Biography of Josif o Josif Vissarianovich Yugachvili Stalin (1879-1953)

Revolutionary, statesman, and Russian writer of Georgian origin, born on December 21, 1879 in Gori (along the river Kura, Georgia) and died in Kuntsevo (Moscow) in 1953. Collaborator of Lenin, succeeded him in 1924 at the head of the Soviet regime, and served as the dictatorship in the name of the Communist Party until the time of his death.

Josif Stalin.

He was the fourth son of Ekaterina Georgievna Galazde and Vissarion Ivanovich Dzugasvili, a shoemaker who was born bonded and since 1883 moved to work at Tbilisi, after leaving his family. At age eight, Josif began to attend the local school, where he/she learned Russian and rudiments of Hebrew, ancient Greek, arithmetic, drawing, science and music. After a short stay in Tbilisi working with his father, he/she returned to Gori, where at the age of eleven he/she contracted smallpox that would mark his face for life. His father died in 1890, and shortly after an infected wound affected the mobility of his left arm, physical defect that would save him after the compulsory military service, and who was carefully hidden during his life as a dictator.

After passing its first school exam with honors, his mother enrolled him in the Theological Seminary of Tbilisi, one of the best institutions of its kind in the country, characterized by its rigid discipline. This educational institution entering the autumn of 1894, endowed with a grant of half board, and there came first in contact with Marxist thought (see Marxism). In 1898 he/she joined the Messame Dasi, Georgian nationalist movement created by Noah Jordan, later President of the Republic. This organization would then be transformed into the first country Marxist social democratic movement, and would in fact act as the Georgian section of the wing (menshevik) of the social democratic Russian workers party (POSDR).

In those times, Josif Dzugasvili increased their readings of prohibited works clandestinely brought public library, which was systematically punished by their attitude of rebellion against the religious authority. In 1898 he/she received his baptism of fire as a revolutionary, by participating in labor circles who organized the strike by railway workers of Tbilisi. On May 29, 1899 definitely left the seminar, to be expelled for not having gone to final exams, but in fact by evidence that conducted clandestine political activities. Full of resentment, he/she joined as a junior in the geophysical Observatory of Tbilisi at the end of 1899. The Tsarist police began to monitor him in his frequent secret meetings with workers, who provided copies of the newspaper Iskra, published by Lenin in Germany. On May 1, 1900, he/she gave a speech at the first celebration of the festive day throughout the Caucasus. After a huge RAID on the militants of the Messame Dasi made on the night of 21 to 22 of March of 1901, Dzugasvili definitely went into hiding under the pseudonym of Koba; that same year was commissioned to organize the demonstration of the first of May and therefore received the congratulations of Lenin. That fall collaborated in the development of the newspaper Brdzola (the fight), where he/she published his first article. At the end of the year he/she was sent as agitator to Batumi, where he/she organized several strikes and demonstrations, until he/she was arrested and imprisoned for the first time on April 5, 1902.

After spending eighteen months in the prisons of Batumi and Kutais, on August 17, 1903 was ordered deported Novaia UDA, in Eastern Siberia, where he/she arrived on November 27 and where escaped January 5 following. He/She returned to Batumi and Tbilisi, where he/she continued his clandestine activity. It was then that he/she made relationship with Ekaterina Svanidze, whom he/she married on June 22, 1904, in the Church of Gori and who died in 1907 of tuberculosis. From this marriage a son, was born in 1906, Iakov, that years later would be disowned by his father and that he/she died in 1943 in a prison camp German, after he/she was included in some proposals of an Exchange that his father always rejected.

At the beginning of 1905, already definitively aligned with the Bolshevik fraction of the POSDR, Koba intensified the work of propaganda and agitation in Tbilisi. It is suspected that, in this revolutionary period, the tsarist secret police, the Okhrana terrible, could induce him to the denouncement of certain individualities Mensheviks. At year's end he/she was unable to attend so-called named Bolshevik Conference in the Finnish town of Tampere, where it was decided the immediate preparation and organization of the armed insurrection. There he/she met Lenin personally and helped draft the draft final resolution. Return to Tbilisi in January 1906, he/she wrote the pamphlet "Two shocks", where critically contrasted the "Bloody Sunday" of Petersburgo with the proletarian insurrection which recently occurred in Moscow. At that time he/she was closely involved in the murder of general Grasnov, the hated military Governor of the Caucasus. Koba was arrested in March 1906, during several raids against militant Social Democrats in Tiflis, but was suspiciously released soon after, probably in Exchange for information that led to new raids. This allowed him to arrive in time to Stockholm to attend the opening of the fourth Congress of the POSDR on 10 April.

