PDF | 20 minutes read | Between and , Joseph Stalin was the undisputed totalitarian and/or religious purges throughout the world since, revealing .. cluded rejecting Christianity's God and creating the Secret. World History II. The Big fisdupartmerworl.ml Joseph came in contact with Messame Dassy, a secret organization that. published in his lifetime was a political biography lionising Joseph Stalin, the remainder of his life and that, moreover, clearly presage his turn to Communism. . 'secret speech', Khrushchev marked the beginning of the end of that.
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Joseph Stalin (Wicked History (Paperback)) By Sean Mccollum pdf .. [PDF] A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII by. BY JOSEPH STALIN. •INTERNATIONAL . colonial and dependent peoples throughout the world. Im- agerial ability and the knowledge of all the 'secrets' 0. How did Stalin come to power and how did he make the. USSR into a world power? The Rise of Stalin in the USSR Helped to form Russia's secret police force.
In , the Politburo announced the mass collectivisation of agriculture ,  establishing both kolkhozy collective farms and sovkhoz state farms. Armed peasant uprisings against dekulakisation and collectivisation broke out in Ukraine, northern Caucasus, southern Russia, and central Asia, reaching their apex in March ; these were suppressed by the Red Army. By mid he was unable to rally sufficient support in the party to oppose the reforms.
Officially, the Soviet Union had replaced the "irrationality" and "wastefulness" of a market economy with a planned economy organised along a long-term, precise, and scientific framework; in reality, Soviet economics were based on ad hoc commandments issued from the centre, often to make short-term targets.
Many of the major construction projects, including the White Sea-Baltic Canal and the Moscow Metro , were constructed largely through forced labour. In , Stalin declared that class war between the proletariat and their enemies would intensify as socialism developed.
Stalin desired a "cultural revolution",  entailing both the creation of a culture for the "masses" and the wider dissemination of previously elite culture. Throughout the s and beyond, Stalin placed a high priority on foreign policy. Wells , both of whom were impressed with him.
Stalin faced problems in his family life. In , his son Yakov unsuccessfully attempted suicide; his failure earned Stalin's contempt. Within the Soviet Union, there was widespread civic disgruntlement against Stalin's government. The Soviet Union experienced a major famine which peaked in the winter of —33 ;  between five and seven million people died.
In —36, Stalin oversaw a new constitution; its dramatic liberal features were designed as propaganda weapons, for all power rested in the hands of Stalin and his Politburo. Seeking improved international relations, in the Soviet Union secured membership of the League of Nations , of which it had previously been excluded.
When the Spanish Civil War broke out in July , the Soviets sent aircraft and tanks to the left-wing Republican faction ; these were accompanied by Soviet troops and 42, members of the International Brigades set up by the Communist International. Stalin often gave conflicting signals regarding state repression. Stalin orchestrated the arrest of many former opponents in the Communist Party as well as sitting members of the Central Committee: During the s and s, NKVD groups assassinated defectors and opponents abroad;  in August , Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico, eliminating the last of Stalin's opponents among the former Party leadership.
Repressions further intensified in December and remained at a high level until November , a period known as the Great Purge. Stalin initiated all key decisions during the Terror, personally directing many of its operations and taking an interest in their implementation. As a Marxist—Leninist, Stalin expected an inevitable conflict between competing capitalist powers; after Nazi Germany annexed Austria and then part of Czechoslovakia in , Stalin recognised this war was looming.
He sought to maintain Soviet neutrality, hoping that a German war against France and Britain would lead to Soviet dominance in Europe.
As Britain and France seemed unwilling to commit to an alliance with the Soviet Union, Stalin saw a better deal with the Germans. The Soviets further demanded parts of eastern Finland, but the Finnish government refused. The speed of the German victory over and occupation of France in mid took Stalin by surprise.
Plans were made for the Soviet government to evacuate to Kuibyshev , although Stalin decided to remain in Moscow, believing his flight would damage troop morale. Against the advice of Zhukov and other generals, Stalin emphasised attack over defence. The Soviets allied with the United Kingdom and United States;  although the US joined the war against Germany in , little direct American assistance reached the Soviets until late In April Stalin overrode Stavka by ordering the Soviets' first serious counter-attack, an attempt to seize German-held Kharkov in eastern Ukraine.
This attack proved unsuccessful. By November , the Soviets had begun to repulse the important German strategic southern campaign and, although there were 2. In Allied countries, Stalin was increasingly depicted in a positive light over the course of the war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt , who were together known as the "Big Three".
