It can be argued that Stalin established a complete personal dictatorship in the years 1929-39 as he eliminated all those who posed a threat to him to enable him to have complete rule over the USSR. This was done through terror purges, social relativism and the personality of cult. Firstly, through the terror he was able to remove all political opponents through the Moscow show trials. These were carried out between 1934-9 where his political opponents pleaded guilty to impossible charges of treason and then were executed. The key defendants that were removed were Trotsky, Kamenev, Buhkarin, Yagoda and Zinoviev.
All Russian governments in this period faced strong opposition to their regime with the period as a whole punctuated by riots, disturbances and revolutions. Political change was expected in Russia during this period, particularly during the Tsarist regime where the growth of the revolutionary intelligentsia, ironically an effect of the Great Reforms, led many to question the need for a Tsar or a royal family at all. The first main success of political opposition is widely considered to be the assassination of Alexander II at the hands of the People’s Will in 1881. Although they assassinated their Tsar, it is very likely this did not actually lead to their desired outcome, it being greater political freedom/democracy. Many historians have said Alexander II was considering the formation of a parliament in Russia.
Stalinist Russia during the late 1930’s experienced extreme changes and suffering in all sectors of society, including the military. The weakening of Russia’s military strength under Stalin’s rule is aptly described by Mary Leder in the novel “My Life in Stalinist Russia.” “No matter what the answer may be, it is an irrefutable fact that the Soviets did not use the two-year break to build up their defenses. On the contrary, Stalin continued to undermine the army by arresting its most talented leaders. He strengthened Germany by selling it the raw materials it needed to conduct the war. ” Through sources such as first hand accounts like the statement above, along with in-depth textbooks, I was able to understand the linear timeline of the Red Terror, and how the Red Terror was inextricably tied to the Russian casualties and suffering in World War II.
Those who feared the attacks turned to the Minister of Economy Hjalmar Schacht. He was forced to resign in November 1937, and Herman Goering took over in December 1937. Goering ordered that Jewish businesses be restricted in the raw materials they could receive. Also, Goering favoured ‘Aryanisation’ – stripping Jews of their property selling it to non-Jews and the proceeds going to the economy. The Anschluss (union of Germany and Austria) in March 1938 unleashed a wave of attacks against Jewish property in Austria.
In total, at least 7386,000 people were murdered all because tyrannical, self-obsessed leaders wanted to further their own ends. Develop own thoughts and relate them back to the topic. In Arthur Miller’s play ‘The Crucible’ , Abigail Williams acts as a catalyst for the literal witch hunt which ensues, a parallel for the metaphorical witch hunt that played out in the Unites States in the ‘50s and ‘60s as any person with a link to the Communist party was “hunted out” and forced to confess at the HUAC. Abigail creates massive conflict in Salem, pointing the finger away from her own mistakes, pretending to act as ‘God’s finger’. However when she realizes she has an opportunity to further her own ends even further; where she and john Proctor can be together again.
The Reichstag Fire took place on 27 February and the building burning was a dramatic development for the Nazis. Hitler used the event to place blame on the Communists and declared that the fire was the beginning of a Communist uprising. He demanded special emergency powers to deal with the situation and was given them by President Hindenburg. The Nazi used this power to arrest Communists, break up meetings and frighten voters. Due to many Germans thinking it was the communists, Hitler would’ve gained even more followers for the Nazi Party and an even bigger amount of power given by Hindenburg.
During 1941, Russia faced severe domestic issues. Firstly, Stalin began to lose his title as “leader, teacher and friend”, as over time, the brutal conditions faced by the people began to expose Stalin for his true colours: a totalitarian dictator, arguably no different than the Tsar himself. As people began to lose their faith in him as leader, he took drastic measures, and imposed terror amongst the people. In 1941, Stalin ordered the execution of 39,000 army officials and 3,000 naval officials. This was to prevent complacency and make his mark within the military.
Another ideological method that was central to his success of emerging as the leader of the Soviet Union by 1929 was accusations of Trotskyism . This was due to Stalin defending himself by accusing Bukharin of Trotskyism because Trotsky had been the first to make the claim about bureaucracy . This can be viewed as a weakness of Trotsky because this accusation of Trotskyism attempts to show that Trotsky’s ideology was far from Leninist . This greatly caused decline in Trotsky’s support because many wanted a leader who was close to Lenin and followed Lenin . Therefore , this is one of Stalin’s strengths because he was
In November of 1917, Lenin and his communist followers known as the Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government and set a communist government in Russia. However, in 1924, Lenin died and Stalin assumed leadership of the Soviet Union. Stalin was a ruthless leader who brought many changes to the Soviet Union. Stalin’s goal was to transform the Soviet Union into a modern superpower and spread communism throughout the world, and he was determined to sabotage anyone who stood in his way. Stalin’s rule brought both harmful and beneficial consequences to the Soviet Union.
Practice Essay – Development of Totalitarianism Account for the development of totalitarianism in the USSR between 1928 and 1945 The development of a totalitarian society in the USSR between 1928 and 1945 can be greatly attributed to the increasingly centralized control and actions of Stalin and the Communist Party. Stalin’s actions resulted in this growth of totalitarianism according to the Friedrich-Brzezinski model as they completely reformed public opinion and increasingly centralized control over soviet life and economy. This establishment of a totalitarian state can be accounted for by three clear aspects of Stalin’s rule: his Cult of Personality, his use of Purges and terror and his increasing control over the population. Stalin’s Cult of Personality was crucial to the growth of totalitarianism in the USSR as they enabled him to indoctrinate the population in order to ensured that their views aligned with his and the Party’s. This was in accordance to the Friedrich-Brzezinski model of totalitarianism as it resulted in public adherence of an official ideology and evidences a state monopoly over effective mass communication.