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12

Beria I think it would be extremely instructive to consider the anti-Beria coup. The conspirators discussed the plans in secret and Beria was arrested by Marshal Georgy Zhukov himself. This plan required an absolute devotion of participants since any leak to a Beria agent was deadly. This is why only high-level people were involved - a Marshal(!!) making an ...


11

Most people who are or want to be political leaders try to look like they love children, and children love them. The reason is very simple: Most adult people are parents. For almost all parents there is nothing more important in the world than their children. Hence, the best way to rise in the eyes of parents, and hence the best way to rise in the eyes of ...


9

What do you mean, 'legal mechanisms'? Putting "how tyrants hold power" and "legal or moral mechanism" in the same sentence is completely missing the point. Stalin didn't have power because being chairman of Politburo, but he was chairman of Politburo because he had power. I'm not completely sure, but I believe that legally the Politburo decisions actually ...


9

Stalin took ideology seriously... He started the Soviet meme "на идеологии мы не экономим" ("we don't skimp on ideology"). He also believed that "Учение Маркса всесильно, потому что оно верно" ("The teachings of Marx is omnipotent because it is true"). He also understood the critical importance of science and technology. He also continued the age-old ...


9

It is clear that Stalin supported the creation of Israel. From the Wiki: For Soviet foreign policy decision-makers, pragmatism took precedence over ideology. Without changing its official anti-Zionist stance, from late 1944, until 1948 and even later, Joseph Stalin adopted a pro-Zionist foreign policy, apparently believing that the new country would be ...


9

Trotskyism, and by extension Trotsky himself (and vice versa) was definitely denounced in early Communist Chinese propaganda. Whether or not he was a "hate figure" depends on what criteria you use for that nebulous phrase. Since the question declined to define it, I'll focus on the government's general attitude instead - though personally, I would say it was ...


9

Of course. It wasn't much of a secret. Some 85% of the Soviet military's top positions were removed; the scale alone makes it rather impossible to hide. In fact, knowledge that Stalin had decapitated his own army's backbone was one of the factors motivating Nazi Germany to invade. But not only did [the Great Purges] do incalculable damage to the future ...


8

It is difficult to characterize the reactions of whole organizations, and to separate out the reaction to the speech from the reaction to the 20th Party Congress as a whole, and to the other events of 1956. Many groups were internally split between those who saw it as a call for renewal and others as a betrayal. Because the Russian Revolution had progressed ...


8

The problem is the definition. Great Purge as itself wasn't a single event under Stalin's rule but waves of executions and convictions. In fact after Lenin's death in 1922 Stalin came to power. With increasing intensity he started to deal with rivals, first politically, then he had enough power to order uncontrolled massacre. The most famous period is the ...


8

There's not really a "specific reason" since he lost favour over some period of time, rather immediately in response to a single event. But some generally agreed factors were Stalin's paranoia and intolerance of dissent, as well as and Molotov's own personality. Vyacheslav Molotov is well known to be stubborn and independent minded. He argued with Stalin ...


7

At the Yalta Conference in February 1945 the following declaration was included in the conference proceedings in regards to Poland's Eastern border: "The three heads of Government consider that the eastern frontier of Poland should follow the Curzon Line with digressions from it in some regions of five to eight kilometers in favor of Poland. They ...


6

The main historiography, which you should really have searched prior to asking the question. Most obviously Sheila Fitzpatrick's work on everyday Stalinism at the work unit level, particularly Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times (1999). Rossman (2005) Worker resistance under Stalin. Andrle (1988) Workers in Stalin's Russia.


5

For me at least, this question may be re-phrased thus: To what extent were the contours of the Communist regime in Russia determined by Russian national peculiarities? Scholars like Richard Pipes hold that the Soviet regime was a development of some sort of immanent Russian matrix. Here is a wiki summary: Pipes is known for arguing that the origins of ...


