Nikolai Yezhov

Soviet Politician
Born May 1, 1895

Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov or Ezhov was the senior figure in the NKVD under Joseph Stalin during the period of the Great Purge. His reign is sometimes known as the "Yezhovshchina", "the Yezhov era", a term that began to be used during the de-Stalinization campaign of the 1950s. During the beginning of World War II his status within the USSR became that of a political unperson.… Read More

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1895 Birth Born on May 1, 1895.


1909 14 Years Old He completed only his elementary education. From 1909 to 1915, he worked as a tailor's assistant and factory worker.


1915 20 Years Old From 1915 until 1917, Yezhov served in the Imperial Russian Army.
1917 22 Years Old He joined the Bolsheviks on May 5, 1917 in Vitebsk, six months before the October Revolution.
1919 24 Years Old During the Russian Civil War, 1919 - 1921, he fought in the Red Army.
1922 27 Years Old After February 1922, he worked in the political system, mostly as a secretary of various regional committees of the Communist Party.


1927 32 Years Old In 1927, he was transferred to the Accounting and Distribution Department of the Party where he worked as an instructor and acting head of the department.
1929 34 Years Old From 1929 to 1930, he was the Deputy People's Commissar for Agriculture.
1930 35 Years Old In November 1930, he was appointed to the Head of several departments of the Communist Party: department of special affairs, department of personnel and department of industry.
1934 39 Years Old In 1934, he was elected to the Central Committee of the Communist Party; in the next year he became a secretary of the Central Committee.


1935 40 Years Old From February 1935 to March 1939, he was also the Chairman of the Central Commission for Party Control. … Read More
1936 41 Years Old He became People's Commissar for Internal Affairs (head of the NKVD) and a member of the Central Committee on September 26, 1936, following the dismissal of Genrikh Yagoda. … Read More
1937 42 Years Old Yagoda was but the first of many to die by Yezhov's orders. Under Yezhov, the Great Purge reached its height during 1937–1938. 50-75% of the members of the Supreme Soviet and officers of the Soviet military were stripped of their positions and imprisoned, exiled to the Gulag's camps in Siberia or executed. … Read More
Yezhov was appointed People's Commissar for Water Transport on April 6, 1938. … Read More
He attended his last Politburo meeting on January 29, 1939.
…  He was arrested, confessed under torture to a range of anti-Soviet activity, and was executed in 1940. … Read More
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