March 6th, 1953 the Soviet news agencies and newspapers brought the news "The heart of the comrade-in-arms and continuer of genius of Lenin's cause, of the wise leader and teacher of the Communist Party and the Soviet Union, has ceased to beat.
Stalin had died.
To anyone under the age of 20, the only leader they had ever known was dead. Gone was the man who had saved Russia from the Nazi Juggernaut. Gone was the man whom the communist party had revered as a god incarnate. The banners bearing his likeness were now draped in solemn black.
Party dignitaries and common people stood in line to pay their last respects as Stalin s body lay in state at the in the Hall of Columns. The outpour of grieve and shock pervaded all of the Soviet Union.
Stalin s body was laid to rest next to that of Lenin s body in the Lenin tomb in Red Square.
Three years later, on February 24-25, 1956, at the Twentieth Party Congress, delegates of the communist party filed in, took their seats, and expected Nikita Khrushchev to give the usual state of affairs address. The delegates had been through these same routines, canned speeches of the progress of the soviet union, the goals of the five year plans were ahead of schedule, and the country s progress towards becoming a true communist state.
Khrushchev took the podium, laid out his notes, and started speaking. When he was done with his speech, the delegates sat in their seats in a cold sweat and horrified. Khrushchev had denounced Stalin. The iron and black glass bauble Stalin had hand crafted around himself was now lying at the feet of the Russian people in a million shards that could never be reassembled again.
All Stalin s misdeeds, his pogroms of extermination, his corruptness and brutality were shoved in the collective faces of the communist party.
Khrushchev's speech can be found at:
Joseph Vissarionovich Djugashvili was born in Gori, Georgia on 9 December 1897. The man who would later be known as Stalin mingled with underground groups of Russian revolutionary Marxists who had been exiled to Transcaucasia by the tsarist government. He found comrades and he found a cause that harkened his mind and soul to follow.
He entered into the seminary but instead of studying religion, he conducted Marxist circles of students, studies Capital, the Manifesto of the Communist Party, and other works of K. Marx and F. Engels, and becomes acquainted with the early works of V. I. Lenin. A significant contrast to being a priest.
The young man got involved in strikes, demonstrations, disagreements, and he starts advocating revolution. His activities came to the attention of the seminary, which expelled him, and the police. He went on to starting strikes and demonstrations which earned him an arrest warrant. He was sent to the Batum jail, where he started agitating again. He started preaching the communist doctrine to the prisoners with a significant number of converts. Officials found Stalin troubling and he was later exiled to far eastern Siberia.
Siberia was a turning point for the young man when one day, to his surprise, he received a letter from Lenin.
In 1913, Joseph Vissarionovich Djugashvili, became Joseph Stalin.
While the leaders of the new soviet state contemplated policy, Stalin dealt with party affairs and occupied ever more important party posts. He became deeply rooted in the strong arm side of the party and a power base himself enough so that when Lenin died and Trotsky was the heir apparent, Stalin instead became the head of the communist party and the soviet union.
Not much was known in American about Stalin as a veil of secrecy surrounded him and the leadership structure of the soviet state. The US government still refused to recognize the Russian government and there were very little diplomatic relations between the two countries. Russia still harbored a deep grudge because of US involvement in the revolution and the US snub.
The US was still in the roaring twenties, prohibition, and recovering from world war one. Russia took a back seat to our own agendas and the levity of the times.
The stock market crash of 1929 and the subsequent great depression were the pressing problem in America and we had little time to think about world affairs, nor did we really care either we had our own problems.
One thing that did attract American attention was the non-aggression pact sign by Russia and Germany. Von Ribbentrop, of Germany, had negotiated the treaty and the mutual cooperation articles whereby Russia will supply raw materials now necessary for war in return for credit and machinery.Russiawould also help secretly train Germany s Luftwaffe which had been forbidden under the treaty of Versailles signed in 1918. America and the world did not know the fine points of the agreement between Russia and Germany. The world only saw two absolute dictatorships had aligned.
