This comprehensive monograph provides an in-depth analysis of Stalin’s secret Party chancellery, as well as several other secret structures within the Soviet Communist Party, the Soviet State Security Service, and the headquarters of the Communist International. Stalin’s chancellery numbered approximately 100 staff members from the mid-1920s and functioned as a kind of invisible service organ

This comprehensive monograph provides an in-depth analysis of Stalin’s secret Party chancellery, as well as several other secret structures within the Soviet Communist Party, the Soviet State Security Service, and the headquarters of the Communist International. Stalin’s chancellery numbered approximately 100 staff members from the mid-1920s and functioned as a kind of invisible service organ through which Stalin’s decisions were implemented — whether on social-economic change or on police matters and terror. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the formerly closed archives were, to a certain degree, opened for research. Since the mid-1990s, author Niels Erik Rosenfeldt has, on several occasions, visited these archives. Partly based on this research, he presents a thorough and groundbreaking study of some of the most secret structures of Soviet society. As a starting point, a detailed description is given of the principles and procedures for secrecy in the Soviet system of the 1920s. This is followed by an investigation of the development of Stalin’s secret chancellery, from the early 1920s to the death of Stalin in 1953, and of the various internal and external factors affecting the growth and shape of the secret apparatus during the same period. More specifically, there is a lengthy discussion of the role of the secret chancellery in the Soviet decision-making process. In the analysis of the Soviet State Security Service, the main emphasis is put on the network of the ultra-secret “special departments” and “special sections.” The examination of the apparatus of the Communist International focuses on the clandestine chancellery and communication departments which can, more or less directly, be compared to the structural pattern of Stalin’s secret chancellery and related offices in the Soviet Communist Party.

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