Visual History of the World

(CONTENTS)
 

 


HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION & CULTURE

From Prehistoric to Romanesque  Art
Gothic Art
Renaissance  Art
Baroque and Rococo Art
The Art of Asia
Neoclassicism, Romanticism  Art
Art Styles in 19th century
Art of the 20th century
Artists that Changed the World
Design and Posters
Photography
Classical Music
Literature and Philosophy

Visual History of the World
Prehistory
First Empires
The Ancient World
The Middle Ages
The Early Modern Period
The Modern Era
The World Wars and Interwar Period
The Contemporary World

Dictionary of Art and Artists

 






The World Wars and Interwar Period 

1914-1945


 


The first half of the 20th century saw the world entangled in two global wars, conducted with an unprecedented brutality. The First World War developed from a purely European affair into a conflict involving the colonies and the United States. It altered Europe's political landscape and shifted the power balance worldwide. In World War II, the nations of Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Africa were drawn into the conflict through the aggressive policies of an ambitious Nazi Germany. The war was conducted with the most up-to-date weapons technology and cost the lives of more than 55 million people. The Holocaust, the systematic annihilation of the European Jews, represented an unparalleled moral catastrophe for modern civilization.


 



Pablo Picasso "Weeping Woman", 1937

 

 

 


The Soviet Union
 


1917-1939
 

 

see also:
Socialist Realism

 

The Russian czar was deposed in 1917, even before the end of World War I. The radical left-wing Bolsheviks emerged victorious out of the dispute between the democratic transitional government and the revolutionary Soviet Council of Soldiers' and Workers' Deputies. They came to power in the October Revolution in 1917 under the leadership of Lenin, ended the war, suppressed counterrevolutionary uprisings in a civil war, and constituted the first Communist-ruled state in the world: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). After Lenin's death in 1924, the Soviet Union became an increasingly centralized personal dictatorship under Stalin in the 1930s. Stalin oversaw a massive industrialization program and forcibly collectivized agriculture, while millions fell victim to the regime's repression.

 

 

Joseph Stalin, the "Man of Steel"

Stalin's real name was losif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili. He was the son of a shoemaker and was set to become a priest, but because he had organized demonstrations and strikes, he was excluded from the Orthodox seminary in 1899.

Only after Lenin's arrival in St. Petersburg did Stalin, a member of the Russian Social Democratic party, join the radical Bolsheviks. Lenin regarded his organizational talent highly, and only later recognized his immense hunger for power.



Lenin and Stalin,
Soviet propaganda poster, 1944



Soviet propaganda poster
 

 

 

 


Joseph Stalin


Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin

prime minister of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Russian in full Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin, original name (Georgian) Ioseb Dzhugashvili

born Dec. 21 [Dec. 9, Old Style], 1879, Gori, Georgia, Russian Empire
died March 5, 1953, Moscow, Russia, U.S.S.R.

Overview
Soviet politician and dictator.

The son of a cobbler, he studied at a seminary but was expelled for revolutionary activity in 1899. He joined an underground revolutionary group and sided with the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party in 1903. A disciple of Vladimir Lenin, he served in minor party posts and was appointed to the first Bolshevik Central Committee (1912). He remained active behind the scenes and in exile (1913–17) until the Russian Revolution of 1917 brought the Bolsheviks to power. Having adopted the name Stalin (from Russian stal, “steel”), he served as commissar for nationalities and for state control in the Bolshevik government (1917–23). He was a member of the Politburo, and in 1922 he became secretary-general of the party’s Central Committee. After Lenin’s death (1924), Stalin overcame his rivals, including Leon Trotsky, Grigory Zinovyev, Lev Kamenev, Nikolay Bukharin, and Aleksey Rykov, and took control of Soviet politics. In 1928 he inaugurated the Five-Year Plans that radically altered Soviet economic and social structures and resulted in the deaths of many millions. In the 1930s he contrived to eliminate threats to his power through the purge trials and through widespread secret executions and persecution. In World War II he signed the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact (1939), attacked Finland (see Russo-Finnish War), and annexed parts of eastern Europe to strengthen his western frontiers. When Germany invaded Russia (1941), Stalin took control of military operations. He allied Russia with Britain and the U.S.; at the Tehrān, Yalta, and Potsdam conferences, he demonstrated his negotiating skill. After the war he consolidated Soviet power in eastern Europe and built up the Soviet Union as a world military power. He continued his repressive political measures to control internal dissent; increasingly paranoid, he was preparing to mount another purge after the so-called Doctors’ Plot when he died. Noted for bringing the Soviet Union into world prominence, at terrible cost to his own people, he left a legacy of repression and fear as well as industrial and military power. In 1956 Stalin and his personality cult were denounced by Nikita Khrushchev.

