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Joseph Stalin
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Stalin" redirects here. For other uses, see Stalin (disambiguation).
Joseph Stalin
Иосиф Сталин (Russian)
????? ??????? (Georgian)
Stalin Joseph.jpg
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
In office
3 April 1922 – 16 October 1952
Preceded by Vyacheslav Molotov
(as Responsible Secretary)
Succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev
(office reestablished)
Chairman of the Council of Ministers
In office
6 May 1941 – 5 March 1953
First Deputies Nikolai Voznesensky
Vyacheslav Molotov
Nikolai Bulganin
Preceded by Vyacheslav Molotov
Succeeded by Georgy Malenkov
Personal details
Born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili
18 December 1878
Gori, Tiflis Governorate, Russian Empire
Died 5 March 1953 (aged 74)
Kuntsevo Dacha, Kuntsevo, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Resting place Lenin's Mausoleum, Moscow (9 March 1953 – 31 October 1961)
Kremlin Wall Necropolis, Moscow (from 31 October 1961)
Nationality Soviet
Political party Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Spouse(s) Ekaterina Svanidze
Nadezhda Alliluyeva
Children Yakov Dzhugashvili
Vasily Dzhugashvili
Svetlana Alliluyeva
Parents Besarion Jughashvili and Ketevan Geladze
Religion None (atheism) prev. Georgian Orthodox
Military service
Nickname(s) Koba
Allegiance Soviet Union
Service/branch Soviet Armed Forces
Years of service 1943–53
Rank Marshal of the Soviet Union (1943–45)
Generalissimus of the Soviet Union (1945–53)
Commands All (supreme commander)
Battles/wars World War II
Central institution membership[show]
Other offices held[show]
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin[a] (/?st??l?n/;[1] 18 December 1878[2] – 5 March 1953) was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Holding the post of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, he was effectively the dictator of the state.

Stalin was one of the seven members of the first Politburo, founded in 1917 in order to manage the Bolshevik Revolution, alongside Lenin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Trotsky, Sokolnikov, and Bubnov.[3] Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who took part in the Russian Revolution of 1917, Stalin was appointed General Secretary of the party's Central Committee in 1922. He managed to consolidate power following the 1924 death of Vladimir Lenin by suppressing Lenin's criticisms (in the postscript of his testament) and expanding the functions of his role, all the while eliminating any opposition. He remained General Secretary until the post was abolished in 1952, concurrently serving as the Premier of the Soviet Union from 1941 onward.

Under Stalin's rule the concept of "Socialism in One Country" became a central tenet of Soviet society, contrary to Leon Trotsky's view that socialism must be spread through continuous international revolutions. He replaced the New Economic Policy introduced by Lenin in the early 1920s with a highly centralised command economy, launching a period of industrialization and collectivization that resulted in the rapid transformation of the USSR from an agrarian society into an industrial power.[4] The economic changes coincided with the imprisonment of millions of people in Gulag labour camps.[5] The initial upheaval in agriculture disrupted food production and contributed to the catastrophic Soviet famine of 1932–33, known in Ukraine as the Holodomor. Between 1934 and 1939 he organized and led the "Great Purge", a massive campaign of repression of the party, government, armed forces and intelligentsia, in which millions of so-called "enemies of the working class" were imprisoned, exiled or executed, often without due process. Major figures in the Communist Party and government, and many Red Army high commanders, were killed after being convicted of treason in show trials.[6]

In August 1939, after failed attempts to conclude anti-Hitler pacts with other major European powers, Stalin entered into a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany known as the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, that divided their influence and territory within Eastern Europe, resulting in their invasion of Poland in September of that year. Germany later violated the agreement and launched a massive invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Despite heavy human and territorial losses, Soviet forces managed to halt the Nazi incursion after the decisive Battles of Moscow and Stalingrad. After defeating the Axis powers on the Eastern Front, the Red Army captured Berlin in May 1945, effectively ending the war in Europe for the Allies.[7][8] The Soviet Union subsequently emerged as one of two recognized world superpowers, the other being the United States.[9] Communist governments loyal to the Soviet Union were established in most countries freed from German occupation by the Red Army, which later constituted the Eastern Bloc. Stalin also had close relations with Mao Zedong in China and Kim Il-sung in North Korea.

Stalin led the Soviet Union through its post-war reconstruction phase, which saw a significant rise in tension with the Western world that would later be known as the Cold War. During this period, the USSR became the second country in the world to successfully develop a nuclear weapon, as well as launching the Great Plan for the Transformation of Nature in response to another widespread famine and the Great Construction Projects of Communism. In the years following his death, Stalin and his regime have been condemned on numerous occasions, most notably in 1956 when his successor Nikita Khrushchev denounced his legacy and initiated a process of de-Stalinization and rehabilitation to victims of his regime. Stalin remains a controversial figure today, with many regarding him as a tyrant.[10] However, popular opinion within the Russian Federation is mixed.[11][12][13] The exact number of deaths caused by Stalin's regime is still a subject of debate, but it is widely agreed to be in the order of millions.

Contents [hide]
1 Early life
2 Revolution and war
2.1 World War I
2.2 Russian Revolution of 1917
2.3 Russian Civil War, 1917–19
2.4 Polish–Soviet War, 1919–21
3 Rise to power
4 Changes to Soviet society, 1927–1939
4.1 Bolstering Soviet secret service and intelligence
4.2 Cult of personality
4.3 Purges and deportations
4.4 Collectivization
4.5 Famines
4.6 Industrialization
4.7 Science
4.8 Social services
4.9 Culture
4.10 Religion
4.11 Theorist
5 Calculating the number of victims
6 World War II, 1939–45
6.1 Pact with Hitler
6.2 Implementing the division of Eastern Europe and other invasions
6.3 Hitler breaks the pact
6.4 Soviets stop the Germans
6.5 Soviet push to Germany
6.6 Final victory
6.7 Nobel Peace Prize nominations
6.8 Human rights abuses
6.9 Allied conferences on post-war Europe
6.10 War against Japan
7 Post-war era, 1945–1953
7.1 The Eastern Bloc
7.2 Asia
7.3 Israel
7.4 Falsifiers of History
7.5 Domestic support
7.6 "Doctors' plot"
8 Death and legacy
8.1 Suggestions of assassination
8.2 Announcement and reactions
8.3 Aftermath
8.4 Reaction by successors
8.5 Views on Stalin in contemporary Russia
8.6 Views on Stalin in other former Soviet states
9 Personal life
9.1 Origin of name, nicknames and pseudonyms
9.2 Appearance
9.3 Marriages and family
9.4 Other relationships
9.5 Habits
9.6 Religion
10 Controversies about Stalin
11 Decorations and awards
12 Works
13 See also
14 Notes
15 References
16 External links
Early life
Main article: Early life of Joseph Stalin