The Soviet Security Service and its Treatment of Novelists During the 1930s

  • Polly Corrigan

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis argues that the Soviet political police were exceptionally successful, efficient and ruthless in their actions throughout the 1930s. However, it will also go on to demonstrate that all this does not signify that the organisation was free of the complexity that historians have identified in so many other aspects of Soviet society. While it was a highly effective organisation, it was not well run, but prone to chaos, and to wasteful bureaucracy and high levels of upheaval. The effect that this had on the purges that characterized much of the 1930s, and the Great Terror of the mid-late 1930s, is a key topic that will be explored throughout this study. To explore these issues the thesis focusses on the experiences of writers in Ukraine and the manner in which they were persecuted by the Soviet political police. Drawing upon recently opened files in the former Soviet Union it portrays a new understanding not only of the political police in Ukraine in the 1930s, but of the relationship between different organs of the Soviet state.
Date of Award1 Mar 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorMichael Goodman (Supervisor)

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