Moscow, 1937

Moscow, 1937

Language: English

Pages: 650

ISBN: 0745650775

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Moscow, 1937: the soviet metropolis at the zenith of Stalin’s dictatorship. A society utterly wrecked by a hurricane of violence. 

In this compelling book, the renowned historian Karl Schlögel reconstructs with meticulous care the process through which, month by month, the terrorism of a state-of-emergency regime spiraled into the ‘Great Terror’ during which 1 ½ million human beings lost their lives within a single year. He revisits the sites of show trials and executions and, by also consulting numerous sources from the time, he provides a masterful panorama of these key events in Russian history.

He shows how, in the shadow of the reign of terror, the regime around Stalin also aimed to construct a new society. Based on countless documents, Schlögel’s historical masterpiece vividly presents an age in which the boundaries separating the dream and the terror dissolve, and enables us to experience the fear that was felt by people subjected to totalitarian rule. This rich and absorbing account of the Soviet purges will be essential reading for all students of Russia and for any readers interested in one of the most dramatic and disturbing events of modern history.

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architect must be not only a master of his craft, but also a philosopher at the forefront of his age.14 Shchusev spoke out in favour of a new monumentalism that had been rendered possible only by the advent of socialism. Ginzburg spoke about the industrialization of housing construction and – in contrast to Alabian – praised advances in the West as exemplary. Here too the Soviet Union had much to learn from the United States; it should try out new materials and develop the efficient,

Former Muscovites desirous of returning home tried to get to Dmitrov, since from there it was easier to make contact with their families, businesses and the different institutes.29 Numbers skyrocketed and reached their peak in 1936. The settlements along the route of the canal bore all the signs of an improvised, provisional town, an instant city created entirely by the canal project. It was an extreme but wholly characteristic form of town building in times of intensified industrialization:

and holding a fountain pen in his hands. The wording read: ‘All-in Writing Holidays, from two weeks (short story, novella) to one year (novel, trilogy): Yalta, Suuk-Su, Borovoye Tsikhidziri, Makhinjauri, Leningrad (Winter Palace).’ There was a queue at this door too, but not an excessively long one – only about a hundred and fifty people. (p. 69) Queues were ubiquitous, whether for shops, theatre ticket offices or public authorities: On Friday morning, the day after the disastrous show, the

militant hatred of Bolshevism. Some people thought it pure chance that the remilitarization of Germany coincided with the opening of proceedings against the Trotskyite–Zinovievite Centre on 19 August 1936; others thought the connection was too obvious to be ignored: the internal enemy was evidently in league with the external one. The rhetoric of the first Moscow show trial echoed the violent excesses that had swept over the nation in recent years. The country was ripe for an outbreak of

zone to the north. The inner core of power in which everything was discussed, resolved and made ready for implementation also formed an essential part of Moscow in 1937. Nevertheless, the year of the Great Terror included other things as well: the summer vacations, the beginning of the school year, sports facilities, cinemas, shop windows and dance venues. Many roads and paths led to Moscow in the 1930s, and Moscow was a city that did not yet form part of a divided world – as can be seen from the

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