Using the idea of collective responsibility as a basis, Stalin's government abolished their autonomous republics and between late and deported the majority of their populations to Central Asia and Siberia. In February , the three leaders met at the Yalta Conference. Churchill was concerned that this was the case, and unsuccessfully tried to convince the US that the Western Allies should pursue the same goal.
And what is so awful in his having fun with a woman, after such horrors? With Germany defeated, Stalin switched focus to the war with Japan , transferring half a million troops to the Far East.
Soviet, U. After the war, Stalin was—according to Service—at the "apex of his career". Despite his strengthened international position, Stalin was cautious about internal dissent and desire for change among the population. In this he recalled the Decembrist Revolt by Russian soldiers returning from having defeated France in the Napoleonic Wars.
About half were then imprisoned in labour camps. By January , three percent of the Soviet population was imprisoned or in internal exile, with 2. The NKVD were ordered to catalogue the scale of destruction during the war.
Stalin allowed the Russian Orthodox Church to retain the churches it had opened during the war. Stalin's health was deteriorating, and heart problems forced a two-month vacation in the latter part of In the post-war period there were often food shortages in Soviet cities,  and the USSR experienced a major famine from to The US began pushing its interests on every continent, acquiring air force bases in Africa and Asia and ensuring pro-U.
The US also offered financial assistance as part of the Marshall Plan on the condition that they opened their markets to trade, aware that the Soviets would never agree. In , Stalin edited and rewrote sections of Falsifiers of History , published as a series of Pravda articles in February and then in book form. Written in response to public revelations of the Soviet alliance with Germany, it focused on blaming Western powers for the war.
After the war, Stalin sought to retain Soviet dominance across Eastern Europe while expanding its influence in Asia. Churchill observed that an " Iron Curtain " had been drawn across Europe, separating the east from the west. Stalin suggested that a unified, but demilitarised, German state be established, hoping that it would either come under Soviet influence or remain neutral.
In October , Mao took power in China. Initially Stalin refused to repeal the Sino-Soviet Treaty of , which significantly benefited the Soviet Union over China, although in January he relented and agreed to sign a new treaty between the two countries.
At the end of the Second World War, the Soviet Union and the United States divided up the Korean Peninsula, formerly a Japanese colonial possession, along the 38th parallel , setting up a communist government in the north and a pro-Western government in the south.
The Soviet Union was one of the first nations to extend diplomatic recognition to the newly created state of Israel in In his later years, Stalin was in poor health. From until his death, Stalin only gave three public speeches, two of which lasted only a few minutes. It sought to provide a guide to leading the country for after his death. On 1 March , Stalin's staff found him semi-conscious on the bedroom floor of his Volynskoe dacha. Stalin's death was announced on 6 March. Stalin left no anointed successor nor a framework within which a transfer of power could take place.
Stalin claimed to have embraced Marxism at the age of fifteen,  and it served as the guiding philosophy throughout his adult life;  according to Kotkin, Stalin held "zealous Marxist convictions",  while Montefiore suggested that Marxism held a "quasi-religious" value for Stalin. Rieber noted that he had been raised in "a society where rebellion was deeply rooted in folklore and popular rituals". I stand on the ground of the latter". As a Marxist, Stalin believed in an inevitable class war between the world's proletariat and bourgeoise.
Stalin adhered to the Leninist variant of Marxism. Whereas Lenin believed that all countries across Europe and Asia would readily unite as a single state following proletariat revolution, Stalin argued that national pride would prevent this, and that different socialist states would have to be formed; in his view, a country like Germany would not readily submit to being part of a Russian-dominated federal state.
Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great. Stalinism was a development of Leninism,  and while Stalin avoided using the term "Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism", he allowed others to do so.
This concept was intricately linked to factional struggles within the party, particularly against Trotsky.
The Secret File of Joseph Stalin
For this reason, he retained the Leninist view that world revolution was still a necessity to ensure the ultimate victory of socialism. Stalin viewed nations as contingent entities which were formed by capitalism and could merge into others. He argued that Jewish nationalism, particularly Zionism , was hostile to socialism. Ethnically Georgian,  Stalin grew up speaking the Georgian language,  and did not begin learning Russian until the age of eight or nine.
Georgian by nationality, Russian by loyalty, internationalist by ideology, Soviet by citizenship. Stalin had a soft voice,  and when speaking Russian did so slowly, carefully choosing his phrasing.
Trotsky and several other Soviet figures promoted the idea that Stalin was a mediocrity. Stalin could play different roles to different audiences,  and was adept at deception, often deceiving others as to his true motives and aims.
Stalin was ruthless,  temperamentally cruel,  and had a propensity for violence high even among the Bolsheviks. Averell Harriman . Keenly interested in the arts,  Stalin admired artistic talent.
