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How stalin maintained power i n the USSR in the 1930s
Transcript of How stalin maintained power i n the USSR in the 1930s
Stalin's idea of education was to “train young people for slots in the economic, social, political and cultural life of the state”
Uniforms - Stalin wanted the children to feel unified, equal and part of one large group instead of individual beings (which sounds rather similar to the army. He hoped the children would get a great feeling of unity and belonging. And he felt that this would encourage them– the boys anyway- to join the army when they were older.
Stalin’s Personality Cult
Much of the propaganda established Stalin's personal dictatorship by elevating him to a divine level, showing his close relationship with Lenin, that only he could interpret and carry out Lenin’s ideas, his military genius, his religious devotion, his respect for the Russian people, his strong work ethic, his leadership, and his education. Stalin controlled the people through a variety of methods. Terror and fear are the main methods he used. During the Great Purges people were constantly afraid of being purged and instead, they chose to sacrifice their own friends, loved ones, parents, neighbours and work colleagues to rid themselves of the fear of being purged and people learnt not to speak badly of the communist party. Stalin kept the Russian people in fear by Purges and Show Trials. The Purges for non-believers to confess themselves in front of the communist party, and then they would be either killed or imprisoned. Purges and show trials were another way to strike fear in to the Russian people. This would then escalate in to the Russian People turning their neighbours, family members, and friends in to the Communist Party. They accused each other of being non-believers in Stalin's ideology. Stalin could not have run the USSR efficeintly without the Labourers and the Labour Camps. The labour camps helped Russia cultivate the land, build massive projects that Stalin put in place, for example the Belemor Canal, therefore saving the USSR a lot of money to spend on other 'more important' things than the labourers. The massive building projects that Stalin put in place would have place such a strain on the Russian state finances, that they would have been impossible to continue with.
So there was a need for slave labour. The cost of slave labour, is only the food that is needed to keep them alive.The more ambitious the project, the greater the need for slave labour. So Stalin scared the population by bringing in criminal legislation for small, every day mistakes. It was then the task of the state security police to fill the labour quota needed by bring to "justice" those, that by the new laws, were now criminals. Soviet propaganda was everywhere, there were posters throughout the towns and villages, most films had a propaganda message and all plays and other artworks were to be produced using the Socialist Realism Style.
Fear and propaganda mean nothing if used on their own, so Stalin also used rewards;
Party members were rewarded for their loyalty and their good service through a system of: higher wages, better apartments, better hospitals, better schools and special shops that stocked better goods than the ordinary citizen's shops.
Non-party people were also rewarded for their hard work with gifts and medals - such as Stakhanovite medals and better apartments for these shock workers.
Communist mission – to eliminate “backwardness”, to have a modern, socialist society
1928-1931 Cultural Revolution
Artists, musicians, writers were to produce works of “social realism”
To be “engineers of the human soul” by helping indoctrinate masses with socialist values
Restrictions were set on paintings in that they could only portray political figures and exemplary workers in factories and in the fields.
Literature was also censored and authors could only write their novels on a limited amount of themes that were considered appropriate by Stalin. A simple way of ensuring everyone followed these restrictions was that the authors who disobeyed were executed, imprisoned or exiled. Religion was a big part of the USSR. Lenin didn't want this to be a distraction from his ideology, so he confiscated the church property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers, and publicized atheism in the schools. Stalin followed this on when he came to power and he made sure that his ideology was well-known. Stalin wanted the Russian people to respect Stalinist Ideology and to literally worship Stalin's views. Stalin's propaganda potrayed him as an idol, he gave the Russian people hope and they viewed him as a god. Here is an example of his god-like status: Religion Youth Groups
Stalin saw children themselves as an excellent means of propaganda.
His goal was to recruit the children as his supporters at an early age so that they would follow him and would practice his ideology as adults.
Stalin had hoped that this would carry on for generations .
In youth groups children were instructed on Stalin’s political ideal.
One way Stalin made sure that the children liked him was to make these groups were enjoyable and therefore had the groups gather for fun activities such as sports, cultural and social activities. Community changes
Personal hygiene was emphasized
Free education (used by Stalin to indoctrinate youths) and healthcare
Facilities for leisure
Women entered workforces (this was because so many men were killed in Purges and now women were made to run homes and work)
Food supplies improved and all rationing was abolished in 1936
Stalin wanted to shift loyalties from family and church to the USSR
Abortion was legalized
Divorce became acceptable
Religious practices were discouraged and considered an insult to Stalins Russia; churches were closed down and atheism was encouraged. Stalin's reasons for Propaganda and indoctrination were; To control the public and their opinion, to support and expand Soviet power, to portray Russia as a superior nation, to increase war efforts Stalin’s purges began in 1932. . In 1932 was the trial of the Ryutin groupThis was the prelude to the 1st major purge of the CPSU by Stalin.
Between 1933 & 34, nearly one million members, (over 1/3 of the total membership), were excluded from the Party on the grounds that they were “Ryutinites.” . The purges were not violent at first. This was the procedure:a) Procedure at first was to have members hand in their Party cards for checking. at this point suspect individuals wouldn't get their card back. b) The threat of expulsion was enough to force members to conform to official Party policy. 2. Under this system, it became very hard to mount effective opposition. a) people such as Ryutin made Stalin believe organized resistance to him was still possible. 3. 1934 is when Stalin began to systematically terrorize colleagues & Party members. a) It is not clear why he initiated such a terrorb) Purges became a permanent condition of Soviet life The early Purges Film
Lenin’s idea that film was “the art of the 20th century” and that it should be used for Propaganda. Stalin strongly agreed.
