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* Born in 1879 in Georgia. Lived in a very hostile environment and was deeply influenced by this in his later years.
* His father abused him and his mother. He wanted Stalin to become a shoemaker like himself.
* His real father’s identity is highly disputed and may have been one of the various men around the town.
* Stalin was a very bright boy and worked hard in his studies. He was also teased by others and bullied others too. He showed early signs of being a gangster and was respected and fear by many in his town.
Becomes a Revolutionary
* Lived under czarist domination and was introduced to forbidden Marxist’s books
* Preached revolution to the workers and ran crimes in order to fund his communist operations.
* Was sent to Siberia and prison many times but always managed to escaped.
* In 1903 he joined with other activists to plan an overthrow of the Czarist government. Lenin saw Stalin as a man who could get the job done.
* His involvement in the 1917 revolution was limited though.
* During the Civil War he became the enforcer of the party and fought for the communists
* His first wife Ekaterina Svanidze died in 1907. Stalin loved her very much and was crushed by her death.
* They had a son named Yakov Dzhugashvili who Stalin did not care for. Later in WWII Yakov was captured by the Germans and commited suicide with an electrocuted fence.
* Had a second wife named Nadezhda Alliluyeva. Had two children with her, Vasily and Svetlana. His wife and him did not seem to get along very well and one evening she committed suicide.
* Stalin having been disappointed by his minor role in the Russian revolution, wanted to gain more power and make a name of himself. He wanted to be seen with the great communist leaders such as Lenin, Marx and Engels. To do his he had a plan to take control of the Communist party.
* The other communists party members looked down upon Stalin because they believed he was a worthless bum who just did the grunt work of Lenin.
* Assumed the position of General Secretary in the 1920’s a job no one else wanted. He built up power on this position by spreading good propaganda about himself and negative propaganda about his rivals particularly Leon Trotsky.
* When Lenin died in 1924, Stalin immediately began creating propaganda showing that he was Lenin’s most suitable successor. He spreaded negative rumors about the ideas of Leon Trotsky (Trotskyism) and told the Russian people that his idea’s were the best.
* In 1928 Stalin had Trotsky arrested and exile where he would eventually end up in Mexico and dieing from an assassin sent by Stalin.
Stalin’s Second Revolution; Modernizing Agriculture and Industry
* Early in 1928 Stalin launched his program for collectivization. All privately held agricultural land was seized by the State and so food production could be done so more efficiently. The food was given to the workers who were needed for the industrialization process.
* Stalin also started the industrialization process analogous to the collectivization. This brought Russia into an expansion of many types of industries.
* Stalin had anyone who opposed his laws branded as traitors to the state and were sent to Siberia where they would have been either shot or killed as examples of anyone opposing him.
Stalin and Providence
* Believed he had an important role in saving Russia from Czar domination and hostile nations.
* Saw himself as a victim of persecution and conspiracy and would attack others before they could attack him. He was very suspicious, paranoid and resentful.
* Avoided contact with “ordinary people” and praised himself with endless propaganda showing him as their great leader.
Terror and Purges
* By the mid 1930’s Stalin would make sure he would have had absolute power in the party. The first step to this would be dealing with the surviving party members in the revolutionary days.
* He held trials and made sure that the suspect confessed to his crime through torture and threat of death. He made many party members admit that they were traitors to Russia and had them shot.
* Even his secret police the NKVD weren’t safe from him and many were killed in order to cover up any traces towards him.