Yezhov, Nikolay (Ivanovich)

Yezhov, Nikolay (Ivanovich)
born 1895, St. Petersburg, Russia
died after January 1939

Soviet secret-police chief.

He joined the Communist Party in March 1917 and was a political commissar in the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. Thereafter he rose through political posts, and by 1927 he was a functionary for the Moscow party's central committee and a favourite of Joseph Stalin. He became a member of the party's Central Committee (1934) and succeeded Genrikh Yagoda as chief of the Soviet security police, or NKVD (1936). He instituted the most severe stage of the Great Purge (see purge trials), known as Yezhovshchina. By 1938 he had become the object of Stalin's suspicions and was replaced by Lavrenty Beria as head of the NKVD. He disappeared in 1939 and was probably executed.

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Universalium. 2010.

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