Stalin Essay, Research Paper
Joseph Stalin was a dictator of the U.S.S.R from 1929 until 1953. He
rose from bitter poverty to become ruler of the country that covered one sixth of all
the land area in the world. Stalin ruled by terror for most of his years in office. He
didn’t allow anybody to say anything about his ideas. Stalin killed all who had
helped him rise to power because he thought they would threaten his rules. Stalin
was responsible for millions of deaths of Soviet peasants who disagreed with his
program called “Collective Agriculture” (government control of farms). Under
Stalin’s commands, the Soviet Union operated a world wide network of
communist parties. By the time Stalin died, communism had spread to other
countries. His style of rule became known as “Stalinism” and continued to
influence many other countries. The people of the soviet union began to hate
Stalin, and most of the world was afraid of him. He changed the Soviet Union
from once one of the most undeveloped countries to one of the most industrial
How were you able to gain absolute power in Russia?
During the second half of the 1920s, I set the stage for gaining absolute
power by employing police repression against opposition elements within the
Communist Party. The machinery of coercion had previously been used only
against opponents of Bolshevism, not against party members themselves. The first
victims were Politburo members Leon Trotskii, Grigorii Zinov’ev, and Lev
Kamenev, who were defeated and expelled from the party in late 1927. I then
turned against Nikolai Bukharin, who was denounced as a “right opposition,” for
opposing his policy of forced collectivization and rapid industrialization at the
expense of the peasantry. I had eliminated all likely potential opposition to my
leadership by late 1934 and was the unchallenged leader of both party and state.
Nevertheless, I proceeded to purge the party rank and file and to terrorize the
entire country with widespread arrests and executions. During the ensuing Great
Terror, which included the notorious show trials of my former Bolshevik
opponents in 1936-1938 and reached its peak in 1937 and 1938, millions of
“innocent” Soviet citizens were sent off to labor camps or killed in prison.
By the time the terror subsided in 1939, I had managed to bring both the party and
the public to a state of complete submission to his rule. Soviet society was so
atomized and the people so fearful of reprisals that mass arrests were no longer
necessary. I ruled as absolute dictator of the Soviet Union throughout World War
II and until his death in March 1953.
Why did you make the Russo-German Non-Aggression Pact with Hitler when you knew that he was an enemy of Communism?
By this Treaty, Hitler would allow the Soviet invasion of Lithuania, Latvia,
Estonia and Finland, and would make his Rumanian allies cede their province of
Moldavia to the USSR as well. In return, I agreed to divide Poland with Germany.
This was not a wise move, for while the USSR would gain more territory than
Germany, this removed all the buffer-zones between them and left the Soviets
more exposed to attack. Also, by invading these little countries, I lost any chance
of an alliance with the British and French to stop further Nazi expansion. I showed
a nearly fatal faith in Hitler’s promises. He took “his” half of Poland and tried to
occupy the other territories “given” to him under the treaty. In Moldavia and the
three Baltic Republics, he succeeded, but his brutal methods destroyed any hope
that the population would be thankful that he had saved them from the Nazis. In
Poland, for example, he had 4,000 of the officers of the defeated Polish Army
taken to the Katyn Forest and shot! On 21 JUNE 41, Hitler launched Operation
Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. The combination of Red Army
disorganization, unreadiness, popular hatred for me and my own military
incompetence let the German invaders reach the suburbs of Leningrad and
Moscow. They were halted by overstretched supply lines, the beginning of winter,
and ZHUKOV, one of the very few generals who had been missed by my
purges. Trusting Hitler was a very bad move on my part.
How much did you fear ZHUKOV knowing that he had full control of the military and knowing that Russia would lose the war if he wasn`t around?
I had much fear of ZHUKOV because i have had so many generals like him
that i ordered to be killed because i felt they were gaining to much power. I
couldn`t do this with Zhukov because he pushed the Germans back from the gates
of Moscow. In the spring and summer of 1942, Hitler made one of his great
blunders, by not finishing the drives on Moscow and Leningrad he had begun the
year before. Instead, his panzers were sent southeast, towards Stalingrad and the
oil fields at Baku, on the distant Caspian Sea.
Zhukov was sent to Stalingrad, and his successes of 1941 were repeated.
The Germans, having made tremendous advances, were halted by over-extended
supply lines, cold weather and fierce fighting. When the winter was well
underway, Zhukov launched a counteroffensive, as he had in front of Moscow. But
this time, he did not merely drive the Germans back. Instead, he trapped the entire
Sixth Army behind Russian lines, where it surrendered! After the Battle of
Stalingrad, two things were clear. First, the USSR was no longer balanced on the
edge of disaster; it could still lose, but it was not going to do so soon. And Zhukov
was the man who could save Mother Russia – if I let him do it, for he was
also the kind of rival I had murdered so many times before…
I really had no choice. If I left Zhukov in command, the victorious general
MIGHT depose me, but if I purged Zhukov, the war would SURELY be lost.
I had to keep Zhukov, and, for the rest of the war, in spite of my titles, it
was Zhukov’s skill that drove the Germans back to Berlin, and won the war. I
was far more fortunate than I deserved, for Zhukov served me faithfully to the
end of his life. Not getting rid of General ZHUKOV was one of the best decisions i
made during my rule in the U.S.S.R.
Why were you such a brutal dictator?
Before i took control in Russia, Russia was a very weak industrial nation
and even though the five-year-plan was thought of by Lenin im the one who had to
make that vision a reality and i think that creating a police state was the only way
to do it because alot of people weren`t ready to cooperate. Russia needed a brutal
dictator like me because Russia needed a regime that would make the five-year-
plan work. Alot of people were oppose to my rule but they knew that i was the
leader and that they had to agree with me or else! I was paranoid for a good reason
because if I wasn`t cautious I would of been assassinated. By being such a brutal
dictator gained me the peoples fear. The fact is not many dictators died of natural
causes, my ways served me well.
What would you say to critics who compare you with Adolph Hitler?
Even though we hated eachother I will admit that we were similar in many
ways. We both rose to the highest position attainable in our countries. There were
three main reasons which made it possible for us to do this. We wre both skilled
users of propaganda and we both had the ambition to make our countries powerful
in the world. We were able to twist peoples minds(brain wash) in to believing that
what we were saying was in fact the absolute truth. I would say that we were both
very similar exept for the fact that Hitlers ideas were almost impossive to acheive.
Unlike me Hitler was planning to take over the world on the other hand i was just
to make my own country better.
Why did you make Russia a Athiest nation?
I believe that religion is false and it would only give people ideas that would
definately not help my plans. First I outlawed religion from schools because i
I wouldn`t want our young people to be brain washed by that folly. I think that
religion is what made Russia a weak nation in the first place. If religion wasn`t
around before, kings would not be able to say that it was there god given right to
rule. Without religion in the way I was able to spread all kinds of propaganda and
there was no one who could dispute it because they knew that if they did it would
mean there life.