What crimes did Joseph Stalin commit?
The red dictator is one of the worst criminals in human history. The "Great Terror", Stalin's deportations and forced resettlements as well as his gigantic prison camp system brought death and suffering to millions of people in the countries of the former USSR and Eastern Europe.
Childhood full of violence
Josef Wissarionowitsch Dschugaschwilli was born on December 18, 1878 (according to other sources on December 21, 1879) in the Georgian city of Gori, near the capital Tbilisi.
Josef is an intelligent child who grows up in desolate circumstances. The siblings die early. The father, who started his own small shoe factory, soon went bankrupt and had to work in Tbilisi from then on. The mother is a strictly religious woman who urges her son into the priesthood at an early age. The family barely has the bare essentials for life, the father drinks, and the son is often hit by both parents.
Stalin's childhood is marked by violence. The child learns to hate early on. His face is covered in scars left by smallpox, and his left arm has been crippled since an accident.
But Josef shines at school with excellent performance. In addition, he has a bright voice and a nice tenor. He likes to sing well into old age and on many occasions.
His tendency to violence is soon noticed. Josef knows how to dominate, and soon he is the leader of a criminal gang of thugs.
In the seminary
In 1894, Josef entered the orthodox seminary in Tbilisi, the most important educational institution in Georgia at the time, against his father's will as the best school leaver. But the seminary has a dubious reputation. The students are more likely to be suppressed than taught by the monks and teachers, the seminary is like a penal institution.
In addition to classical education, Josef Dschugaschwilli learns the fine and perfidious psychological mechanisms of oppression, self-assertion and harassment of competitors.
Stalin reads everything he can get his hands on. Darwin's groundbreaking work "On the Origin of Species" left a deep impression on him; He has long since turned into a staunch atheist. He soon came into contact with forbidden literature that caught his full attention: the classics of Marxism.
In 1897, Jugaschwilli decided to become a professional revolutionary and join the subversive forces that wanted to overthrow Tsarism. A year later he was expelled from the seminary for revolutionary activities.
He evades conscription and goes underground. The budding professional politician will spend the next 20 years in illegality. He becomes a member of the Caucasian section of the "Social Democratic Workers' Party of Russia". Jugashwilli becomes a propagandist, he organizes strikes and demonstrations among railway workers and oil workers, commits robberies on a large scale and extorts protection money.
His life in the conspiratorial underground is interrupted again and again by arrests and exile to Siberia, from which he returns immediately, however, because the punitive measures imposed on him are only half-heartedly checked.
Stalin joins the Bolsheviks, the radical wing of the professional revolutionaries under Lenin. In 1905 he met Lenin personally for the first time.
A man for the rough
The steep career of Josef W. Dschugaschwilli began in the revolutionary year of 1917. He became a member of the party's central committee, rose to the political bureau and worked on the editorial board of the party's newspaper "Pravda".
Stalin - "the steel one", as he calls himself now - has numerous characteristics that make him interesting for the Bolsheviks: He comes from the edge of the empire, is an integrating figure, an Asian member in the Russian-Jewish milieu of revolutionaries. Through it, the Bolsheviks can penetrate the young Soviet state even on its fringes.
Stalin is a violent man with calluses on his hands, a presentable proletarian who is largely supported by the proletarians and the Asian cadres of the party. In the first Soviet government, Stalin took over the office of People's Commissar for Nationality Issues.
In 1922 he becomes general secretary of the "Communist Party of the Soviet Union" (CPSU) and the man on Lenin's side. Soon he was systematically shielding Lenin, who was severely restricted by strokes, from the political process. Lenin recognizes the danger emanating from Stalin's unscrupulousness: Shortly before his death, he tries to remove the Georgian from his office.
In his will, a letter to the party congress of the CPSU 1922/23, Lenin writes: "Comrade Stalin, after he became General Secretary, concentrated an immeasurable power in his hands, and I am not convinced that he will always understand, to make careful enough use of this power. [...] Stalin is too crude, and this deficiency, which is quite tolerable in our midst and in dealings between us communists, cannot be tolerated in the function of General Secretary. "
Lenin continues: "That is why I propose to the comrades to consider how Stalin could be replaced and to put someone else in this position who differs from Comrade Stalin in every respect only by one advantage, namely that he is more tolerant, more loyal, more polite and more attentive to the comrades, less capricious, etc. "
Deadly claim to power
But Stalin manages to withhold the will. After Lenin's death in 1924, he decided the power struggle in the party in his favor. First he eliminates his main opponent Trotsky, whom he later has murdered in exile in Mexico. Little by little he kills every competitor in the core of power.
In the mid-1920s, Stalin ousted former comrades-in-arms from the old guard, then removed them from the party. Ten years later he kills almost the entire nomenclature of the Bolsheviks in purges.
After their assassination, Stalin erases any memory of the disgraced comrades. Photos are destroyed and retouched, names made unrecognizable, existences denied. Stalin's victims are to be erased from the collective memory.
The red dictator
After the relentless purge of the party, Stalin breaks the spine of the Red Army. Countless executives are eliminated. He replaces the liquidated cadre with docile successors.
The atrocities are not only directed against the party, army and administration. Stalin is terrorizing his own people, he wants to break his will. With an iron fist he carries out the forced collectivization of the peasants, which is causing a severe famine on the Volga and in the Ukraine. With the same contempt for human beings, he threw millions of poorly equipped Red Army soldiers to the front when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941.
Until 1953, Stalin ruled the Soviet Union with ruthless severity and brought death and ruin to the people. It is estimated that 20 million deaths from Stalinism, including millions of starvation deaths through forced collectivization, millions of deportees, millions who died in the gulags, millions who were executed in the wake of the Stalinist purges.
Death by distance
In his private life, the red dictator freezes into a gloomy monument that he himself created. He no longer shows himself to the people. Stalin lives withdrawn, nobody can get close to him. Ultimately, the unbridgeable distance that he himself created to his closest subordinates cost him his life: when he suffered a stroke on March 5, 1953 in his dacha near Moscow, nobody dared to come into his room. Nobody wants to act or make decisions without their consent.
Instead of a doctor, the Politburo is notified. When the comrades arrive hours later, the dictator is dead.
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