A GROUP OF CORE SUPPORTERS:
Huge numbers of people, form those at the top right down to interrogators, torturers, guards and executioners, were willing to carry out Stalin’s orders. Local party bosses – little Stalins – often initiated their own terrors from below. Stalin ruled unchallenged with the help of his supporting clique – Molotov, Kaganovich, Mikoyan, Zhdanov, Voroshilov, Bulganin, Beria, Malenkov and Khrushchev.
POLICE CONTROL BASED UPON TERROR:
Five Year Plans for industry
* Ordinary Workers were ruthlessly disciplined. There were severe punishments for bad workmanship, people were accused of being ‘saboteurs ’or ‘wreckers’ when targets were not met, and given spells in forced labour camps. Collectivation of Agriculture
* Carried through by sheer brute force.
* All peasants who owned any property at all were hostile to the plan, and had to be forced to join by armies of party members, who urged poorer peasants to seize cattle and machinery from the kulaks (prosperous peasants) to be handed over to the collectives. * Peasants who refused to join collective farms were arrested and taken to labour camps, or shot. * Many peasants were demoralized after the seizure of their land and property. With all the arrests and deportations, there were far fewer peasants to work the land. The Purges and the Great Terror, 1934-8
* By the end of 1933, over 800 000 had been expelled, and a further 340 000 were expelled in 1934. There were over 2 million people in prisons and forced labour camps. * The murder of Sergei Kirov (the Leningrad party boss and ally of Stalin) by a young Communist Party member was used as the pretext for launching further purges against anybody that Stalin distrusted. Historian Robert Conquest calls the murder ‘the crime of the century, the keystone of the entire edifice of terror and suffering by which Stalin secured his grip on the soviet peoples’. * Hundreds of important officials were arrested, tortured, made to confess to all sorts of crimes of which they were largely innocent and force to appear in a series of show trials at which they were invariably found guilty and sentenced to death or labour camp. * Stalin’s motive of the purges and the Great Terror was to frighten the great mass of the population into uncomplaining obedience.
Stalin's Economic Aims
* Wanted the USSR to modernise at such a fast rate that it could make up the 50-year gap in 10 years. The industry had to be devoloped to such an extent that the country, which had all along depended mostly on agriculture or farming, had to be changed such that it now depended on industry more. Although Russia was recovering from war, its production from heavy industries was still low compared to other countries. Stalin felt that this needed to be improved if they were to survive any possible attack that might come from the capitalist West attempting to destroy Communist Russia. * The agricultural sector had to be modernised and made more efficient so it could produce enough food to meet the needs of the workforce to buy machinery and such. Fewer workers could then be used on the farms and industrialisation could take place more rapidly by transferring more workers from the countryside to the factories. Main Features
* During this period, Russia's economy was completely transformed. The state drew up a series or plans which Stalin dubbed, the Five Year Plans. The three Five-Year Plans were set targets and goals that the industry and agriculture had to achieve. * The government controlled the resources it needed to achieve the economic targets. Millions of peasants were directed into the towns and cities to work in factories and mines. These and other heavy industries were given high priority in the first Five Year Plan. Consumer industries were neglected and agriculture was reorganised to suit this. The First Five Year Plan
* Aimed at expanding and modernising...