Main
secretary-general of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–53) and premier of the Soviet state (1941–53), who for a quarter of a century dictatorially ruled the Soviet Union and transformed it into a major world power.

During the quarter of a century preceding his death, the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin probably exercised greater political power than any other figure in history. Stalin industrialized the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, forcibly collectivized its agriculture, consolidated his position by intensive police terror, helped to defeat Germany in 1941–45, and extended Soviet controls to include a belt of eastern European states. Chief architect of Soviet totalitarianism and a skilled but phenomenally ruthless organizer, he destroyed the remnants of individual freedom and failed to promote individual prosperity, yet he created a mighty military–industrial complex and led the Soviet Union into the nuclear age.

Stalin’s biography was long obscured by a mendacious Soviet-propagated “legend” exaggerating his prowess as a heroic Bolshevik boy-conspirator and faithful follower of Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union. In his prime, Stalin was hailed as a universal genius, as a “shining sun,” or “the staff of life,” and also as a “great teacher and friend” (especially of those communities he most savagely persecuted); once he was even publicly invoked as “Our Father” by a metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church. Achieving wide visual promotion through busts, statues, and icons of himself, the dictator became the object of a fanatical cult that, in private, he probably regarded with cynicism.



Young Stalin, circa 1894, age 16

The young revolutionary
Stalin was of Georgian—not Russian—origin, and persistent rumours claim that he was Ossetian on the paternal side. He was the son of a poor cobbler in the provincial Georgian town of Gori in the Caucasus, then an imperial Russian colony. The drunken father savagely beat his son. Speaking only Georgian at home, Joseph learned Russian—which he always spoke with a guttural Georgian accent—while attending the church school at Gori (1888–94). He then moved to the Tiflis Theological Seminary, where he secretly read Karl Marx, the chief theoretician of international Communism, and other forbidden texts, being expelled in 1899 for revolutionary activity, according to the “legend”—or leaving because of ill health, according to his doting mother. The mother, a devout washerwoman, had dreamed of her son becoming a priest, but Joseph Dzhugashvili was more ruffianly than clerical in appearance and outlook. He was short, stocky, black-haired, fierce-eyed, with one arm longer than the other, his swarthy face scarred by smallpox contracted in infancy. Physically strong and endowed with prodigious willpower, he early learned to disguise his true feelings and to bide his time; in accordance with the Caucasian blood-feud tradition, he was implacable in plotting long-term revenge against those who offended him.

In December 1899, Dzhugashvili became, briefly, a clerk in the Tiflis Observatory, the only paid employment that he is recorded as having taken outside politics; there is no record of his ever having done manual labour. In 1900 he joined the political underground, fomenting labour demonstrations and strikes in the main industrial centres of the Caucasus; but his excessive zeal in pushing duped workers into bloody clashes with the police antagonized his fellow conspirators. After the Social Democrats (Marxist revolutionaries) of the Russian Empire had split into their two competing wings—Menshevik and Bolshevik—in 1903, Dzhugashvili joined the second, more militant, of these factions and became a disciple of its leader, Lenin. Between April 1902 and March 1913, Dzhugashvili was seven times arrested for revolutionary activity, undergoing repeated imprisonment and exile. The mildness of the sentences and the ease with which the young conspirator effected his frequent escapes lend colour to the unproved speculation that Dzhugashvili was for a time an agent provocateur in the pay of the imperial political police.
 