Stalin ensured that all films glorified his policies (such as the collectivization and the Five Year Plan ) He also made sure that the movies showed how “happy” the Russian people were with their regime and him as their leader.
No film could be released into Russian theatres unless it was reviewed and approved by Stalin. This gave Stalin an enormous amount of control over what messages his people received. Sergie Kirov was murderd on the 1st of December 1934. This set off a chain of events that that paved the way for the Great Terror of the 1930s. It is doubtful that Kirov represented an immediate threat to Stalin although he did disagree with some of Stalin's policies. Stalin then used the murder as an excuse for introducing excessively harsh and severe laws against political crime and for conducting a witch-hunt for alleged conspirators against Kirov. Over the next four-and-a-half years, millions of innocent party members and others were arrested -- many of them for participation in the vast plot that supposedly lay behind the killing of Kirov. From the Soviet point of view, his murder was probably the crime of the century because it paved the way for the Great Terror. A fresh purge of the party had begun under the disguise of looking for Kirov’s murder. Stalin claimed assassination was a plot by a wide group of Trotskyites & Leftists. This led to a large scale round-up of suspected conspirators. Stalin’s successful purge in 1934 was made a great deal easier by the major shift in the party. “Stalin Enrollment” recruited a higher proportion of skilled workers and industrial managers. This brought in large numbers of members who joined the party to advance their own careers. New members were loyal to Stalin & were eager to support the purging of anti-Stalinist elements. They remained loyal to Stalin for the open jobs from purges. Stalin’s purges began in 1932. . In 1932 was the trial of the Ryutin group This was the prelude to the 1st major purge of the CPSU by Stalin.
Between 1933 & 34, nearly one million members, (over 1/3 of the total membership), were excluded from the Party on the grounds that they were “Ryutinites.” . The purges were not violent at first. Procedure at first was to have members hand in their Party cards for checking. at this point suspect individuals wouldn't get their card back. The threat of expulsion was enough to force members to conform to official Party policy. Under this system, it became very hard to mount effective opposition. People such as Ryutin made Stalin believe organized resistance to him was still possible. 1934 is when Stalin began to systematically terrorize colleagues & Party members. It is not clear why he initiated such a terror. Purges became a permanent condition of Soviet life Stalin declared the USSR in a “state of siege.” He called for greater vigilance in unmasking the enemies within. In 1936 his terrorizing began to affect the entire population. It was most dramatic in the show trials of Stalin’s former Bolshevik colleagues. Because it was so high ranking it got the name of “Great Purges.” Stalin’s terror program breaks down conveniently into three sections:
1. The purge of the Party
2. The purge of the armed services
3. The purge of the people.
In 1937, the Commander-in-Chief of the Red Army and 7 leading generals were shot. In 1938–39, all the admirals and half the Army’s officers were executed or imprisoned.
Were denounced/ arrested/ sent to the Gulags . 20 million Russians were sent to the camps, where perhaps half of them died. People lived in fear. ‘Apparatchiks’ (party members loyal to Stalin) got all the new flats, jobs, holidays etc.
The CPSU started instructing party officials to 'root out' suspected agents and sympathisers, this had been sat in the country at large; Kamenev and Zinoviev were put in show trial charged with involvement of Kirov's murder. Stalin also maintained power in the USSR by introducing the Five Year plans, these five year plans were aimed at increasing the USSR's industry so that they could catch up with the 'advanced' countries. The aim of the Five year plan was to be the’ transformation of Russia from an agrarian country in to an industrial one. They wanted to achieve this through the development of industry, agriculture, railways, canals, trade, energy, housing, education and all the public services. Stalin commanded the making of an industrial economy because of two reasons. Firstly there was a ‘war scare’ where the government claimed they were in danger of an attack from China in the east and from Britain in the west. Secondly Stalin claimed that the western countries were sabotaging the USSR’s coalmines, therefore weakening the soviet industry so much that they would not be able to defend themselves in case of war. Stalin therefore changes his mind about rapid industrialisation because he thought industry was necessary for the country’s defence. As he said in a speech in November 1928. “To achieve the final victory of socialism in one country, we need to catch up and overtake these countries in the technical and economic sense. Either we do it or we shall be crushed.” first five-year plan went into action on the 1st October 1928. From that day onwards, Soviet workers had to increase the output of their factories. Heavy industries – were expected to triple their output. Light industry, producing consumer goods such as clothing, shoes and furniture, was to double it’s output. And to make sure that the factories had enough power to keep the machines going, electrical energy was to rise sixfold.As a result of the workers great work, Stalin decided to change the plan in 1929. He ordered that the targets must be met in four years instead of five. Before long, many people were complaining about the great speed at which the plan was being carried out. In reply, Stalin said in 1931 That the tempo must not be reduced and that in fact they should increase it or otherwise they would be 'beaten', Stalin also mentioned that Russia was 50 to 100 years behind the advanced countries he said that they had to make up that time in 10 years or else they would be 'crushed'. The first Five-Year plan The Five-year plan
Overview The Post-Kirov Purges The Early Purges The Great-Purge This was the Central committee of the communist party in 1917, by 1952 all of them except Joseph Stalin still lived. All of this was conveniently organised by Stalin. All of them were either murdered by Stalins commands or died of natural causes. Bibliography Websites:
Brooman, Josh Conclusion Stalin maintained power in the USSR by these methods:
Propaganda and indoctrination
Slave labour (e.g. The Belemor Canal)
Purges and Show trials
The Five Year plans
and by the changes he made to Russia