Beria, Lavrenti Pavlovich
1899 - Born on the 29th of March in Merkheuli, in the Abkhazian region of Georgia. Soviet secret police chief.
- Educated at a technical school in Sukhumi.
1917 - Joined the Bolshevik Party and studied engineering in Baku.
- Beria joined the Cheka All-Russian Extraordinary Commission to Combat Counter-Revolution and Sabotage.
1921 - He served as a member of the OGPU (the forerunner of the KGB) in the Caucasus, before becoming first secretary of the Georgian Communist Party.
1922 - Beria was deputy head of the Vecheka's successor in Georgia.
1924 - He led the repression of nationalist disturbances in Georgia.
- Appointed head of the "secret-political division" of the Transcaucasian OGPU.
- Awarded the Order of the Red Banner.
1926 - Became head of the Georgian OGPU (Combined State Political Directorate).
1931 - He was appointed Party Secretary in Georgia.
1934 - Member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party.
1935 - Beria was one of Stalin's most trusted subordinates.
1938 - Stalin brought Beria to Moscow as Chairman of the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD).
- He was appointed minister for internal affairs by his patron, Stalin, and served as vice-president of the State Committee for Defense during World War II.
1939 - Became a candidate member of the Communist Party's Politburo.
1941 - Commissar General of State Security.
- In February, he became a Deputy Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom).
1944 - He was in-charge of dealing with the various ethnic minorities accused of collaboration.
1945 - Accorded the title Marshal of the Soviet Union.
1946 - Beria left the post as the head of the NKVD.
1948 - Moved to consolidate their power with a purge of Zhdanov's associates known as the "Leningrad Affair".
1953 - Appointed First Deputy Prime Minister and reappointed head of the MVD, which he merged with the MGB.
- On Stalin's death in March, he attempted to seize power, but was foiled by fearful military and party leaders.
- Pravda announced Beria's arrest on 10th of July crediting it to Malenkov and referring to Beria's "criminal activities against the Party and the State".
- Beria was executed on 23rd of December and his burial location remains a mystery.
- He was a plotter of ruthless ambition, and a notoriously skilled organizer of forced labour, terror, and espionage.
Page last updated: 2:59pm, 03rd Aug '07