Stalin's Personality Cult

1813 Words8 Pages
“The Personality Cult” of Stalin Shortly after the death of Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin a “Tribute to Stalin” was published in Labour Monthly by William Gallacher. The opening read: The people of the Soviet Union, the progressive forces and the Peace Movement throughout the world have suffered an irreparable loss through the death of our great and well-beloved Comrade Joseph Stalin. This was a man who was responsible for killing millions of his own people. How does one who committed such heinous acts receive such a heartfelt tribute? The answer is Stalin’s effective creation of a “cult of personality”. Stalin manipulated all aspects of Russian life and society. The Russian people were blinded by an unblemished atmosphere Stalin had created around himself. Through propaganda and terror Stalin controlled all of Russia like a cult. After Lenin’s death in 1924, Stalin was not the first choice to take over the leadership of the Soviet Union. However Stalin’s sly manoeuvring and exaggerated lies allowed him step above Lenin’s chosen successor Trotsky. “Lenin wrote a political “testament”...calling for Stalin’s removal from the secretary general ship.” (Hingley). This “testament, which Stalin knew about, could have been the end of his dictatorship before it even began, “but his luck and skill enabled him to have it discounted during his lifetime” (Hingley). At Lenin’s funeral Stalin spoke about losing a great leader. And after the funeral instead of Lenin being buried as per his widow had wished, Stalin overruled and had him embalmed and placed on public display. “Stalin decided that Lenin’s corpse must be immortalized by keeping the deceased leader on permanent the focal point of a new “religion” Leninism” (Rappaport 168). This aided in his popularity making the public believe he was the one who must replace Lenin. In reality, “under the banner of
Open Document