Political figure Lavrentiy Beria presided over the Soviet Union as Marshal under Joseph Stalin. In addition to leading the secret police, he served as the state security administrator. He was regarded as the heir apparent to Heinrich Himmler, the chief of Hitler’s Gestapo, and he was a key player in the purges of Joseph Stalin’s rivals. Beria was born in the Russian Empire in the town of Merkheuli. He became a member of the Communist Party at a young age and participated in uprisings in Georgia and Azerbaijan. He quickly rose to the position of secret police head in Georgia and developed a reputation for using brutal tactics. Over time, he progressed to become the chairman of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs. During the Second World War, he also held the positions of deputy prime minister and a member of the State Defense Committee. He also served as the minister of internal affairs. He eventually made an attempt to succeed Stalin alone by using his position as the head of the secret police. He was stripped of his government and party positions, nevertheless, and detained on treason-related accusations. Additionally accused of being an imperialist spy, he was ultimately put to death in the KGB headquarters’ basement.
Early Childhood & Life
On March 29, 1899, Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria was born in the Sukhum Okrug of the Kutais Governorate in Abkhazia, Georgia, which at the time was a part of the Russian Empire, in the village of Merkheuli close to the city of Sukhumi. Pavel Khukhaevich Beria and Marta Jaqueli were his parents. His siblings included two.
He joined the Bolsheviks while attending the Baku Polytechnicum, a technical university in Azerbaijan.
The career of Lavrentiy Beria
During the Russian Revolution, Beria got involved in counterintelligence operations in Georgia. He joined the Soviet Secret police in early 1921 and quickly gained a reputation for his brutality toward Bolshevik opponents. His violent behavior was once criticized by some Bolshevik leaders.
Beria rose to notoriety in 1924 during the nationalistic movement in Georgia for his part in putting an end to it. Approximately 10,000 individuals were put to death during the uprising. Along with his skill in manipulating the secret police, he gained Stalin’s favor, which helped him further his political goals.
He also developed a reputation for extorting promotions from his superiors. Frequently, he exposed them after setting them up with married ladies. He would take over their positions whenever they were forced to resign in disgrace.
In 1931, while the latter was on vacation in Georgia, he first met Stalin. Although it is suspected that Beria orchestrated the attempt himself to win Stalin’s favor, it is said that Beria protected Stalin from an assassination attempt.
He was also made Secretary of the Communist Party in 1931. A few years later, he joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee. His relationships with his Georgian Communist Party colleagues during this time deteriorated, and he ultimately gave the order to execute some of them.
Beria quickly rose to the position of one of Stalin’s most dependable men. In 1934, when Stalin began his purge of the Communist Party and administration, Beria oversaw the purges in Transcaucasia while also using the occasion to make amends with some of his long-standing grudges.
He arrived in Moscow in 1938 to work as Nikolai Yezhov’s deputy in the Commissariat for Internal Affairs, widely known as the NKVD. However, Yezhov was shortly put to death on Stalin’s orders, and as a result of Beria’s loyalty, he has appointed the head of the NKVD as well as the leader of the secret police.
Beria is rumored to have exploited the Great Purge as an opportunity to put many of Stalin’s former enemies to death. Additionally, he gave the order to execute thousands of political prisoners all at once. He oversaw the cleansing of the Secret Service bureaucracy and established numerous Gulag-style labor camps across the nation. Under Beria, more than 500 NVD agents and Red Army officers were also put to death. In addition, a great number of innocent people who had been wrongfully convicted of treason were put to death.
In February 1941, Beria was appointed as the USSR’s deputy prime minister. He also joined the State Defense Committee, and he oversaw the Soviet Union’s internal security apparatus throughout World War II. He also joined the Politburo, the body that formulates executive policy, in 1946.
Beria was tasked with handling the ethnic minority that was charged with anti-Soviet actions after the Germans were expelled from Soviet territory in 1944. They were sent to Soviet Central Asia as prisoners. His NKVD was in charge of overseeing the Soviet atomic bomb effort that year, which produced and tested a weapon in 1949, as well.
In 1945, the Soviet Union’s police ranks were changed to a military uniform system, and Beria was appointed Marshal. He was important in the Second World War. Stalin did not, however, appreciate his efforts. He also gained the ire of the majority of his party colleagues over time. He allegedly also abducted and violated young girls on Moscow’s streets.
Despite the fact that Beria and Stalin were well-known to be close, Stalin lost trust in Beria as he started to become overly paranoid. Stalin would have likely overthrown him, but he passed away unexpectedly in March 1954.
Beria oversaw the Internal Affairs Ministry and was one of the four deputy prime ministers appointed by Georgy Malenkov after Stalin’s death. He started undoing several of Stalin’s policies over the course of the following few years. Most of his coworkers were worried about this, especially Nikita Khrushchev.
Arrest, Trial, and Death
Beria tried to succeed Stalin by using his authority as the head of the secret police, but he was unsuccessful. Soon after, he was detained and stripped of all of his positions. He was hanged in December 1953 after being charged with being an “imperialist agent.” Along with him, several of his acquaintances and subordinates were detained, including Bogdan Kobulov, Sergey Goglidze, and Vladimir Dekanozov.
He was judged guilty of treason as well as attempted peace negotiations with Hitler because of allegations that he had close ties to foreign intelligence services. His significant role in the 1941 Purge of the Red Army led to his conviction for terrorism as well.
A lot of evidence also points to Beria’s abduction, rape, and murder of a number of young women while he was in power. Additionally, he is said to have extorted their families. But his family members, such as his son and wife, always refuted it.
Individual Life of Lavrentiy Beria
When Beria was in his early twenties, he wed Nina Gegechkori. So was the name of their kid.
Estimated Net Worth
The estimated net worth of Lavrentiy Beria is unknown.
Despite being accountable for innumerable murders, he is believed to have sobbed and begged for forgiveness before being put to death.
General Pavel Batitsky personally shot him in the forehead to end his life.