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The Rise of Stalin
Transcript of The Rise of Stalin
the seminary because of his
disrespect for those with authority,
the reading of forbidden books, and
mainly for trying to spread Marxism. In 1901, Stalin joined the Social Democratic Labour Party.
In November 1917, Lenin appointed Stalin as Commisar of Nationalities. This job gave Stalin tremendous power. During the Civil War, Stalin played an important administrative role in military matters and took the credit for successfully defeating the White Army at Tsaritsyn. In April 1922, Stalin was
appointed as Lenin's General
Secretary. He spent his first years building his post as general secretary secretly into the most powerful one in the communist party. After the death of Lenin,
Stalin became leader of the
Soviet Union. In 1925 Stalin was able to arrange for Leon Trotsky to be removed from the government. In 1928, Stalin introduced the
Five Year Plans. In September, 1936, Stalin appointed Nikolai Yezhov as head of the NKVD, the Communist Secret Police. Yezhov arranged the arrest of the leading political figures in the Soviet Union who were critical of Stalin. In 1936 Stalin decided to purge the Red Army.
In June, 1937, Mikhail Tukhachevsky and seven other top Red Army commanders were charged with conspiracy with Germany. All eight were convicted and executed.
In total, 30,000 members of the armed forces were executed. This included fifty per cent of all army officers.
A triumvirate was soon made of Stalin, Kamenev, and Zinoviev governed against Trotsky (on the left wing of the party) and Bukharin (on the right wing of the party). In 1940, Stalin ordere the assassination
Stalin consolidated his power base with the Great Purges against his political and ideological opponents, most notably the old cadres and the rank and file of the Bolshevik Party. In 1939, Stalin made the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Nazi Germany which divided Eastern Europe between the two powers.
In 1941, however, Hitler broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union.
Under Stalin's leadership, the Soviet Red Army put up fierce resistance, but were ineffective against the advancing Nazi forces. By the end of 1944 large sections of eastern Germany came under Stalin's Soviet Union occupation and on May 2, 1945, the capital city Berlin was taken. By some estimates, one quarter of the Russian population was wiped out in the war. There was, then, a huge shortage of men of the fighting-age generation in Russia. As a result, to this day, World War II is remembered very vividly in Russia, and May 9, Victory Day, is one of its biggest national holidays. Following World War II, Stalin continued his genocidal policies while exerting ruthless control over the Soviet Union and its satellite states until his death in 1953.