The information card on "I. V. Stalina",
from the files of the Tsarist secret police in Saint Petersburg, 1911[6]


Rise to power
Dzhugashvili made slow progress in the party hierarchy. He attended three policy-making conclaves of the Russian Social Democrats—in Tammerfors (now Tampere, Finland; 1905), Stockholm (1906), and London (1907)—without making much impression. But he was active behind the scenes, helping to plot a spectacular holdup in Tiflis (now Tbilisi) on June 25 (June 12, O.S.), 1907, in order to “expropriate” funds for the party. His first big political promotion came in February (January, O.S.) 1912, when Lenin—now in emigration—co-opted him to serve on the first Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party, which had finally broken with the other Social Democrats. In the following year, Dzhugashvili published, at Lenin’s behest, an important article on Marxism and the national question. By now he had adopted the name Stalin, deriving from Russian stal (“steel”); he also briefly edited the newly founded Bolshevik newspaper Pravda before undergoing his longest period of exile: in Siberia from July 1913 to March 1917.

In about 1904 Stalin had married a pious Georgian girl, Ekaterina Svanidze. She died some three years later and left a son, Jacob, whom his father treated with contempt, calling him a weakling after an unsuccessful suicide attempt in the late 1920s; when Jacob was taken prisoner by the Germans during World War II, Stalin refused a German offer to exchange his son.

Reaching Petrograd from Siberia on March 25 (March 12, O.S.), 1917, Stalin resumed editorship of Pravda. He briefly advocated Bolshevik cooperation with the provisional government of middle-class liberals that had succeeded to uneasy power on the last tsar’s abdication during the February Revolution. But under Lenin’s influence, Stalin soon switched to the more militant policy of armed seizure of power by the Bolsheviks. When their coup d’état occurred in November (October, old style) 1917, he played an important role, but one less prominent than that of his chief rival, Leon Trotsky.

Active as a politico-military leader on various fronts during the Civil War of 1918–20, Stalin also held two ministerial posts in the new Bolshevik government, being commissar for nationalities (1917–23) and for state control (or workers’ and peasants’ inspection; 1919–23). But it was his position as secretary general of the party’s Central Committee, from 1922 until his death, that provided the power base for his dictatorship. Besides heading the secretariat, he was also member of the powerful Politburo and of many other interlocking and overlapping committees—an arch-bureaucrat engaged in quietly outmaneuvering brilliant rivals, including Trotsky and Grigory Zinoviev, who despised such mundane organizational work. Because the pockmarked Georgian was so obviously unintellectual, they thought him unintelligent—a gross error, and one literally fatal in their case.

From 1921 onward Stalin flouted the ailing Lenin’s wishes, until, a year before his death, Lenin wrote a political “testament,” since widely publicized, calling for Stalin’s removal from the secretary generalship; coming from Lenin, this document was potentially ruinous to Stalin’s career, but his usual luck and skill enabled him to have it discounted during his lifetime.


Joseph Stalin, 1912.


Lenin’s successor
After Lenin’s death, in January 1924, Stalin promoted an extravagant, quasi-Byzantine cult of the deceased leader. Archpriest of Leninism, Stalin also promoted his own cult in the following year by having the city of Tsaritsyn renamed Stalingrad (now Volgograd). His main rival, Trotsky (once Lenin’s heir apparent), was now in eclipse, having been ousted by the ruling triumvirate of Zinoviev, Lev Kamenev, and Stalin. Soon afterward Stalin joined with the rightist leaders Nikolay Bukharin and Aleksey Rykov in an alliance directed against his former co-triumvirs. Pinning his faith in the ability of the Soviet Union to establish a viable political system without waiting for the support hitherto expected from worldwide revolution, the Secretary General advocated a policy of “Socialism in one country”; this was popular with the hardheaded party managers whom he was promoting to influential positions in the middle hierarchy. His most powerful rivals were all dismissed, Bukharin and Rykov soon following Zinoviev and Kamenev into disgrace and political limbo pending execution. Stalin expelled Trotsky from the Soviet Union in 1929 and had him assassinated in Mexico in 1940.

