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Vasily Blokhin, History’s Most Notorious Killer

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Ravi loves writing within the cusp of relationships, history, and the bizarre, where boundaries are blurred and possibilities are immense.

Vasili Blokhin  was arguably the most prolific executioner in modern history.

Vasili Blokhin was arguably the most prolific executioner in modern history.

The Man Who Enjoyed Killing

I am sure anybody who knows a bit about Soviet history would have heard about Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria.

Beria was the longest-survived and the most influential of Stalin's secret police chiefs of the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD). The responsibility of the NKVD was to ensure the internal security of the Soviet Union and it systematically ensured it through massive political repression, authorized murders of many thousands of politicians and citizens, kidnappings, assassinations, and mass deportations.

And besides being the ambassador of death, not many know that Beria was also a compulsive rapist. Every day, Beria would slowly drive in his armored Packard limousine through the streets of Moscow looking for girls who can fulfil his lust.

Once he zeroes on a girl, his henchmen would escort her to his mansion where food and wine would be set up for the night. There, in his soundproof bedroom, he would rape her throughout the night.

After the rape, she would be given a bouquet and instructed never to speak about it. If she protests, she would be arrested and sent to the Lubyanka. Beria was a serial rapist who abused the state apparatus for his personal benefit.

And on those rare occasions, when a girl ‘managed’ to escape his mansion, Beria would simply call his most trusted henchman to do the needful. The trusted henchman would ensure that she disappears from the face of the earth ‘conveniently’.

The henchman was Vasili Blokhin and he was arguably the most prolific executioner in modern history. Blokhin not only oversaw mass executions but is said to have personally killed more than 7000 people cold-bloodedly.

Beria was the longest-survived and the most influential of Stalin's secret police chiefs of the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD).

Beria was the longest-survived and the most influential of Stalin's secret police chiefs of the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD).

The Story of Vasily Blokhin

Blokhin was born in 1895 into a peasant family. He started his career as a non-commissioned officer in the 82nd Infantry Regiment with the Russian Czarist Army and in 1921, he joined the Cheka, the political police created by Lenin to persecute, torture, and execute all kinds of dissidents.

Here was where he caught the attention of Stalin for his remarkable killing abilities. Stalin asked him to lead the ‘Kommandatura’, a small section of the Executive Administrative Department of the NKVD that was responsible for intimidations, murders and murders by direct orders of Stalin.

Blokhin’s moment of nationwide fame came with the Katyn massacre. The gruesome killings were initiated by Beria on orders of Stalin in which a series of mass executions of nearly 22,000 Polish military officers and intelligentsia were carried out by the Soviet Union. The massacre is named after the Katyn where the mass graves were first discovered by the Nazis.

Blokhin was assigned the charge of the brutal operation and he went about doing it with great planning and precision.

The responsibility of the NKVD was to ensure the internal security of the Soviet Union and it systematically ensured it through massive political repression and authorized murders of many thousands of politicians and citizens.

The responsibility of the NKVD was to ensure the internal security of the Soviet Union and it systematically ensured it through massive political repression and authorized murders of many thousands of politicians and citizens.

One Execution every Two Minutes

To begin with, Blokhin procured large quantities of German Walther pistols preferring them over the Soviet Tokarev TT-30 that he believed to be inferior for such operations. He killed two birds with one stone doing this; the pistols were not only effective and comfortable but later on, if the crimes are discovered, the Soviets will be able to deny any involvement and blame the German Gestapo who used the pistols.

He sets an ambitious target of 300 executions per night. The killings were carried out in 10-hour shifts for 28 nights, at a rate of one execution every 3 minutes. He engineered an efficient killing system in which every prisoner was led individually into a small room painted red called ‘Leninist room’.

The room was specially designed with padded soundproofed walls, a sloping concrete floor with a drain and hose, and a log wall for the prisoners to stand against. Inside the room, Blokhin would be waiting along with the NKVD guards dressed like a self-styled executioner in a long leather apron, brown leather gloves, and a brown leather hat.

The guards will hold the prisoner down as Blokhin would shoot him expertly at the base of the skull with his Walther Model 2 pistol in such a way that less blood was spilled out. The corpse would then be removed through another door and dumped into a common grave. At the end of the night, Blokhin provided vodka to all his men to ‘celebrate’ the success.

Blokhin personally executed more than 7,000 Polish officers, thus becoming the greatest executioner in history.

Blokhin’s moment of nationwide fame came with the Katyn massacre. The gruesome killings were initiated by Beria on orders of Stalin in which a series of mass executions of nearly 22,000 Polish military officers and intelligentsia were carried out.

Blokhin’s moment of nationwide fame came with the Katyn massacre. The gruesome killings were initiated by Beria on orders of Stalin in which a series of mass executions of nearly 22,000 Polish military officers and intelligentsia were carried out.

The Downfall of Blokhin

The executioner of the NKVD became a hero of the Soviet Union. Besides other awards, he received the Order of Lenin – the highest civil decoration of the USSR – and the Order of the Patriotic War of 1st class, along with a generous pension of 3,150 rubles in a country where the average salary is 700 rubles.

Blokhin’s fortunes changed after the death of Stalin and when Nikita Khrushchev came to power condemning all the brutal policies of Stalin. Blokhin was stripped of his rank, eight of his decorations, and his pension. Blokhin could not bear the humiliation heaped on him and gradually sank into insanity and alcoholism.

He died in 1955. The official reason given was myocardial infarction, however many people believe that he committed suicide using his own Walther pistol. He is buried in the Muscovite cemetery of Novodevichy and to this day his portrait along with several others in his team continues to adorn the walls of the cemetery as national heroes.

The most brutal perpetrator of the Katyn massacre is still unpunished to this day.

Blokhin is buried in the Muscovite cemetery of Novodevichy and to this day his portrait along with several others in his team continues to adorn the walls of the cemetery as national heroes.

Blokhin is buried in the Muscovite cemetery of Novodevichy and to this day his portrait along with several others in his team continues to adorn the walls of the cemetery as national heroes.

Sources

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Ravi Rajan

Comments

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on October 03, 2021:

Thanks Flourish

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 03, 2021:

What a terrible man, and yet he is still honored by his country.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on October 01, 2021:

Thanks Joanne

Joanne Hayle from Wiltshire, U.K. on October 01, 2021:

Wow. The face of evil. And still considered a hero. Another excellent write.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on September 30, 2021:

Thanks Peggy for your comments.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 30, 2021:

What a terrible human being! As Bill wrote, it is sad that he was never punished for his crimes.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on September 30, 2021:

Thanks, Bill for your comments.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on September 30, 2021:

Thanks, John for your comments.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 30, 2021:

Never heard of him, but I'm happy he died. The only regret is he was never tried, convicted, and executed publicly, in Poland.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on September 30, 2021:

Wow, Ravi. I had never heard of either of these men. Both Beria and Blokhin were deplorable. Thank you for sharing this terrible piece of history.

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