Joseph Stalin
Soviet Dictator

Joseph Stalin

NameJoseph Vissarionovich Djugashvili (1879-1953)
Also Known AsStalin ('of steel')
Joseph also spelt: Iosef, Iosif
Family name also spelt: Dzhugashvili.
Revolutionary party name: Koba.
'The pockmarked one'
BiographyA Georgian bankrobber of surprising cunning who went on to become, arguably, the most powerful and destructive ruler in world history.
Born 9th (21st) December 1879, in Gori, Georgia. Stalin studied at a Tiflis seminary, where he picked up revolutionary ideas and was soon expelled.
Stalin joined the Social Democrats, and chose the Bolshevik faction at the time of the party's split. Stalin funded the party's Georgian branch through bank robbery and other criminal activities until Lenin personally intervened. Operating under several different aliases, Stalin was able to avoid serious punishment despite being repeatedly picked up by different police throughout Imperial Russia. He was known amongst Russian police as 'the pockmarked one' due to his smallpox scars.
Stalin became a member of the Central Committee in 1912. After the 1917 February Revolution, Stalin instructed the party not to foment revolution, but was bluntly countermanded by Lenin when the latter arrived on the scene. Stalin never again contradicted Lenin.
Stalin was the first Commissar of Nationalities after the October Revolution in 1917.
He achieved the post of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1922, using the otherwise hitherto unpopular position as a powerbase through which he came to manipulate and dominate the party. After Lenin's death in 1924, he gradually eliminated political rivals in a series of purges culminating in the great show trials of 1936-1938, and established a Personality Cult. Stalin instituted Five Year Plans in order to rapidly industrialise the Soviet Union. His forced collectivisation policy led directly to the deaths of millions of Soviet citizens through starvation and other causes.
Stalin died of a stroke in March 1953.
Links Joseph Stalin Biography A comprehensive, multiple page biography.
Stalin Chronological Biography (pro-communist, Russian)
See AlsoLenin, Beria, Trotsky, Tukhachevsky, Abakumov

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Copyright 2001-2004 Trevor Stanley, PWHCE