In 1928 Stalin abandoned Lenin’s quasi-capitalist New Economic Policy in favour of headlong state-organized industrialization under a succession of five-year plans. This was, in effect, a new Russian revolution more devastating in its effects than those of 1917. The dictator’s blows fell most heavily on the peasantry, some 25,000,000 rustic households being compelled to amalgamate in collective or state farms within a few years. Resisting desperately, the reluctant muzhiks were attacked by troops and OGPU (political police) units. Uncooperative peasants, termed kulaks, were arrested en masse, being shot, exiled, or absorbed into the rapidly expanding network of Stalinist concentration camps and worked to death under atrocious conditions. Collectivization also caused a great famine in the Ukraine. Yet Stalin continued to export the grain stocks that a less cruel leader would have rushed to the famine-stricken areas. Some 10,000,000 peasants may have perished through his policies during these years.

Crash industrialization was less disastrous in its effects, but it, too, numbered its grandiose failures, to which Stalin responded by arraigning industrial managers in a succession of show trials. Intimidated into confessing imaginary crimes, the accused served as self-denounced scapegoats for catastrophes arising from the Secretary General’s policies. Yet Stalin was successful in rapidly industrializing a backward country—as was widely acknowledged by enthusiastic contemporary foreign witnesses, including Adolf Hitler and such well-known writers as H.G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw.

Among those who vainly sought to moderate Stalin’s policies was his young second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva, whom he had married in 1919 and who committed suicide in 1932. They had two children. The son, Vasily, perished as an alcoholic after rising to unmerited high rank in the Soviet Air Force. The daughter, Svetlana, became the object for her father’s alternating affection and bad temper. She emigrated after his death and later wrote memoirs that illuminate Stalin’s well-camouflaged private life.


Joseph Stalin


The great purges
In late 1934—just when the worst excesses of Stalinism seemed to have spent themselves—the Secretary General launched a new campaign of political terror against the very Communist Party members who had brought him to power; his pretext was the assassination, in Leningrad on December 1, of his leading colleague and potential rival, Sergey Kirov. That Stalin himself had arranged Kirov’s murder—as an excuse for the promotion of mass bloodshed—was strongly hinted by Nikita Khrushchev, first secretary of the party, in a speech denouncing Stalin at the 20th Party Congress in 1956.

Stalin used the show trial of leading Communists as a means for expanding the new terror. In August 1936, Zinoviev and Kamenev were paraded in court to repeat fabricated confessions, sentenced to death, and shot; two more major trials followed, in January 1937 and March 1938. In June 1937, Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky, at the time the most influential military personality, and other leading generals were reported as court-martialed on charges of treason and executed.

Such were the main publicly acknowledged persecutions that empowered Stalin to tame the Soviet Communist Party and the Soviet elite as a whole. He not only “liquidated” veteran semi-independent Bolsheviks but also many party bosses, military leaders, industrial managers, and high government officials totally subservient to himself. Other victims included foreign Communists on Soviet territory and members of the very political police organization, now called the NKVD. All other sections of the Soviet elite—the arts, the academic world, the legal and diplomatic professions—also lost a high proportion of victims, as did the population at large, to a semi-haphazard, galloping persecution that fed on extorted denunciations and confessions. These implicated even more victims until Stalin himself reduced the terror, though he never abandoned it. Stalin’s political victims were numbered in tens of millions. His main motive was, presumably, to maximize his personal power.

Role in World War II
During World War II Stalin emerged, after an unpromising start, as the most successful of the supreme leaders thrown up by the belligerent nations. In August 1939, after first attempting to form an anti-Hitler alliance with the Western powers, he concluded a pact with Hitler, which encouraged the German dictator to attack Poland and begin World War II. Anxious to strengthen his western frontiers while his new but palpably treacherous German ally was still engaged in the West, Stalin annexed eastern Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and parts of Romania; he also attacked Finland and extorted territorial concessions. In May 1941 Stalin recognized the growing danger of German attack on the Soviet Union by appointing himself chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars (head of the government); it was his first governmental office since 1923.

