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Questions tagged [stalin]

For questions about Joseph Stalin, the leader of the U.S.S.R. from 1922 to 1952 and a leading figure in the Bolshevik Revolution.

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How did historians find out about the undoctored version of Stalin's doctored photographs?

Stalin ordered some photographs to be altered because his enemies were in it. How did historians get their hands on the undoctored version? Because many a sources describe this as erasing the people ...
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How was money transferred in early 1900s' Russia?

I'm reading Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore. The book frequently quotes letters between him and fellow revolutionaries, often when he was in internal exile in some obscure corner of Siberia. ...
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551 views

What was the logic behind Stalin's brutality?

In this article Stalin's behaviour is argued to be the result of a calculated and fanatical strategy. Stephen Kotkin's book 'Stalin' is referenced, and the suggestion is that criticism of Stalin as ...
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When did Josef Wissarionowitsch become “sexy” Stalin?

According to KnowYourMeme, among others, a relatively young Stalin is so good looking in a certain picture that he is often referred to as "sexy Stalin": This is indeed a pretty picture of a ...
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620 views

Did Stalin have full control of the government in 1936?

I know that Stalin was only one of several successors to Lenin (and not a favored one at that) when Lenin died. However, Stalin was able to quickly forge alliances within the Party to oust his most ...
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1answer
244 views

Statement Issued by Communist Party regarding Collectivization: Contradictory?

As seen in the following statement issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party: (https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/e2livest.html) Addendum to point 20, Politburo minutes no. 94 ...
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Did Stalin's son, Yakov, commit suicide?

In Milan Kundera's book "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" there's a mention of Stalin's son, Yakov, who, reportedly, committed suicide. Quoting from the book (emphasis mine): Not until 1980 were ...
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261 views

Why were Soviet attitudes towards Israel inconsistent in the late 40's and 50's?

What are the different theories explaining the inconsistent attitude Soviet Russia had towards the nascent State of Israel between the years 1947 and 1953? Communist Russia's hate of Zionism is well ...
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257 views

Why did the Hungarians protest and react so much about Khrushchevs secret speech? [closed]

I know that Khrushchev made a secret speech but I don't really understand what the speech was about and why it made the Hungarians so angry to protest. I know that the protest was about the lack of ...
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0answers
457 views

After WW2, why did Stalin let Finland off with some loss of territory rather than occupation and crushing reparations? [closed]

Finland did lose 10% of its territory and 20% of its industry according to Wikipedia, but given Stalin's paranoia, why was it not occupied by Soviet troops?
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1answer
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Is this anecdote about Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill true?

The first time I heard the story about the plans for German officers once the surrender happened was that Stalin wanted to summarily execute 50 thousand of them, Churchill was very angry about this ...
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Why did Stalin and the Soviet leadership have Leon Trotsky assassinated?

Leon Trotsky was killed with a mountaineering ice axe in Mexico. The method of murder chosen was interesting. If he was a political fugitive in far off Mexico, why bother dealing with him? What about ...
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2answers
454 views

Is there evidence that Stalin stopped religious persecution during WW2? [closed]

I read in some articles that during WW2 the Soviets reopened the churches and allowed their people to do their religious practices. Is there any evidence to confirm such things? If yes up to which ...
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451 views

Did Stalin give special treatment for his home country?

Did Stalin during his reign gave any special interest or priviliges to Georgia and the Georgian people?
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1answer
416 views

Did Stalin disarm the Chinese Communist Party around 1927?

Can anyone provide a few details on this? Did Stalin telegraph to order disarmament of Chinese workers and to whom? And when? I am very confused about the chronology of Events. The book I mention ...
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Why was Stalin surprised by the German attack in June 1941?

Although he was warned by many, including Churchill, of the forthcoming German attack on 22 June, Stalin did not believe those warnings and was surprised when the attack started. I believe the ...
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784 views

Did Amadeo Bordiga tell off Stalin this way?

I read somewhere that Amadeo Bordiga, Italian Communist, said something along these lines to Stalin's face: If the Soviet Union is the homeland of all proletarians and the revolution, then let it ...
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3answers
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How many Old Bolsheviks outlived Stalin?

The term "Old Bolshevik" refers to those who joined the Bolshevik party before the Russian Revolution of 1917. According to D. A. Chygayev (as quoted by Mark Deutsch), in 1922 there were 44,148 ...
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Why did Stalin push for the Great Purge against the Red Army in 1936?

From what we now know of Stalin, he seemed to believe in the basics of Marxist-Leninism. As a communist, didn't he fear that killing his own military's leadership would seriously endanger the world's ...
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1answer
326 views

Which historical figure is attributed with the most death of his people? [closed]

I've heard friends of mine say that Stalin's reign produced more death than the Third Reich. I have not been able to verify this anywhere. Wikipedia does not offer a figure as to how many deaths ...
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Why didn't Stalin use force to bring Tito into line?

In 1956 and 1968, the Soviets invaded Eastern European countries because they had deviated from Moscow's model. Why didn't they do this to Tito? His independent inclinations are usually explained by ...
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Why did Stalin keep the famine of 1932 a secret?

