Young Stalin in pictures, 1894-1919

On December 18, 1879, Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (later known as Joseph Stalin) was born in the Russian peasant village of Gori, Georgia.

The son of Bessaryan Jugashvili, a cobbler, and Ketevan Geladze, a washerman, Yusuf was a weak child. At the age of 7, he contracted smallpox, which left his face scorched.

A few years later he was injured in a car accident, leaving his arm slightly deformed (some accounts state that the discomfort in his arm was the result of blood poisoning from the injury).

Stalin always treated life unfairly, and thus developed a strong, romantic desire for greatness and honor, combined with a clever streak of cold-hearted calculating toward those who defame him. He always felt inferior in the face of educated intellectuals and especially mistrusted them.

Sent by his mother to study to become a priest at a seminary in Georgia's capital Tiflis (now Tbilisi), the young Stalin never completed his education and instead soon became fully involved in the city's active revolutionary circles. Have become.

Never a fiery intellectual ethicist or orator like Lenin or Trotsky, Stalin specialized in the dungeons and bolts of revolutionary activity that helped organize activists, distribute illicit literature, and rob trains to support the cause every day. , while Lenin and his bookies were. Friends lived safely abroad and wrote clever articles about the plight of the Russian working class.

Although Lenin found Stalin's vanity at times offensive, he valued his loyalty and appointed him after the revolution to various low-priority leadership positions in the new Soviet government.

In 1922, Stalin was appointed to another such position as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Stalin understood that "the cadre is everything": if you control the personnel, you control the organization.

He cleverly used his new position to consolidate power in such a way – by controlling all appointments, setting agendas, and moving around party staff in such a way that ultimately everyone who did what counted. is, his position pays for that.

By the time the party's intellectual core realized what had happened, it was too late—Stalin had his (mostly mediocre) people, while Lenin, the only person with the moral authority to challenge him, had his own. was on his deathbed and unable to speak. After a series of strokes, and moreover, Stalin also controlled who had access to the leader.

Inspired by his inferiority complex, which he projected across the country, Stalin pursued an economic policy of mobilizing the entire country to achieve the goal of rapid industrialization, so that he could stand shoulder to shoulder with the capitalist powers. . ,

To this end, they forced collectivization of agriculture (one of the key policy stances of the Bolsheviks in 1917 was to give land to peasants; collectivization took it back from them and effectively reduced them again to serf status). Dia), established five-year plans to coordinate all investment and production in the country, and launched a massive program of heavy industry construction.

Although the Soviet Union claimed that its economy was booming while the capitalist world was experiencing the Great Depression, and its industrialization campaign was rapidly successful in creating an industrial infrastructure where there never was one, the fact remains that it was all one. was done at exorbitant cost in human life.

Measures such as the violent seizure of crops by the government, the forced resettlement and murder of the most successful farmers as revolutionary elements, and the search for a source of cheap labor through the arrest of millions of innocent civilians resulted in countless millions of deaths. From the worst man-made famine in human history and in the camps of the Gulag.

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