The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Intelligence


Lavrenty Pavlovich Beria

Lavrentiy Beria was one of the Soviet party and state leaders and organizers of repression. From November 1938 until 1945 he was the head of the NKVD (future FSB ).

Beria was born on March 29 ( March 17 by the old calendar ) 1899 in a peasant family in Merheuli village in Abkhazia. He studied at the Sukhumi primary school, from which he graduated with honors, at the Baku Mechanics and Construction Technical School (graduated in 1919 with a degree in architect-builder), then in 1920-1922 he studied at the first and second years of the Baku Polytechnic Institute. AI Mikoyan, daughter of the famous Georgian Bolshevik AG Geurkova Nami Mikoyan, recalled that the young Beria "grew up on the hands of his mother, who earned by her sewing."

In school Beria went very well. As the best student, the villager's pride, he went to study in Sukhumi. Apparently, they always moved vain desire to advance, to be the first at any cost.

Along with his studies in the School of Lawrence worked trainee head office of the oil company Nobel, he began to participate in political activities. In March 1917 he joined the Bolshevik Party. In June- December 1917, as a technician of a hydraulic unit, he went to the Romanian front, then returned to Azerbaijan, and was admitted to the staff of the secretariat of the Baku Soviet of Workers' Deputies. Beria stayed in Baku in mid-1918, when the city was occupied by Turkish troops. He worked as a clerk at the "Caspian Company White City", performed various assignments trapped underground (from the end of 1918 to the spring of 1920 in power in Azerbaijan was a party "Musavat") of the Bolsheviks.

In the fall of 1919 Beria joined the counter-intelligence of the Committee of National Defense of the Azerbaijan Republic . Subsequently, this period of the life of Beria caused a lot of rumors. It was said that he consciously worked on the Azerbaijani nationalists and even was an agent of the British.

But the biographical questionnaire of its work in the bourgeois counter-intelligence Beria did not hide, in a letter to GK Ordzhonikidze in 1933 wrote that "the Musavat intelligence ... was sent by the party and that the issue is understood in the Central Committee of Azerbaijan Communist Party (b) in 1920," that the Central Committee of the ACP (B) "completely exonerated" him, because "The fact of working in counterintelligence with the knowledge of the party was confirmed by statements vols. Mirza Davud Huseynov, Kasum Izmailov et al. ".

In April 1920 Lavrentiy Beria aimed at illegal work in Menshevik Georgia as authorized Caucasian Regional Committee of the RCP(b). Almost immediately, in Tiflis he was arrested, released with a prescription within three days to leave Georgia. Under the name Lakerbaia worked in the embassy of the RSFSR in Georgia (the ambassador was then Sergei Kirov ), in May 1920 he was arrested and imprisoned in Kutaisi prison and then deported to Azerbaijan.

In August 1920 Lavrenty Beria was the managing director of the Central Committee of Azerbaijan Communist Party (b), and executive secretary of the Extraordinary Commission for the expropriation of the bourgeoisie and the improvement of working life. In April 1921 he became Deputy Chief of the Secret Operations Department of the Azerbaijan Cheka, and in May of the same year - head of Secret Operations Division, Deputy Chairman of the Azerbaijan Cheka. In November 1922 he was Head of the Secret Operations Division, Deputy Chairman of the Georgian Cheka. He was a very good Chekist, and was awarded orders, and legendary organizer and head of the Cheka, Felix Dzerzhinsky awarded him an honorary weapon for the elimination of criminal banditry in the Caucasus, as well as for the elimination of the Dashnaks, and all sorts of anti-Soviet organizations.

Then in March 1926, Deputy Plenipotentiary of the OGPU in TSFSR, deputy chairman of the Transcaucasian GPU, with December of the same year - the chairman of the GPU of the Georgian SSR. At the same time on April 1927 People's Commissar of Internal Affairs of the Georgian SSR. Nikita Khrushchev recalled how Beria had acted cynically, trying to take the post of the first security officer in Georgia.

By April 1931 Lavrenty Beria was chairman of the Transcaucasian GPU. All major operations Transcaucasian Cheka (the destruction of the Georgian Mensheviks and the nationalists, the elimination of the local prosperous peasants and others) were carried out with the approval and under the direct supervision of Beria.