Back in Tbilisi, he/she resumed his work of party journalism, and in June began the publication of the newspaper new life, which after a few months was replaced by a trade union weekly entitled new era. In the first quarter of 1907 launched three Bolsheviks publications more: torch, our life and time. That year participated as a delegate without a vote in the Congress of the Party held in London in April-June, and three weeks later was back in Tbilisi, where on 26 June he/she organized a spectacular armed action assaulting an official carriage with 300,000 rubles on deposit, which caused several innocent victims. This terrorist action further soured relations between the Bolsheviks and the Georgian Mensheviks. The own Lenin was forced to condemn this inadmissible "violation of party discipline".

Too known as "agent provocateur", Koba was transferred its activities to Baku, Caspian oil-producing Centre and one of the fiefs of the Empire Marxist socialism. Working among the workers connected with Kliment Vorochilov, whom he/she had met at the conferences in Stockholm and London. With their help he/she published the Bolshevik newspaper Gudok (the whistle), and helped create a Committee of vigilance among the workers to defend themselves against the attacks of the black centuries, reactionary armed groups promoting pogroms of Jews and revolutionaries.

Their stay in Baku tuned to Koba as local leader and revolutionary fighter. He/She fought the Mensheviks relentlessly, and organized a wave of strikes which paralyzed the wells of the region at the beginning of 1908. Arrested on March 26, he/she was transferred to the prison of Bailov, in the Caspian Sea. After spending five months in that enclosure was deported to Vologda province, in the North of European Russia, but fell ill with typhus and did not arrive to its destination (the village of Solvichegodsk) until February 1909. It might again flee (some authors speculate that with the help of the Okrana) June 24 to continue his revolutionary work in the Caucasus. On March 23, 1910, Koba was again arrested by the police of Baku with so-called name and was sent back to Bailov and Solvichegodsk in October, to meet until June 1911 the remainder of exile. He/She settled afterwards in Vologda, equidistant from Moscow and Petersburgo, where arrived with a passport issued by the Okhrana on 6 September. Arrested by the police in the middle of December 1911, he/she was sent back to Vologda to begin a sentence of three years of exile.

It was then when, after the sixth Congress of the POSDR held in Prague in January 1912, Koba made the leap to the Bolshevik hierarchy, as Lenin appointed him member of the Central Committee the following month. It seems that this promotion induced him to break his equivocal ties with the secret police. At the beginning of spring he/she returned to Petersburgo to prepare clandestine Pravda along with characters such as Vyacheslav Molotov. The newspaper came out for the first time on April 22 and, later, Koba was again arrested and deported to Narim, in Central Siberia. As usual, he/she managed to escape from his imprisonment, and five months after returning to the capital. Following the elections to the Duma, which allowed entry to Parliament six representatives bocheviques, Koba attended two meetings of the Central Committee in Krakow at year's end. Its ambiguity to the internal party quarrels caused him to lose control of Pravda, but Lenin assigned the work of developing a thesis about the question of nationalities. To this end he/she was sent to Vienna in 1913, where he/she met Trotskyand Bukharin . This work was based on his most famous work: Marxism and the national question, where proposed as a solution to the problem of nationalities the vague application of the "principle of the international solidarity of workers". After reviewing his work with Lenin in Kraków, Stalin ('steel', his new Nom de guerre) returned to Petersburgo in mid-February, 1914, but was arrested on the day 23 by the Okhrana and deported to the remote Turukhansk region, North of Siberia, where he/she met Kamenev.

The Russian Revolution

After the outbreak of the revolution of February 1917, Stalin left his exile and went to Petersburgo to direct the drafting of Pravda, which immediately adopted a stance of confidence in the interim Government that filled with indignation to Lenin, strongly opposed to the implementation in Russia of a bourgeois democracy. However, in may he/she was elected member of the Committee Executive of the I Congress of the Soviets of all Russia, and member of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party. On 4 July it mobilized the sailors of Kronstadt base in a failed attempt to seize power in Petrograd. After the defeat, it was not pursued as other Bolshevik leaders, and participated in the VI Congress of the POSDR, where despite the criticisms of the Mensheviks was confirmed as a member of the enlarged Central Committee.

