Friday Fictioneers and History

Friday Fictioneers LogoHaving just spent November writing the rough draft of a novel for National Novel Writing Month where research into the recent past (World War II) was key to finishing the draft, I figured I’d just continue the walk down history’s lane. Just back a little further.

I majored in history in college, with a concentration on modern Soviet history–from the Revolution in 1917 to the then present. An area of particular interest for me was the Stalin era (which covered most of that period). His addle-minded purges of the 1930’s were the subjects of several papers.

Stalin ordered the murder of millions of Russians from a large and powerful population of rural peasants to almost his entire Red Army officer corps. Stalin turned this task over to the sadists in the “People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs”–the NKVD, successor to the Cheka, predecessor of the KGB.

Whether it was sending people by the hundreds of thousands to die in Siberian work camps or torturing people in the basement of the Lubyanka, the NKVD did its job for Stalin, purging the fledgling Soviet Union of anti-revolutionary aspects. What the NKVD accomplished was to purge the Bolshevik intelligentsia or the people who knew how to run government, the people who knew how to raise food, and the people who know how to defend the country, and he and the Russian people paid dearly for it. Stalin may have used the “purity” of Communism as the excuse, but the Purges were a way for him to settle old scores. And his reach was long. The NKVD were able to murder Stalin’s rival Leon Trotsky in Mexico.

The NKVD would often combine unique ways to torture and murder so that the victim often ended up killing him- or herself inadvertently. No real blood on their hands. Today’s 100-word story, “The Purge,” is a depiction of a “favorite” NKVD technique. As horrible as the KGB was, it held nothing to the murderous nature of the NKVD. That the NKVD is relegated to the pages of history is a good thing.

If you don’t see the link on the title above, scroll to the top of the page, click on the tab for Friday Fictioneers, and select “The Purge” from the drop-down list.

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