Yezhov in uniform
|People's Commissar for Water Transport|
6 April 1938 – 9 April 1939
|Preceded by||Nikolay Pakhomov|
|Succeeded by||None (position abolished)|
|People's Commissar for Internal Affairs|
26 September 1936 – 25 November 1938
|Preceded by||Genrikh Yagoda|
|Succeeded by||Lavrentiy Beria|
|People's Commissar for State Security[source?]|
27 January 1937 – 25 November 1938
|Candidate member of the 17th Politburo|
12 October 1937 – 3 March 1939
|Member of the 17th Secretariat|
1 February 1935 – 3 March 1939
Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov
May 1, 1895
St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
|Died||February 4, 1940 (aged 44)|
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Political party||Communist Party of the Soviet Union|
|Spouse(s)||Antonia Titova (1919-1930)|
Yevgenia Feigenberg (1930-1938; her death; 1 child)
|Children||Natalia Nikolaevna Yezhova, later Natalia Khayutina (adopted)|
|Nickname(s)||Russian: Ежевика (Blackberry)|
He joined the Bolsheviks in April 1917, a few months before the October Revolution. He was known as a determined loyalist of Joseph Stalin, and in 1935 he wrote a paper in which he argued that political opposition must eventually lead to violence and terrorism; this became in part the ideological basis of the Purges. He became head of the NKVD in early 1937, after the dismissal of Genrikh Yagoda. Under Yezhov, the purges reached their height, with roughly half of the Soviet political and military establishment being exiled or shot, along with hundreds of thousands of others, suspected of disloyalty or wrecking.
Eventually, Stalin dismissed Yezhov from his post in November 1938, demoting him to the post of Commissar of Water Transport; less than a year later, Yezhov was arrested and put on trial for excesses committed during the Purges. In his defense, Yezhov said that he regretted only that he had not punished enough counter-revolutionaries. He was found guilty, and probably executed in secret in 1940.
References[change | change source]
- Ministers of Internal Affairs. Ministry of the Russian Federation. accessed 17 July 2017
- Sebag-Montefiore, Simon Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, chapter 21.
- Service (2009), chapter 11.