Beria, Lavrenti Pavlovich

Beria, Lavrenti Pavlovich

(ləvrĕn`tyē päv`ləvĭch bâ`rēə), 1899–1953, Soviet Communist leader, b. Georgia. He rose to prominence in the Cheka (secret police) in Georgia and the Transcaucasus, became party secretary in these areas, and in 1938 became head of the secret police. As commissar (later minister) of internal affairs, Beria wielded great power, and he was the first in this post to become (1946) a member of the politburo. After StalinStalin, Joseph Vissarionovich
, 1879–1953, Soviet Communist leader and head of the USSR from the death of V. I. Lenin (1924) until his own death, b. Gori, Georgia.
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's death (Mar., 1953), Beria was made first deputy premier under Premier MalenkovMalenkov, Georgi Maksimilianovich
, 1902–88, Soviet Communist leader. He rose to prominence through the party secretariat and was a trusted aide of Joseph Stalin. In 1946, he became a full member of the politburo and a deputy premier. He succeeded Stalin as premier in Mar.
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, but the alliance was shaky; in the ensuing struggle for power Beria was arrested (July) on charges of conspiracy. He and six alleged accomplices were tried secretly and shot in Dec., 1953.
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