In 1935, Stalin decided to purge his own party to consolidate power in the Soviet government. Since the inception of historical research about this event, a debate has developed regarding the number of arrests and deaths of Soviets ordered by Stalin. This study will examine the figures calculated by Western historians to determine where correlation and discrepancy exist. The importance of this research is to assess the reasons why such dramatic statistical differences exist among various historians. The historians’ sources show the difficulty of determining accurate figures because of the secretive nature of the Soviet government and only partial opening of Soviet archives.