Joseph Stalin was one of the worst leaders in history. He was a communist dictator who killed about 20 to 60 million people in his rule. He ruled the Soviet Union from 1929, to his death in 1953.
Josef Visarinovich Disugasvili, also known as Joseph Stalin, was born on December 18, 1878 in Gorgi, Georgia. Joseph Stalin did not have a very good life as a child. His family was very poor, and he was frequently beat by his alcoholic father. As a child, Stalin also had smallpox. When Joseph Stalin was older, he studied to be a pastor in the Georgian Orthodox Church in the city of Tblsi. While in seminary, Joseph Stalin secretly read the book Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx. He was then interested in the revolution against the Russian Monarchy. He was later kicked out of the school for missing exams. Stalin though, claimed that he was kicked out because of his communist propaganda.
After he was kicked out of school, Stalin became a political agitator. He participated in protests, and took the name Koba, the name of an outlaw. At this time he was arrested many times, and eventually he was kicked in to exile in Siberia. In 1906, Stalin married a seamstress named Ekaterina Svanidze (Kato for short). They had a son Yakov in 1907. Kato died of typhus while Yakov was a baby. Yakov died as a prisoner in 1943 during World War II. In 1918 Stalin married his second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva, known as Nadya. They had two children, but Nadya committed Suicide in 1932.
In 1912 the communist Vladimir Lenin, while he was in exile in Switzerland, asked Stalin to be in his socialist political party. At this time Josef Disugasvili changed his name to Joseph Stalin. Stalin means, “The Man of Steel”. Then in 1917, Lenin’s Party gained control of Russia, and five years later the Soviet Union started. Stalin climbed up the political ladder until Lenin died, and Stalin beat out his opponents and became the leader of the Soviet Union.
Stalin’s goal as leader was to turn Russia into an industrial super power. Stalin had complete control. He controlled the media in Russia, and he had the history books saying a lot of good things about him, and exaggerates about some parts of his life.
Just before World War II, Stalin and Adolf Hitler made a deal that they wouldn’t fight each other, or hurt each other in any way. After this Russia took over Poland and Romania. In 1941, the Americans and the British warned Stalin that the Nazis would break the agreement and try to conquer the Soviet Union. Stalin did not listen to them. Then the Nazis like the British and Americans said, invaded Russia. The Soviets were not ready for war, and the Nazis easily were beating the USSR. Then Stalin called for anything that can aid the Nazis to be destroyed. This included all infrastructures such as buildings and houses. The Soviets also used the tactic where their front lines would be very close to the Nazis so if the Nazis try to bomb the Soviets, they would lose their men also. Then the Russians rallied, and in Moscow the Red army beat the Nazis. After this Stalin and The Soviet Union left the Axis and joined the Allies.
Stalin had a vicious secret police called the KGB. KGB stands for Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, in English means committee for state security. They did a lot of Stalin’s dirty work, like assassinating Stalin’s enemies. The KGB had unusual tactics for killing. One weapon they used was an umbrella that would shoot a dart with the deadly poison ricin. One famous person who used to be part of the KGB was the current Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
Stalin also helped start the Korean War. He encouraged the Communist North Korea to invade the Democratic South Korea. Stalin did not think that America would be involved in the war. But America sided with South Korea and fighting between the Korean countries began. Millions and Millions of soldiers died, and this war created a lot of tensions between countries. Afraid that World War III would happen, both sides signed a cease-fire. Technically the war is still going on, because there was no treaty signed to end the war.
Joseph Stalin died of a stroke in 1953. After he died there was a de-Stalinization process in Russia where they would change all things that had to do with Stalin. One thing they did is re-naming the city “Stalingrad” to “Volograd”.
Joseph Stalin overall was a strict dictator who did many bad things. He forced many people to die. A quote from him is, “Death solves all problems, no man, no problems.