Dictators of the World: Joseph Stalin

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“A dictator is a person exercising absolute power, especially a ruler who has complete unrestricted control of a government without hereditary succession.” Examples of such rulers are Adolph Hitler, King Leopold and Chairman Mao of China. Today I will be telling you about one such dictator named Joseph Stalin. Joseph Stalin obtained power of communist Russia after the death of Vladimir Lenin. Acting as General Secretary of the communist party he started his 5 year plan of the industrialisation of the Soviet Union. He did not let anyone stand in the way of his political career and even went as far as assassinating his opponents. Stalin created a cult of personality built around himself and Vladimir Lenin. Cities and towns were named after him and many statues were erected in his honour. He accepted many titles such as “Architect of communism” and “Brilliant Genius of humanity” and helped rewrite Soviet history to provide himself with a more significant role in the revolution. Joseph Stalin’s killing spree started in the 1930’s with a Great Purge of the communist party. Those targeted were deported, executed or sent to the Gulag Labour Camps. By 1937 all the original members of Lenin’s cabinet who had not died of natural causes before the purge, were executed. At least 1 million people were killed for political offences. Mass operations of the NKVD (The secret police) targeted foreign ethnicities such as Poles, Germans and Koreans. A total of 350 000 were arrested and 250 000 were executed. Many American immigrants were also executed or sent Gulag. Stalin had Soviet History rewritten again in an attempt to hide his crimes against humanity. Stalin’s official death count ranges from between 3 to 40 million deaths. An estimate of 5 million deaths

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