Joseph Stalin

 

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Dec 21, 1879 – Mar 5, 1953

Clerk, Revolutionary, Newspaper Editor, Dictator

Russian

“The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.”

“The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.”

Stalin was expelled, arrested and imprisoned many times and even deported to Siberia on his way to power. He served little time though because he usually managed to escape once captured.

As a revolutionary, Joseph Vassarionovich Djugashvili used many names but finally adopted Stalin from a Russian word meaning “man of steel.” He adored his mother, but he had no loyalty to anyone else. He betrayed his friends and enemies alike. At 19, Stalin joined a Marxist group, and, for the next 18 years, he was repeatedly jailed and exiled for revolutionary activities. Stalin was coarse and unsophisticated, but he was masterful at working in the background to achieve his purposes. He was consistently underestimated by those with whom he worked. Before his stoppage, Lenin realized the threat of Stalin but was too ill to remove him from office. For the next 30 years, Stalin led a reign of terror, stopping anyone, even his closest confidantes, who questioned his decisions or posed a threat to his power. Whole farming communities were wiped out because of his agricultural reform. Artists, musicians and writers were repressed and suffered greatly. Neighbors and family members were ordered to spy on one another, and people were arrested, tortured, exiled or stopped for the smallest indiscretions. Under Stalin’s leadership, the Soviet Union rose from an undeveloped, agricultural nation to an economic and military super-power. This, however, was done at the cost of tens of millions of numbers. After Stalin stopped, the history books, in which he had authors write him in as the central figure, were rewritten with his name removed. His body was taken from the huge tomb he shared with Lenin in Red Square and buried in a simple grave nearby.