Soviet Secret Police Chief. He was the former head of the Soviet NKVD, forerunner of the Russian KGB. He joined the Bolshevik Party in 1917 and rose to prominence in the Russian Republic of Georgia. He served as head of the local Georgian secret police, and was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for suppressing and murdering thousands of anti-Soviet nationalists. In 1938 he was summoned to Moscow to head the NKVD, and served as one of Joseph Stalin's most trusted friends and political subordinates. He is best remembered for his brutal participation in the party purges of the 1930's in which millions of innocent Russian citizens, political opponents and high ranking military officials were tortured, imprisoned and executed. He became a member of Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1934 and was appointed as Commissar General of State Security in 1941. In 1945 he was awarded the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union and the following year he was appointed as an elite member of the Soviet Politburo. Following the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953 he was arrested and put on trial for allegedly planning the political overthrow of Nikita Khrushchev, although he was publicly accused of working as a spy for the British Government. Following a brief six day show trial he was executed for high crimes and treason against the state.
Bio by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.
Sergo Lavrentievich Beria