Stalin’s prewar defensive measures were exposed as incompetent by the German blitzkrieg that surged deep into Soviet territory after Hitler’s unprovoked attack on the Soviet Union of June 22, 1941. Khrushchev claimed that Stalin was shocked into temporary inactivity by the onslaught, but, if so, he soon rallied and appointed himself supreme commander in chief. When the Germans menaced Moscow in the winter of 1941, he remained in the threatened capital, helping to organize a great counter-offensive. The battle of Stalingrad (in the following winter) and the Battle of Kursk (in the summer of 1943) were also won by the Soviet Army under Stalin’s supreme direction, turning the tide of invasion against the retreating Germans, who capitulated in May 1945. As war leader, Stalin maintained close personal control over the Soviet battlefronts, military reserves, and war economy. At first over-inclined to intervene with inept telephoned instructions, as Hitler did, the Soviet generalissimo gradually learned to delegate military decisions.

Stalin participated in high-level Allied meetings, including those of the “Big Three” with Churchill and Roosevelt at Tehrān (1943) and Yalta (1945). A formidable negotiator, he outwitted these foreign statesmen; his superior skill has been acclaimed by Anthony Eden, then British foreign secretary.
 


Joseph Stalin



Last years
After the war, Stalin imposed on eastern Europe a new kind of colonial control based on native Communist regimes nominally independent but in fact subservient to himself. He thus increased the number of his subjects by about a hundred million. But in 1948 the defection of Titoist Yugoslavia from the Soviet camp struck a severe blow to world Communism as a Stalin-dominated monolith. To prevent other client states from following Tito’s example, Stalin instigated local show trials, manipulated like those of the Great Purge of the 1930s in Russia, in which satellite Communist leaders confessed to Titoism, many being executed.

Far from continuing his wartime alliance with the United States and Great Britain, Stalin now regarded these countries—and especially the United States—as the arch-enemies that he needed after Hitler’s death. At home, the primacy of Marxist ideology was harshly reasserted. Stalin’s chief ideological hatchet man, Andrey Zhdanov, a secretary of the Central Committee, began a reign of terror in the Soviet artistic and intellectual world; foreign achievements were derided, and the primacy of Russians as inventors and pioneers in practically every field was asserted. Hopes for domestic relaxation, widely aroused in the Soviet Union during the war, were thus sadly disappointed.

Increasingly suspicious and paranoid in his later years, Stalin ordered the arrest, announced in January 1953, of certain—mostly Jewish—Kremlin doctors on charges of medically murdering various Soviet leaders, including Zhdanov. The dictator was evidently preparing to make this “Doctors’ Plot” the pretext for yet another great terror menacing all his senior associates, but he died suddenly on March 5, according to the official report; so convenient was this death to his entourage that suspicions of foul play were voiced.


Stalin

Assessment
A politician to the marrow of his bones, Stalin had little private or family life, finding his main relaxation in impromptu buffet suppers, to which he would invite high party officials, generals, visiting foreign potentates, and the like. Drinking little himself on these occasions, the dictator would encourage excessive indulgence in others, thus revealing weak points that he could exploit. He would also tease his guests, jocularity and malice being nicely balanced in his manner; for such bluff banter Stalin’s main henchman, Vyacheslav Molotov, the stuttering foreign minister, was often a target. Stalin had a keen, ironical sense of humour, usually devoted to deflating his guests rather than to amusing them.

Foremost among Stalin’s accomplishments was the industrialization of a country which, when he assumed complete control in 1928, was still notably backward by comparison with the leading industrial nations of the world. By 1937, after less than a decade’s rule as totalitarian dictator, he had increased the Soviet Union’s total industrial output to the point where it was surpassed only by that of the United States. The extent of this achievement may best be appreciated if one remembers that Russia had held only fifth place for overall industrial output in 1913, and that it thereafter suffered many years of even greater devastation—through world war, civil war, famine, and pestilence—than afflicted any of the world’s other chief industrial countries during the same period. Yet more appallingly ravaged during World War II, the Soviet Union was nevertheless able, under Stalin’s leadership, to play a major part in defeating Hitler while maintaining its position as the world’s second most powerful industrial—and now military—complex after the United States. In 1949 Stalinist Russia signaled its arrival as the world’s second nuclear power by exploding an atomic bomb.