Stalin was a keen and accomplished billiards player,  and collected watches. Stalin publicly condemned anti-Semitism,  although was repeatedly accused of it. Friendship was important to Stalin,  and he used it to gain and maintain power.
Stalin was attracted to women and there are no reports of any homosexual tendencies;  according to Montefiore, in his early life Stalin "rarely seems to have been without a girlfriend". Stalin married his first wife, Ekaterina Svanidze, in According to Montefiore, theirs was "a true love match";  Volkogonov suggested that she was "probably the one human being he had really loved".
He was captured by the German Army and then committed suicide.
Stalin's second wife was Nadezhda Alliluyeva ; theirs was not an easy relationship, and they often rowed. After Nadezdha's death, Stalin became increasingly close to his sister-in-law Zhenya Alliluyeva;  Montefiore believed that they were probably lovers. The historian Robert Conquest stated that Stalin, "perhaps[…] determined the course of the twentieth century" more than any other individual. Stalin strengthened and stabilised the Soviet Union;  Service suggested that without him the country might have collapsed long before Stalin's Soviet Union has been characterised as a totalitarian state,  with Stalin its authoritarian leader.
The real motivation for the terror, according to Harris, was an over-exaggerated fear of counterrevolution. McDermott nevertheless cautioned against "over-simplistic stereotypes"—promoted in the fiction of writers like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn , Vasily Grossman , and Anatoly Rybakov —that portrayed Stalin as an omnipotent and omnipresent tyrant who controlled every aspect of Soviet life through repression and totalitarianism.
A vast literature devoted to Stalin has been produced. Leninists remain divided in their views on Stalin; some view him as Lenin's authentic successor, while others believe he betrayed Lenin's ideas by deviating from them. With a high number of excess deaths occurring under his rule, Stalin has been labeled "one of the most notorious figures in history". As the majority of excess deaths under Stalin were not direct killings, the exact number of victims of Stalinism is difficult to calculate due to lack of consensus among scholars on which deaths can be attributed to the regime.
Official records reveal , documented executions in the Soviet Union between and ; , of these were carried out between and , the years of the Great Purge. Wheatcroft and Michael Ellman attribute roughly 3 million deaths to the Stalinist regime, including executions and deaths from criminal negligence. Snyder in summarized modern data, made after the opening of the Soviet archives in the s, and concludes that Stalin was directly responsible for 6 million deaths along with 3 million indirect deaths.
He notes that the estimate is far lower than the estimates of 20 million or above which were made before access to the archives. Snyder also makes the comparison of this estimate of 6—9 million non-combatants killed by Stalin's regime to the estimate of 11—12 million non-combatants killed by the Nazi regime. Historians continue to debate whether or not the —33 Ukrainian famine—known in Ukraine as the Holodomor — should be called a genocide.
In , the Ukrainian Parliament declared it to be such,  and in a Ukrainian court posthumously convicted Stalin, Lazar Kaganovich , Stanislav Kosior , and other Soviet leaders of genocide. This interpretation has been rejected by more recent historical studies. Shortly after his death, the Soviet Union went through a period of de-Stalinization. Malenkov denounced the Stalin personality cult,  which was subsequently criticised in Pravda. There, Khrushchev denounced Stalin for both his mass repression and his personality cult.
Khrushchev's de-Stalinisation process in Soviet society ended when he was replaced as leader by Leonid Brezhnev in ; the latter introduced a level of re-Stalinisation within the Soviet Union. Amid the social and economic turmoil of the post-Soviet period, many Russians viewed Stalin as having overseen an era of order, predictability, and pride.
The only part of the former Soviet Union where admiration for Stalin has remained consistently widespread is Georgia. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Soviet leader. For other uses, see Stalin disambiguation. This name uses Eastern Slavic naming customs ; the patronymic is Besarionovich and the family name is Stalin.
Joseph Stalin in an authorised image taken in and used for state publicity purposes. Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili [a]. Central institution membership. Other offices held. Main article: Early life of Joseph Stalin.
The existing government of landlords and capitalists must be replaced by a new government, a government of workers and peasants. The existing pseudo-government which was not elected by the people and which is not accountable to the people must be replaced by a government recognised by the people, elected by representatives of the workers, soldiers and peasants and held accountable to their representatives. Stalin is too crude, and this defect which is entirely acceptable in our milieu and in relationships among us as communists, becomes unacceptable in the position of General Secretary.
I therefore propose to comrades that they should devise a means of removing him from this job and should appoint to this job someone else who is distinguished from comrade Stalin in all other respects only by the single superior aspect that he should be more tolerant, more polite and more attentive towards comrades, less capricious, etc.
