Iósif Vissariónovich Dzhugashvili He was one of the most determining figures of the 20th century. He went down in history under his pseudonym Stalin and was the ruler of one of the two powers that led the Cold War. His management at the head of the USSR it would be remembered for the number of deaths it caused through extermination, deportation to labor camps in Siberia and famines.
He was born on December 18, 1879 in Gori (Georgia) within a lower-class family. His childhood was quite traumatic due to his father's alcoholism and he was shown as a rigid, cold, calculating and devoid of feelings. These characteristics would be the ones that would later shape his way of governing.
At the age of eight, little Iósif entered the parochial school of his city. There he ended up graduating the first of his class and in 1894 he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Tbilisi seminary, an institution belonging to the Orthodox Church. Iosif had no religious vocation, but he had no other options to receive a relatively complete education.
As of his entry into the seminary, his link with the revolutionary movements was also established and he joined the Georgia Social Democratic Organization. Thanks to the new books and contacts available to him, Iósif learned about Marxism and revolutionary thought.
In 1899, he left the Orthodox institution and began his militancy in the Tbilisi railway workers circle. Historians do not know exactly whether he left or, on the contrary, he was expelled. In any case, in this new stage he tried to edit a clandestine newspaper. He failed, so he had to settle for handing out political flyers in the factories. But his career would be temporarily halted in 1902, when he was arrested and deported to Siberia. Within a few months, he managed to escape and joined the Baku revolutionary movement.
After the 1905 revolution, he began to commune with the doctrine of Lenin of the need for professional revolutionaries and led the “fighting squads”, Who were in charge of robbing banks to raise funds for the Bolshevik party. But the authorities recaptured him and deported him to Siberia in 1912. Again he managed to escape and took the name of “Stalin”To publish various texts in the Marxist tradition. The nickname "man of steel" came to represent his unflappable and implacable character.
In 1913, he was deported once more to Siberia where he would remain until the first Russian revolution February-March 1917. He served as editor of Pravda, the party's official newspaper, and took an intermediate position between Kerensky's supporters and the positions of the Bolsheviks. He held this posture until Lenin's return, at which point he chose to defend the April thesis.
Stalin rose rapidly in the party and was elected to the Central Committee of the party in April 1917. A month later he would be appointed secretary of the Politburo, a position he would hold for the rest of his life, and, after the success of the october revolution, was proclaimed commissioner for nationalities.
In 1922, he was elected Secretary General at the XI Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which allowed him to assert his authority and become head of state on the death of Lenin (1924). From here, he began to monopolize all the power he could. With the help of Zinoviev and Kamenev it constituted the troika (triumvirate) directed against Trotsky.
His political measures were characterized by a strict and firm application of the N.E.P. that I had created Lenin. Upon verifying the failure of the communist revolutionary movements in Europe, Stalin went on to defend the constitution of socialism in one country. In 1928, he launched the first five-year plan, undertook agricultural collectivization and accentuated the effort for the industrialization of the country, to the detriment of the small peasant economy.
However, his authoritarian methods, especially the development of Stakhanovism from 1935, aggravated the conditions of industrial modernization in the population. Furthermore, Stalin increased the role of the political police, causing millions of people to be sent to labor camps or to disappear altogether.
While Stalin tried to lead the country, Zinoviev, Kamenev and Trotsky organized a new troika to remove him from power. However, the Soviet leader defeated them, expelled them from the party leadership and began to persecute all those who opposed him. In order to discredit his rivals, accused Trotsky of treason and ordered his death. Because he controlled the administrative apparatus of the state, he was able to rise above all his opponents with ease.
The rise of Nazism in Germany It did not lessen the hostilities of the Westerners towards the USSR, so Stalin decided to overturn the policy of alliances by signing the German-Soviet pact in August 1939. When Hitler attacked the USSR In June 1941, the Soviet leader organized resistance against the invader.
Their tactics, very similar to those used by the Russians during the Napoleon's Russia Campaign, they made the country survive. But Stalin was also in charge of orchestrating senseless attacks, which cost the lives of millions of soldiers and civilians. In total, between 19 and 32 million Russians perished, most of them military.
after one victory of the allies in World War II, participated in the Yalta and Potsdam conferences in 1945 and supported the establishment of communist regimes in Eastern Europe. Seeing that the United States was closing ranks along with Western countries, Stalin created the Kominform in 1947 and strengthened ties with communist parties around the world.
It was a period in which, while respect and admiration for him grew, the repression against their opponents. Historians disagree on the number of casualties in Siberian labor camps, exterminations and famines, but they estimate that between 20 and 40 million people perished.
Even with everything he had done in the country, his death on March 5, 1953 was mourned by communists from around the world, who converted Stalin a symbol of the triumph of communism. However, the report of Khrushchev the XX congress of the CPSU in 1956 would be the first element of what would constitute a movement of distancing with respect to the USSR from the communist parties of the rest of the world, called “de-stalinization”. Analysis of the history of the USSR would reveal him as one of the bloodiest and most ruthless dictators in the history of mankind.
Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.