Agriculture and Machine Tool Industry

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Topic: Stalin’s plans for Russia

Source A
A speech by Stalin about the Five-Year Plans, 1932

We did not have an iron and steel industry. Now we have one. We did not have a machine tool industry. Now we have one.
We did not have a modern chemicals industry. Now we have one. We did not have a big industry for producing agricultural machinery. Now we have one.

Source B
A recollection of a conversation with a Russian peasant by a Soviet Official Victor Kravchenko, 1933 There are hundreds of people in Petrovo bloated with hunger. I don’t know how many died every day. Many are so weak that they no longer come out of their houses. We’ve eaten everything we could lay our hands on – cats, dogs, field mice, birds. When it’s light tomorrow, you will see the trees have been stripped of their bark, for that too has been eaten. And the horse manure has been eaten.’ I must have looked startled and unbelieving. ‘Yes, the horse manures. We fight over it. Sometimes there are whole grains in it.’ Source C

A British newspaper on collectivisation, 1933

“How are things with you?” I asked one old man. He looked around anxiously to see that no soldiers were about. “We have nothing, absolutely nothing. They have taken everything away.” It was true. The famine is an organised one. Some of the food that has been taken away from them is being exported to foreign countries. It is literally true that whole villages have been exiled. I saw myself a group of some twenty peasants being marched off under escort. This is so common a sight that it no longer arouses even curiosity.

Source D
A historian on Stalin’s reforms

Stalin, ignoring the great cost in human life and misery, claimed that collectivisation was a success; for, after the great famines caused at the time…no more famines came to haunt the Russian people. The collective farms, despite their inefficiencies, did grow more food than the tiny, privately owned holdings had done. Collectivisation also meant the...
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