The pact confused America for in Mein Kampf, Hitler openly stated his contempt for communism, and now a mutual pact? The pieces were not fitting together and America shrugged her shoulders and turned her attention back to her own problems.
June 22, 1941 brought even stranger news Hitler invaded Russia. Operation Barbarossa was a complete surprise. Stalin had been warned by his field commanders that Germany was amassing at the Russian border and Stalin either shot them or he dismissed the Generals as fear mongering hacks.
Stalin wavered while the juggernaut of death invaded Russia. The German forces met little resistance and were surprisingly greeted as liberators. Liberators from Stalin the first indication that something was very wrong inside the soviet state.
As the Nazi invasion moved closer to Moscow, Stalin retreated into his ducha and an alcoholic binge. He tried to escape the reality that he had been betrayed. Stalin s subordinates found him, sobered him up and got him to the military s headquarters. Stalin looked at the maps of the Nazi advance and while his face turned to ash he asked why his generals had not stopped the invasion. One lone voice arose and said Because you have killed all of them.
England was decisively engaged in the European war, America was fighting in the pacific against the Japanese. But both countries started sending arms to Russia under the Lend Lease Act. Russia started receiving war equipment to aid in their counter offensive against Germany.
Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin met to develop a strategy to defeat Hitler.
No one knew of the soviet tactics inside Russia. Tactics that sent unarmed divisions to serve as fodder so the Russian military could gauge the direction and strength of the aggressor. The KGB s orders to shoot on sight anyone who showed any weakness in battle. No one knew of the slaughter at Stalingrad when Russian troops were sent in one man with a rifle and the next man with 5 bullets. No one knew of the gulags and prisons that were emptied and the men sent to the front starving men whose job it was to take enemy fire and very little to defend themselves with.
Stalin, who was completely paranoid, did not trust either Churchill or Roosevelt. There were queasy feelings on the part of Churchill about their new partner. Churchill was skeptical and expressed his reservations and FDR ignored him. Roosevelt told Churchill that Stalin could be trusted.
Other writers suggest though FDR had no illusions about the nature of Stalin's rИgime in that vast country. In a speech in February 1940 to representatives of the American Youth Congress, he asserted: "The Soviet Union, as everybody who has the courage to face the facts knows, is run by a dictatorship as absolute as any other dictatorship in the world. It has allied itself with another dictatorship [i.e., with Hitler's Germany], and it has invaded a neighbor. . .infinitesimally small" [i.e. Finland]. Earlier, at the time of Stalin's invasion of Finland at the end of November 1939, FDR had privately expressed dismay and remarked: "No human being can tell what the Russians are going to do next.'' Charles G. Stefan, Roosevelt and the Wartime Summit Conferences with Stalin.
FDR died of a massive stroke on April 12, 1945, and Harry Truman became the president of the United States. Truman was completely mistrustful of Stalin after Stalin had violated several of the key items contained in the Yalta agreement of 1945.
We have an understanding now the Roosevelt ignored or tolerated Stalin's attack upon the Soviet peasantry, his alliance with Nazi Germany, his invasion of Poland, his aggression against Finland, his forced assimilation of the Baltic States and Bessaraia and northern Bukovina into the USSR. Robert H. Ferrell. The Dying President: Franklin D. Roosevelt 1944-1945. Columbia and London
Truman was not going to make the same mistakes as Roosevelt. Truman also faced the realization that the Soviet and communist ideals were gaining increased interest in countries around the world.
Truman, in a private conversation with Stalin, disclosed the US had the atomic bomb to which Stalin did not seem the least bit surprised. This caught Truman s attention. Why did the soviet dictator not react to the import?
World War Two ended when Truman chose to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and three days later on Nagasaki. There were questions surrounding the use of the bomb why Hiroshima and Nagasaki when both cities were civilian and not connected with the Japanese government nor the Japanese military. Why were thebombs droppedwhenJapan wasmaking overtures to surrender and the only issue left was the emperor, who was considered to be a god-king, would he be allowed to reign?
