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Mass Repressions - Consequences

Data on cleansing in the system of the People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry and the Narkom-Defense Industry in 1937–1939 in historiography has not yet been developed, in contrast to data on the number of repressed officers of the Red Army. The following words of gratitude by the People's Commissar of Defense of the USSR KE Voroshilov, expressed in his speech at the XVIII Congress of the CPSU{b) on March 13, 1939 to “ workers, engineers, technicians and employees, and especially the party and Komsomol organizations of our socialist factories, who, having cleared themselves of traitors, enemies of the people, worked a lot to equip the Red Army and Navy with modern combat technology, to enhance the defense power of our country ”.

Anti-bureaucratic, populist campaign held in 1937–1938 under the leadership of N.I. Ezhova and on the direct instructions of I.V. Stalin, caught up the party, Soviet and military cadres a lot of fear, brought up discipline and responsibility, but, of course, not enough to do away with mismanagement and carelessness. For example, in a note by the head of the 1 Department of EKU NKVD to the new People's Commissar of Defense Industry, MM Kaganovich of November 6, 1938, the following information was reported about the plant number 12, which was stationed in one of the districts of Moscow:

“The territory of the plant is cluttered with ready shells in the amount of up to 160 cars. Part of the shells, in the amount of up to 20 cars, were rejected, but so far they have not been removed from the factory. Part of the shells lies on the plant for several years. About 35 tons of defective picric acid are stored on one of the sites (one of the most dangerous explosives is NS). Here, in unsuitable warehouses, about 100 tons of substance “P-12” are stored, which in the case of an explosion threatens not only the population of the Nagatinsky district, but the whole of Moscow”.

The production figures of the “purge” military industry of 1937–1938 did not have a significant impact: either towards a sharp decrease in the percentage of the current order plan of the Military Department, or towards a significant increase. Considering the circumstances in which enterprises and main departments of the People's Commissariat of the defense industry reported to higher authorities, the accuracy of these reports, of course, raises doubts.

The military industry suffered the most visible economic damage from “Yezhovshchina” as a result of the defeat of the leading research and development organizations of NKOP and other industrial commissariats. The development of many effective models of weapons and military equipment, as well as advanced technological processes was delayed.

Leading aircraft designers of the country A.N.Tupolev, N.N.Polikarpov, D.P. Grigorovich, R. Bartini were repressed. So, A.N.Tupolev was arrested on October 21, 1937 right in his office, accusing him of being a member of the “Russian fascist party”, of sabotage during the preparation of Gromov’s record flights, the introduction of perverse American technology, spying for France and many more . Tupolev confessed everything and sat in the remand prison of Butyrskaya prison, awaiting trial and the death sentence until April 1938. V.M. Petlyakov was arrested on October 28, 1937 according to a charge similar in his absurdity, tried and sentenced in May 1940 to 10 years in the camps. At the end of 1937, the leading designers of jet and rocket technology, I.T. Kleimenov, G.E.Langemak, V.P.Glushko, and S.P.Korolev, were arrested.

In early December 1938, Stalin removed Yezhov from the post of People's Commissar of the NKVD. From January to July 1938, in several stages, Stalin carried out a hypocritical campaign to eliminate excesses in the work of internal affairs agencies: someone is released from arrest, someone is restored in the ranks of the CPSU (b), and someone is punished “For gross violations of socialist legality”.

Under the leadership of the new People's Commissar, L.P.Beria, the NKVD turned into an even more powerful multifunctional organization than it was under its predecessors. Without reducing the scale of repressive activities (from 1937 to 1939, the cost of maintaining the prison administration increased from 56.6 million rubles to 563 million rubles, and the expenses of the operational and KGB administration from 708.4 million rubles to 1,395 million rub.), the NKVD continuously increased its share in strengthening the country's defense through the construction of strategic highways (GUSHOSDOR), integrated industrial development of remote and uninhabited areas with rich mineral deposits (Dalstroy), etc.

January 13, 1940 by resolution of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR and the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) for the number 60-30, the NKVD was responsible for the Severonikel Copper-Nickel Works, the Coltroy Trust, and the construction of the Kandalaksha Aluminum Plant "in order, as stated in the resolution, to significantly increase the production of nickel and the associated accelerated construction of launch facilities from 1940-1941".

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