Lavrenti P. Beria

Lavrenti Pavlovich Beria (1899-1953) headed Stalin's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) and other Soviet intelligence and security organizations from 1938 until 1953 when his attempt to succeed Stalin failed and he was executed. Polmar and Allen, Spy Book, has a good, brief outline of Beria's career in terror.

Beria, Lavrenti P. On the History of Bolshevik Organizations of Transcaucasia. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1939. [Chambers]

Beria, Sergo. My Father: Inside Stalin's Kremlin. London: Duckworth, 2001.

Hansen, James H. "The Kremlin Follies of '53...The Demise of Lavrenti Beria." International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 4, no. 1 (Spring 1990): 101-114.

Knight, Amy. Beria: Stalin's First Lieutenant. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993. 1996. [pb] DK268B384K58

Surveillant 3.4/5 says Knight's book is a "comprehensive biography" of the individual who was "responsible for all intelligence, counterintelligence, and domestic security during the prewar and war years." The author "sees Beria's skill at psychological manipulation as the key to his relationship with Stalin.... More than a sycophant, he was Stalin's alter ego." Unsinger, IJI&C 7.1, believes that readers "expecting nuggets for the study of intelligence will be disappointed," because Knight "provides little more than a casual mention of a few operatives and events." This book is "easy to read and flows nicely."

To Legvold, FA 72.5 (Sep.-Oct. 1993), Knight "has pieced together as much as one can say" about Beria without benefit of the KGB archives. The "focus is less on the man than on the intersection between his career and the cruel doings of the regime's political watchdogs." Knight's account does not shed "much light on the reason" for some of Beria's later political positions.

Orlov, Alexander. "The Beria I Knew." Life, 20 Jul. 1953, 33, 35-36.

Rocca and Dziak: "In 1925 the author was commander of OGPU frontier troops in Trancaucasia. There he first met Lavrenti Beria.... From his vantage point Orlov was in a position to observe the beginning of Beria's rise."

Stein, Abe. "The Downfall of Beria." New International 19, no. 3 (May-Jun. 1953): 111-129. [Calder]

Stickle, E.M., ed. The Beria Affair. Commack, NY: Nova Science Publishers, 1992.

Surveillant 2.6 notes that this is an "English translation of the transcript" of the CPSU Central Committee Plenum of 2-7 July 1953. It details "the alleged crimes of Interior Minister and secret police chief Lavrenti Beria."

Whittlin, Thaddeus. Commissar: The Life and Death of Laventy Pavlovich Beria. New York: Macmillan, 1972.

Rocca and Dziak: "Unsourced assertions and apparent hearsay evidence limit its reliability."

Windle, Kevin. "From Ogre to 'Uncle Lawrence': The Evolution of the Myth of Beria in Russian Fiction from 1953 to the Present." Australian Slavic and East European Studies 3, no. 1 (1989): 1-16. [Calder]

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