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Cold Red Tsar: Joseph Stalin

Joseph Stalin (18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953), born Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jugashvili, was dictator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (the U.S.S.R or the Soviet Union) from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. His subsequent reign of terror cemented him as one of the most ruthless and murderous dictators in history. His system of government was known as Stalinism.

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Cold Red Tsar: Joseph Stalin

  1. 1. About Joseph Stalin Joseph Stalin (18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953), born Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jugashvili, was dictator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (the U.S.S.R or the Soviet Union) from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. His subsequent reign of terror cemented him as one of the most ruthless and murderous dictators in history. His system of government was known as Stalinism.
  2. 2. Table of Contents Early Life Rise to Power The Dictator World War II The Red Terror Post-War Era Death of a Dictator & Destalinization
  3. 3. Early Life
  4. 4. Boyhood & Education  Joseph Stalin was born Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili on December 18, 1879 in Gori, Georgia, The Russian Empire.  His mother was was Ketevan Geladze, who was born to a family of Georgian Orthodox Christian serfs in Gambareuli, Imperial Russia (now in Georgia), in 1858.  His father Besarion Jughashvili, who worked as a cobbler, was born in 1850 in Gardabani, Georgia.  His father slid into alcoholism, which made him abusive to his family and caused his business to fail.
  5. 5. Boyhood & Education cont. Ioseb aged 15 (left) and 23 (right)
  6. 6.  When Ioseb was 16, He received a scholarship to study at Tiflis Theological Seminary to become a priest.  While at the seminary, he began secretly reading the work of German social philosopher and “Communist Manifesto” author Karl Marx.  He became interested in revolutionary causes against the Russian monarch.  He renounced Christianity and became an atheist at the age of 19.  In 1899, He was expelled from the seminary for missing his final exams. Boyhood & Education cont.
  7. 7.  Jughashvili was accepted into the Russian Social Democratic Labor (Marxist) Party.  Koba was among various false names that Jughashvili used to carry on underground activity in the Caucacus Mountains region.  Among his activities, he distributed propaganda, ordered assassinations, provoked strikes, and staged bank robberies to fund the Bolshevik cause .  In 1902, Jughashvili was arrested for his revolutionary activities and exiled to Siberia. Young Revolutionist
  8. 8.  In 1903, Russian Social Democratic Labor Party was split into two major groups: the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks .  The Bolsheviks was headed by Vladimir Lenin. Lenin wanted party members be limited to a small body of devoted revolutionaries. The Mensheviks wanted its members to represent a wider group of people.  In January 1904, Jughashvili returned to Tbilisi from exile and joined the Bolsheviks. Young Revolutionist cont.
  9. 9.  Jughashvili married his first wife, Ekaterina Svanidze, in 1906 while he was in exile. She bore him a son Yakov a year later.  Jughashvili treated his son Yakov with contempt , calling him a weakling after an unsuccessful suicide attempt in the late 1920s.  Ekaterina died a year later from typhus.  Jughashvili would later state that other than his mother Ekaterina may have been the only person he truly loved. At her funeral Jughashvili said: "This creature softened my heart of stone. She died and with her, died my last warm feelings for humanity." Young Revolutionist cont.
  10. 10. Stalin Becomes Editor of ‘Pravda’  Jughashvili adopted the name "Stalin" from the Russian word meaning“steel.”  Stalin served as the editor of Pravda (Russian: “Truth”) in 1913.  Wrote his first treatise, Marxism and the National Question in 1914.  Pravda was the organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union between 1912 and 1991.  Pravda became the leading newspaper of the Soviet Union after the October Revolution.
  11. 11. The Russian Revolution  In February 1917, the Russian Revolution began.  Finally on March 15, 1917, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated his throne. A provisional (temporary) government, run mostly by liberals, took over the government.  Stalin and other Bolsheviks were released from exile in Siberia.  Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin denounced the provisional government and urged that the people should rise up and take control by seizing land from the rich and factories from the industrialists.  By October, the Bolsheviks were in full control.
