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Terror by QuotaState Security from Lenin to Stalin (an Archival Study)$
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Paul R. Gregory

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780300134254

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300134254.001.0001

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The Repressors' Dilemma

The Repressors' Dilemma

(p.219) 8 The Repressors' Dilemma
Terror by Quota

Paul R. Gregory

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the decision making for the terror campaign in the Soviet Union during the period 1937–38, focusing on the role of the Peoples Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) head and regional leaders of the Communist Party. It explains that while Soviet leader Joseph Stalin oversaw the general campaign, local executors of repression were left with considerable discretion with respect to the number and the actual choice of victims. The chapter also mentions that there was a fine dividing line between repressor and victim, as illustrated by the cases of NKVD heads Genrikh Yagoda and Nikolai Yezhov.

Keywords:   terror campaign, Soviet Union, NKVD, regional leaders, Communist Party, Joseph Stalin, repression, Genrikh Yagoda, Nikolai Yezhov

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