Rise of Joseph Stalin. We have fallen behind the advanced countries by fifty to a hundred years. We must close that gap in ten years. Either we do this or we'll be crushed. This is what our obligations before the workers and peasants of the USSR dictate to us. Further information: Soviet famine of — Death and state funeral of Joseph Stalin. Stalin brutally, artfully, indefatigably built a personal dictatorship within the Bolshevik dictatorship. Then he launched and saw through a bloody socialist remaking of the entire former empire, presided over a victory in the greatest war in human history, and took the Soviet Union to the epicentre of global affairs.
More than for any other historical figure, even Gandhi or Churchill, a biography of Stalin It is hard for me to reconcile the courtesy and consideration he showed me personally with the ghastly cruelty of his wholesale liquidations.
Others, who did not know him personally, see only the tyrant in Stalin. I saw the other side as well — his high intelligence, that fantastic grasp of detail, his shrewdness and his surprising human sensitivity that he was capable of showing, at least in the war years. I found him better informed than Roosevelt, more realistic than Churchill, in some ways the most effective of the war leaders I must confess that for me Stalin remains the most inscrutable and contradictory character I have known — and leave the final word to the judgment of history.
Excess mortality in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. During his years as a revolutionary, he adopted the alias "Stalin", and after the October Revolution he officially made it his name. This birth date is maintained in his School Leaving Certificate, his extensive tsarist Russia police file, a police arrest record from 18 April which gave his age as 23 years, and all other surviving pre-Revolution documents.
As late as , Stalin himself listed his birthday as 18 December in a curriculum vitae in his own handwriting. After coming to power in , Stalin gave his birth date as 21 December Old Style date 9 December That became the day his birthday was celebrated in the Soviet Union. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. The Cold War: A New History. New York: Penguin Press. Flawed Succession: Russia's Power Transfer Crises.
Lexington Books. Slavic Review. History News Network. Retrieved 1 December So what was the motivation behind the Terror? The answers required a lot more digging, but it gradually became clearer that the violence of the late s was driven by fear. Most Bolsheviks, Stalin among them, believed that the revolutions of , and had failed because their leaders hadn't adequately anticipated the ferocity of the counter-revolutionary reaction from the establishment.
They were determined not to make the same mistake. Illness and Inhumanity in Stalin's Gulag". The American Historical Review. Archived from the original on 8 July Retrieved 23 September New studies using declassified Gulag archives have provisionally established a consensus on mortality and "inhumanity.
Stalinism in Post-Communist Perspective: Europe-Asia Studies , Vol. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 22 August Retrieved 4 August History of the Present. Archived PDF from the original on 5 February Retrieved 22 September Putin opens first Soviet victims memorial". BBC News. Archived from the original on 5 January Retrieved 30 October The Guardian. Archived from the original on 5 September Retrieved 25 June The Washington Post.
Archived from the original on 20 March Retrieved 30 April Retrieved 16 April Archived from the original on 19 July Retrieved 21 June The Moscow Times. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Brackman, Roman The Secret File of Joseph Stalin: A Hidden Life. London and Portland: Frank Cass Publishers. Brent, Jonathan; Naumov, Vladimir Stalin's Last Crime: The Plot Against the Jewish Doctors, — Conquest, Robert Breaker of Nations.
New York and London: The Great Terror: A Reassessment fortieth anniversary ed. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Davies, Norman . White Eagle, Red Star: Davies, Robert; Wheatcroft, Stephen The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia Volume 5: The Years of Hunger: Soviet Agriculture Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Europe-Asia Studies. Ellman, Michael Cambridge Journal of Economics. Some Comments" PDF. Etinger, Iakov Stalin's Solution to the Jewish Question". In Ro'i, Yaacov ed. The Cummings Center Series. Frank Cass. Fainsod, Jerry F.
How the Soviet Union is Governed. Harvard University Press. Gellately, Robert Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe. Jonathan Cape. Getty, J.
American Historical Review. Glantz, David During these, the defendants were typically accused of things such as sabotage, spying, counter-revolution, and conspiring with Germany and Japan to invade and partition the Soviet Union. Most confessed to the charges. The following year, he and his associates were removed from office and arrested. They were later tried and executed in — The "Great Purge" swept the Soviet Union in It was widely known as the "Yezhovschina", the "Reign of Yezhov".
The rate of arrests was staggering. In the armed forces alone, 34, officers were purged including many at the higher ranks. The total of people imprisoned or executed during the Yezhovschina numbered about two million. Yezhov was gradually relieved of power. Yezhov was relieved of all powers in , then tried and executed in Arrests and executions continued into , although nothing on the scale of the Yezhovschina ever happened again.