  12. 12. Rise to Power
  13. 13. The October Revolution (commonly refered to as the Bolshevik Revolution)  The Bolshevik revolution began with an armed uprising in Petrograd traditionally dated to 25 October 1917 by the Julian calendar (7 November 1917 by the Gregorian calendar).  Lenin worked very closely with Leon Trotsky in the Bolshevik Revolution. Stalin played an important but not decisive part in the revolution.  Following the revolution, Lenin became head of the new Bolshevik (later called Communist) government. Russia was the first Communist state.  Stalin was named commissar of nationalities.
  14. 14. The Russian Civil War (1918-1922)  The Brest-Litovsk Peace is signed between Russia and Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire (Turkey).  The name of the party is changed from the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party to the Communist Party of Russia (Bolsheviks) RCP (B).  A civil war broke out after the Bolshevik takeover of the government.  The two largest combatant forces were the Red Army (Bolsheviks) and the White Army (Anti-Bolshevik, anti-Communist).
  15. 15. The Russian Civil War (1918-1922) cont.  A loose confederation of anti-Bolshevik forces rebelled against the new Communist government . They include monarchist, republicans, conservatives, middle-class citizens, reactionaries, pro- monarchists, liberals, army generals, non-Bolshevik socialists and democratic reformists.  Foreign nations intervened against the Red Army, notably the Allied Forces and the pro-German armies  The former Tsar Nicholas II and his family were executed in July 1918.  In March 1919, The Communist International, the Comintern is founded in Moscow.
  16. 16. Stalin appointed General Secretary of the RCP (B)  Joseph Stalin Marries Nadezhda Alliluyeva. They had two children together: Vasily, born in 1921, who became a fighter pilot (C.O. of 32 GIAP) at Stalingrad, and Svetlana, their daughter, born 1926.  Polish–Soviet War: The Galician Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) was established in Ternopil.  The Bolsheviks won the civil war in 1920.  In February 1921, the Red Army invades Georgia.  At the Tenth Congress of the RCP (B) under Lenin’s leadership introduces the New Economic Policy and bans factionalism (organized opposition) in the party.  Stalin is elected Secretary-General of the RCP (B).
  17. 17. The Creation of the USSR the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics The Russian SFSR was established on November 7, 1917 (October Revolution) as a sovereign state. The first Constitution was adopted in 1918. In December 1922 Russian SFSR signed the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR.
  18. 18. The Death of Lenin  In January 4th, 1923, Lenin , very ill, has added a postscript to his earlier testament:  "Stalin is too rude, and this fault... becomes unbearable in the office of General Secretary. Therefore, I propose to the comrades to find a way to remove Stalin from that position and appoint to it another man... more patient, more loyal, more polite and more attentive to comrades, less capricious, etc. This circumstance may seem an insignificant trifle, but I think that from the point of view of preventing a split and from the point of view of the relations between Stalin and Trotsky... it is not a trifle, or it is such a trifle as may acquire a decisive significance.“  In January 21st, 1924, Lenin dies in Gorky, near Moscow.
  19. 19. The Dictator
  20. 20. Stalin takes over  After Lenin’s death, Stalin suggested that Lenin’s body be put on permanent display in a mausoleum to be erected on Red Square.  At the Second All-Union Congress of Soviets Stalin presents himself as the leading follower of Lenin.  The leading Bolsheviks learned of Lenin’s testament . The letter speaks of the qualities of the leading Bolsheviks, and in Lenin’s postscript, in which he speaks of Stalin’s character defects. The letter is read to the Congress.  Trotsky and Stalin clashed over the future strategy of the country. Stalin favoured what he called "socialism in one country" whereas Trotsky still supported the idea of world revolution.
  21. 21. Stalin takes over cont.  The 14th Party Congress adopts Stalin’s view on industrialization. The Russian Communist Party is renamed the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.  The 15th Party Congress confirms the expulsion of Trotsky and Grigory Zinoviev from the party itself.  The Congress decides on the collectivisation of agriculture and the drafting of a five-year plan for the Soviet economy.  The main victor is Stalin.
