This article offers a case study of a commissariat and its members during Stalin's purges. It considers the effects of the purges on diplomats and on Soviet diplomacy, adding new dimensions to previous works, in particular dealing with how the Foreign Commissar Maksim Maksimovich Litvinov and the Soviet diplomats serving under him responded to the purges, what their opinions of them were, and how they dealt with the challenge of explaining the purges to observers abroad, as well as examining the numbers that perished, what they were accused of, why the Narkomindel was so vulnerable to the purges, how the Narkomindel struggled to function effectively during a difficult time in Soviet foreign relations, and how the regime achieved a withdrawal from international affairs.
|Number of pages
|Slavonic and East European Review
|Published - Jan 2008