A Biography of No Place Chapter 6

Chapter 6 was an Interesting subject to read, but also very disturbing when reading it. I found this chapter extremely interesting cause, when studying WWII or Pre War Soviet Union very few academic books mention the Great Purge. What makes this topic so unique is, why did the Soviet Union perform Genocide to Oppress their people? This section gives a clear cut explanation of who the regime went after (Leon Trotsky, Trotskyist, Wealthy Peasants, and even counter revolution minorities and Nationalities). I love in this chapter how Kate Brown went into depth on how the Soviet Union went through records, geography of National Identified groups, and also of why these revolutionist in their eyes “to be dealt with”. (To conclude, I ponder as to why this subject of the Great Purge was never discussed in textbooks? The Nazi party conducted Genocide during the same era both were conducted for different reasons one over religion and one over political views). Lastly, did the Soviet Union see this Great Purge as the best option and was this the right move for them to make in order to succeed in the future?

2 Replies to “A Biography of No Place Chapter 6”

  1. I believe the Great Purge was never discussed in textbooks because in American primary education, I think the goal is to learn as much American history as possible. However, it’s skewed in a way that leaves out as much negative historical contexts as it can–especially ones that don’t involve the US. To answer one of your other questions, I think the Soviet Union knew that one of the ways to rule is through fear– and many people fear death. By Soviet Union acting as the ones who bestowed death onto it’s people, the fear that resulted from it was to be used a scare-tactic to I guess weed out the Polish “insurgents and spies” Stalin was looking for.

  2. This is a really interesting topic: what goes into textbooks and what does not. In my other life as an English nerd, I think about literature censorship a lot. I have always been puzzled about what goes into primary/secondary school textbooks because I know a lot of people will not seek/get more information after those classes. I am not completely sure why The Great Purges were not included in my middle school/high school textbooks, but I know there was a YA novel that came out in the mid-2010s about this subject. This is definitely a topic that is gathering more attention.

    Also, the more I think of it, I did not receive much information on Russian/Soviet History in public school; I remember it being strongly ignored in my AP World History because the teacher had little to no working knowledge about Russian history. I think, from my experience, that the reason we did not learn about the Great Purges is because we are the products of the first generation that really has access to a lot of Soviet records. It is hard to teach things that you do not have definite facts about.

    Maybe, I am being naive and simple …

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