The so-called “Great Purge” (or “Great Terror”) is considered to have lasted from 1934 to 1939. Although earlier purges had occurred in the Civil War and post-Civil War eras and in the earlier years of Stalinisation, the “Great Purge”, beginning in 1934, was of a much vaster order. The starting point was the reaction to the1934 assassination of Segei Kirov, the Leningrad Party leader (itself a mysterious event). Victor Serge’s novel, The Case of Comrade Tulayev, offers a fascinating imaginative treatment of this and developments therefrom.
The pre-existing system of repression, established under the CHEKA (the Soviet secret police, in its first Bolshevik incarnation) for the Red Terror during the period o…
Citation: Cornwell, Neil. "Soviet Literature - The Purges". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 September 2005 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1593, accessed 06 February 2023.]