His involvement in the insurrection of October was less relevant than subsequent propaganda was commissioned to report. He/She participated in the activities of the Petrograd Soviet, but as Commissioner for nationalities formed part of the Council of Commissioners of the town (Sovnarkom), chaired by Lenin, acted as the new revolutionary Government. He/She was directly involved in the drafting of the first decrees and the summary dismissal of the Commander in Chief of the army, general Nikolai Dujonin. However, their activities in the little relevant Commissariat for nationalities were limited to drafting an appeal to Muslim workers from Russia and East. He/She supported Lenin on the controversial acceptance of the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which would be signed on March 3, 1918, and at the beginning of the civil war, he/she was sent on mission to Tsaritsyn (future Stalingrad), on the Volga, where left in an armored train on June 4 to strengthen the revolutionary order along with their faithful Ordzhonikidze (named political Commissioner) and Vorochilov, new Commander active in the Bolshevik armies in that area in the South of Russia. However, the inability of military "Tsaritsyn group" before the white armies was filled with anger to Trotsky, who as Commissioner of Guerra won the return of Stalin in Moscow in October. However, at the beginning of 1919 was again sent in inspection to Vyatka, in front, accompanied by Dzerzhinsky, head of the Czech. In the VIII Congress of the Bolshevik Party, held in Moscow in March, he/she was appointed Commissioner for Control State, responsible for the supervision of all branches of the Government bureaucracy, which significantly increased its influence at the heart of the regime.

On March 24, 1919 he/she married remarried Nadhezda Aliluieva, then sixteen, with whom he/she had two sons: Vasili and Svetlana, his favorite, he/she would flee to the West in 1967 and that it would leave an interesting autobiographical testimony of relations with his father. During the height of the civil war, Stalin was sent to several fronts, where actively proceeded to carry out purges similar to which they had carried out in Tsaritsyn and Vyatka. It also promoted the creation of detachments of cavalry, which played an important role in the defeat of the white armies in the front of the gift and the offensive against Poland in the spring of 1920. However, a wrong order of Stalin gave a Polish attack on the left flank of the Soviet army on its March on Warsaw. The defeat suffered in mid-August forced the Bolshevik government to arrange a hasty ceasefire in October.

On 11 February 192,1 Stalin led, without the knowledge of Lenin and Trotsky, a military offensive against Georgia, which had proclaimed its independence under a menshevik Government. The Red Army and the Cheka carried out a wide campaign of cleansing of nationalist elements, which resulted in a prolonged conflict, guerrilla in the region of the Caucasus. After the Kronstadt uprising, Stalin was one of the most determined advocates of the new policy economic (NEP), which allowed the return to private enterprise in areas of Commerce and small industry. In the 11th Congress of the Communist Party, held in March-April, 1922, was appointed Secretary general in charge of coordinating the various branches of the Organization, which confirmed that the party machinery was gradually passing their control, especially after that may 26 Lenin suffered his first stroke.

However, throughout 1922, Stalin had several clashes with Lenin to purpose of the State monopoly of foreign trade and the constitutional status of the Caucasian republics, Belarus and Ukraine. Stalin was a supporter of integration into the Russian Federation, while Lenin criticized the "dominant nation chauvinism" and wanted more independence for the republics within the framework of a Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

In 1923, absent from the political scene Lenin, Stalin was getting greater influence. A harsh Exchange with Kruspkaia, wife of the Soviet leader, Lenin decided to write a letter for the next Party Congress, which has been regarded as his "political testament". He/She questioned guard Soviet about the accumulation of power by Stalin, his rudeness, his tendency to self-sufficiency and their hobby militants and leaders interested in excess in the administrative aspect of the issues. It also warned of the risk of division of the match involving radical hostility brought between Trotsky and Stalin, and recommended the removal of this in his post of general Secretary. Everything seems to indicate that Lenin had his third and final stroke when it had broken relations with Stalin and was about to attack their ideas on the national question in public.

