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Stalin and the USSR


Title: Stalin and the USSR Author: Megan Leslie Last modified by: Megan Leslie Created Date: 10/1/2009 2:13:11 AM Document presentation format: On-screen Show – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Stalin and the USSR

Stalin and the USSR
  • History 12
  • Ms Leslie

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A Little bit about Stalin.
  • Joseph Stalin, was born in Gori, Georgia on 21st
    December, 1879.
  • His real last name is Djugashvili.
  • Joseph's father was a bootmaker and his mother
    took in washing.
  • At the age of seven he contacted smallpox.

  • Joseph's mother was deeply religious and in 1888
    she managed to obtain him a place at the local
    church school.
  • he made good progress at school and eventually
    won a free scholarship to the Tiflis Theological
  • he joined a secret organization called Messame
    Dassy. Members were supporters of Georgian
    independence from Russia.
  • Some were also socialist revolutionaries And
    introduced to the ideas of Karl Marx.

  • In May, 1899, Stalin was expelled from the Tiflis
    Theological Seminary.
  • Several reasons were given for this action
    including disrespect for those in authority and
    reading forbidden books.
  • Stalin was later to claim that the real reason
    was that he had been trying to convert his fellow
    students to Marxism.

Weaseling his way to the top
  • Plays up humble beginnings against Trotsky
  • Trotsky has also only been a party member since
    1917 and others resented his rapid ascension in
    the party, a fact Stalin used to get others on
    his side to oust Trotsky.

  • Stalin got Zinoviev and Kamenev on his side and
    the three of them persuaded the Central Committee
    to ignore Lenins last will and testament which
    recommended Stalins removal for office.

  • Stalin starts promoting Socialism in One
  • This means ignoring Lenin and Trotskys dreams of
    helping revolutions start in other countries
  • It appealed to peoples patriotism while
    Trotskys vision was one of more struggle and

  • The Bolsheviks were beginning to realize how much
    needed to be rebuilt after the Civil War and did
    not feel resources could be spent spreading
    Socialism around the world.

  • Stalin removed Trotsky from his post in 1925.
  • By 1926 Stalin had enough supporters in the
    Central Committee that he no longer needed
    Zinoviev and Kamenev, they were dismissed in

What Happened to Trotsky?
  • Trotsky fled in exile and traveled to many places
    until settling in Mexico.
  • There he wrote many Socialists texts and reviews
    of the Russian Revolution and even had an affair
    with the famous Mexican Painter Frida
  • In 1940 Stalin felt threatened by Trotskys voice
    of dissent and sent a Secret police assassin to

  • The assassin Stabbed Trotsky in the head with an
    ice pick
  • the blow did not kill Trotsky at first and
    Trotsky wrestled his assassin to the ground
  • When his guards burst in to the room to kill the
    assassin Trotsky told them not to as the man had
    a story to tell
  • Trotsky was rushed to the hospital where he
    under went surgery but succumbed to his injuries
    the next day.

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Stalin, Industrialization and Collectivization
  • Despite NEP working, Stalin turns things down
    another path
  • Need to increase production to go from socialism
    to communism
  • Stalin wanted to dominate over the party members
    as there was infighting

1928 - a big year for change
  • Collectivization of agriculture. Stalin wanted
    to get rid of all private farms and impose an
    industrial model on the country side.
  • Massive Industrialization. Industry was to be
    speeded up enormously. In doing so he would
    destroy the power of the Nepmen and their
    supporters in the party.

The First 5 Year Plan
  • Economics would not be driven by central planning
    and not the free market.

Collectivization of the first 5 year plan
  • Since the party was supposed to be based on the
    interests of the proletariat, a lot of energy was
    focused on the countryside.
  • In 1928 urban areas were, once again, short on
  • Stalin blamed the farmers for not doing their
    part and focused on the wealthier farmers, called

  • In reality, there were only a few Kulaks and
    Stalin was just reversing Lenins policy of
    allying with the peasants.
  • Stalin believed that food shortages could be
    solved by changing the peasant system.
  • Any farmer could be labeled a Kulak, Entire
    villages even!
  • Once they had this label they were considered
    class enemies and could be destroyed.

  • Farmers had to sign up to become a part of two
    kinds of farms.
  • The Sovkhoz, or state farm, where they would be
    labourers or a Kolkhoz, or collective farm, where
    there was a sort of joint ownership among
  • This was supposed to be run by peasants but was
    really run by party members.

