Lynne Viola's book about The Great Terror of the 1930s

"Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial, Scenes from the Great Terror in Soviet Ukraine" is the title of the Lynne Viola book that narrates the terrors of the 1930s in the Soviet Union. 

What is The Great Terror?

The Great Terror is a time in Soviet history that lasted for 16 months during 1937 and 1938. During this time, the Stalin Regime arrested around 1.5 million people, most of them under accusations of being "counterrevolutionary" or for "anti-Soviet activity".  

Half of these prisoners would be executed and the other half were sent to the Gulag. The book by Lynne Viola includes testimonies of what some suffered during this dark part of history.

The focus of the book is to recount testimonies, anecdotes, and stories from the executioners' perspective. There are many stories from the victims of the great terror, but nothing from the executioners. 

After the months of the great terror, almost 100,000 secret police officers were prosecuted by Soviet military courts due to violations of Soviet criminal procedure. Among the accusations of these officers, we can find falsification of interrogation protocols, fabrication of evidence, and use of torture to secure "confessions," and murders during the pre-trial detention of "suspects."

These trials took place with the strictest regulations of Soviet justice. Verdicts for these kinds of issues ranged from a reprimand to execution.  

About Lynne Viola

Lynne Viola is a professor at the University of Toronto. She is a Soviet historian and is also author of The Unknown Gulag: The Lost World of Stalin's Special Settlements, The Best Sons of the Fatherland, and Peasant Rebels under Stalin.  

The Book 

The war crimes committed by the NKVD (secret police) during these secret trials are the main topic of this book. It seeks to uncover the truth about the great terror from the perspective of those who executed citizens. The book reveals the terrors of how victims were tortured to get confessions. Viola also presents short stories from victims and witnesses. 

Modern slavery in the heart of Europe

No need to travel far from EU institutions to find out about migrant labour conditions. At the Arts-Loi Metro station in Brussels, Mohammed, an undocumented Moroccan immigrant, worked for months for 50 euros a day to renovate it, and it was hard labour. You can find his portrait among the pictures…

What was the Tet Offensive?

The Tet offensive was a well-coordinated attack against some targets in South Vietnam by North Vietnam led by communist Viet Cong Forces. This attack which saw the U.S. and South Vietnam militaries suffer severe casualties was orchestrated in 1968 during the lunar New Year which is also known as…

Trump’s Grandparents Came to America

The current U.S. President Donald Trump is proposing some aggressive immigrant regulations that will deter people from coming into the U.S. illegally. From building a wall to proposing a bill that would favor to English speaking immigrants when moving to the United States, the president, and his…

Lynne Viola's book about The Great Terror of the 1930s

"Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial, Scenes from the Great Terror in Soviet Ukraine" is the title of the Lynne Viola book that narrates the terrors of the 1930s in the Soviet Union. What is The Great Terror? The Great Terror is a time in Soviet history that lasted for 16 months during 1937…

Who was Rosie the Riveter?

During World War II, Rosie the Riveter became a cultural icon. She represented the women working in factories and shipyards at the time, many of whom produced munitions and war supplies. Due to many of the working men being shipped off to fight in the war, women were encouraged to replace them.…

The story of historical fiction in terms of Sparta

The historians are divided over their opinion of historical fiction. Developing a story based on true historical character is becoming a norm in films as well as literature. The historians mostly don’t like the fact that writers tend to over exaggerate and manipulate history to catch the…

Sixth Battle of the Isonzo: 6 August-17 August 1916

The Sixth Battle of the Isonzo is known as the successful Italian offensive in the World War I. The Battle of Gorizia is the second name for the Sixth Battle of the Isonzo. It was fought between the Kingdom of Italy and Austria-Hungary. The Italian army was led by Luigi Cadorna. He had at disposal…

Battle of Fromelles: 19–20 July 1916

The Battle of Fromelles was the military operation, conducted by Britain on the Western Front during the World War I. This battle occurred on 19 July 1916 and it ended on the next day. The GHQ (General Headquarters) of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) ordered to the 1st and 2nd Army to prepare…

The History of Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is definitely one of the most famous drinks in the world. After more than one hundred years it is still some kind of cult and it seems like it will never stop being one. People all around the world adore this beverage and we cannot blame them since Coca-Cola’s taste is really…

Lake Naroch Offensive: March 18 – April 1916

The Lake Naroch Offensive was fought between March and April 1916. The Russian army had numerical superiority, but they lost. They had severe losses. The Russian army was led by Alexei Kuropatkin and Alexei Evert. They had at their disposal: 480.000 soldiers and 1.000 guns. On the other side, the…

Battle of Hanna: 21 January 1916

The Battle of Hanna was fought on 21 January 1916. It was one of the battles on the Mesopotamian front in the World War I. The battle of Hanna was fought between Anglo-Indian and Ottoman forces. The Anglo-Indian forces were led by Fenton Aylmer. He had, at his disposal 10.000 men. The Ottoman Forces…