Death of Joseph Stalin

March 01, 2019

On 5 March 1953, the most ruthless and shameless communist dictator of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, died.

During his 29 year reign of terror and cruelty – succeeding Vladimir Lenin in 1924 – Stalin transformed the Soviet Union from a peasant society into a highly-taxed, hungry mass-industrial and military superpower at a brutal cost in terms of life, liberty, poverty, hunger and free thought.

Estimates vary between 9 and 25 million as to how many of his own people Stalin had killed, largely through purges to eradicate his “enemies of the working class” – his victims of repression. He achieved these numbers mainly through executions, Gulags (ie torture or poor conditions in these corrective labour camps), deportations, forced resettlements (eg to Siberia) and severe mistreatment of PoWs and German civilians.

Many more died in famines from starvation as the farms under Stalin became more collectivized and dis-incentivised (with production particularly decimated when bad seasons struck) and the economy’s other providers became prohibitively taxed to pay for centrally-planned mass-industrialisation.

Stalin’s “Great Purge” from 1934 was rudely interrupted in 1939 by the Nazis and WWII. Stalin sided with the Allies and reinstated the Russian Orthodox Church to restore morale for a more effective war effort in the early 1940s. As soon as WWII was over, he resumed hard “progressive atheism” and embarked on an increasingly tense relationship with the West known as the ‘Cold War’ (only ending in 1991 when the Soviet Union finally collapsed).

Celebrate this anniversary marking the end of the Soviet Union’s most brutal Marxist dictator by:

Further details on Stalin

Stalin died in his personal residence of Kuntsevo Dacha near Moscow. The official cause of death was a cerebral haemorrhage (ie stroke) but it is distinctly possible that he was assassinated via poisoning, Soviet-style.

Born “Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili” in Georgia, he adopted his shorter and more impressive pseudonym “Stalin” (meaning “man of steel”) in the 1910s – his writing alias as a Marxist propagandist throughout that decade (as were Trotsky and Lenin) leading up to the Russian revolutions of 1917.

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