  • On January 20, 1930 there were 4 million peasants
    on collective farms.
  • March 1, 1930 there were 14 million (55 of all
  • The result was a disaster, not the predicted
  • By May 1, 1930 the number on collective farms was
    dropped to 6 million yet Stalins goal was
  • By 1932 60 of peasant families were on
    collective farms.

  • In 1937 agricultural production was below to 1928
  • In 1933 there were less then half as many horses
    then the 1928 figure.
  • The number of cattle fell by 1/3 and the number
    of sheep by 1/2

  • Horses were supposed to be replaced by tractors,
    but not enough were produced.
  • About 5 million peasants died in the
    collectivization process and the famine the
    followed in 1932.
  • Stalin would not admit the famine existed and
    would not allowed a famine relief program

  • It was the farmers who paid for the
    industrialization of the USSR.
  • It was pried out of their cold dead hands.

Industrialization of the First 5 year plan
  • The First Five Year Plan came into effect in
    April 1929. Production was to focus on
    industrial goods, not consumer goods. The goals
    were sky high
  • Total output to increase by 250
  • Heavy industry to grow 330
  • Pig Iron output by 300
  • Coal production to double
  • Electrical out put to quadruple

  • When party members challenged these figures
    Stalin raised them and changed the deadline to 4
    years instead of 5.

Problems with industrialization
  • Supplies and distribution means not there
  • Factories did not have the right equipment, or
    equipment did not have factories to house them
  • Products were made that did not work just to fill

  • Once product was made, there was no
    transportation to get the goods to markets
  • Stalin would not let up on the targets

  • The NEP had encouraged the growth and
    independence of unions.
  • Stalin crushed them.

Stalin and Unions
  • In 1929, Stalin Fired Tomsky, the party official
    responsible for union activity, and replaced him
    with his crony Kaganovich.
  • The duty of unions was now to ensure an
    increase in production
  • In 1932 workers guilty of one days voluntary
    absence from work would cost them their job and
  • In 1931 and 32 legislation was passed to force
    workers to go where ever the authorities told

Papers please
  • In 1932 the old Czarist system on internal
    passports was revived.
  • Now people could only move with police consent.

  • Piece rate wages were introduced to replace fixed
    salaries. Meaning people were paid for each item
    produced not an hourly rate
  • Skilled workers were paid more.
  • There was also material incentives to increase
    production such as better housing, holidays and
    consumer goods.

  • To fail at achieving ones production quota was
    to fail the party as well.
  • The government used propaganda to create
    industrial heroes and provide a model for the New
    Soviet Man.
  • The media was full of Shock Workers and

  • Stakhanov was a coal worker he and his crew were
    given an easy coal seam and the best equipment to
    break up 102 tons of coal in 1 shift. Over
    filling their quote by 1400. The media spread
    this story all over an expectations for normal
    workers was heightened.

Results of 1-5yp
  • Ended 1932, was a failure
  • Successful in making a new society
  • Production of Oil, Peat, sugar, coal, electrical
    fixtures, automobiles, tractors all reached their
    goals. But reliable figures stopped in 1931.
  • Most land was collectivized, but production
  • Stress was placed on technical education
  • Money was raised for foreign purchases.
  • Central Asia was opened to development.

Second 5 year Plan
  • The Second 5 year plan was announced in 1933, to
    be completed in 1937.
  • Its aim was to eliminated all capitalist
    elements in the USSR.
  • Private business and trade had already been
    eliminated, except for Farmers markets and the
    black market.

  • This new plan focused on improving the quality of
  • Wage differences increased.
  • Collectivization continued to have problems.
  • Overshadowing the Second Five year Plan which
    makes its achievements not to important was the
    Great Purge.

The Great Purge
Why did they happen?
  • Paranoia due to Syphilis?
  • Deep inferiority complex?
  • German Gestapo creating havoc?
  • 5 year plans creating too much dissent?
  • Afraid of loosing power?

  • Stalin did not tolerate any opposition to his
  • At first he was content with sending opponents
    to prison camps, (3 million were sent. )
  • In 1934 he had the perfect cover for the launch
    of the purge campaign the leader of the
    Leningrad Communist party was assassinated.
  • This gave Stalin the excuse to Purge out all of
    Lenins old supporters.

