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Beria, Lavrenty P. 1899- 1953

Lavrenty Beria was a Georgian Bolshevik and Soviet politician. He was the most influential of Stalin's secret police chiefs. In 1932, he became the party boss of the Transcaucasian republics (Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia). He led political repression campaigns during Stalin's Great Purge. After becoming the head of NKVD, he used his power to execute over 500 NKVD agents and 30,000 Red Army officers. In February 1941, he became a deputy prime minister of the USSR, and Stalin put him in charge of important tasks, including the atomic bomb project. In 1953 he was arrested, accused of being an "imperialist agent," and was immediately executed.

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Popular Documents

October 2, 1944

Letter from Boris Merkulov (USSR People’s Commissar for State Security) to Lavrenty Beria (USSR People’s Commissar for Internal Affairs)

Letter from Merkulov to Beria regarding the KGB’s efforts to obtain information about the creation of the atomic bomb and specifically about the related problems with uranium

March 20, 1956

Speech by Comrade Khrushchev at the 6th PUWP CC Plenum, Warsaw

Speech by Comrade Khrushchev at the 6th PUWP CC Plenum, 20 March 1956, Warsaw explaining the changes since the death of Stalin and criticizing Stalin

July 1, 1953

Letter from Lavrentiy Beria to Georgii Malenkov Reflecting on the Events of Spring 1953 (Excerpt)

Letter from Beria to Malenkov discussing the events which took place in East Germany in the spring of 1953. Beria also discusses his actions after Stalin's death, asking for the forgiveness of the CPSU CC Politburo.

January 25, 1946

Notes on the discussion between I.V. Kurchatov, lead scientist for the Soviet nuclear effort, and Stalin

Kurchatov's notes on his meeting with Stalin, Molotov and Beria. Stalin promises the all necessary help to the soviet effort to build an atomic bomb. He suggests that the project should be build on "a Russian scale," without concerns for cost saving.

January 9, 1951

Stalin's Conference with East European Delegates

Stalin and Ministers from Eastern European countries discuss the current military status in Eastern Europe, focusing specifically on potential moves by the United States. Topics also included a discussion on the strength of Eastern European armed forces