The “Official Verdict Against Y. L. Pyatakov and Associates in the Purge Trial, January 30th, 1937” concerns the actions of a number of people said to be employed by l. Trotsky, considered to be the enemy of the people. This document details a plot that was instituted by those who received instructions from the enemy of the people, including Pyatakov. These instructions were from the purpose of overthrowing the Communist regime in the U.S.S.R. and restoring capitalism. One reason that such a plot would be devised is that Joseph Stalin, who took power in the U.S.S.R. after Lenin, instituted policies that were categorized as totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is a system or condition in which the state has authority over and attempts to control all significant areas of both public and private life. Throughout this paper, I will discuss the Official Verdict Against Y.L. Pyatakov and Associates in the Purge Trial, January 30th, 1937 and how it gives insight into Joseph Stalin and his totalitarianism policies.

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Joseph Stalin came into power in the Soviet Union after the departure of Lenin in the mid- 1920s. Joseph Stalin is categorized as a paranoid and oppressive leader who changed from Lenin’s New Economic Policies to economic policies that were more centralized and controlled by the government. Stalin did help the Soviet Union become an industrial power, but this was not without a high cost. Stalin attempted to control every aspect of the Soviet Union’s economy and threw millions in prison who did not fit in with his economic policy. In addition, it is estimated that approximately 10 million peasants died as a result of Stalin’s oppressive economic policies in an eight year time period starting in the mid-1920s.

Because of the oppressive nature of Stalin’s totalitarian regime, Pyatakov and others participated in a plot to restore capitalism to the U.S.S.R. The goal was “to overthrow the Soviet power in the U.S.S.R. and to restore capitalism and the power of the bourgeoisie by means of wrecking, diversive, espionage, and terrorist activities designed to undermine the economic and military power of the Soviet Union.” Pyatakov and others where accused of plotting with Germany, Japan, and other foreign nations who could pose a military threat to the Soviet Union. In addition, some areas with state farms were seized and capitalism policies were restored. Because of actions such as this, Stalin instituted the Great Purge which attempted to rid the Soviet Union of these insurgents by exile, execution or imprisonment; in fact, millions receive this fate after being accused of being enemies of the state. This purge, to get rid of those who Stalin perceived as a threat to his totalitarian control, lasted approximately three years. In fact, Stalin, who is often characterized throughout history as a paranoid dictator, the majority of the major people in the Communist Party executed as he believed they were trying to overthrow him and his totalitarian style government. These Communists include Leon Trotsky, the old Bolsheviks, and the majority of the Red Army.

As the Official Verdict Against Y. L. Pyatakov and Associates in the Purge Trial, January 30, 1997 illustrates, those who wanted to overthrow Stalin’s form of government were willing to promote terrorist attacks against the U.S.S.R., sabotage its economy, encourage military aggression against it, and more, all in the hopes of restoring a less oppressive system of government and economy to the people of the Soviet Union.