During this period, the practice of mass arrest, torture, and imprisonment or execution without trial, of anyone suspected by the secret police of opposing Stalin's regime became commonplace.
By the NKVD's own count, , people were shot during —38 alone, and hundreds of thousands of political prisoners were transported to Gulag work camps. In , the country adopted its first formal constitution , which on paper at least granted freedom of speech, religion, and assembly.
In March , the 18th congress of the Communist Party was held in Moscow. Most of the delegates present at the 17th congress in were gone, and Stalin was heavily praised by Litvinov and the western democracies criticized for failing to adopt the principles of "collective security" against Nazi Germany. The young Soviet Union initially struggled with foreign relations, being the first socialist-run country in the world.
The old great powers were not pleased to see the established world order rocked by an ideology claiming to be the harbinger of a world revolution. Indeed, many had actively opposed the very establishment of Soviet rule by meddling in the Russian Civil War. Slowly the international community had to accept, however, that the Soviet Union was there to stay. By , France , Germany , the United Kingdom and Japan, along with many other countries had recognized the Soviet government and established diplomatic ties.
On November 16, , the United States joined the list. Thus, by the s, Soviet Russia was no longer an international pariah. While the Soviet Union was interested in conquering territories in Eastern Europe, France was determined to protect the fledgling nations there.
This led to a rosy German—Soviet relationship in the s. However, Adolf Hitler 's foreign policy centered on a massive seizure of Eastern European and Russian lands for Germany's own ends, and when Hitler pulled out of the World Disarmament Conference in Geneva in , the threat hit home. In May , the USSR concluded pacts of mutual assistance with France and Czechoslovakia ; the Comintern was also instructed to form a united front with leftist parties against the forces of Fascism.
The pact was undermined, however, by strong ideological hostility to the Soviet Union and the Comintern's new front in France, Poland 's refusal to permit the Red Army on its soil, France's defensive military strategy, and a continuing Soviet interest in patching up relations with Germany.
The Soviet Union also supplied military aid to the Republicans in Spain, but held back somewhat. Its support of the government also gave the Republicans a Communist taint in the eyes of anti-Bolsheviks in the UK and France, weakening the calls for Anglo-French intervention in the war.
In response to all of this the Nazi government promulgated an Anti-Comintern Pact with Japan and later Italy and various Eastern European countries such as Hungary , ostensibly to suppress Communist activity but more realistically to forge an alliance against the USSR. This reflected the Soviet desire of territorial gains. Propaganda was also considered an important foreign relations tool. International exhibitions, the distribution of media such as films, e. Alexander Nevski , and journals like USSR in Construction , as well as inviting prominent foreign individuals to tour the Soviet Union, were used as a method of gaining international influence.
The Soviets quelled opposition by executing and arresting thousands. Estimates varying from the figure over 1. Despite outnumbering Finnish troops by over 2. The Finns resisted fiercely, and received some support and considerable sympathy from the Allies. On June 26, the Soviet government issued an ultimatum to the Romanian minister in Moscow, demanding Romania immediately cede Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina. Under duress, with no prospect of aid from France or Britain, Carol complied.
Soviet intelligence was fooled by German disinformation and sent to Moscow false alarms about German invasion in April, May and the beginning of June. Despite the popular myth there was no warning "Germany will attack on 22 June without declaration of war", moreover, Soviet intelligence reported that Germany would either invade the USSR after the fall of the British Empire  or after an unacceptable ultimatum demanding German occupation of Ukraine during the German invasion of Britain.
The Nazi invasion caught the Soviet military unprepared. In the larger sense, Stalin expected invasion but not so soon. As such, mobilization did not occur and the Soviet Army was tactically unprepared as of the invasion. The initial weeks of the war were a disaster, with tens of thousands of men being killed, wounded, or captured. Whole divisions disintegrated against the German onslaught.
It is said that Stalin, at first, refused to believe Nazi Germany had broken the treaty. All in all, on the very first day of the attack, Stalin held meetings with over 15 individual members of the Soviet government and military apparatus. German troops reached the outskirts of Moscow in December , but failed to capture it, due to staunch Soviet defence and counterattacks.
Due to the unwillingness of the Japanese to open a second front in Manchuria , the Soviets were able to call dozens of Red Army divisions back from eastern Russia. These units were instrumental in turning the tide, because most of their officer corps had escaped Stalin's purges. The Soviet forces soon launched massive counterattacks along the entire German line. By , the Germans had been pushed out of the Soviet Union onto the banks of the Vistula river, just east of Prussia. On May 2, the last German troops surrendered to the overjoyed Soviet troops in Berlin.