The famine of 1932 took millions of lives, before the Soviet authorities took some measures to alleviate the lives of the peasants. During the whole time, and for decades afterwards, the affair was ...
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1answer
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Does any evidence exist that suggests Hitler’s primary reason for declaring war on America was an attempt to draw Japan into his war with Russia?

During the first few months of the Nazi invasion of Russia, Stalin feared a Japanese attack from the east would create a two front war. In August, he was finally convinced by intelligence reports that ...
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What were non-Communist contemporary reactions to Stalin's purges?

Stalin had people such as Kamenev, Zinoviev and Bukharin and many others convicted of trying to overthrow the Soviet Union, something which we know to be untrue. Abroad, foreign communist parties ...
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1answer
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What is / are the specific reason(s) for Vyacheslav Molotov's fall from grace with Joseph Stalin?

From the 1930's through World War 2, Vyacheslav Molotov seemed to be the face of the Soviet Union in most diplomatic circles. Sometime after the war he lost favor with Stalin. Some reports say to the ...
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558 views

Did Hitler, or any non USSR residents in the 30s-40s know about Stalin's purges?

In Downfall, Hitler laments about how he should have purged the military officers like Stalin did, so my question is: would people have actually known about Stalin's purges during that time ?
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Did Trotsky serve as a hate-figure in PRC propaganda?

Maoism and Trotskyism share some similar ideas (by Maoism I am referring specifically to the guiding philosophies of the PRC during Mao's rule, and by Trotskyism I mean the beliefs of Trotsky, not ...
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When did the Great Purge start?

In what month of what year did the Great Purge begin in the Soviet Union? Wikipedia's individual page says it it started in 1934, but if I Google search for "Great Purge" and "1934," nothing much ...
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0answers
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What mechanisms made Stalinism triumphant in Russia? [closed]

What mechanisms would you guys think made Stalinism triumphant? Firstly, what do you guys think, was Stalinism totalitarian? Was Stalin the absolute ruler over the totality of society and politics? ...
7
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1answer
122 views

Why did Shostakovich not release his 4th, but did release his 5th symphony?

Why did Shostakovich not release his 4th, but did release his 5th symphony? (The 4th was released eventually, just not when it was written)
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7answers
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What legal or moral mechanism ensured Stalin's grip on power? [closed]

TL;DR version: How tyrants hold power, in general, and how did Stalin? I mean, for example, Hitler was voted (the "enabling bill") as the absolute ruler of Germany and his will became legally law (...
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2answers
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Why did Stalin deem Quantum Mechanics 'counter-revolutionary'?

I've read that in the late 1940s Stalin planned to hold a conference to discuss the ideological difficulties of physics in the Soviet Union, but called it off (presumably because of the successful ...
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840 views

Did Stalin have any designs on Turkey and Greece?

I know of the famous Percentages Agreement between Stalin and Churchill. As is commonly known, Stalin reneged on his promise in regards to Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania which eliminated all British ...
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How did the Soviets decide what to annex in WW2?

During and after World War II Soviet Union annexed some countries while others eventually became member states of the Warsaw Pact. What is known about how the Soviets made the decisions about which ...
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2answers
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Stalin cultivated a “Friend of the Children” image: Why? Did other communist/socialist leaders do the same?

Part of Stalin's cult of personality was his promulgation of a "Friend of the children" image. What was the reason for this? What other communist or socialist leaders also used this tactic? (I ...
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Did Stalin believe Israel would go communist?

In Anne Applebaum's recent book Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956 she claims the USSR supported the new state of Israel and states "Stalin believed Israel would quickly join the ...
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What aspects of Soviet life were not controlled by Stalin?

Stalinism controlled social life through propaganda, political life through the use of political crime and the politicization of life and the workers life, with proletarianism dominating all aspects ...
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2answers
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Was it Stalin behind the idea of universal elections in the USSR?

Recently I have read an article that claimed that Stalin wanted to introduce competitive, alternative elections in the USSR while the regional secretaries were strongly against the idea and pushed for ...
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4answers
437 views

How far should I go back in Russian History in order to understand Communist Russia? [closed]

I'm writing a story and need information on the Russian communist rule because I'm writing a book about a government much like that of communist Russia, specifically focused on a police state ...
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5answers
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Why was Stalin so opposed to genetics?

He violently persecuted genetics. Why? Here is one notable example: Vavilov repeatedly criticised the non-Mendelian concepts of Trofim Lysenko, who won the support of Joseph Stalin. As a result, ...
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What was the reaction of Western Communist Parties to Kruschev's 1956 speech denouncing Stalin?

I am also curious about the reactions of left-leaning intellectuals (aka "fellow-travellers").
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5answers
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How many people were affected by the Holodomor [Famine-Genocide in Ukraine]

How many people were affected during the famine? Are there any sources for Soviet records on the Holodomor?
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1answer
267 views

How easy one could start an artel in USSR after WW2 1945-1956?

During 1956-1960 all artels (cooperative enterprises) were nationalized in USSR. It was a large amount of artels. How easy was it to organize an artel before that, in the post-war period of 1945-...
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3answers
308 views

Timing of Trotsky's Assassination

Stalin's arch rival Trotsky was exiled, but why did Stalin wait until later before sending assassins to finish him off?