Stalin: History in an Hour
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....
The defeat of the Germans at the Battle of Stalingrad in February 1943 proved to be the turning point of the war. In the pursuit of victory, Stalin was concerned by little else, including the mass rapes committed by his men while advancing across Germany. He once asked the Yugoslavian communist, Milovan Djilas, ‘What is so awful in [the Soviet soldier] amusing himself with a woman? The important thing is that the Red Army fights Germans … the rest doesn’t matter.’ Stalin, Roosevelt and
the suffering of the Jews during the war. Whilst beginning a Jewish purge, Stalin claimed he had unmasked a ‘doctors’ plot’ involving leading physicians determined to kill the Soviet leadership. Stalin claimed that Andrey Zhdanov – his man in Leningrad from 1941 until his death of a heart attack in 1948 aged fifty-two – had been a victim. Many doctors in Russia were Jewish. Evidence also suggests that Stalin was preparing a huge purge against the Jews when he died. By this one man’s death, the
married at the age of fourteen. Her first two children, both boys, died within their first year. Joseph, although struck by a bout of smallpox, survived. Seeing her son’s survival as a gift from God, she was determined to see him enter church school to train to become a priest, fighting off, often physically, her husband’s determination for him to become a cobbler. Ekaterina Dzhugashvili Having freed herself from her violent husband, Keke moved from one accommodation to another, picking up work
been Stalin’s son but his family was not spared. He was married to a Jewish woman, Julia. Stalin had managed to overcome his anti-Semitism and grew to be quite fond of his daughter-in-law. Nonetheless, following Yakov’s capture, Julia was arrested, separated from her three-year-old daughter and sent to the gulag. After two years, Stalin sanctioned her release but she remained forever traumatised by the experience. The Germans made propaganda capital of Yakov’s capture, dropping leaflets in the
William Collins An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 77–85 Fulham Palace Road Hammersmith, London W6 8JB www.harpercollins.co.uk Visit the History in an Hour website: www.historyinanhour.com First published by HarperPress in 2012 Copyright � Rupert Colley 2012 Series editor: Rupert Colley IN AN HOUR � is a registered trademark of HarperCollinsPublishers Limited Cover image � Time Life Pictures / Getty Images Joachim von Ribbentrop signs the Nazi–Soviet Non-Aggression Pact: image