From the end of to , large sections of eastern Germany came under the Soviet Union's occupation and on 2 May , the capital city Berlin was taken, while over fifteen million Germans were removed from eastern Germany and pushed into central Germany later called the German Democratic Republic and western Germany later called the Federal Republic of Germany. Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, Czech, etc.
An atmosphere of patriotic emergency took over the Soviet Union during the war, and persecution of the Orthodox Church was halted. The Church was now permitted to operate with a fair degree of freedom, so long as it did not get involved in politics.
In , a new Soviet national anthem was written, replacing the Internationale , which had been used as the national anthem since These changes were made because it was thought that the people would respond better to a fight for their country than for a political ideology. Approximately Civilians were rounded up and burned or shot in many cities conquered by the Nazis.
Stalin's original declaration in March that there were 7 million war dead was revised in by Nikita Khrushchev with a round number of 20 million. In the late s, demographers in the State Statistics Committee Goskomstat took another look using demographic methods and came up with an estimate of 26—27 million. A variety of other estimates have been made. However, the breakdown of war losses by nationality is less well known.
One study, relying on indirect evidence from the population census, found that while in terms of the aggregate human losses the major Slavic groups suffered most, the largest losses relative to population size were incurred by minority nationalities mainly from European Russia, among groups from which men were mustered to the front in "nationality battalions" and appear to have suffered disproportionately.
After the war, the Soviet Union occupied and dominated Eastern Europe , in line with their particular Marxist ideology. Stalin was determined to punish those peoples he saw as collaborating with Germany during the war and to deal with the problem of nationalism , which would tend to pull the Soviet Union apart. Previously, following the annexation of eastern Poland , thousands of Polish Army officers, including reservists, had been executed in the spring of , in what came to be known as the Katyn massacre.
In addition, in , and several whole nationalities had been deported to Siberia, Kazakhstan, and Central Asia, including, among others, the Volga Germans , Chechens , Ingush , Balkars , Crimean Tatars , and Meskhetian Turks. Though these groups were later politically "rehabilitated", some were never given back their former autonomous regions. At the same time, in a famous Victory Day toast in May , Stalin extolled the role of the Russian people in the defeat of the fascists: I drink, before all, to the health of the Russian people, because in this war they earned general recognition as the leading force of the Soviet Union among all the nationalities of our country And this trust of the Russian people in the Soviet Government was the decisive strength, which secured the historic victory over the enemy of humanity — over fascism World War II resulted in enormous destruction of infrastructure and populations throughout Eurasia, from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans, with almost no country left unscathed.
The Soviet Union was especially devastated due to the mass destruction of the industrial base that it had built up in the s. The USSR also experienced a major famine in —48 due to war devastation that cost an estimated 1 to 1. The Second Five Year Plan raised steel production to 18 million tons and coal to million tons. Before it was interrupted, the Third Five Year Plan produced no less than 19 million tons of steel and million tons of coal. The Soviet Union's industrial output provided an armaments industry which supported their army, helping it resist the Nazi military offensive.
According to Robert L.
Hutchings, "One can hardly doubt that if there had been a slower buildup of industry, the attack would have been successful and world history would have evolved quite differently.
Workers were encouraged to fulfill and overachieve quotas through propaganda , such as the Stakhanovite movement. Some historians, however, interpret the lack of preparedness of the Soviet Union to defend itself as a flaw in Stalin's economic planning.
David Shearer, for example, argues that there was "a command-administrative economy" but it was not "a planned one". He argues that the Soviet Union was still suffering from the Great Purge, and was completely unprepared for the German invasion. Economist Holland Hunter, in addition, argues in his Overambitious First Soviet Five-Year Plan , that an array "of alternative paths were available, evolving out of the situation existing at the end of the s In the aftermath of World War II, the Soviet Union extended its political and military influence over Eastern Europe , in a move that was seen by some as a continuation of the older policies of the Russian Empire.
These elections are generally regarded as rigged, and the Western powers did not recognize the elections as legitimate. For the duration of the Cold War, the countries of Eastern Europe became Soviet satellite states — they were "independent" nations, which were one-party Communist States whose General Secretary had to be approved by the Kremlin , and so their governments usually kept their policy in line with the wishes of the Soviet Union, although nationalistic forces and pressures within the satellite states played a part in causing some deviation from strict Soviet rule.
The wartime alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union was an aberration from the normal tenor of Russian—U. Strategic rivalry between the huge, sprawling nations goes back to the s when, after a century of friendship, Americans and Russians became rivals over the development of Manchuria.
