Georgian Surnames

Beria, Lavrenti Pavlovich

(1899–1953)

Lavrenti Beria was born in 29 March, 1899 in Merkheuli, Georgia. He was Soviet Communist leader. He began his career in Georgia 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 KGB, during much of Stalin's rule.

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 Stalin's death (Mar., 1953), Beria was made first deputy premier under Premier Malenkov, 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 23 December, 1953.

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