Joseph Stalin -Nikolai Yezhov, walking with Stalin in the top photo from the 1930s, was killed in 1940. Following his execution, Yezhov was edited out of the photo by Soviet censors. Such retouching was a common occurrence during Stalin's rule.- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nikolai Yezhov, General Commissar of State Security (1936-40). An early Bolshevik, Yezhov climbed quickly to senior level; as NKVD chief he was responsible for the wave of repression that led to the Purges of the late 1930s. His increasing power led to his own purging on April 10, 1939, when he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to overthrow the communist state. He was shot on Feb 3, 1940 and his body cremated.