Red Terror

From Academic Kids

The Red Terror was mass terror targeted at perceived counterrevolutionaries conducted in Russia by the Bolsheviks, shortly after the simultaneous successful assassination of Petrograd Cheka head Moisei Uritsky, and attempted assassination of Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin by Fanya Kaplan on August 30, 1918. The first announcement, published in Izvestiya, "Appeal to the Working Class" in September 3, 1918 called for the workers to "crush the hydra of counterrevolution with massive terror". This was followed by the decree "On Red Terror", issued September 5, 1918 by the Cheka. Casualties in the fall of 1918 exceeded 10,000.

This campaign marked the beginning of the Gulag with 70,000 imprisoned by September, 1921.

See Great Purge.

In contrast, the term "White Terror" was used to describe the killing of representatives of the Soviet leadership by the White Army.

The Red Terror was also a terror movement in 1919 during the period of the Hungarian Soviet Republic (see there).

Other well-known historical incidents of Red Terror include the chaotic violence instigated by the Red Guards in 1960s Maoist China, and Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam's brutalization of opposition from 1977-78.

Further reading

  • Nicolas Werth, Karel Bartosek, Jean-Louis Panne, Jean-Louis Margolin, Andrzej Paczkowski, Stephane Courtois, Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression, Harvard University Press, 1999, hardcover, 858 pages, ISBN 0674076087. Chapter 4: The Red Terror

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