To contain the ambitions of Trotsky, Stalin allied himself in the Politburo with Kamenev and Zinoviev. This triumvirate or troika ended up relegating the Commissioner of war and controlling the party and Government in months of agony of Lenin. At the party's Conference held in Moscow in mid-January of 1924, Trotsky and his followers were accused of "definitive deviation of Leninism". Act followed, the curator of Guerra left Moscow, precisely in the key moment of the death of Lenin, whose burial and subsequent semideificacion were carefully prepared by Stalin. At the time, the Central Committee disabled policy implications of your binding "political will" and banned its publication.

The conflict between Trotsky and the troika is sharpened in the autumn of 1924 with the publication by that one of the lessons of October, which were answered by Stalin with his essay on October Road and several articles in Pravda, where accused the Commissioner of Guerra have not played a special role in the uprising in Petrograd of 1917. On January 17, 1925, Stalin first proposed to the Central Committee the arrest and prosecution of Trotsky for "trying to make a radical change in the party leadership", and for this purpose allied himself with right-wing colleagues Tomski, Rikov and Bukharin. The complaint by the succession of Lenin was not exclusively personal; He/She was debating the future of the "permanent revolution" advocated by Trotsky or the sufficiency of the Russian revolution in the "socialism in one country" espoused by Stalin, involving the abandonment of all project aimed to promote a world revolution and which led in the following years to a visible resurgence of Russian nationalism.

In November 1927, Trotsky and Zinoviev were expelled from the Central Committee and from the party after having led his supporters in the street demonstrations that were organized in Moscow and Leningrad during the tenth anniversary of the revolution. During the 15th Congress held in December, Kamenev and other opposition members were expelled from the Central Committee. Began the first great debugging in the party, while Kamenev, Zinoviev and other 3,300 opponents is resigned to make self-criticism for their "mistakes" and Trotsky was exiled with his family to Almaty in the Kazakhstan.

Once dismantled the leftist opposition, Stalin acted against the right wing of the party away from their positions and administrative positions to all supporters of Bukharin. Meanwhile, the forced collectivisation in the countryside and the impetus given to the creation of kolkhozes (collective farms) and sovkhoz (State farm) had caused a serious split in the heart of the Government. Bukharin considered that the policy of industrialisation and collectivisation of the land that Stalin advocated would lead to a civil war. To avoid this, he/she tried to converge with the left antiestalinistas led by Kamenev to start what, in effect, was a conspiracy to topple the all-powerful Secretary general. Stalin discovered the plot and, after ordering the deportation of Trotsky to Turkey in January 1929, deposed of their charges to Bukharin and other right-wing leaders, who shortly afterwards signed a public retractions of his "deviation". The victory of Stalin over their enemies was complete: all had been eliminated or had capitulated unconditionally. Its dominance in the Politburo, the party and the country was so absolute that it did not drawback in accepting the first manifestations of a pushy personality cult.

In the field of the economy, Stalin pushed the five-year plans as general guidelines for the production based on the control of the industry and the forced collectivisation of agriculture. In the first five-year Plan, developed between 1928 and 1932, we sought the gradual disappearance of the private sector, with State control of industry, and ducting of trade through cooperative and state stores. The aim was to double the total production of the Soviet Union: triple industrial production and multiplying by eight electricity production levels from 1928 through gigantic public works: dams, hydroelectric power plants and steel plants. While in the factories the productivist campaigns imposed by the brigades of shock and Stakhanov, in the field movement proliferated systematic collectivization of farms he/she imposed the disappearance of the kulaks (smallholders) and reduction of the small agrarian property to one third of total. However, efforts to achieve the goals set were hampered by the collapse of global markets that followed the crash of 1929, which damaged the Russian exports.

The second five-year Plan (1933-1937) had as its main objective the development of energy resources, the promotion of light industry in the sector of consumer goods and transport, and the promotion of technical and vocational education for workers. Agricultural production, subject to strict planning and collectivization, rose dramatically, while in the commercial sector distribution cooperatives were replaced by state stores (Gastronom). The third five-year Plan (1938-1941) was oriented to the development of specialized industries, with the development of higher technical education. When it was interrupted by the nazi invasion, the USSR was already the second European economic power after Germany and the third in the world after the United States.

