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Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, rendered as Josef Vissarionovich Dzugashvili in Russian, 18 December 1878 5 March 1953) was a Georgian who ruled the Soviet Union from 1925 until his death in 1953, the second undisputed ruler after UsefulNotes/VladimirLenin. His official title changed from time to time, but he was generally referred to officially as "Comrade Stalin" and unofficially as ''"Vozhd"''--literally translated as "The Chief." He was born on 18th of December 1878 (Old Russian Calender --December 6th) but he changed his birthday in 1925 (to the 21st of December 1879, Old Russian -- December 9th, [[RiddleForTheAges for reasons that are still unknown]]). He was [[CunningLinguist fluent in Georgian and Russian; proficient in German and French]]; could read Ancient Greek, and knew a smattering of English. He never bought a pair of shoes in his life, making and repairing his own from a young age. He could speed-read at an incredible pace, had over 20,000 books in his personal library (and read all of them, as evidenced by numerous notes on 90% of these books) had an excellent memory, never forgot anyone's name, and had an early photograph in which he appeared to be reading with his finger suppressed. He liked to sing tenor, loved Tolstoy, and would frequently [[GrammarNazi write to his favourite contemporary authors to complain about spelling or grammatical errors]]. He could recite Walt Whitman's poetry verbatim in multiple languages, was a huge fan of Creator/CharlieChaplin, and was an avid gardener. He made a number of lifelong friendships, was eminently charismatic when he put his mind to it, and managed to match wits with Creator/HGWells himself in a face-to-face interview. Politically and diplomatically, he was marked by a remarkably astute practice of {{Realpolitik}}.

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Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, rendered as Josef Vissarionovich Dzugashvili in Russian, 18 December 1878 5 March 1953) was a Georgian UsefulNotes/{{Georgia|Europe}}n who ruled the Soviet Union from 1925 until his death in 1953, the second undisputed ruler after UsefulNotes/VladimirLenin. His official title changed from time to time, but he was generally referred to officially as "Comrade Stalin" and unofficially as ''"Vozhd"''--literally translated as "The Chief." He was born on 18th of December 1878 (Old Russian Calender --December 6th) but he changed his birthday in 1925 (to the 21st of December 1879, Old Russian -- December 9th, [[RiddleForTheAges for reasons that are still unknown]]). He was [[CunningLinguist fluent in Georgian and Russian; proficient in German and French]]; could read Ancient Greek, and knew a smattering of English. He never bought a pair of shoes in his life, making and repairing his own from a young age. He could speed-read at an incredible pace, had over 20,000 books in his personal library (and read all of them, as evidenced by numerous notes on 90% of these books) had an excellent memory, never forgot anyone's name, and had an early photograph in which he appeared to be reading with his finger suppressed. He liked to sing tenor, loved Tolstoy, and would frequently [[GrammarNazi write to his favourite contemporary authors to complain about spelling or grammatical errors]]. He could recite Walt Whitman's poetry verbatim in multiple languages, was a huge fan of Creator/CharlieChaplin, and was an avid gardener. He made a number of lifelong friendships, was eminently charismatic when he put his mind to it, and managed to match wits with Creator/HGWells himself in a face-to-face interview. Politically and diplomatically, he was marked by a remarkably astute practice of {{Realpolitik}}.


* Appears as Froggo's big buddy in ''WesternAnimation/{{Histeria}}!''

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* Appears as Froggo's big buddy in ''WesternAnimation/{{Histeria}}!''''WesternAnimation/{{Histeria}}!'' Also appears in Russian Revolution shorts trying to attack Trotsky whenever he can.


