Friday, November 25, 2011

[Resources] Nikolai Yazhov, Now You See Him, Now You Don't

Now you see him
Nikolai Yazhov (1895-1940) was a Soviet politican and former head of  the NKVD. He was a factory worker, in the Tsar's army (1915-1917). He became a Bolshevik in 1917 and fought for the Red Army in the Russian Civil War (1919–1921). He worked his way up the Communist Party, making head of the NKVD in 1936.

Yazhov ordered many executions during the Great Purge. At it's height, over 600,000 were shot as enemies of the state and the same amount were exiled to gulags.  Stalin, suspicious of anyone and everyone, eventually pulled back his support for him and by 1939 he had lost his power in the NKVD.

Denounced and arrested on April 10th, he was tortured and confessed to espionage, embezzlement and the usual "state crimes." His trial in February 1940 ended with him vowing to "die with Stalin's name on his lips." Two days later, he was ordered beaten by his NKVD successor (much like he ordered his predecessor humiliated) and then executed, but, in the interests of secrecy, not in the basement of the Lubyanka (which was the main NKVD execution chamber).

But his story doesn't end with his death. In fact, he was declared damnatio memoriae by Stalin and all traces of him were removed from books and photos.
Now you don't
Disappeared and removed from all knowledge. That looks like a situation the PCs would investigate, whatever the genre.


  1. have you seen this?

  2. Very neat.

    Thanks for that link.


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