At the beginning of the 1930s, Stalin had created a complex Web of political surveillance from his personal Secretariat. The private land, occurred in the tragedy of the suicide of his wife on November 8, 1932, after a stormy coexistence of ill-treatment. In foreign policy, the growing nazi threat led in September 1934 to the USSR entered into the League of Nations, opened talks with the Western democracies against Hitler (checo-sovietico Friendship Pact and Pact of assistance franco-sovietico, 1935), and promote the policy of the anti-fascist popular fronts in the 7th Congress of the Comintern held in July-August, 1935.

The Stalinist terror

After the 16th Party Congress, which took place at the end of 1930, started the political process back style that would mark the Stalinist dictatorship: purges initiated by a hysterical press campaign, continued with guilty confessions obtained by torture and culminated with spectacular processes cleared with the toughest penalties against saboteurs and opponents. The attack on Sergei Kirov, Chief of the Communist Party in Leningrad and rising star in the Politburo, perpetrated on December 1, 1934, gave the excuse to Stalin to draft a decree which ordered the immediate execution of all those sentenced to death and deprived the accused of the right of appeal. The so-called "Decree Kirov" and, perhaps, the example given by Hitler in the night of the long knives on 30 June 1934 to delete without hesitation the opposition in the bosom of the nazi party, were the basis of a terror that claimed body in the great purges held between 1936 and 1938: the "process of the 16" (among them(, Kamenev and Zinoviev), held in Moscow from 19 to August 23, 1936, against dissidents of Centre, was developed with the usual confessions about terrorist activities, and culminated with the execution of all of them. On January 23, 1937 started another process against Pyatakov, Radek and fifteen co-defendants have resumed the Kamenev-Zinoviev Group's terrorist activities, which received various sentences on January 30. The great purge of the Red Army chiefs took place in June 1937 (including their Commander in Chief, Marshal Mihail Tukhachevsky and seven senior officers), who were accused of espionage on behalf of Germany and organized a military plot to seize power. The result was the imprisonment or removal of some 30,000 officers, including 90% of the generals, which undoubtedly decreased the ability of the Red Army in the process of German rearmament. In March 1938 is held the trial of Bukharin, Rykov, Iagoda and other Eighteen defendants for alleged membership of an anti-Soviet bloc of rightists and Trotskyites. All least three were executed. The closure of this stage of repression which was baptized with the name of Iezhovchina began at the end of 1938 with the replacement of Iezhov by the Georgian Lavrenti Beria , head of the people's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD, predecessor of the KGB) and the internment of his predecessor in a Madhouse. By that time, the number of prisoners in the prison camps was eight million. But the fall of Iezhov did not mean an immediate end to the Stalinist persecutions against his political enemies. In Spain they taught with the POUM during the Spanish Civil War, and on August 20, 1940, Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico by Ramón Mercader, a Stalinist agent of catalan origin.

Since 1936, the Soviet Union was governed by a new Constitution that defined it as a multi-racial State's federal structure, built by 11 sovereign Republics or with the right to self-determination. The Union assumed the powers of the defense, international relations, finance, communications, transport, economic planning and the autonomy of nationalities. The supreme organ was the Supreme Soviet, composed of two chambers (the Union and nationalities), in whose bosom was selected a Presidium and a Council of people's Commissioners or Government, and that also referred to the Supreme Court for five years. All the soviets of the Union theoretically elected by universal suffrage every four years among the candidates proposed by the social organizations and the party communist of the Union Sovietivca (CPSU), which was the supreme arbiter of the political system with 2.5 million members in 1933.

The Pact signed in September 1938 in Munich between the fascist powers and the Western democracies, the subsequent entry of the German army into Czechoslovakia and imminent Pro-Franco victory in the Spanish Civil war persuaded Britain and France of the urgent need to initiate negotiations with Moscow to conclude an Alliance anti-Nazi in the form of a mutual assistance treaty. However, in a reserved way, Stalin had opted for an approach to the Reich. Replaced Maxim Litvinov Jew by his faithful Molotov in the Commissioner for external relations, and in mid-August began secret negotiations for a Pact of non-aggression side that was signed on August 23, 1939, and let your hands free to Hitler to attack Poland a week later. Occupation and Division of the Polish and Lithuanian, territory established in the reserved clauses of the Pact, left the Soviet Union with an uncomfortable neighbor at the foot of its borders.