Lasting Russian mistrust arose from the landing of U. In addition, the Soviets requested that the United States and Britain open a second front on the European continent; but the Allied invasion did not occur until June , more than two years later. In the meantime, the Russians suffered horrendous casualties, more than 20 million dead, and the Soviets were forced to withstand the brunt of German strength. The allies claimed that a second front had been opened in in Italy and were not prepared to immediately assault Nazi-occupied France.
Aside from a few minor adjustments, this would be the " Iron Curtain " of the Cold War. In hindsight, Yalta signified the agreement of both sides that they could stay there and that neither side would use force to push the other out. This tacit accord applied to Asia as well, as evinced by U.
Politically, therefore, Yalta was an agreement on the postwar status quo in which Soviet Union hegemony reigned over about one-third and the Allies over two-thirds. The Soviets were able to use a well-organized ring of spies in the United States, to gain critical advantages during meetings with representatives of Britain and the United States.
Several of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's advisors and cabinet members regularly reported their activities to NKVD handlers. There were fundamental contrasts between the visions of the United States and the Soviet Union, between capitalism and socialism. Each vindicated in by previous disasters, those contrasts had been simplified and refined in national ideologies to represent two ways of life.
Conflicting models of democratic centralism versus liberal democracy , of state planning against free enterprise, of full or partial employment, of equality versus economic freedom, were to compete for the allegiance of the developing and developed world in the postwar years.
Even so, the basic structures and tensions that marked the cold war were not yet in place in — Despite the necessary means of the United States to advance a different vision of postwar Europe, Joseph Stalin viewed the re-emergence of Germany and Japan as the Soviet Union's chief threats, not the United States.
Varga's analysis was partly based on trends in U. However, there would be no postwar crisis of overproduction. And, as Varga anticipated, the U. It was just maintained in a vastly different way. In the end, the postwar U. The mild political liberalization that took place in the Soviet Union during the war quickly came to an end in The Orthodox Church was generally left unmolested after the war and was even allowed to print small amounts of religious literature, but persecution of minority religions was resumed.
With the onset of the Cold War, anti-Western propaganda was stepped up, with the capitalist world depicted as a decadent place where crime, unemployment, and poverty were rampant. Art and science were subjected to rigorous censorship. Where previously The All- Russian Union of Writers AUW had attempted to publish apolitical writing, The Russian Association of Proletarian Writers RAPP insisted on the importance of politics in literary work, and published content which primarily embodied the hegemony of the working-class values in fiction.
It resulted in the defeat of the AUW, and they were replaced by the All-Russian Union of Soviet Writers, which strictly adopted the literary style of socialist realism. Soviet biology studies were heavily influenced by the now-discredited biologist Trofim Lysenko , who rejected the concept of Mendelian inheritance in favor of a form of Lamarckism. In physics, the theory of relativity was dismissed as "bourgeois idealism".
Much of this censorship was the work of Andrei Zhdanov , known as Stalin's "ideological hatchet man", [ citation needed ] until his death from a heart attack in Stalin's cult of personality reached its height in the postwar period, with his picture displayed in every school, factory, and government office, yet he rarely appeared in public.
Postwar reconstruction proceeded rapidly, but as the emphasis was all on heavy industry and energy, living standards remained low, especially outside of the major cities.
In October , the first postwar party congress convened in Moscow.
Stalin's reputation as a ruthless master of deception remains intact
Stalin did not feel up to delivering the main report and for most of the proceedings sat in silence while Nikita Khrushchev and Georgy Malenkov delivered the main speeches.
He did suggest however that the party be renamed from "The All-Union Party of Bolsheviks" to "The Communist Party of the Soviet Union" on the grounds that "There was once a time when it was necessary to distinguish ourselves from the Mensheviks, but there are no Mensheviks anymore. We are the entire party now. Predictably, no one at the congress would dare agree with it and the delegates instead pleaded for him to stay.
Terror by the secret police continued in the postwar period. Although nothing comparable to ever happened again, there were many smaller purges, including a mass purge of the Georgian party apparatus in — Stalin's health also deteriorated precipitously after WWII.
He suffered a stroke in the fall of and was ill for months. This was followed by another stroke in Stalin became less active in the day to day running of the state and instead of party meetings, preferred to invite the Politburo members to all-night dinners where he would watch movies and force them to get drunk and embarrass themselves or say something incriminating.
For decades, conspiracy theorists proposed that Stalin had been poisoned by Lavrentia Beria, possibly using warfarin , due to the symptoms he exhibited on his deathbed, including vomiting blood. In , following the 60th anniversary of his death, the Russian State Archives finally made the autopsy findings public, showing conclusively that Stalin had not been poisoned, but died of natural causes, specifically a series of strokes caused by severe high blood pressure as well as gastric bleeding.