When did he make the decision?
  • Suicide of his 2nd wife in 1932 effecting him
  • She had criticized his terror and he yelled at
    her a stream of vulgar abuse and she shot herself
  • He was visibly shaken, tried the resign from the
    party but they wouldnt let him
  • No longer trusts people close to him

  • By 1934 Stalin announced there is no one left to
    fight as all the peasants and workers had been
    beaten into submission.
  • Now going to focus on cleaning up the party

It Begins
  • Kirov, Stalins second in command, is sent to
    Leningrad to clean up the rest of Zinoviev
    supporters there.
  • On Dec 1st he is assassinated by one of Zs
  • Andre Zhdanov is sent to replace Kirov
  • With in months hundreds of Kirovs murderers
    are sent to Siberia
  • Z and K are given prison sentences for causing
    the murder

  • Kamenev and Zinoviev were put on show trial.
    These were public trials were the accused were
    forced into confession with various tactics.
  • K and Z were forced to confess to plotting
    against Stalin with Trotsky to take over the
    USSR. People would confess after torture or
    threats to the safety of their family. K and Z
    were shot in 1936.
  • It was later revealed in 1956 by Khruschev that
    Stalin had ordered Kirovs murder

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  • Arrests continue in 1935-36 but not in large
  • Stalin is focused on drafting a new constitution
    with Bukharin.
  • August 1936 Show trial begin with K and Z with 16
    other old Bolsheviks confessing their crimes and
    being shot

  • After the great purge Stalin was the only
    original member of the first Bolshevik Government
    of 15 members.

Third series of Show trials
  • Most dramatic and bizarre
  • Has high- ranking communists
  • All on Lenins original Politburo except Stalin
  • Rykov- an ex premier
  • Ztukhachevsky - chief of staff
  • Tomsky - ex-chief of trade unions
  • Trotsky (who is in Mexico)

  • The world was astounded to how everyone would
    confess to the most wildest accusations
  • There was little truth to the claims
  • EG meetings in hotels that no longer exists or
    non existing flights landing in airports

  • No one was safe from the Purge.
  • The Army, air force and navy all had casualties
    in the top ranks.
  • A third of the entire officer corps was lost.
    Stalin even shot the leader of the NKVD to prove
    that no one was safe.

  • Nikolai Yezhov, an NKVD leader photographed
    alongside Stalin in at least one photograph, was
    shot in 1940 and subsequently edited out of the

Not just old Bosheviks
  • 70 of the Party central committee on 1934
  • Most high ranking official son the army
  • 25 of the entire officer corps
  • 90 of the central trade union committees
  • Almost all soviet ambassadors in Europe and Asia
  • Manages, Intellectuals, lower party members

Who carried out the purges?
  • Stalin had created his own secret police. The
    NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal
    Affairs) was the public and secret police
    organization of the Soviet Union that directly
    executed the rule of terror, including political
    repression, during the Stalinist era.

  • Millions of ordinary citizens also accused
  • Orders sent out to the NKVD to arrest a certain
    percentage of the population
  • As many as 8 million were arrested

Why Confess?
  • Confessions made through torture - physical and
  • Thought confessing would bring a lighter sentence
  • Save their families
  • End the torture
  • Final service to the party - be the last to die
    for the party to stop the bloodshed

And if you didnt confess?
  • Secret trials or just simply an execution with
    out trial
  • Fate of all military leaders

Was there any truth to the confessions?
  • Not really
  • Maybe in the case of some of the military as some
    did plan a coup

What did the Great Purge Accomplish?
  • Stalin is unchallenged totalitarian master
  • A whole lot of slave labour

Whos the NKVD?
  • The NKVD contained the regular, public police
    force of Soviet Russia and the USSR (including
    traffic police, firefighting, border guards and
    archives) but is better known for the activities
    of the Gulag and eventually becoming the
    Committee for State Security (KGB).

But what did they do?
  • conducted mass extrajudicial executions,
  • ran the Gulag system of forced labor,
  • suppressed underground resistance,
  • conducted mass deportations of nationalities and
    "Kulaks" to unpopulated regions of the country,
  • guarded state borders,
  • conducted espionage and political assassinations

  • was responsible for influencing foreign
  • and enforced Stalinist policy within Communist
    movements in other countries

How did Stalin get away with it?
  • Cult of Personality. A cult of personality arises
    when a country's leader uses mass media to create
    a heroic public image, often through
    unquestioning flattery and praise.
  • strong and vivid personality
  • Knew how to charm people
  • Name linked with Lenin

  • May 5, 1920, Lenin gave a speech to a crowd of
    Soviet troops in Sverdlov Square, Moscow. In the
    foreground was Leon Trotsky and Lev Kamenev. The
    photo was later altered and both were removed by

  • Stalin knew how popular Lenin was and saw to it
    that history was rewritten in such a way as to
    make his own relations with Lenin seem much more
    friendly than they had been in fact.
  • The rewriting was so thorough that perhaps Stalin
    himself believed his own version in the end.