Anna Larina: Stalinist Terror and Her Ability to Survive.

Essay by ecestanyCollege, Undergraduate October 2003

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Stalin's terror inflicted fear and pain onto any one who opposed him or presented a threat toward his policies. Geoffrey Hosking's The First Socialist Society is an excellent resource that takes an in depth look into Stalinist terror. His reign was enforced through a series of deadly acts. His dishonesty and violent modes of action lead him to solidify his grip on Soviet politics. A good look at how his terrorist actions affected individual people is Anna Larina's This I Cannot Forget. She expresses the struggle to survive for those who were proud and strong willed. Although Stalin's wrath physically pulled her away from those she loved and admired, their memory was her means of survival. Her memoirs give a first hand look at the effects of Stalin's terror. While Hosking portrays the cause of Stalinist terror, Larina expresses the effects of his wrath. Combined one can view the purges and how people survived in spite of them.

The founding causes of Stalinist terror can be traced back to a rivalry between Stalin and Leon Trotsky. This began when Trotsky, Zinoviev, and Lev Kamenev formed United Opposition in 1926-7 to Stalin's narrowing hold on political appointments. Stalin repressed the members of the opposition by not allowing them to speak at committee meetings and party conferences. "Defeated at a Central Committee meeting in April 1926," explains Hosking, " the Opposition tried to present their case at the Fifteenth Party Conference in October, but were denied the right to speak." Party militants used violence to break up oppositionist meetings and the GPU often investigated the attendants of these meetings. According to Geoffrey Hosking, "this was the first time violence had been used by the party against its own members." As history would show, this was only the beginning of...