Western Civ 300
Stalin: Dictator, Killer, Savior?
How does a man, nominated twice for the Nobel peace price, die with such equivocal feelings from his country? Why was he thought of as an advocate of freedom to some, but compared to Hitler by others? All these mixed feelings revolve around Joseph Stalin. Joseph Stalin ruled Russia from 1924 until his death in 1953. In his reign, he fiercely used tactics of collectivization, purging and deportation. By the time of his death, Russia was transformed into a modernized, protected, and larger land. Although Joseph Stalin was responsible for the deaths of over 20 million people and suppressed many more, his leadership was beneficial to Russia in the early 1900's because he ended Nazism and modernized Russia.
Stalin was born Iosif Vissarionovich Djugashvili in Gori, Georgia on December 18th, 1878. Georgia was part of Russia at the time of his birth. At that time the Tsar governed Russia. Although the serfs had been liberated by Tsar Nicholas II, they were still bound to the land and the country remained economically backward (“Joseph Stalin”). Stalin’s brilliance shined through as a child, and soon he began attending a seminary school (“Joseph Stalin”). At this school his interest in politics began and he became involved with. He became involved in a revolutionist socialist party, and was expelled from the institution for advocating socialist theory. Stalin joined the Russian central committee in 1912, and slowly rose up the ranks of the movement. Soon he became Lenin’s administrator, playing an important administrative role on the military fronts and in the capital (“Joseph Stalin”). When Lenin passed, ousted his main rival Trotsky. He became dictator in 1929.
One of Stalin’s first moves as dictator was to initiate the “Great Purge”, which removed all opposition to his power in the 1930’s. The KGB hid in all different areas of Russia, and found and killed...