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The NEPmen were businessmen and women in the young Soviet Union who took advantage of the opportunities for private trade and small-scale manufacturing created by the New Economic Policy (NEP). Their entrepreneurial activities, and their very existence, were an affront to the Communist Party and its goal of building socialism in the USSR. Yet, so long as state commercial and cooperative institutions were incapable of meeting the demand for goods and services, NEPmen were tolerated, however many former NEPmen ultimately fell victim to the repression of the Great Purges.


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