From Balytskyi to Leplevskyi

When reading the beginning of chapter 6 in “A Biography of No Place” by Kate Brown, the author talks about the change in power for the NKVD Chief position going from Balytskyi to Israel Leplevskyi. In this exchange, Brown mentions that Leplevskyi was exiled after spreading rumors that his boss’s success was due to his efforts (Brown, 156). Leplevskyi swore that he would return and did only to accuse Balytskyi and his bureau of inactivity in fighting the enemy. Leplevskyi went on to replace Balytskyi and conduct major efforts in the Great Purges from 1937 to 1939 (Brown, 158). This includes arresting just about anybody with a Polish connection, to which Leplevskyi had never questioned. He soon after asked to be able to arrest more people, knowing he couldn’t satisfy such a ludicrous request. my question is whether or not things would have been off if Pelevskyi had never replaced Balytskyi? Was the diligent tenor of terror better than that of a complacent man like Balytskyi?

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