He also suffered from fatty liver disease. The strokes had affected the part of the brain that controls respiration, which caused him to suffocate.
Truman since April , was determined to shape the postwar world to America's best interest. He saw the ravaged, war-torn Europe as a place to implant the American system — capitalism, western democracy, constitutional rule — and according to Soviet thinking extend American hegemony throughout the world.
The Soviet Union was attempting the same thing, extending its own systems as far as it could reach, and with two opposite empires struggling for hegemony, relationships between the United States and the Soviet Union quickly soured. The United States moved quickly to consolidate its position, as it was the only major industrial power in the world to emerge intact — and even greatly strengthened from an economic perspective.
It stood to gain more than any other country from opening up a global market for its exports and access to vital raw materials. Such a power could mould and benefit from a recovering Europe, which in turn required a healthy Germany at its center; these aims were at the center of what the Soviet Union strove to avoid as the wartime alliance broke down.
The resolve of the United States to advance a different vision of the postwar world conflicted with Soviet interests. National security had been important to Soviet foreign policy since the s, when the Communist Party adopted Stalin's " Socialism in One Country " and rejected Leon Trotsky 's ideas of " world revolution ". In this sense, the aims of the Soviet Union may not have been aggressive expansionism but rather consolidation, i.
Stalin, assuming that Japan and Germany could menace the Soviet Union once again by the s, [ citation needed ] thus quickly imposed Moscow-dominated governments in the springboards of the Nazi onslaught: Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria.
Much of the rest of the world, however, viewed these moves as an aggressive attempt to expand Soviet influence and communist rule. Disagreements over postwar plans first centered on Eastern and Central Europe. Having lost more than 20 million in the war, suffered German invasion, and suffered tens of millions of casualties due to onslaughts from the West three times in the preceding years, first with Napoleon , Stalin was determined to destroy Germany's capacity for another war by keeping it under tight control.
Winston Churchill , an anti-Communist, condemned Stalin for cordoning off a new Russian empire with an " Iron Curtain. The Soviet Union's historic lack of warm water maritime access, a perennial concern of Russian foreign policy [ citation needed ] well before the October Revolution , was yet another area where interests diverged between East and West. Stalin pressed the Turks [ when? Churchill had earlier recognized Stalin's claims, [ citation needed ] but now the British and Americans forced the Soviet Union to pull back.
Soviet leadership policies were often more measured, however: However, a pro-Soviet government seized power in Czechoslovakia three years later. An Anglo-American effort was made to support the Greek government in order to protect the free peoples against totalitarian regimes. By successfully aiding Greece in , Truman also set a precedent for the U. The rationale was that economically stable nations were less likely to fall prey to Soviet influence, a view which was vindicated in the long run.
In response, Stalin blockaded Berlin in The city was within the Soviet zone, although subject to the control of all four major powers. The Soviets cut off all rail and road routes to West Berlin.
Convinced that he could starve and freeze West Berlin into submission, no trucks or trains were allowed entry into the city. However, this decision backfired when Truman embarked on a highly visible move that would humiliate the Soviets internationally — supplying the beleaguered city by air.
Military confrontation threatened while Truman, with British help, flew supplies over East Germany into West Berlin during the —49 blockade. This costly aerial supplying of West Berlin became known as the Berlin Airlift. Stalin replied to these moves by integrating the economies of Eastern Europe in his version of the Marshall Plan , exploding the first Soviet atomic device in , and signing an alliance with Communist China in February In a secret document, NSC 68 , they proposed to strengthen their alliance systems, quadruple defense spending, and embark on an elaborate propaganda campaign to persuade Americans to fight this costly Cold War.
Truman ordered the development of a hydrogen bomb ; in early , the U. The immediate post period may have been the historical high point for the popularity of communist ideology.For example, being absent or even 20 minutes late were grounds for becoming fired; managers who failed to enforce these laws faced criminal prosecution. Stalin was ruthless,  temperamentally cruel,  and had a propensity for violence high even among the Bolsheviks.
Perhaps, 3. British historian Ian Kershaw concludes that the Wehrmacht's duty was to ensure that the people who met Hitler's requirements of being part of the Aryan Herrenvolk "Aryan master race" had living space. A History of World Communism p. During training, conscripts woke up between 5 and 6 am; training lasted for 10 to 12 hours - six days of the week. Views Read View source View history.
Slavs were 'the Asiatic-Bolshevik' horde, an inferior but threatening race . Starting in the early s, the Soviet government began an all-out war on organized religion in the country. By the NKVD's own count, , people were shot during —38 alone, and hundreds of thousands of political prisoners were transported to Gulag work camps.