Great Purge facts for kids
The Great Purge or the Great Terror (Russian: Большой террор) was a campaign of political repression in the Soviet Union which occurred from 1936 to 1938. It involved a large-scale purge of the Communist Party and government officials, repression of kulaks (relatively affluent peasants) and the Red Army leadership, widespread police surveillance, suspicion of saboteurs, counter-revolutionaries, imprisonment, and arbitrary executions. Historians estimate the total number of deaths due to Stalinist repression in 1937–38 to be between 680,000 and 1,200,000.
In the Western world, Robert Conquest's 1968 book The Great Terror popularized that phrase. Conquest's title was in turn an allusion to the period called the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution (French: la Terreur, and, from June to July 1794, la Grande Terreur, the Great Terror).
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