On 30 November, Soviet troops attacked Finland and started a winter war which, after many setbacks for invaders, ended with a peace treaty on March 12, 1940. The German victory in the Western Front allowed the Soviet annexation of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bessarabia and Bukovina. In November 1940, on the occasion of the visit of Molotov to Berlin, the nazi Government tried to get the accession of Russia to the tripartite pact, but the Soviet demands on the control of Finland, Bulgaria, Turkey and the Persian Gulf were not accepted by Hitler, who after the failure of the Luftwaffe in the battle of Britain began to seriously consider the possibility of an attack in the East, in line with its doctrine of the Lebensraum or living space. German military missions to Romania and Finland, in violation of agreements with Russia, advancing Nazi troops to the Balkans, the accession of Bulgaria to the axis and the Pact of non-aggression pacts ruso-yugoslavo thinned the relations germanosovieticas to the point of rupture. On June 22, 1941, Germany and its allies began the invasion of the Soviet Union.

Everything seems to indicate that Stalin did turn a deaf ear to all the advice that was given in relation to the real intentions of the Germans, and his political and military conduct in the first weeks of the war was highly incompetent. But the creation of a new general staff (Stavka), which involved military figures on the rise as Zhukov, and a new State Defense Committee formed by Molotov, Vorochilov, Beria and Malenkov chaired by Stalin (which immediately took the Commissariat of Defense without approaching almost never at the forefront of combat), allowed us to stabilize the situation. We designed a new military policy, with the creation of three fundamental controls: Western, responsible for the defence of Moscow and in command of Semion Timoshenko; Northwest, which covered the Baltic and Leningrad (Kliment Vorochilov, then replaced by Zhukov), and Southwest, which included Ukraine (Semien Budienny).

The Russian winter cut dry the initial German offensive, and gave the opportunity to enhance their leadership based on gestures during the celebration of the 24TH anniversary of the October revolution to Stalin. On that occasion, not only presided over the traditional parade on the red square before a German Army located at the gates of Moscow, but that he/she gave two eloquent speeches where, after denouncing the inhumanity of the Germans, described the conflict as a great patriotic and popular war for independence from Russia.

The serious military setbacks suffered by the Red Army in Kharkov and Leningrad at the beginning of 1942 made that Stalin would increase pressure on Britain and the United States for the opening of a second front in Western Europe. Although Rommel in North Africa offensive temporarily thwarted that plan, the defeat of the German army in Stalingrad 6th between November 1942 and February 1943 took a final turn to the war in the East. In recognition of his work, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet confirmed to Stalin the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union on 6 March 1943, and on 12 November, shortly before leaving for the Conference that would be held in Tehran with Churchill and Roosevelt, received the order of Suvarov, the highest military decoration of the country.

After the occupation of Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Hungary in August-November 1944, Churchill, Eden and Stalin held talks in Moscow from 9 to 18 December for the delimitation of the respective zones of influence in the Balkans. The last general offensive of the war began on January 12, 1945, and were arrested in Berlin when the Yalta Conference began on February 5. At that meeting it was confirmed the partition of Germany (Soviet sovereignty now part of East Prussia), the next entry in war of Russia against Japan (made effective August 8) in Exchange for the Kuril, Sakhalin South and other islands lost in the conflict in 1904, and the establishment of a sphere of Soviet influence in the North of the Balkans in Exchange for non-intervention in Greece. After the occupation of Warsaw and Vienna, Russian troops connected with the Western allies on the Elba and launched the final offensive on Berlin on April 21. The city surrendered on 2 may, and Germany officially capitulated to the Marshal Zhukov a week later. June 24 was held in red square, a colossal victory parade.

Relations with the Western allies began to deteriorate even before the defeat of the Third Reich. The Potsdam Conference held between July 17 and August 2, 1945, confirmed Russian aspirations in relation to the borders and political future of Poland and the control of the satellite countries of Eastern Europe, where except in Prague the Soviet occupier like Governments were forming. But Stalin could not control Austria, have their hands free in Yugoslavia or extend Soviet influence from the Bosporus to the Mediterranean, a Russian secular ambition.

