Natalya, however , remembers Yezhov with love. She has said in an interview “He spent a lot of time with me, more even than my mother did. He made tennis rackets for me. He made skates and skis. He made everything for me himself.” And the authors of the first English-language biography of Yezhov write, “At the dacha, Yezhov taught her to play tennis, skate, and ride a bicycle. He is remembered as a gentle, loving father showering her with presents and playing with her in the evenings after returning from the Lubyanka.
–Robert Chandler, “Appendix” to Vasily Grossman, The Road.
Yezhov was the head of NKVD and presided over the Stalinist terror during 1937 and 1938; after being replaced by Beria in 1939, he was shot in 1940. He was responsible for the deaths of close to a million people, including much of the Russian intelligentsia.
Yezhov was nice to his daughter. Stalin was nice to his daughter. Adolf Eichmann was nice to his kids. Hitler was nice to children and dogs.
People! Quit being nice to children!
That’s where it all starts!