Stalin: History in an Hour

Stalin: History in an Hour

Language: English

Pages: 0


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Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour.

Arguably no person in history had such a direct and negative impact on the lives of so many as Joseph Stalin. Under the Red Tsar terror knew no limits, it did not discriminate; no one was safe, no institution, no single town or village was immune. Yet, following his death in 1953, Stalin was deeply mourned. He had "received the country with a wooden plough, and left it with a nuclear missile shield." And no-one else, some claimed, could have led the Soviet Union to victory in the Second World War.

So who was Joseph Stalin, what was his role during the Russian Revolution; how did he come to power, what made him such a destructive tyrant, and how did he impose his will on the Soviet Union for so long? Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour....

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Svetlana Alliluyeva, described in almost religious terms, his last moments: He suddenly opened his eyes and looked at everyone in the room. It was a terrible gaze, mad or maybe furious and full of fear of death … then something incomprehensible and frightening happened … he suddenly lifted his left hand as though he were pointing to something above and bringing down a curse on us all … The next moment, after a final effort, the spirit wrenched itself free of the flesh. Despite injections of

V. Stalin shall be recognised as inappropriate since the serious violations by Stalin of Lenin’s precepts, abuse of power, mass repressions against honourable Soviet people and other activities … make it impossible to leave the bier with his body in the mausoleum of V. I. Lenin. In the dark hours of 31 October 1961, the dead dictator was removed from the Lenin–Stalin Mausoleum. There was no solemnity, no ceremony, no speeches, just a few workmen doing a matter-of-fact task – by moonlight. He was

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been destroyed – rows of planes sat on the airfields without camouflage providing the German air force, the Luftwaffe, an easy target. His soldiers were unprepared, often in the wrong place and lacking ammunition. Stalin’s generals believed that Hitler’s main thrust would aim towards Moscow via Minsk and Smolensk. Stalin stubbornly believed Hitler would attack southwards towards the rich resources of the Ukraine, so, accordingly, the bulk of the Red Army was moved south. On 28 June, news came

generals, including Georgy Zhukov. Stalin’s anger reduced Zhukov, a bull-necked, merciless commander, to tears. Molotov offered Zhukov his handkerchief. The very survival of the Soviet Union was at stake and Stalin was at a loss. ‘Lenin founded our State,’ he said despondently, ‘and we’ve fucked it up.’ And with that, he retired to his dacha. He hid away for three days – refusing to answer the telephone or see anyone. He may well have suffered a form of mental collapse, perhaps conscious of some

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