Stalin’s secret police finally named but killings still not seen as crimes

For two decades, starting in 1993, Andrei Zhukov went down into a Moscow archive at least three days a week, spending hour after hour leafing through thousands of orders issued by the NKVD, Joseph Stalin’s secret police, searching for the names and ranks of the organisation’s officers.

The result is the first comprehensive survey of the NKVD men responsible for carrying out Stalin’s “Great Terror” of 1937 and 1938, in which about 1.5 million people were arrested and 700,000 shot. While it is not the first study into the senior leadership of the NKVD, this is the first time that everyone – from the investigators to the executioners – has been identified.

There are just over 40,000 names on the list.

Share