By October 1931 he was the Second Secretary of the Transcaucasian Regional Committee of the CPSU(b). According to documents released in mid-1950s, the appointment took place on Stalin's insistence and against the wishes of the then head of the Transcaucasian Bolsheviks M.Orakhelashvili. Since October 1932 Beria was the first secretary of the Transcaucasian Regional Committee of the CPSU(b).

In 1933 he made a speech (its real author was shot in 1937, Director of the Georgian Institute of Party History EA Bedia), "On the History of the Bolshevik organizations in the Caucasus", which falsified the history of the revolutionary movement in the Caucasus, and the role of Stalin in every possible way was exaggerated. The report was liked by the leader, and was published as a separate book for mass circulation, recommended to study in Party education network.

The convergence of Lavrenty Beria and Stalin also facilitated regular communication during Stalin's visits to Abkhazia and Sochi on vacation. Beria demonstrated his loyalty to the leader.

In the mid-1930s Beria oversaw mass repressions among the Party and Soviet apparatus, intellectuals of Transcaucasia. There is ample evidence of his personal participation in the interrogation and beating of prisoners.

Since August 1938 Beria was First Deputy People's Commissar of Internal Affairs of the USSR, head of the Main Directorate of State Security, and in November People's Commissar of Internal Affairs of the USSR. Since March 1939 he was a candidate member of the Politburo of the CPSU (b).

Beria replaced N.I.Yezhov as People's Commissar of Internal Affairs, and began cleaning staff in the NKVD. More than 7 thousand people were dismissed, or one in five workers). He placed his old colleagues and subordinates on Transcaucasia VN Merkulov, V. Dekanozov, BZ Kobulov, LF Tsanava. SS Mamulova and others in key positions. The number of arrests was reduced in November 1939 when there was issued a decree "On the shortcomings in the investigative work of the NKVD" with the requirement to respect the rules of criminal procedure. But at the same time the rights of the Special Meeting of the NKVD, which endured extrajudicial sentences, expanded the right of investigators had been officially confirmed to "clear enemies of the people."

In 1939-1940 he carried out mass deportations from the western regions of Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic Republics, and captive Polish officers were shot in Katyn near Smolensk.

He was appointed Deputy Chairman of People's Commissars of the USSR, was in charge of the forest and the oil industry, ferrous metallurgy, the river fleet in February 1941 the NKVD on the Commissariats of national security and internal affairs.

During the Great Patriotic War, Beria was a member (since May 1944 Deputy Chairman) of the State Defense Committee (GKO), responsible for the production of arms and ammunition. Beria was responsible for organizing the production of small arms, mortars, ammunition, tanks, aircraft and engines, as well as the organization of the People's Commissariats (ministries) of the defense industry, railway and water transport, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, coal, petroleum, chemical, rubber, paper- pulp, electrical industry, power plants, Beria also oversaw the formation of the Air Force issues. In 1944 Beria was elected deputy chairman of GKO and GKO chairman of the Operations Bureau, to consider all the current issues of GKO. That is, by the end of the war, LP Beria was actually the second head of the Soviet Union. Needless to say, he led the NKVD, in addition responsible for the rear of the Red Army, with the guerrilla movement in the rear of the enemy.

In 1942, when the credibility of the generals of the Red Army fell to the lowest point, LP Beria headed the Defense of the Caucasus. In 1943-1944 he supervised the conduct of operations to evict the Chechens and Ingush, Karachai and Balkars, Kalmyks, the Crimean Tatars, Meskhetian Turks, Kurds and other nationalities.

Beria was relieved of his post as Commissar of Internal Affairs of the USSR in December 1945. At this point, Beria spent most of the time on the establishment of an atomic bomb. Back in December 1944 the GKO decree he was instructed to "monitor the development work on uranium." Since August 1945 he was the chairman of the special committee on "the management of all the work on the use of atomic energy of uranium ." Since March 1946 he was a member of the Politburo of the CPSU(b).

As curator of the Soviet military-industrial complex and the nuclear project, Lavrenty Beria proved to be demanding and skilful organizer, able to cope with any task. According to his manager the nuclear industry E.P.Slavskogo, "Beria did not understand the scientific and engineering problems, so he was always listening to the opinion of specialists. He used his immense power to help conduct the solutions into practice the organization and carrying out the tasks in the mobilization of people and resources."

