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Facts about Joseph Stalin for Kids


Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 until his death in 5 March 1953. Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the Russian Revolution in 1917, Stalin held the position of General Secretary of the party’s Central Committee from 1922 until his death. While the office was initially not highly regarded, Stalin used it to consolidate more power after the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924, gradually putting down all opposition.

  • This included Leon Trotsky, the principal critic of Stalinamong the early Soviet leaders.
  • Whereas Trotsky advocated world permanent revolution, Stalin’s concept of socialism in one country became primary policy as he emerged the leader of the Soviet Union.
  • In 1928, Stalin replaced the decade’s New Economic Policy with a highly centralised command economy and Five-Year Plans, launching a period of industrialization and collectivization in the countryside.
  • As a result, the USSR was rapidly transformed from an agrarian society into an industrial power, the basis for its emergence as the world’s second largest economy after World War 2.
  • Major figures in the Communist Party such as Trotsky and Red Army leaders, were killed, convicted of participating in plots to overthrow the Soviet government and Stalin.
  • In August 1939, after Stalin’s attempts to establish an Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance failed, Stalin entered into a pact with Nazi Germany that divided their influence in Eastern Europe and allowed the USSR to regain some of its lost territories.
  • Stalin and his regime have been condemned on numerous occasions, the most significant being the in 1956, when Stalin’s successor Nikita Khrushchev denounced his legacy and initiated a process of de-Stalinization.
  • Shortly after leaving the seminary, Stalin discovered the writings of Vladimir Lenin and decided to become a Marxist revolutionary, eventually joining Lenin’s Bolsheviks in 1903.
  • However, after Lenin prevailed at the April 1917 Communist Party conference, Stalin and Pravda shifted to opposing the provisional government.
  • Stalin made the loyal Nikolai Yezhov head of the secret police, the NKVD, and had him purge the NKVD of veteran Bolsheviks.
  • One of the best examples of Stalin’s ability to integrate secret police and foreign espionage came in 1940, when he gave approval to the secret police to have Leon Trotsky assassinated in Mexico.
  • I want to propose a toast to our patriarch, life and sun, liberator of nations, architect of socialism – Josef Vissarionovich Stalin, and I hope this is the first and last speech made to that genius this evening.”
  • With the exception of Vladimir Milyutin (who died in prison in 1937) and Joseph Stalin himself, all of the members of Lenin’s original cabinet who had not succumbed to death from natural causes before the purge were executed.