Joseph Stalin: biography
Joseph Stalin is an outstanding revolutionary politician in the history of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. His rule is marked by mass repressions, which are considered a crime against humanity even today. Personality and activity of Stalin are still widely discussed in modern society. Some people consider him a great ruler who led the country to victory in the Great Patriotic War, while others accuse him of genocide and famine, terror and violence against people.
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (real name Dzhugashvili) was born on December 21, 1879, in the Georgian town of Gori. His family belonged to a lower class. He was the third, but the only surviving child in the family. His older brother and sister died in infancy. Soso, as the mother of the future ruler of the USSR called him, was born not entirely healthy. He had birth defects of the limbs (his two toes were adherent) and he also had skin lesions on the face and back. At the age of seven, Stalin had an accident, he was hit with a phaeton, as a result, it disrupted the functioning of the left hand.
In addition to congenital and acquired injuries, the future revolutionary was often beaten by his father Vissarion. Once it led to a serious head injury and over the years it affected Stalin’s psycho-emotional state. The mother of Joseph Vissarionovich, Ekaterina Georgievna, take care of her son very much, wishing to make up the lack of his father’s love. On the one hand, the woman was exhausted with hard work, wishing to earn as much money as possible to bring up her son, on the other hand, she did her best to raise a worthy person whose destiny from her point of view was to become a priest. But her hopes were not crowned with success. Stalin grew up as a street spoilt child and spent much time in the company of local rowdies, but not in the church.
At the same time in 1888, Joseph Vissarionovich entered the Gori Orthodox School, and after graduation, he entered the Tiflis Theological Seminary. In the seminary, he became acquainted with Marxism and joined the ranks of underground revolutionaries. In the seminary, the future ruler of the Soviet Union showed himself as a gifted and talented student, as he was good in all subjects. Then he became the head of the illegal group of Marxists, where he was actively engaged in propaganda activities.
Stalin could not graduate from the Seminary, he was expelled from it just before the exams because of truancy. After that, he got a certificate, which allowed him to become a teacher of primary schools. At first, he made his living by tutoring, and after he got a job of an evaluator-observer in the Tiflis Physical Observatory.
The way to power
Stalin's revolutionary activity began in the early 1900’s. The future ruler of the USSR was engaged in active propaganda, thus strengthening his position in the society. Then he got acquainted with the head of the Soviet government, Vladimir Lenin, and other famous revolutionaries. The way to power was filled with numerous exiling and imprisonments, where he always managed to escape from. In 1912, he finally decided to change his name Dzhugashvili to the pseudonym, Stalin.
At the same time, he became the editor-in-chief of the Bolshevik newspaper Pravda, where Vladimir Lenin was his colleague. Lenin saw Stalin as his assistant in resolving Bolshevik and revolutionary problems, as a result, Joseph Vissarionovich became his right-hand man.
In 1917 for special merits, Lenin appointed Stalin the People's Commissar of Nationalities in the Council of People's Commissars. The next stage of the future ruler’s career is connected with the Civil War, where the revolutionary showed all his professionalism and leadership qualities. At the end of the war, when Lenin was already terminally ill, Stalin completely ruled the country disposing of all his opponents and candidates for Chairman of the Government of the Soviet Union.
In 1930, all power was concentrated in the hands of Stalin, which caused tremendous upheavals and reforms in the USSR. This period is marked with the beginning of mass repression and collectivization when all rural population of the country was driven to collective farms and starved. The new leader of the Soviet Union sold all the selected food abroad, and on the money raised he developed the industry building industrial enterprises. Thus, in the shortest possible time he made the USSR the second largest industrial country in the world, but at the cost of millions of peasants who starved to death.
Head of the USSR
By 1940, Joseph Stalin had become the sole legitimate ruler-dictator of the USSR. He was a strong leader of the country and had an extraordinary working efficiency, could focus people on solving important tasks. Stalin’s distinctive feature was the ability to make decisions immediately on any issues discussed and to find the time for control over all the processes in the country.
Joseph Stalin’s achievements are still highly appreciated by historical experts despite his brutal rule of the country. He did his best for the victory in the Great Patriotic War, the country developed agricultural mechanization, industrialization took place, as a result, the USSR turned into a nuclear superpower with immense geopolitical influence all over the world.
In spite of indisputable achievements, Stalin's rule is characterized by a lot of negative facts, which cause horror in society even now. Stalinist repression, dictatorship, terror, violence are key features of his rule. He is also accused of suppressing scientific research in the country, harassment of doctors and engineers, which caused tremendous harm to the development of national culture and science.
Stalin’s policy is widely condemned all over the world even now. The ruler of the USSR is accused of mass starvation and death of people who became victims of Stalinism and Nazism. Joseph Vissarionovich is posthumously considered an honorary citizen and an outstanding warrior in many cities, and many Soviet people still respect the dictator and ruler, calling him the great leader.
There are few confirmed facts about Joseph Stalin’s personal life nowadays. The leader-dictator thoroughly destroyed all evidence of his family life and love relations, so historians managed slightly to restore the sequence of events.
It is known that in 1906 Stalin married Catherine Svanidze, who gave birth to his first son Yakov. A year later Stalin's wife died of typhus. After this, the rugged revolutionary fully devoted himself to the country and only 14 years later decided to marry Nadezhda Alliluyeva, who was 23 years younger.
The second wife of Joseph Vissarionovich gave birth to his son Vasily and brought up his elder son, who till then had lived with his maternal grandmother. In 1925, daughter Svetlana was born.
In 1932 Stalin’s children lost their mother, and he became a widower for the second time. His wife Nadezhda committed suicide because of conflicts with her husband. After that, Stalin never married again.
Joseph Stalin died on March 5, 1953. According to the official version of physicians, the ruler of the USSR died of intracerebral hemorrhage. After the autopsy, it was diagnosed hat during his life he suffered several ischemic strokes, which led to serious heart problems and mental disorders.
The embalmed body of Stalin was placed in the Mausoleum next to Lenin, but 8 years later at the Congress of the CPSU, it was decided to rebury the revolutionary in the grave at the Kremlin wall.
There are versions that his ill-wishers were involved in Stalin’s death because they considered the policy of the revolutionary leader unacceptable. Almost all historical researchers believe that so-called "allies" of the ruler deliberately hampered physicians, who could have put Stalin on his legs and prevent the revolutionary’s death.