5

He was exiled to Turkey by way of Khazakstan and not Siberia - and it wasn't until the Show Trials until Stalin felt he had consolidated enough power to order Trotsky's death.


5

First of all, Lysenko did not oppose genetics in general, he was against so-called "formal genetics". He was the director of the Institute of Genetics of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR since 1940. In 1939 he said in a speech: Unfairly comrades Mendelists alledge that we profess closing of Genetics (...) Genetics is necessary and we struggle for ...


5

The show trials of the 1936 to 1938 period were widely denounced throughout western Europe and the United States. There was formed an international inquiry to exonerate Trotsky, sometimes called the "Dewey Commission." This board made highly publicized reports documenting the falsification of the evidence and unsubstantiated allegations made in the Vyshinsky ...


4

According to the official internal Soviet statistics, the number of excessive mortality in Ukraine in 1932-1933 was 1,532,700 people, of which 1 million 385 thousand in 1933. A paradoxical fact of this is that in 1933 the total harvest for the USSR was 69 million tonnes (some think this number is overestimation due to the counting method used in the USSR ...


4

Basically, this is a lot of tosh. This, ahem, quaint theory is a nice specimen of the modern neo-Stalinist cottage industry. Reality was much simpler: the purges were ordered and organized by Stalin; no alternative elections were ever held in the Soviet Union (till the late 1980s when the system was in its death throes). This was of course by design - the ...


4

No, it is not needed. I think you better should read the history of Marxism and about the Great French Revolution. If you want to deepen in history, you can start from the Commune of Rome (1144).


4

The modern period was characterized by a belief that the world could be reinvented in light of the superior understanding provided by modern thinking. The communists were major proponents of this movement. The result of this ego-driven idea was that it attracted people who believed their understanding of the world was superior to a traditional view hewn from ...


4

With regards to Finland, it was the second country that the USSR invaded after signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, where Finland was one of the countries that had been assigned to the Soviet "Sphere of influence" together with Estonia, Latvia, Bessarabia and half of Poland. (The first country invaded was of course Poland). However, there is a dispute ...


4

Some considerations you may consider. Stalin was extremely popular with the people, and after the war he was seen as the leader of the victorious side in WWII. There was a huge personality cult. Any move against him would be very much suspicious of treachery even if formally legal. Mafia-style rule. As you know many of the mafia leaders in Russia are of ...


4

The answer of Tyler Durden is essentially correct but somewhat one-sided. So let me add that there was an influential part of population, which cannot be called "communist" in any sense, and which approved Stalin's policies in general and mock trials in particular. I mean some intellectuals, and there were many. And they were influential. Bernard Shaw. ...


4

The decrypted "Ultra" evidence revealed in "Marching Orders" suggests just the opposite: that the Japanese were more likely to attack Soviet Siberia if the Germans were successful in the Soviet Union, e.g. at Moscow, Stalingrad and/or the Caucasus, than if they attacked the United States. Therefore, in theory, Hitler should have concentrated his arms ...


3

Stalin's first important position was being elected to the Politburo (the main policy-making and executive board) of the Central Committee (the highest body of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, directing all Party and government activities), in May 1917. He remained a member of the Politburo for the rest of his life. During the Russian Civil War ...


3

I hesitate to call fear of death, beatings or imprisonment a moral mechanism. These are what kept Stalin's grip on power. The basic calculus of an omnipresent secret police force watching for transgressions and the fact that anyone you discussed overthrowing Stalin could turn you in meant that possible dissident elements were completely isolated from each ...


3

Turkey remained neutral through the Second World War, and so was not part of the Balkans discussion between Churchill and Stalin at the Fourth Moscow Conference (as discussed in my answer here). As I note in that answer: Although minority percentages were actually set in the all cases other than Yugoslavia, it is clear that Stalin regarded these ...


3

The state and Communist party TRIED to control ALL aspects of people's life. Another question is how successful they were.



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