Although the population of the USSR declined after the war in about twenty million people and its economic potential was greatly affected by the destruction of no less than 30,000 factories and 100,000 farms, reactivation policy was carried out largely at the expense of the satellite countries (with transfer of factories even from Manchuria and North Korea) and a hardening of internal politicswith mass deportations, return to the purges and intensification of the personality cult. To rebuild the devastated economy, Stalin promoted from 1946 to 1951 the IV five-year Plan, which provided a huge increase in productivity and emphasis on heavy industry and transport and armament. However, the plan resulted in failure, since agriculture failed to reach prewar production levels. Plan V (1951-56) proposed the promotion of agricultural production and the increase of production goods, but objectives were not fully achieved.

After the war, Stalin's health began to decline, and delegated part of its political responsibilities in the hands of the Politburo and the Council of Ministers, under the direction of Molotov. In 1946, the tensions with allies gave way to an atmosphere of hostility that degenerated into the cold war. At the Conference held in Paris in July to discuss peace treaties with the allies of Germany, confirmed the Soviet presence in Eastern Europe. At the London Conference of August 1947 to discuss the zones of occupation in Germany, the USSR censured U.S. warmongering, that through the "Truman doctrine" of resistance to staunch communism insisted in violation of the Potsdam agreements. This estrangement prevented the integration of Europe's East in the Marshall Plan and the creation of a Communist Party Information Bureau (Cominform) in October 1947 as a propaganda platform internationally.

Post-coup"Prague" which gave power to the Czech communists in February 1948, the Western powers to reunify their areas of administration in Germany, and the USSR complained to the Board of Control of Berlin the fait accompli. This conflict led to the blockade of Berlin (June 1948 - may 1949) and in the creation of two ideologically opposed German States; then began the most tense period of the cold war, with regional crises such as the civil war in Greece (1947-49), the Communist victory in China (1949) and the conflict in Korea (1950-51). The breakdown of the USSR with the Yugoslavia of Tito in 1948 led to a new wave of procesos-espectaculo among the Communists in Hungary and Bulgaria, in 1951 in the trial against fourteen Czech leaders and the "Leningrad affair", ensued after the mysterious death of leader Andrei Zhdanov, and which caused the arrest and treatment of many party officials. After the birth of the State of Israel, the Stalinist terror claimed clearly anti-Semitic undertones to highschool with outstanding intellectuals of Jewish origin who were accused of "rootless cosmopolitans".

The 70th anniversary of Stalin marked the high point of his exaltation as Max and infallible leader of international communism in the USSR and abroad. On the eve of the 19th Congress of the CPSU, held in Moscow in October 1952, he/she published his essay economic problems of socialism in the USSR. A few weeks later broke out called "doctors plot", whose components, most Jews, were accused of killing Zhdanov and having made an attempt against the life of other prominent members of the Politburo and the armed forces. Broke diplomatic relations with Israel and there were rumors of a new great purge, but on March 1, 1953 Stalin had a stroke at his dacha in Kuntsevo, and died on the morning of day 6. His body was exhibited at the Moscow House of unions and deposited on March 9 in the Lenin's mausoleum.

The three following years witnessed the disappearance of part of the old guard of the dictator and the rise to power of Nikita Kruschov. The "secret report" on the crimes of the Stalin era, prepared by a Commission of inquiry over two years and pronounced on February 25, 1956 by Kruschov before the 20th Congress of the CPSU, opened the way to the campaign's review of his legacy which has been known under the name of "stalinization". On October 31, 1961, his remains were secretly taken from the mausoleum from red square and incinerated and deposited in a tomb at the foot of the Kremlin wall.

Along with his dogmatism, his insensitivity and his brutality (estimated at 12 million the number of victims of the repression deployed between 1936 and 1950), Stalin was also a man of action hugely pragmatic and opportunistic. Thanks to his great ability and lack of scruples to solve intricate political and military problems, he/she promoted a dramatic economic growth in the 1930s, managed to defeat the fascist invasion in the 1940s and rose after the war to the Soviet Union to the status of world power. But his political work, based on an irrational and extreme centralization and an efficient regime of terror, did not survive long, and gave the characteristic tone to one of the great totalitarian dictatorships and genocide of the 20th century.




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