  22. 22. Stalin’s Second Wife Dies After a public spat with Stalin at a party dinner, Nadezhda Alliluyeva was found dead in her bedroom of an apparent suicide. A revolver was found by her side. Nadezhda Alliluyeva ‘s grave at Novodevichy Cemetery
  23. 23. The Five-Year Plan  Leon Trotsky is exiled from the Soviet Union.  The 16th Part Congress adopts the first Five-Year Plan for the development of the Soviet economy, signifies the end of the New Economic Policy.  Collectivisation of agriculture begins; numerous relatively prosperous peasants, or Kulaks, killed; millions of peasant households eliminated and their property confiscated.  Stalin ended private farming and transferred the control of farms, farm equipment, and livestock to the government.  the destruction of livestock and grain caused widespread famine. Millions died of starvation.  The 17th Party Congress. Stalin states that the Soviet Union has been transformed from an agrarian country into an industrial state.
  24. 24. The Red Terror
  25. 25. The Great Terror 1934-1938  Sergei Kirov is murdered by one of Stalin’s agents.  Kamenev, Zinoviev, and others are arrested, accused of treason and complicity in Kirov’s assissination. Kamenev gets 5 imprisonment and Zinoviev gets 10 years. Zinoviev’s supporters are exiled to Siberia.  In August 19-24, 1936 – First Moscow Show Trial (the Trial of the 16) against the Trotsky-Zinoviev Center. The main accused Kamenev and Zinoviev confess and are executed. Mikhail Tomsky committed suicide on August 23rd.
  26. 26. The Great Terror 1934-1938 cont.  In January 1937 – Second Moscow Show Trial against 17 members of the anti-Soviet Trotskyist Center. 13 are sentenced to death and shot. The others received a 10 year imprisonment.  In June 1937. Mass purge of the Soviet military begins. The arrest of leading military officers (Marshal Tukhachevsky, Deputy People’s Commissar for Defence, and 6 generals) is announced. In a secret trial they are sentenced to death and executed.
  27. 27. The Great Terror 1934-1938 – The Last Show Trial  In March 1938 – Third Moscow Show Trial (the Trial of the Twenty-One) against the anti-Soviet bloc of the right and the Trotskyist s’ involving 21 accused, including Rykov and Bukharin. On March 13, 18 are sentenced to death and executed on March 15.  At the 18th Party Congress of the Completion of the Victory of Socialism, Stalin states that the goal is to catch up and surpass the developed capitalist countries in the West. Stalin also speaks of a construction of a classless socialist society.
  28. 28. In this famous image, Nikolai Yezhov is shown with Voroshilov, Molotov, and Stalin inspecting the White Sea Canal In this second image, Yezhov, having been purged, has been replaced by a stretch of the canal bank and canal The Great Terror 1934-1938
  29. 29. World War II
  30. 30. The German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact Molotov and von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, sign in Moscow the German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact – agreeing not to go to war against each other.
  31. 31. The German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact  By the late 1930s, German dictator Adolf Hitler was ready to conquer Europe.  The Soviet Union & Nazi Germany divided Poland by a treaty signed in September 1939.  After Germany invaded Poland, the United Kingdom and France declared war on Germany. World War II had begun.  Germany quickly conquered western Poland. The Soviet Union conquered the eastern part.
  32. 32. The Soviet-Finnish (or Winter) War  Finland refused to allow Soviet bases on their soil.  Moscow breaks off diplomatic relations on November 28, 1939  The Soviet Union invaded Finland on November 30, 1939.  After months of bitter struggle, the Soviet Union took a large portion of Finland.
  33. 33. The Baltic States  The Soviet Union demands that the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) permit Soviet bases on their soil and to elect governments as loyal puppets of Moscow.  On July 21-22, 1940, the Baltic States were transformed into Soviet republics and as part of the Soviet Union (August 3-6).
  34. 34. Germany invades the Soviet Union  Field Marshal von Brauchitsch, Commander in Chief of the Nazi German army, is ordered by Adolf Hitler to begin for invasion of the Soviet Union.  Leon Trotsky, one of Vladimir Lenin’s closest allies, is assassinated in Mexico by Stalin’s agents.  Hitler signs instruction no. 21, Operation Barbarossa.  British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Franklin Roosevelt warned Stalin of a possible German invasion. Stalin ignored the warnings.  In May 1941, Stalin named himself premier of the Soviet Union.  Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union the next month.
