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The Man Who Personally Executed Over 7000 People in 28 Days One at a Time

The Man Who Personally Executed Over 7000People in 28 Days The most prolific executioner of all timeis a man by the name of Vasili Blokhin. Born to a Russian peasant family in 1895,as a young man he quickly earned a reputation for “chernaya rabota�, or “black work�,while serving in the Tsarist army during World War I gaining recognition from Stalin himselffor his covert assassinations, torture, and executions. Blokhin quickly rose through theranks of Russia's secret police at the time—the NKVD—eventually becoming the head of theKommandatura department. The members of the department were approvedby Stalin and took orders directly from him.

Under the guise of other positions, VasiliBlokhin was officially a commandant of a prison the department carried out black work missionsspecific to furthering Stalin's cause. Blokhin oversaw many mass executions and executedseveral highprofile individuals himself, including Mikhail Tukachevsky, Marshal ofthe Soviet Union, and two of the former NKVD chiefs under whom he had previously served.But Blokhin's most infamous deed was performed at the bloody Katyn Massacre. In 19', justover two weeks after Germany invaded Poland, Soviet forces entered the eastern side ofPoland. Though they didn't officially declare war, they captured over 20,000 Polish officersand detained them in Soviet prison camps.

On March 5, 1940, Stalin himself ordered theexecutions of all Polish officers, who would then be dumped in mass graves.Over a twentyeight day period, Vasili Blokhin personally performed over 7000 of these Polishexecutions at Katyn. Usually, the executions would take place from dusk til dawn, withBlokhin preferring to work at night for these types of tasks. Blokhin would work nearlyuninterrupted each night, reportedly killing a prisoner about every two or three minutes,averaging around 300 executions per night. The executions would go like this: after signingidentification papers, officers were led with their arms bound into a small room that wasequipped with soundproofed walls, a drain,

a hose, and a door or hatch it was a roomdesigned for executions. Forced to their knees, a member of the Kommandatura would delivera single shot to the back of the prisoners' heads, killing them instantly. Their bodieswould be dragged through the second door, the room would be hosed down, and the nextprisoner would be brought in. Blokhin favoured the 7.65 mm Walther PPK pistolfor these types of executions. It didn't have as much of a kickback as other guns,which meant less pain in his wrist after performing hundreds of executions every day. The pistolsalso rarely misfired, which meant the victims could be killed with one shot nearly everytime someone pulled the trigger. For the Soviet

government, the pistols were favoured becausethey were the make carried by German officers. In the event that the mass graves were discovered,the bodies would contain bullets from a Germanstyle pistol and the Soviets could deny responsibilityfor the deaths. On April 27, 1940, Blokhin was rewarded withthe Order of the Red Banner for carrying out this amazingly bloody organized mass killing.The Order was traditionally given to military personnel who displayed “exceptional courage,selfdenial, and valour during combat�. He was given the order secretly in order toprotect the secret nature of the killings. In 1941, Stalin found himself in an alliancewith the Polish government after the Germans

invaded Russia. He released hundreds of thousandsof Poles from prison camps, and was pressed on several occasions to account for the missingPOWs. Stalin pled ignorance, but in 1943 the truth began to emerge with the discovery ofthe mass graves at Katyn. The Soviet government denied all responsibility and blamed the Germans.It wasn't until 1990 and Mikhail Gorbachev's institution of openness that the truth wasrevealed through a series of documents highlighting the country's role in the massacre.Blokhin didn't live to see his deeds publically recognized. Following Stalin's death in1953, he was forced to retire. During the deStalinization campaign that followed, Blokhinwas stripped of his rank and turned to alcoholism.

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