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Stalin’s show trials

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Stalin’s show trials

  1. 1. Stalin’s Show Trials <ul><li>Three Show Trials </li></ul><ul><li>1936 </li></ul><ul><li>1937 </li></ul><ul><li>1938 </li></ul><ul><li>Remove Political Opponents </li></ul>
  2. 2. Leon Trotsky <ul><li>Stalin removes opponents </li></ul><ul><li>Left Opposition banned in 1927 </li></ul><ul><li>Trotsky exiled to Kazakhstan in 1928 </li></ul><ul><li>Expelled from Soviet Union in 1929 </li></ul><ul><li>Murdered by Stalinist agent in Mexico in 1941 </li></ul><ul><li>Trotsky’s son Leon Sedov murdered by Stalinist agent in Paris in 1938 </li></ul><ul><li>Another son Sergei Sedov was murdered in 1937 during the Great Purges </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Moscow Show Trials <ul><li>Stalin’s political enemies and rivals were accused of treason, spying for Germany and Japan and for having links with Trotsky. </li></ul><ul><li>A Military Show Trial takes place in 1937 </li></ul><ul><li>25 out of the top 29 army and navy commanders were executed </li></ul><ul><li>Half of the 35,000 Red Army officers were shot or imprisoned </li></ul><ul><li>The majority of those found guilty were sent to the Gulags (prison camps) </li></ul>
  4. 4. The First Show Trial 1936 <ul><li>The Trial of the 16. </li></ul><ul><li>Prosecutor Vyshinsky. </li></ul><ul><li>Principal defendants Kamenev and Zinoviev. </li></ul><ul><li>Defendants accused of murdering Kirov and attempting to kill Stalin, Lenin and others. </li></ul><ul><li>Amazingly – all 16 defendants plead guilty. </li></ul><ul><li>All defendants executed within 24 hours. </li></ul><ul><li>Family members killed or exiled. </li></ul><ul><li>Stalin promised Kamenev and Zinoviev their lives would be spared if the pleaded guilty and blamed Trotsky. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Second Show Trial 1937 <ul><li>The Trial of the 17 </li></ul><ul><li>Principal defendants Pyatakov and Radek </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the remainder had backed Trotsky against Stalin </li></ul><ul><li>Accused of working with Trotsky to wreck the Soviet Union and restore capitalism in Russia </li></ul><ul><li>Thirteen executed the day of their conviction </li></ul><ul><li>The other four given lengthy prison sentences after ‘implicating’ others in the ‘conspiracy’ </li></ul><ul><li>Radek died two years later in a Gulag </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Third Show Trial 1938 <ul><li>The Trial of the 21 </li></ul><ul><li>Principal defendants Bukharin, Rykov and Kretinsky. </li></ul><ul><li>Yagoda, who organised the earlier show trials was also accused. </li></ul><ul><li>Charged with spying and sabotage and attempting to murder Stalin. </li></ul><ul><li>All crimes were committed on the ‘instructions’ of Trotsky. </li></ul><ul><li>As with the other trials – the defendants were tortured and forced to make ‘prepared’ confessions. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Bukharin initially pleaded innocence and then guilty to no particular charge. He was repeatedly tortured and eventually caved in when the lives of his wife and infant son were threatened. </li></ul><ul><li>All the accused were executed immediately. </li></ul><ul><li>Bukharin’s wife spent 20 years in a Gulag. </li></ul><ul><li>She wrote a powerful and moving account of the Show Trials that was published in 1988. </li></ul><ul><li>His son grew up in orphanages. Yuri Larin only found out who his father was in 1956. </li></ul>The Third Show Trial 1938
  8. 8. Results of the Show Trials <ul><li>The terror of the trials spread throughout the country. </li></ul><ul><li>After the Military Show Trial the army was unprepared for war with Germany due to the loss of its commanders. </li></ul><ul><li>Only 54 people were tried and found guilty. </li></ul><ul><li>At least 7 million people were executed or died in the Gulag. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Presentation prepared by: </li></ul><ul><li>Dominic Haugh </li></ul><ul><li>St. Particks Comprehensive School </li></ul><ul><li>Shannon </li></ul><ul><li>Co. Clare </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation can be used for educational purposes only – all rights remain with author </li></ul>

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