Stalin s form of communism was expanding ever eastward and westward. Were the bombs dropped as a signal to the Soviet Union to stop Stalin s expansionism (imperialism)?
Stalin was not surprised at all. The NKVD had penetrated the secret US labs at Los Alamos. The relationship with the US had been exploited and Stalin had been spying on the US. Spying is a universal government agenda.
There are several different stories of Stalin s death in 1953. The most prevalent is that Stalin s butcher, Laventi Beria, who was a homicidal maniac and rapist, had been with soviet despot when he had the initial stroke, but Beria waited 24 hours before calling a doctor. Beria waited long enough for the stroke to reach its full and lethal potential before he summoned medical intervention for the soviet tyrant.
Beria had watched his predecessor, Genrikh Yagoda, summarily shot on Stalin s orders and Beria might have thought he was going to meet the same end. Through Stalin s death, Beria might have thought he had insured his own survivability.
His delay in calling a doctor cannot be attached to any remorse about Stalin s mass killings within Russia because SMERSH continued on as if nothing had happened. They still liquidated anyone who attracted their attention. It was SMERSH who had executed Trotsky in Mexico years before on Stalin s orders.
Beria s ambitions were cut short when he was arrested in July of 1953 and shot in December 1953.
Khrushchev s speech in 1956 triggered events that are now history in Russia. More and more was brought forward about Stalin s excesses and abuse of power. The battleground just south of Moscow where Stalin sent thousands to their death had been off-limits and the details of those who died there remained a state secret. Now, the earth gave up her dead and Russia saw the aftermath of the horrid decimation of unarmed Russian men sent to fight the Nazi war machine with nothing but their hands and rocks. Russia saw for the first time the gulags in Siberia that rivaled Hitler s own death camps. The words of Stalin Where there is a person, there is a problem. Where there is no person, there is no problem slapped Russia s face. And of the thousands who served Russia during World War Two who returned home only to be sentenced to prison I talked with a very old man who had been in prison for 6 years after the war and his crime was that while he was in the Russian Army, he saw Paris France.
Beria s actions were brought to light and Russia now had to face the reality that one of their own was a mass murder until the tutelage of Stalin.
Russia at last learned that Lenin s widow died shortly after eating a cake sent to her by Stalin.
The fate of everyone who had been loyal to Stalin was revealed through court records people devoted to Stalin had been arrested, tried and executed on meaningless charges.
In 1961, Stalin s body was removed from Lenin s tomb, dropped into a grave and covered with cement.
There are those in Russia, and the world, who sincerely want to see a return to Stalin s version of communism. They proclaim that communism was strong under Stalin, and they close their eyes and ears to Stalin s real legacy. They do not ask what happened to our people during those years they do not ask about the paranoia the Russian people endured under Stalin when a simple voice inflection would earn you a bullet in the back of the head.
Stalin s version of communism is alive in several countries, not to the benefit of the people, but the creature comforts of dictatorial self appointed aristocracy.
Two bite hoodlums can declare themselves as revolutionaries, armed with guns, they stand on the mountain tops re-reading a warn out script of Peace, Land and Bread. Of democratic reforms and of liberation from oppression. And once they assume the politic throne, all the promises fall by the way side. Anyone who asks where the reforms are you promised all seem to meet the same end.
They wave their red banners from every vantage point and tell all how much better they are now than they were before and those who don t agree will soon be below ground in a 6x6x4 hole.
Only those at the apex of the draconian pyramid see the good life and the rest pay the blood letting price. It is also a sardonic note that those who fall from the upper echelons of grace in such a one sided world become that world s biggest and most outspoken critics. Even Mao s widow eventually denounced the entire revolution and she hanged herself. She had stood by Mao s side during the revolution, she who served as the cultural minister, and was serving time in prison for anti-revolutionary attitudes.
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