home
The former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili has recently promised Georgian emigrants to return home.
Tako Natsvlishvili features in video for Pain de sucre
Tako Natsvlishvili, Georgian Model featured in a new video for Pain de Sucre.
Demna Gvasalia’s extraordinary collection at a hall full of animals
Famous Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia has recently showcased his latest collection at Paris Fashion Week.
Epiphany marked in Georgia
On January 19 Orthodox Georgians celebrate Epiphany feast.
Two persons detained in connection with Didi Dighomi accident
Two people have been detained in connection with the tragic incident in the Didi Dighomi district of Tbilisi
Measles outbreak ongoing in Georgia
A total of 312 cases of measles were reported in Georgia from January 1 through January 16
“Ironbark” will star Georgian actor Merab Ninidze with Benedict Cumberbatch
Famous Georgian actor Merab Ninidze will appear in Dominic Cooke’s film “Ironbark”.
Photographer Giorgi Zhamerashvili about the tragedy in Didi Dighomi
Yesterday on the 16th of January, gas explosion occurred in the Didi Dighomi district of Tbilisi.
Tbilisi City Hall provides 27 persons, damaged in explosion, with temporary accommodations
Tbilisi City Hall has provided 27 persons, damaged in the suspected natural gas leak explosion in Tbilisi yesterday, with temporary accommodations
Gas explosion in Tbilisi kills four, including one child
Four people, including one child, died and eight others were injured as a result of gas explosion
17 dead from flu virus in Georgia, but the dynamic is decreasing
17 people have died from clinically confirmed flu virus in Georgia so far.
Tourists climb over fence to enter Jvari Monastery in Mtskheta
Tourists have found an alternative way to enter the territory of Jvari Monastery in Mtskheta.
Georgian couple quitting their jobs  to travel
Georgian couple Elene Gelagutashvili and Giorgi Tevzadze quitted their jobs to embark on adventures to South America.
How is Georgia preparing for Eurovision Song Contest?
Eurovision Song Contest is one of the largest of its kind and around 300 million spectators are getting ready to watch the show.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
21.02.2019
22.02.2019
USD
1
USD
2.6574
2.6570
EUR
1
EUR
3.0146
3.0128
GBP
1
GBP
3.4629
3.4714
RUB
100
RUB
4.0421
4.0560
Other Stories
World famous British singer Jessie J has decided to wear clothes made by Anouki Areshidze, Georgian designer and wife of the mayor of Tbilisi.
Bassiani, one of the most popular underground clubs not only in Georgia but throughout Europe as well, has opened today
An amazing video made in Georgia by tourists from the Philippines have gone viral on the internet.
Over the recent two days May 12-13 Tbilisi city saw a peaceful protest rally in the center of the city.
Hundreds of people took to the main street Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to protest the raid in Tbilisi’s popular night clubs.
Two bear cubs listed as endangered on the red list were handed over to Tbilisi Zoo,
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Ms. Sophio Khuntsaria have gifted a food stand
Pamela Anderson, famous Canadian American actress and model has appeared in the chic sunglasses by internationally acclaimed Georgian designer George Keburia.
A ski lift accident in Georgia’s eastern Gudauri resort,in particular at Sadzele 5 lift, has left 8 people with injuries.
The ski lift in Gudauri winter resort in Georgia has broke down in the aftermath of which several people have been injured.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6570
EUR
1
EUR
3.0128
GBP
1
GBP
3.4714
RUB
100
RUB
4.0560