The Hero of the execution labor: how the famous polar explorer Papanin liquidated the "enemies of the people"
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The Hero of the execution labor: how the famous polar explorer Papanin liquidated the "enemies of the people"

20 July , 19:32Society
Ivan Papanin, the doctor of Geography, the legendary explorer of the North, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, when he was a Chekist, loved to carry out the death sentences personally.

Unexpected facts from the life of a man who in the USSR was considered to be a role model, from whom propagandists sculpted the image of a "man of the communist future" are published by the Picturehistory blog.

It turns out that starting from the fall of 1920 to the spring of 1921, Papanin acted as the commandant of the Cheka in the Crimea, and was actively involved in the so-called "Red Terror", personally carrying out execution sentences handed down by the Extraordinary Commission. Papanin killed every day and on his conscience more than a dozen human lives - criminal elements and white officers. In addition, he participated in endless round-ups, searches, arrests, and also taught inexperienced young people the execution case, so he had to sleep without undressing, but Papanin did not like to remember this. Moreover, this kind of service caused him such a strong nervous breakdown that he spent several months in a psychiatric clinic. But on the basis of the results of the work of the Order of the Red Banner.

The publication publishes a letter sent to Stalin by the former head of the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs) department in Moscow and the Moscow region, Alexander Zhurbenko. There he reminded the leader of Papanin's past. However, Stalin reacted in his own way: Zhurbenko was also shot as an enemy of the people in 1940.

But Papanin in his memoirs, published in the 1970s, in every possible way emphasized the connection with the Chekists, including all the time after he resigned from the authorities. And all the same, for compatriots, it remained a model of humanity and scholarship, which brought so much benefit to the domestic science.

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