On the construction of numerous defense and uranium facilities, millions of people were involved in the majority of the Gulag prisoners. After the death of Joseph Stalin, Lavrenty Pavlovich Beria in March 1953 he was appointed first deputy chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers and Minister of Internal Affairs of the USSR (a new ministry brought together former Minister of Internal Affairs and State Security). Returning to the leadership of the punitive organs, he conducted serious reforms.

A.I.Mikoyan recalled: when Beria "spoke at the Red Square over the grave of Comrade Stalin, after his speech, I said in your speech is the place to guarantee every citizen the rights and freedoms provided by the Constitution. This is not an empty phrase, but in a speech the Minister of Internal Affairs in a simple speaker speech - a program of action, you have to fulfill it. He replied: I'm doing it."

At the initiative of Beria, amnesty was granted a significant number of prisoners. He softened passport regime, the Gulag system transferred to the Ministry of Justice, which began the rehabilitation of victims of repression. They reviewed in the second half of the 1940s and early 1950s the SM Mikhoels murder, the "doctors plot", the Mingrelian case, the case of the Main Artillery Directorate, and others).

Beria did not stop spying on members of the Presidium of the CC CPSU and the top officials of the state, which had been ongoing for a long time. Surveillance was carried out by special services of the USSR (which, after the death of Stalin, Beria headed again) in order to protect the higher government officials from trying to bring the Soviet Union into contact with foreign residents and suspicious persons. But so much surveillance prevented "private life" of these bosses, who wanted simple personal freedom - to spend money, no one explaining their origin, and to have mistresses. These were activities that reports of the government bodyguard prevented.

In foreign policy, Lavrenty Beria proposed to consider the unification of Germany, and played for Moscow's control over the softening of other socialist regimes. The activity of Lavrenty Pavlovich and his growing authority frightened members of the Presidium of the CC CPSU. They conspired to remove him from power.

At a meeting of the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee, 26 June 1953 Beria was arrested by a group of led by Marshal Georgy Zhukov. By some accounts, he was also murdered that very day by one of the members of the Bureau sent to arrest Beria. Moskalenko and Batitsky had not brought Beria to the meeting of the Presidium, but reported that they killed him, which presumably shocked all the members of the Presidium (except Khrushchev, who organized the murder). By this account, most likely, all the members of the Central Committee knew that Beria had already been killed.

Due to the fact that it was a murder mystery, not documented and carefully concealed, the details of which even the partners, participants and witnesses, not all know the exact place of the murder. It could be the air defense headquarters of the Moscow Military District, where the Moscow Air Defense Commander Moskalenko could lure Beria due to the fact that Beria oversaw the creation of anti-aircraft missile complexes, the first of which were placed on the protection of the capital of the sky. At the same time, there are the memories of witnesses, from which we can conclude that Beria was killed at home in his study where the killers came in the guise of solving business issues.

After the killing of Beria to Moskalenko and Batitsky fell numerous awards, even giving them the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. However, even without this, Colonel-General Moskalenko, after 10 years sitting in that rank, immediately took the title of General of the Army and the post of commander of the Moscow Military District, and in 1955 he had become a marshal. Major General Batitsky immediately grabbed the rank of colonel general and the post of commander of the Moscow Military District Air Defense.

But the murderers, of course, needed time for the "investigation" to fabricate documents for archives and in general to create the appearance of a thorough investigation and hearing. And after 8 days have announced the end of the trial and verdict.

Other accounts related that at the hastily convened in early July of the same year the plenum of the CPSU Central Committee, Beria was removed from the Central Committee and expelled from the party as an "enemy of the Communist Party and the Soviet people."

On 18 December 1953 Lavrentiy Beria appeared before a closed court of a special bench headed by Marshal Ivan Konev. Beria was sentenced on fabricated charges of the Special Bench of the Supreme Court of the USSR under the chairmanship of Marshal Ivan Konev on 23 December 1953 to the death penalty. On the same day was shot.

Beria was accused of all the sins and abuses of the previous era. He himself was in the public mind a symbol of evil, oppression and state violence. Beria was not rehabilitated.




NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list



 
Page last modified: 19-05-2016 20:25:02 ZULU