Joseph Stalin Soviet political leader: After Lenin died in 1924, Josef Stalin became leader of the Soviet Union.
Joseph Stalin was a Soviet political leader and revolutionary of Georgian ethnicity.
He governed as dictator in the Soviet Union from the mid 1920’s till he died in 1953.
Joseph Stalin was born on 18th December 178 in Gori, Georgia. He died on 5th march 1953 in Kuntsevo Dacha.
- Rise to Power
Before Lenin went to exile in 1912 in Switzerland, Joseph Stalin was appointed to serve on the Bolshevik Party’s first Central Committee. Power was seized in Russia by the Bolsheviks in November 1917, three years later. Lenin became the first leader when the Soviet Union was founded in 1922. Joseph Stalin moved up the party ladder during these years and rose to power as General Secretary of the Communist Party. Due to this role he appointed allies to government jobs and in the process to gain political support, he grew a strong base. On Vladimir Lenin’s death he became a Soviet dictator by the late 1920’s.
While trying to defeat Nazism and modernize Russia, Joseph Stalin instituted a reign of terror. He forced collectivization of agricultural land and rapid industrialization which led to famine, millions dying and many sent to camps. During World War II, his Red Army helped in defeating Nazi Germany. Stalin mastered political trickery and as secretary he used his position in putting his supporters on the Party’s Central Committee. To ensure Trotsky turns up late for Lenin’s funeral, he even told him the wrong date. In 1924 Stalin became leader of the Party. Trotsky was first dismissed, later exiled and in killed in 1940.
- End of Regime
Age did not mellow down Stalin. In the postwar USSR he continued a reign of terror sending exiles to labor camps, executions, purges and persecution. He suppressed everything under foreign influence and all dissent. All through Eastern Europe he established communist governments and by exploding the atomic bomb in 1949 he led people of Soviet Union to nuclear age. The Korean War triggered after he gave North Korea permission in 1950 to invade United States. In his later years he grew increasingly paranoid and died of stroke at the age of 74 on 5th March 1953.
- Short Term Impact
To make the country progressive, Joseph Stalin launched a number of government programmes. However in the effort to move into a new economy, 10 million people were affected with starvation. His leadership was not favored by many activists and intellectuals. The ‘Great Purge’ was launched by him to kill any person who opposed his ideals or him.
- Long Term Impact
Joseph Stalin displaced Russians to and from different parts of the Soviet Union in millions. He commanded not just the largest military, but made USSR a superpower across the globe with one of the largest arsenal of WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction), which culminated in the Cold War. The space race was kicks-started by him indirectly. To divide and rule he made arbitrary boundaries in Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Central Asia which led to crisis in Ukraine, insurgency in Chechnya, Fall of Yugoslavia and dispute between countries in Central Asia and Armenia and Azerbaijan, in present times.
The name Stalin means a ‘Man Of Steel’.
He loved watching movies at his private movie theatre in each of his houses.
Maria Yudina the famous Pianist was his favorite musician.
Stalin with a height of 5’4” was a small man with big ideas.