Against these formidable achievements must be set one major disadvantage. Though a high industrial output was indeed achieved under Stalin, very little of it ever became available to the ordinary Soviet citizen in the form of consumer goods or amenities of life. A considerable proportion of the national wealth—a proportion wholly unparalleled in the history of any peacetime capitalist country—was appropriated by the state to cover military expenditure, the police apparatus, and further industrialization. It is also arguable that a comparable degree of industrialization would have come about in any case—and surely by means less savage—under almost any conceivable regime that might have evolved as an alternative to Stalinism.

Stalin’s collectivization of agriculture did not produce positive economic results remotely comparable to those attained by Soviet industry. Considered as a means of asserting control over the politically recalcitrant peasantry, however, collectivization justified itself and continued to do so for decades, remaining one of the dictator’s most durable achievements. Moreover, the process of intensive urbanization, as instituted by Stalin, continued after his death in what still remained a population more predominantly rural than that of any other major industrial country. In 1937, 56 percent of the population was recorded as engaged in agriculture or forestry; by 1958 that proportion had dropped to 42 percent, very largely as a result of Stalin’s policies.

Another of the dictator’s achievements was the creation of his elaborately bureaucratized administrative machinery based on the interlinking of the Communist Party, ministries, legislative bodies, trade unions, political police, and armed forces, and also on a host of other meshing control devices. During the decades following the dictator’s death, these continued to supply the essential management levers of Soviet society, often remaining under the control of individuals who had risen to prominence during the years of the Stalinist terror. But the element of total personal dictatorship did not survive Stalin in its most extreme form. One result of his death was the resurgence of the Communist Party as the primary centre of power, after years during which that organization, along with all other Soviet institutions, had been subordinated to a single man’s whim. Yet, despite the great power wielded by Stalin’s successors as party leaders, they became no more than dominant figures within the framework of a ruling oligarchy. They did not develop into potentates responsible to themselves alone, such as Stalin was during his quarter of a century’s virtually unchallenged rule.

That Stalin’s system persisted as long as it did, in all its major essentials, after the death of its creator is partly due to the very excess of severity practiced by the great tyrant. Not only did his methods crush initiative among Soviet administrators, physically destroying many, but they also left a legacy of remembered fear so extreme as to render continuing post-Stalin restrictions tolerable to the population; the people would have more bitterly resented—might even, perhaps, have rejected—such rigours, had it not been for their vivid recollection of repressions immeasurably harsher. Just as Hitler’s wartime cruelty toward the Soviet population turned Stalin into a genuine national hero—making him the Soviet Union’s champion against an alien terror even worse than his own—so too Stalin’s successors owed the stability of their system in part to the comparison, still fresh in many minds, with the far worse conditions that obtained during the despot’s sway.

Stalin has arguably made a greater impact on the lives of more individuals than any other figure in history. But the evaluation of his overall achievement still remains, decades after his death, a highly controversial matter. Historians have not yet reached any definitive consensus on the worth of his accomplishments, and it is unlikely that they ever will. To the American scholar George F. Kennan, Stalin is a great man, but one great in his “incredible criminality . . . a criminality effectively without limits,” while Robert C. Tucker, an American specialist on Soviet affairs, has described Stalin as a 20th-century Ivan the Terrible. To the British historian E.H. Carr, the Georgian dictator appears as a ruthless, vigorous figure, but one lacking in originality—a comparative nonentity thrust into greatness by the inexorable march of the great revolution that he found himself leading. To the late Isaac Deutscher, the author of biographies of Trotsky and Stalin—who, like Carr, broadly accepts Trotsky’s version of Stalin as a somewhat mediocre personage—Stalin represents a lamentably deviant element in the evolution of Marxism. Neither Deutscher nor Carr has found Stalin’s truly appalling record sufficiently impressive to raise doubts about the ultimate value of the Russian October Revolution’s historic achievements.

To such views may be added the suggestion that Stalin was anything but a plodding mediocrity, being rather a man of superlative, all-transcending talent. His special brilliance was, however, narrowly specialized and confined within the single crucial area of creative political manipulation, where he remains unsurpassed. Stalin was the first to recognize the potential of bureaucratic power, while the other Bolshevik leaders still feared their revolution being betrayed by a military man. Stalin’s political ability went beyond tactics, as he was able to channel massive social forces both to meet his economic goals and to expand his personal power.

