December 18th 1879: Joseph Stalin born

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Stalin in 1902, aged 23

 

On this day in 1879 the future leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, was born in Georgia. In his youth Stalin read works by Marx and became active in the revolutionary movement against the Russian Tsar. After the 1917 revolution by the Bolshevik Party, Stalin quickly rose through the party ranks, becoming general secretary in 1922. After the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924, Stalin established himself as dictator of the Soviet Union. Under his rule, millions died due to his forced collectivisation policies and his ‘purges’ of political rivals claimed thousands of lives. He worked with the other Allied powers to defeat Nazi Germany in World War Two. Stalin died of a stroke in 1953.

 

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Stalin in the 1940s, aged in his 60s

 

Stalin is a major figure in world history, and on his birthday we remember the impact he had on the world stage and the thousands who died under his brutal regime. Stalin’s dictatorship  ranks among the deadliest in history, along with the likes of Adolf Hitler and Mao Zedong.

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One response to “December 18th 1879: Joseph Stalin born

  1. Stalin would have easily marched alongside Hitler, if the circumstances call for it. He was a National-Socialist of a kind with his own ‘Socialism in one Country’ Doctrine.

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