1937 Soviet Purges - Amur District: Case of "Katya" Dashevsky

Soviet authorities established the autonomous oblast of Amur in 1934. It was the result of Soviet nationality policy under Stalin, which provided the Jewish population of the Soviet Union with a territory in which to pursue Yiddish cultural heritage. Dashevsky Clara Moiseevna, party nickname "Katya" was a Jewish member of the Communist Party from 1917. She was arrested by the NKVD in September 1937 and 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. Katya was sentenced to the highest measure of punishment - execution, on March 31, 1938, and was shot the next day. In the same year, the Secretary, Ivanov, was arrested and executed. Translation of Document: "The decision about Dashevsky - the head of department of District Committee Communist Party 1. Because she had personal connections with Trotskyists, now excluded from the Party - Zilberstrom, Stuchinsky, Gerbek - and very unsatisfactory work in the department, Dashevsky is to be dismissed from her job as Head of Department of District Committee. 2. All Dashevsky connections with Trotskyites to be investigated and her exclusion from Party to be considered. 3. Ask Dashevsky to explain her connections with these Trotskyites in writing. 4. All materials pertaining to Dashevsky to be sent to Far Eastern Committee of the Communist Party. The bottom of the letter bears the stamp of the Amur District Committee Bureau of the All Union Communist Party (of Bolsheviks) and the signature of Secretary Ivanov.

Cartoon in the British Magazine "Punch", April 12, 1933 attacking Stalin for "taking away the scales of justice."