Joseph Stalin


Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (Stalin) was born on December 21, 1879б in the city of Gori (Georgia), to the family of a shoemaker. In 1888, Joseph Stalin entered a religious school and, having graduated from it with honours in 1894, was enrolled into a religious seminary in Tiflis. There, he got familiarized himself with the basic ideas of Marxism. In 1898, being a seminarian, Joseph Stalin joined Mesame-dasi, the Georgian Social Democratic Party. In 1899, he was expelled from the seminary for taking part in the activities of underground Marxist circles. From that moment on, began the story of a professional underground revolutionary and a bold expropriator who had many pseudonyms, such as Ryaboy, Vasily, Vasilyev. etc. However, only two of the pseudonyms have become history, namely, Koba and Stalin.

From 1902 to 1913, Joseph Stalin got arrested and exiled six times. He made some bold escapes from detention facilities. Since 1907, Stalin led the activities of the Central Committee of the RSDLP (Russian Social Democratic Labor Party) in Baku and shared the ideas of Vladimir Lenin. Stalin was included in the Political Bureau of the RSDLP at the suggestion of Lenin in 1912. Until Lenin's return from Switzerland in April 1917, Stalin led the Russian revolutionary movement. In 1917, he joined the editorial staff of the newspaper Pravda and took an active part in the preparation of its first issue. After the Bolsheviks seized power, from October 1917 to 1922, Stalin held the position of People's Commissar for Nationality Affairs. In 1922, he was elected Secretary General of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks). Joseph Stalin proposed the concept of creating the Soviet Union with the leading role being assigned to the RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic). In the late 1920s, he criticized the NEP (New Economic Policy) and suggested a shift to forced industrialization.

In the 1930s, due to serious political disagreements and his unwillingness to accept criticism of his course by prominent Russian politicians, Stalin pursued a policy of repression against old revolutionaries, intellectuals and their families. The commanding staff of the Soviet army was also subjected to repression, which considerably weakened the defence capability of the USSR. A system of camps was established. Prisoners of the camps were used in the construction of many industrial and infrastructure facilities.

During 1928–1940, almost three five-year plans for the development of the country's economy were implemented under the leadership of Joseph Stalin. By 1941, a new industrial base was created in the Urals and Siberia, which became the key to the victory of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War.

After the Nazis came to power, Stalin drastically changed the traditional Soviet international policy, which was earlier aimed at building a union with Germany against the Versailles system. The new policy proclaimed creating a system of "collective security" by the USSR and the former Entente countries against Germany. However, France and England were apprehensive about the USSR and hoped to make peace with Hitler (through the Munich Conspiracy Pact). By 1939, the international situation had been sharply aggravated by German claims against Poland. At that point, England and France expressed their readiness to get into a war with Germany and tried to make an alliance with the USSR. In the summer of 1939, Stalin began negotiations with Germany (Non-Aggression Pact as of August 23, 1939) while simultaneously supporting the negotiations for the alliance with England and France. On September 1, 1939, the Second World War began, and June 22, 1941, was the day of the Great Patriotic War outbreak.

Since the beginning of the war, Stalin was Chairman of the State Defence Committee, the People's Commissar for Defence and the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the USSR. After the war, the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Central Committee of the CPSU(B) under the leadership of Stalin set out to accelerate the recovery of the economy destroyed by the war. Stalin retained the position of Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR until his death. Joseph Stalin died on March 5, 1953.

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