Soviet Arrest Document From 1937 Great Purge - Amur District
"Top Secret Protocol No. 23", dated September 2, 1937. Report of Amur District Communist Party, signed by First Secretary Kosokin and bearing an official stamp of the Communist Party Committee. The document deals with the dismissal of Comrade Poletaev, a high-ranking member, as "an enemy of the people." The people present at the meeting were the First Secretary of the District Communist Party Ivanov, high-positioned members of the Party including Kosokin, Kaznacheev, Poshekhonov, and members of the NKVD (Secret Police) command structure - Zadumov, Mukhachenko, Lvov, Volozh, Alekhin, Aratov, Mareev, Gavlich, and Vorobiev. Secretary Kosokin reported that "for personal and direct connections with the enemies of the people", the following individuals have been arrested: Pashkovsky, Kruglov, Davydov, Krutov, and others have now been arrested. Poletaev is to be dismissed from his job with the Amur Executive Committee. The question about his party membership is to be decided separately. NOTE: Poletaev had already been arrested by the NKVD when this meeting took place. He was tried by a special troika composed of a member of the secret police, a local Communist Party secretary, and a state prosecutor. They had the authority to issue rapid and severe verdicts (death or exile) without the right to appeal. Poletaev was sentenced to the highest measure of punishment - execution - and he was shot on July 6, 1938. Kosokin, who reported on Poletaev, was also arrested later, sentenced to death and shot...on the same day as Poletaev. Everyone mentioned above as an enemy of the people was convicted and shot. All the others present at the meeting who made accusations against others were arrested and executed during the following year. What happened at this meeting was taking place all over Stalin's Soviet Union. Today's accusers became tomorrow's victims. By the mid 1930s, after the Soviet Politburo decided to scale down the suppression, members of the NKVD (the main killing machine) were tried and executed for sending too many innocent people to their deaths. This included the head of the NKVD and architect of "The Great Purge", Nikolai Yezhov. It has been estimated that between 1934 and 1939, one million Party members were arrested and executed. During that same period it is thought that 10 million people were sent to the gulags with many of them dying either in transit or as a result of the terrible living conditions they had to endure.