Ronald Francis Hingley
Ed.

Encyclopaedia Britannica
 

 

 


Iosef Jughashvili Stalin (left) and
Georgi Dimitrov, a Bulgarian communist


Maxim Gorky with J.V. Stalin in 1931

 

 


Joseph Stalin


Joseph Stalin and Kliment Voroshilov, December 1935

 

 


Joseph Stalin


Joseph Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev, January 1936

 

 


Joseph Stalin


Joseph Stalin

 


Stalin and Politburo colleagues in the Kremlin, 1946.

 

 

 

Ekaterina Svanidze


Ekaterina Svanidze, 1904

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Kato Svanidze (April 2, 1880 – December 5, 1907) was the Georgian first wife of Joseph Stalin. They were married in 1906.

Ekaterina, nicknamed Kato, was a tailor who worked for the ladies of the Russian army.

She had two sisters: Alexandra (nicknamed "Sashiko") and Maria ("Mariko"). She had at least one brother, but some sources claim she had more than one. Because her only known brother Alexander Svanidze spoke German and French and studied in Germany, it's unlikely that her family was poor. Alexander Svanidze was married to Maria Korona, a singer at the Tiflis Opera.

She married Joseph Stalin in 1906 and gave him a son, Yakov Dzhugashvili. She died of typhus in 1907. Much of her family (including her sister Mariko and brother Alexander) would later be executed during her husband's Great Terror.

Stalin would later state that other than his mother she may have been the only person he truly loved. At her funeral he told a friend that "with her died any human feeling in him."

 

 

 

Yakov Dzhugashvili


Yakov Dzhugashvili


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Yakov Iosifovich Dzhugashvili (Georgian: იაკობ ჯუღაშვილი, Russian: ßêîâ Èîñèôîâè÷ Äæóãàøâèëè) (March 18, 1907–April 14, 1943) was one of Joseph Stalin's four children (along with Svetlana Alliluyeva, Vasily Dzhugashvili and Constantine Kuzakov). Yakov was the son of Stalin's first wife, Ekaterina Svanidze.

Yakov was born in the village of Borji (near Kutaisi) in Georgia, then part of Imperial Russia. Until the age of fourteen, Yakov was raised by his aunt in Tbilisi. In 1921, Yakov’s uncle Alexander Svanidze urged him to leave for Moscow to acquire a higher education. Yakov only spoke Georgian and after his arrival in Moscow he commenced with learning the Russian language, aiming to apply for University studies.

Yakov and his father Stalin never got along. Allegedly once Stalin referred to Yakov as a "mere cobbler." Later according to Yakov's stepmother Nadezhda Alliluyeva she saw a young girl running away from their Moscow dacha in tears. When she entered she saw a despairing Yakov looking near faint in the room. He ran immediately to his bedroom. It turned out that the girl was Yakov's Jewish fiancée, and when they told Stalin of their engagement he became enraged.

While Stalin and his wife were arguing about this a shot was heard from Yakov's room. Yakov had shot himself. While she tended to his wounds and sent for a doctor all his father said was, "He can't even shoot straight."

Dzhugashvili did marry Yulia Meltzer, a well-known Jewish dancer from Odessa. After meeting Yulia at a reception, Yakov fought with her second husband, Nikolai Bessarab, and arranged her divorce. Bessarab was later arrested by the NKVD and executed. Yakov became her third husband and was survived by two children. His son, Yevgeni, gave many interviews about his grandfather. He also had a daughter, Galina, who died in 2007.

Dzhugashvili served as an artillery officer in the Red Army and was captured in the early stages of the German invasion of USSR at the Battle of Smolensk. The Germans later offered to exchange Yakov for Friedrich Paulus, the German Field Marshal captured by the Soviets after the Battle of Stalingrad, but Stalin turned the offer down, allegedly saying "I will not trade a Marshal for a Lieutenant". There was another proposition as well, that Hitler wanted to exchange Yakow for his nephew Leo Raubal; this proposition was not accepted either

It is not clear when and how he died. According to German official account, Dzhugashvili died by running into an electric fence in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he was being held. Some have contended that Yakov committed suicide at the camp while others have suggested that he was murdered.

