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Terror from Within: Brotherhood and Betrayal in the NKVD

A public lecture by CYNTHIA HOOPER, College of the Holy Cross, History

This talk focuses on the institutional culture of the NKVD during the Great Terror years, particularly the escalating internal conflict between values of comrade loyalty and vigilance/mistrust. Looking at transcripts of party meetings within a specific regional police force, this talk shows how colleagues interacted with their peers during a time of extraordinary violence and how such behavior changed over time. Ultimately, the presentation explores what, if anything, distinguished the values and standards of the NKVD from those of Soviet society at large, and how such values and standards shifted in the wake of the Terror experience. 

Cynthia Hooper is Assistant Professor of History at the College of the Holy Cross. She is currently a Research Scholar at the Kennan Institute, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

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