Nikolai Yezhov

1895 - 1940

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Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov (Russian: Николай Иванович Ежов, IPA: [nʲɪkɐˈɫaj ɪˈvanəvʲɪt͡ɕ (j)ɪˈʐof]; 1 May 1895 – 4 February 1940) was a Soviet secret police official under Joseph Stalin who was head of the NKVD from 1936 to 1938, during the height of the Great Purge. Yezhov organized mass arrests, torture and executions during the Great Purge, but he fell from Stalin's favour and was arrested, subsequently admitting in a confession to a range of anti-Soviet activity including "unfounded arrests" during the Purge. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Nikolai Yezhov has received more than 2,400,567 page views. His biography is available in 51 different languages on Wikipedia (down from 52 in 2019). Nikolai Yezhov is the 1,165th most popular politician (down from 859th in 2019), the 130th most popular biography from Russia (down from 101st in 2019) and the 51st most popular Russian Politician.

Nikolai Yezhov was the head of the NKVD, the Soviet Union's secret police force, from 1936 to 1938. He is most famous for the Great Purge of 1937-1938, during which he orchestrated the arrests and executions of more than 1.5 million people.

Memorability Metrics

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    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 51

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 5.83

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.68

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)


Among politicians, Nikolai Yezhov ranks 1,165 out of 19,576Before him are Henry the Lion, Vasili III of Russia, Christian III of Denmark, Napoléon, Prince Imperial, Takeda Shingen, and David Lloyd George. After him are Mohamed Naguib, Baldwin III of Jerusalem, Ahmed Ben Bella, Sandra Mason, Michael VII Doukas, and Al-Mu'tasim.

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Among people born in 1895, Nikolai Yezhov ranks 20Before him are Mikhail Bakhtin, Paul Éluard, J. Edgar Hoover, Levi Eshkol, Henrik Dam, and Dolores Ibárruri. After him are Sergei Yesenin, Ludvík Svoboda, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Folke Bernadotte, Paul Hindemith, and Aleksandr Vasilevsky. Among people deceased in 1940, Nikolai Yezhov ranks 10Before him are Paul Klee, Walter Benjamin, Neville Chamberlain, J. J. Thomson, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Robert Wadlow. After him are Carl Bosch, Peter Behrens, Arthur Harden, Emma Goldman, Manuel Azaña, and Verner von Heidenstam.

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In Russia

Among people born in Russia, Nikolai Yezhov ranks 130 out of 3,761Before him are Joseph Brodsky (1940), Mikhail Lermontov (1814), Mikhail Botvinnik (1911), Anatoly Karpov (1951), Vasili IV of Russia (1552), and Vasili III of Russia (1479). After him are Sergei Yesenin (1895), Valery Legasov (1936), Alexei Rykov (1881), Anna Pavlovna of Russia (1795), Dmitry Donskoy (1350), and Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna of Russia (1897).


Among politicians born in Russia, Nikolai Yezhov ranks 51Before him are Ivan V of Russia (1666), Sergey Kirov (1886), Feodor III of Russia (1661), False Dmitry I (1581), Vasili IV of Russia (1552), and Vasili III of Russia (1479). After him are Alexei Rykov (1881), Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna of Russia (1897), Walther Funk (1890), Sergey Shoygu (1955), Genrikh Yagoda (1891), and Feodor II of Russia (1589).