The United States Defense Department was in possession of documents which indicated that Yakov Dzhugashvili was shot trying to escape, which were shown to his daughter Galina Dzhugashvili in 2003, but which she rejected, claiming that her father was never taken prisoner by the Germans, but rather was killed in battle in 1941.

 

 

 

Nadezhda Alliluyeva


Nadezhda Alliluyeva,
Stalin's second wife,
mother of Vasily and Svetlana.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Nadezhda Sergeevna Alliluyeva (Russian: Íàäåæäà Ñåðãååâíà Àëëèëóåâà) (22 September 1901 – November 9, 1932) was the second wife of Joseph Stalin.

Nadezhda was the youngest child of Russian revolutionary Sergei Alliluyev and his wife Olga, a woman of German and Georgian ancestry. She first met Stalin as a child when her father, Sergei Alliluyev, sheltered him after one of his escapes from Siberian exile in 1911. She may have always been in love with the mysterious swarthy Georgian with the yellowish colored eyes who saved her life from drowning when she was a child. After the revolution, Nadezhda worked as a confidential code clerk in Lenin's office. She eschewed fancy dress, make-up and other trappings that she felt un-befitting of a proper Bolshevik. The couple married in 1919, when Stalin was already a 41 year old widower and father of one son born to his first wife, who died of typhus years earlier. Nadezhda and Joseph had two children together: Vasily, born in 1921, became a figher pilot (C.O. of 32 GIAP) at Stalingrad and Svetlana, their daughter, was born in 1926. According to her close friend, Polina Molotov, the marriage was strained, and the two constantly fought. She also suffered from a mental illness which may have been bipolar disorder, Molotov recalled that she suffered from moodswings which made her seem like a "mad woman." While she was close to Vasily, she wasn't very close to Svetlana and was very stern with the children.

After a public spat with Stalin at a party dinner, Nadezhda was found dead in her bedroom, a revolver by her side. Regardless, the official announcement was that Nadezhda died from appendicitis. Two doctors, who refused to sign a certificate stating false conclusions about the cause of her death (Levin and Pletnev), were later convicted during the Trial of the Twenty-One and executed. Some claim the gun was found beside the hand she didn't use, apparently pointing to a framed suicide; many in Russia allege that Stalin killed her himself.

Accounts of contemporaries and Stalin's letters indicate that he was deeply disturbed by the event.

Today, she is much loved by some Russians; her grave at Novodevichy Cemetery is often covered in flowers, although it has also been vandalized on occasion.

Her daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva later emigrated from the Soviet Union in a high profile defection to the United States, where she eventually published her autobiography which included recollections of her parents and their relationship.
 


Josef Stalin and Nadezhda Alliluyeva


Josef Stalin and his wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva, on a picnic

 


Stalin with his children:
Vasiliy and Svetlana


Vasily Iosifovich Dzhugashvili
(Russian Âàñèëèé Èîñèôîâè÷ Äæóãàøâèëè), known also as Vasily Stalin (Russian Âàñèëèé Èîñèôîâè÷ Ñòàëèí), (March 21, 1921 – March 19, 1962), was the son of Joseph Stalin and his second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva.


Svetlana Iosifovna Alliluyeva (sometimes Stalina, later Lana Peters) (born February 28, 1926, Moscow, Soviet Union) (Russian: Ñâåòëàíà Èîñèôîâíà Àëëèëóåâà) is the youngest child and only daughter of Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and Nadezhda Alliluyeva (Stalin's second wife). A writer and naturalized United States citizen, Alliluyeva caused an international furor by defecting to the United States in 1967.

 


Joseph Stalin with daughter Svetlana, 1935.

 


Lavrentiy Beria with Stalin (in background) and the young Svetlana Alliluyeva.

 


Stalin's mistress
 


1. Valeria Barsova
2. Olga Lepeshinskaya
3. Natalia Spiller


1. Vera Davydova
2. Natalia Spiller
3. Olga Lepeshinskaya

 


Vera Davydova

 


Valeria Barsova

 


Natalia Spiller

 


Olga Lepeshinskaya

 


Marina Semyonova

 

 

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