March Plenum

The meeting of the Central Committee of the Estonian Communist Party in March 1950, where the replacement of the Estonian SSR leadership began, according to instructions from Moscow

The 8th Plenum or the March Plenum in 1950 is the most significant in the history of the Estonian Communist Party. It was summoned by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, who accused the Estonian Communist Party leadership of favouring bourgeois nationalism, the wrong cadre policy, and other leadership mistakes. The plenary session took place from 21 to 26 March 1950 in Tallinn. The Plenum replaced the party leader, Nikolai Karotamm, and the chairman of the Supreme Soviet Presidium, Eduard Päll. In addition to these two, four communists out of eight were sacked from the Communist Party Central Committee
The March Plenum can be regarded as an exemplary purge by Moscow. Similar operations were carried out after WW II in several Soviet Union regions with the aim of suppressing any local leadership initiative. It has also been seen as a reflection of a power struggle within the Soviet leadership. The struggle for power among the leadership of the Estonian SSR was also significant. The 8th Plenum was followed by extensive dismissal of communists and cultural figures accused of bourgeois nationalism, many of whom were persecuted.

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