August 1936 to March 1938 marked one of the bloodiest eras in the soviet's history. Joseph Stalin orchestrated the Great Purge to regain power and control over the communist party disguised as a call for justice for the death of Sergey Kirov, a high-ranking official in the Communist party.
The Back Story
Joseph Stalin is popularly known for being the Soviet General Secretary of the Communist Party. He is also widely infamous for his role in the Great Purge of 1934-1938. Although the commonly spread story was that Stalin acted to avenge the death of Kirov, the truth was it was part of a bigger ploy to regain control over the Communist party.
Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky were rival contenders for the General Secretary seat; Stalin was favored by many and became the General Secretary. However, his followers began losing faith in him because of his views on the First Five-Year Plan and collective agriculture. The increased paranoia led him to authorize the Great Purge.
The Great Purge
The Great Purge was a contingency organized by Stalin and carried out by the NKVD, or The People’s Commissariat for International Affairs, between 1936 and 1938. The group was also known as the USSR’s secret police.
The purge involved removing all opposition to Stalin from power and overflowing with the torture and mass massacre of minority German communities targeted for deportation. The first stage was removing all the central party leadership, Old Bolsheviks officials. Then followed the elimination of the Red army's military high command.