Joseph Vissarionovitch Dzhugashvili (Stalin)
(1879-1953)

Born in Georgia which after the October Revolution became a constituent part of the USSR. Worked his way up in the Soviet Communist party until 1922 when he became General Secretary of the Central Committee, a post he held until his death. Upon Lenin's (qv) death in 1924 he assumed total control and embarked upon the sort of grand programs that only a total leader can aspire to - mass collectivisation of the nation's farms and a series of five year plans that sort to industrialise the country.

He used the asassination of the Leningrad party chief Sergei Kirov to begin a massive purge of the party that rooted out all suspected counterrevolutionaries (and indeed anyone who posed a threat to his leadership.) Signed a non agression pact with Hitler (qv) in 1938 but sent the USSR headlong into the war folowing the German opening of the Ostfront in 1941. His position became a strong one, and allowed him to negotiate control over the countries of Eastern Europe following the end of hostilities.
Continued being a thorn in the side of humanity until his death in 1953 and was eventually denounced by his successor Nikita Khrushchev three years later.

Length of Rule - Twenty Nine years

Related Links

Stalin Library

Speeches

1942 Time Man of the Year

The Morgue

Gratitude is a sickness suffered by dogs

Joseph Stalin

Books

The Dark Valley

Piers Brendon

The Commissar Vanishes

David King

Beria, My Father

Sergo Beria

Hitler & Stalin. Parallel Lives

Alan Bullock

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