  35. 35. Germany invades the Soviet Union  After German units attack the Soviet Union without a declaration of war, Prime Minister Churchill and US President Roosevelt offer Stalin assistance.  In a radio broadcast, Stalin proclaims the Great Patriotic (Fatherland) War.  The 900-day horrific Siege of Leningrad (September 1941 – January 1944)  665,000 Red Army prisoners in the battle of Kiev.  Battle for Moscow; Hitler calls it Operation Typhon.  Japanese navy attacks Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The United States declares war on Japan.
  36. 36. War Leader  In March 1943, Stalin took the military title Marshal of the Soviet Union.  In May 18 1944 Stalin deports the Crimean Tatars from Crimea, with almost half dying from hunger, thirst and disease.  The “Big Three” (Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt) met at Tehran, Iran and agree to work together until Germany was defeated. The leaders met again early in 1945 at Yalta in the Crimea to discuss the military occupation of Germany after the war.  On April 12, 1945, US President Roosevelt dies and Vice- President Harry Truman becomes President.
  37. 37. The "Big Three" at the Tehran Conference Left to right: Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin met together for the last time at Yalta War Leader
  38. 38. War Leader  On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler commits suicide.  On May 2nd, Berlin capitulates to the Red Army.  The United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain agree on the political and economic goals of their occupation policy in Germany at the Potsdam Conference.  On August 6, The US drops the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan  On August 9, The US drops another atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan  The Soviet Union invades the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. Japan surrenders on August 15.
  39. 39. Post-War Era
  40. 40. The Cold War – The Iron Curtain  Following the end the Second World War, Stalin gradually cut off almost all contact between the Soviet Union and the West.  The Soviet Union, Belorussia, and the Ukraine joins the UN as founding members.  Stalin’s Red Army is renamed the Soviet Army.  Stalin sets up puppet Communist governments in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania.  British Prime Minister Winston Churchill says that these countries lay behind the Iron Curtain, referring to the Soviet barriers against the West.
  41. 41. The Cold War – The Truman Doctrine  US President Harry Truman proclaims the Truman Doctrine which promises US help to countries threatened by communism.  Stalin rejects the Marshall Plan, an American initiative to provide aid to Europe which was devastated in WWII.  The Berlin Blockade: Stalin tries to drive the Allies out of West Berlin by blockading the city. Land, waterways, food and supplies to West Berlin and East are blocked.  On May 1949, Stalin ended the blockade of Berlin.  Stalin expels the Communist Party of Yugoslavia from Cominform ( The Communist Information Bureau)
  42. 42. The Cold War – China  On October 1, 1949, Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong proclaims the People's Republic of China.  In December Mao visits the Kremlin and meets with Stalin.  The Soviet Union and China conclude a treaty of friendship and mutual assistance for 30 years.
  43. 43. The Cold War – The Korean War 1950-1953  Stalin gives permission to Communist leader Kim Il Sung of North Korea to invade South Korea.  The Korean war begins on June 25, 1950.  June 27, 1950 – US President Truman commits US Naval and Air support to South Korea.
  44. 44. Death of a Dictator and Destalinization
  45. 45. The Death of Stalin  January 1953 – announcement of Jewish Doctors’ Plot against St.alin. Nine Kremlin doctors are arrested and held responsible for the deaths of leading Soviet politicans.  Stalin dies from a heart attack on March 5th.
  46. 46. Destalinization At the 20th Party Congress, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev denounces Stalin as a criminal and exposes the cruelty of his dictatorship. Khrushchev discussed the cult of personality that Stalin had fostered and the crimes he had perpetrated, including the execution, torture and imprisonment of loyal party members on false charges.

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Joseph Stalin (18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953), born Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jugashvili, was dictator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (the U.S.S.R or the Soviet Union) from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. His subsequent reign of terror cemented him as one of the most ruthless and murderous dictators in history. His system of government was known as Stalinism.


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