The Old Bolsheviks, Socialist Construction, and the Purges, 1923–1937

Evan Mawdsley and Stephen White

in The Soviet Elite from Lenin to Gorbachev

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198297383
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599842 | DOI:
The Old Bolsheviks, Socialist Construction, and the Purges, 1923–1937

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After 1923 the size of the Central Committee increased, but membership was still overwhelmingly made up of pre‐1917 party members or Old Bolsheviks. The system of ‘job‐slot representation’ quickly took shape and approached maturity in 1934. Ironically, this apparent stability coincided with the destruction of much of the ‘first generation’ leadership in Stalin's purges of 1937‐38. Two examples of new leaders who added to the CC in the 1920s and early 1930s, who had much in common with the makers of the 1917 revolution and who fell victim to the purges, were I. M. Vareikis and P. O. Liubchenko. The involvement of the Central Committee in the purges was complex, and its great extent was partly explained by the integrated nature of the elite.

Keywords: Central Committee; elite; jobs; P. O. Liubchenko; Old Bolsheviks; purges; J. V. Stalin; I. M. Vareikis

Chapter.  29223 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Politics

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