Iósif Stalin

Biography of Iósif Stalin
Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-R80329 / CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

Iósif Stalin Biography

Iósif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, identified worldwide as Joseph Stalin, although his name is also often written as Jossif, Josef or Joseph, was a controversial politician of the former Soviet Union, which is now known as the Russian Federation. Russia.

Stalin was born on December 18, 1878, in Gori, Russian Empire, and died on May 5, 1953, in Moscow. There are those who conceive him as a hero and others, like a dictator, because he held power for around 30 years and under his administration, there were numerous deaths. Thus, his actions would change the history of the Russian people.

It is probable that «Stalin» the nickname that he adopted at a very young age, meant «made of steel».

Iósif Stalin’s parents were Vissarión Dzhugashvili, affectionately called Besó, and Ekaterine Giorgis Asuli Gueladze, also recognized as Yekaterina Gueladze or Keke. The first two brothers of Stalin died; he had some diseases during his childhood. The father was an alcoholic and after several fights in bars and discussions with Keke, he decided to leave home for a while. At that time, Stalin began to learn Russian. Vissarión Dzhugashvili wanted the young man to work with him in a shoe factory. However, Yekaterina Gueladze preferred that he studied.

In 1894, Joseph Stalin enrolled in the Orthodox seminary in Tbilisi, where he approached the movements of the Social Democratic Labor Party of Russia and the reading of Karl Marx. In 1899, he left the seminary to organize and attend different marches; over a period of about ten years, he would develop small revolutionary activities and little by little he was politically escalating.

In 1903, Joseph Stalin married Ekaterine Svanidze and had a son: Yakov Iosifovich Dzhugashvili, who was a soldier, fought in World War II and ended up being captured. The Germans thought to make an exchange, but Stalin refused. A short time later, Yakov was killed and years before, in 1907 due to tuberculosis, Ekaterine would die.

In 1919, Nadezhda Serguéievna Allilúyeva became his second wife and with whom he would have two more children: Vasili and Svetlana. Nadezhda died in 1932. There are several rumors, some claim that she committed suicide; others, that she was killed by Stalin himself. In any case, the death surrounded the sentimental companions of the politician.

Stalin became a follower of the Bolshevik ideology of Vladimir Lenin, and so in 1917, he joined the Bolshevik Central Committee. It was the period of the Bolshevik Revolution, or Great October Socialist Revolution, against the figure of the Tsar; which ended with the triumph of the Red Army. After that, Iosif Stalin was elected as People’s Commissar. Stalin held that position from 1919 to 1922. In that last year, he was appointed Secretary-General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; which will become the most important position of the nation and Stalin would hold it until 1952.

After Vladimir Lenin died, in 1924, Stalin increased his power. He had an ideological clash with Leon Trotsky, who wanted an international socialist fight, while Stalin only wanted to strengthen his country and the officials of the Soviet Union were inclined to the improvements of their nation.

After betraying some of his political allies, the opposition to Stalin increased, but the new leader was not idle and wanted to stay in power at all costs. Leon Trotsky, one of his great critics, was expelled from the country in 1929 and then murdered in 1940. The rest of the opponents, among them Sergey Kirov, would also be systematically assassinated, in a phenomenon that would be known as the “Great Purge” or the “Great Terror.” As today there is no clear evidence that those crimes involve Stalin, but his participation is supposed. In addition, other events happened while he held power. There were thousands of victims in that period of history.

A large number of changes occurred in the 1930s, including adjustments in agricultural terms, but also in the production of technological elements. Thus, Stalin changed the economic policy of the country and increased industrialization. In addition, he applied the so-called “economic collectivization” of territories, it was an idea that allowed the modification of rights in the ownership of land: the state assumed control, facilitated the work and the product would benefit the entire population. The rich peasants resisted the changes, their territories were snatched and they were exiled or sent to labor camps or Gulag, Russian acronym of the General Directorate of Correctional Labor Camps and Colonies, which officially functioned since 1930 until 1960. In 1934, the country joined the League of Nations.

In 1939, the Soviet Union made a non-aggression pact with the Nazi regime, but Germany broke that agreement. As a consequence, the USSR, in 1941, joined the Allies, stopped the invasion of Nazism in Moscow and became an essential force in the total victory over Hitler. The Soviet Union and the United States divided the German territory. A fragment of the territory came under Soviet govern and the other part under the American orders. In addition, most of the neighbor countries of the Soviet Union, which had also been invaded by the Germans, came to have governments very close ideologically to Stalin’s; even though some of them were invaded by the Soviets.

In 1941, Joseph Stalin proclaimed himself President of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, until 1953. The president used to write his political thoughts, leaving much of his ideas. After the Second World War, the Soviet Union consolidated itself as a power and economic changes, industrial growth and the development of nuclear and space programs obviously implied social changes. The Russian population seemed to give the go-ahead to the Stalin government, mostly from the beginning of Stalin’s govern; perhaps for having participated at the end of the tsarist regime.

The next and last historical chapter of Stalin would be the Cold War, marked by the battle between capitalism and communism. He became somewhat paranoid and always seemed afraid of being betrayed. In 1950, he began to suffer from acute hypertension; it is believed that, at that time, the politician no longer intended to participate in international armed confrontations. According to official documents, Iosif Stalin died four days after suffering a cerebrovascular attack, in his bedroom, after a meeting with other politicians of his party. His tomb is in the Necropolis of the Kremlin Wall. Nikita Sergeyevich was his successor.

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