The Bolshevik

The Bolshevik
A painting from 1920 by Russian artist Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev (1878–1927) currently in the possession of The Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

20 December 2011

Under "Reconstruction"

Recently Published New Information About Soviet Security Services and the Judicial Branch Before WWII May Alter Some of the Chapters Already Posted Here

(This Will Certainly Slow the Progress of Presenting New Information Until Said Material Is Digested - the Vast Majority of Which Deals with Stalin's Death Grip Over the Military and His Irrational Fear of Spies, Particularly within the Ranks of the Red Army and the Public at Large)

WWII Counter-Espionage propaganda poster which reads: "Eradicate Spies and Saboteurs, [such as] Trotsky-Bukharin [the] Agents of Fascism!" Even the most elementary psychology acknowledges that power seized by means of subterfuge and violence will instill a need in the new leadership to continue to utilize secret political police while fearing the same.

I know it has been a while since I've posted something new, but I am in the midst of scouring over a variety of newly released resource materials (one book has not even been released to the public yet, but is supposed to make it to me in early January since I "pre-ordered" it) pertaining to Stalin and his abuse of every Soviet security service from the NKVD to the variously named foreign intelligence services and finally SMERSH - whose very existence was a state secret until shortly before the fall of the Soviet Union and whose actions were denied by many long after 1991.

Already, some of the new information is causing me to rethink some of the previously published materials in this website/web-book. I was hoping to move on to post-war security service tactics for suppressing dissent and preventing the influence of Western capitalist "Imperialism" from undermining the newly entrenched system of Soviet Communism. What the Bolsheviks had killed so many people to maintain was in jeopardy for the first time with Stalin at the helm of the Communist Party "Flag Ship" (the state security services) leading the rest of the fleet of frightened yet powerful ship captains - generals and admirals of the Soviet Red Army and Navy. These men managed to hold their ground against the Nazi "Bliztkreig" despite the efforts of Stalin to in fact become the commander and chief of the military.

As I sort out the new information, I will try to remember to add, if nothing else, some interesting photos pertaining to the Soviet security services.

For now, here are a few photos of some of the "egg" badges from the Cheka-GPU to the NKVD and finally the only one known to exist made for the briefly lived MGB (immediate predecessor of the KGB) housed in the KGB Museum in Moscow.

Photo from CD-ROM book, Cheka: Distinguished Worker Awards of the Soviet Secret Police by Robert S. Pandis. The above photo shows the faces of the 5th and 15th anniversary badges given to outstanding and/or high-ranking members of the GPU (State Political Directorate - "political police" of the time). These badges were made by silversmiths who were often carry-overs from Imperial Russia who were still making a living in metal working.
Pandis: OGPU was the name of the former Cheka in 1927. Their are three main types of this badge: two-piece silver and red enamel badge with (left) a gold profile of Felix Dzerzhinsky encircled in a wreath, (center) silver profile, and (right) single-piece solid bronze and enamel badge. Note the differences between the Cyrillic acronym lettering of "O.G.P.U." from the first issue and the last two. The second issue, silver badge had the widest banner from which the letters were raised.

Pandis made use of a popular OGPU "Gramota" award to an agent as the "cover" of his e-book (shown below):

Cover of the now rare but extremely important Robert S. Pandis e-book dealing with badges awarded to state security services of the early Soviet Union.

I will continue to post photos of award badges, documents and propaganda materials as I read though the new books I have acquired recently.
 Comments are always welcomed.