Josef -||- Lenin's Death -||- party politics- left vs. right-||- Stalin & Stalinism -||- World War II
~~~- Russia -~~~
Stalin & Stalinism
He was born Josef Visarionovitc Djugashvili in Georgia. He was the only son of a drunk shoemaker father who continuously beat both Josef and his wife. Much of Josefs childhood was spent trying to protect his mother from an enraged drunk of a father. His love and care for his mother would continue until the end of her life, even through his terror days. After his first wife died, and his daughter Svetlana grew up, Stalins mother was the only person he loved his entire life.
Josefs mother was determined that her son would make a life for himself- as a priest. This was because being a holy-man was one of the only ways to get an education in those days. Josef was not happy at school either. There was much abuse and unfair treatment to the students, but he endured. In the end however, he would not be as educated as his future colleagues: Trotsky, Zinoview, Kamenev, and the others.
His love and care for his mother would continue until the end of her life, even through his terror days. After his first wife died, and his daughter Svetlana grew up, Stalins mother was the only person he loved his entire life. The other person he loved was a woman called Ekaterina, his first wife whom he knew from Georgia. He had one son with her, before she died of an illness. He said then that any remaining of his kindness disappeared that day. The third was his only daughter, Svetlana, of his second wife who was about 10-20 years younger than him. She was a daughter of a political colleague and her death would be of mysterious circumstances. No one knows if she shot herself or if Stalin killed her.
Svetlana Alliluyeva (she took her mothers name) was spoilt silly by her father. She was the only one who never really disappointed him, except in her adult life. She believed her father a good man, turned insane through party politics. She blamed the Bolshevik party and what it became for the terrors that her father placed on Russia, not her father himself. When she asked him permission to marry a Jewish doctor, his only reply was Go do whatever you want, I no longer care.
As for Stalins sons, both disappointed him. His first son he considered a coward and allowed him to die in a prison camp during World War II. His second son was a drunkard and never did anything successfully.
Stalin joined the Bolshevik party as a minor member, and robbing banks to keep the party sustained. Later on though, his tenacity made him recognized, and he climbed up the ranks of the politburo. Eventually, he was General Secretary of the Communist Party, a member of the Party Ogburo (ran organizational matters) and the head of the Control Commission. That position allowed him to control party membership. He took the jobs that no one else wanted basically, and it made him very powerful. As Lenin said in his Testament; Comrade Stalin, havingbecome Secretary has unlimited authority concentrated in his hands, and I am not sure whether he will always be capable of using that authority with sufficient caution.
Many psychologists and historians blame Josef Djugashvilis unfortunate childhood for the formation of Stalin. His later actions against the people of Russia were probably outlets of his anger, and an opportunity for him to prove his own strength to himself, after feeling weak under his father.
Stalins impact on Russia was both positive and negative. The negative ones are obvious. His discrimination against the Kulaks (or the rich peasants) were probably in memory of his own poor past, when he must have been envious of the others more fortunate than he. His disposal of his colleagues was part of his rise to power. They were also the educated ones that looked down on him as the poor one. Before Stalins death, he ran a campaign against Jewish doctors, in response to his children marrying Jews (his son married one as well). The near genocide of a people by their own ruler is hard enough to imagine. What is even harder is that there are some today who wish for a return to those days. These people have formed supports for Stalins great-grandson.
His positive impacts included the industrialization of Russia, and the transformation of a formerly backward European nation into a world power. The numerous five- year plans led to the death of many, but enabled Russia to hold their own against the Germans in the Second World War. This was especially valuable at the Battle of Stalingrad. These progressions had the other nations recognize Russia as a power. The title still exists to this day.