His personal life was as turbulent as his political career. He was by all accounts very much in love with and loyal to his first wife Ekaterine "Kato" Svanidze, and was devastated when she died just two years into their marriage. On the other hand, he was an absolute ''bastard'' to his much-younger (he was 39 on their wedding day; she was 16) second wife Nadezhda Sergeyevna Alliluyeva, whom he abused emotionally and physically, and habitually cheated on until she [[DrivenToSuicide killed herself]] in 1932. He was a mixed bag with his children as well. His daughter Svetlana was the absolute center of his universe[[note]]Young Svetlana attended a Christmas party at the British embassy in Moscow in 1939 and loved the Christmas Tree, asking her father afterwards why she had never seen one in Russia (Stalin had brutally repressed the Russian Orthodox Church, though he would dial it back a bit during the war). Stalin immediately ordered a new national custom of "New Year's Fir Trees" for her, which has since evolved into the modern Russian custom of celebrating Christmas in January. Stalin also [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness genuinely panicked]] at one point in 1943 when he found out that [[AdultFear Svetlana was alone in a house with NKVD chief and known serial rapist Lavrenti Beriya]], frantically sending an NKVD hit team to the house with orders to shoot Beriya on the spot if they suspected he ''might'' have put a finger on her. Vicious predator though he was, [[PragmaticVillainy Beriya was smart enough to realize]] that harming his boss's MoralityPet would ''not'' end well for him, and kept his hands to himself. Svetlana was creeped out but otherwise fine[[/note]], he had healthy relationships with his second son Vasily[[note]]Though he did [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown beat Vasily to a bloody pulp]] when he learned that the boy had [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections tried to use his name]] to neglect his studies[[/note]] and adopted son Artyom[[note]]When young Artyom accidentally shot him while playing with a pistol, Stalin's response was to teach the boy how to shoot properly[[/note]]. He treated [[WellDoneSonGuy his eldest son Yakov]] like crap[[note]]Yakov unsuccessfully attempted suicide when his father disapproved of his marriage to his Jewish girlfriend, Zoya Ganina. All Stalin had to say about the incident was [[KickTheDog "The idiot can't even shoot straight."]] Yakov joined the Red Army when the Germans invaded, and was captured at the Battle of Smolensk. The Germans immediately offered to exchange him for Field Marshal Paulus, which Stalin flatly refused, saying "A lieutenant is not worth a Marshal" (Soviet propaganda revised this into Stalin magnanimously declaring all Soviet [=POWs=] to be his sons and refusing to take only one back if he couldn't get them all). Despite this, he was very upset when he learned that Yakov later died in captivity[[/note]]. He is known to have sired at least two illegitimate children with his female housekeepers; more are suspected, but can't be conclusively proven. [[ExpectingSomeoneTaller He also stood only 5'4" (to the surprise of Harry Truman)]] and wore platform shoes to appear taller, and had his speeches read by a voice actor to hide his [[VocalDissonance squeaky voice]] and Georgian accent. And while he was not averse to personal risk (ironic considering his paranoia), he was ''terrified'' of flying, going up in an airplane only twice in his life: to and from the Tehran Conference.

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His personal life was as turbulent as his political career. He was by all accounts very much in love with and loyal to his first wife Ekaterine "Kato" Svanidze, and was devastated when she died just two years into their marriage. On the other hand, he was an absolute ''bastard'' to his much-younger (he was 39 on their wedding day; she was 16) second wife Nadezhda Sergeyevna Alliluyeva, whom he abused emotionally and physically, and habitually cheated on until she [[DrivenToSuicide killed herself]] in 1932. He was a mixed bag with his children as well. His daughter Svetlana was the absolute center of his universe[[note]]Young Svetlana attended a Christmas party at the British embassy in Moscow in 1939 and loved the Christmas Tree, asking her father afterwards why she had never seen one in Russia (Stalin had brutally repressed the Russian Orthodox Church, though he would dial it back a bit during the war). Stalin immediately ordered a new national custom of "New Year's Fir Trees" for her, which has since evolved into the modern Russian custom of celebrating Christmas in January. Stalin also [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness genuinely panicked]] at one point in 1943 when he found out that [[AdultFear Svetlana was alone in a house with NKVD chief and known serial rapist Lavrenti Beriya]], frantically sending an NKVD hit team to the house with orders to shoot Beriya on the spot if they suspected he ''might'' have put a finger on her. Vicious predator though he was, [[PragmaticVillainy Beriya was smart enough to realize]] that harming his boss's MoralityPet would ''not'' end well for him, and kept his hands to himself. Svetlana was creeped out but otherwise fine[[/note]], he had healthy relationships with his second son Vasily[[note]]Though he did [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown beat Vasily to a bloody pulp]] when he learned that the boy had [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections tried to use his name]] to neglect his studies[[/note]] studies. This changed after Yakov's death, after which Vasily became the target for all of the abuse previously heaped on his brother. This drove Vasily to self-destructive alcoholism, and he drank himself to death at age 39[[/note]] and adopted son Artyom[[note]]When young Artyom accidentally shot him while playing with a pistol, Stalin's response was to teach the boy how to shoot properly[[/note]]. He treated [[WellDoneSonGuy his eldest son Yakov]] like crap[[note]]Yakov unsuccessfully attempted suicide when his father disapproved of his marriage to his Jewish girlfriend, Zoya Ganina. All Stalin had to say about the incident was [[KickTheDog "The idiot can't even shoot straight."]] Yakov joined the Red Army when the Germans invaded, and was captured at the Battle of Smolensk. The Germans immediately offered to exchange him for Field Marshal Paulus, which Stalin flatly refused, saying "A lieutenant is not worth a Marshal" (Soviet propaganda revised this into Stalin magnanimously declaring all Soviet [=POWs=] to be his sons and refusing to take only one back if he couldn't get them all). Despite this, he was very upset when he learned that Yakov later died in captivity[[/note]]. He is known to have sired at least two illegitimate children with his female housekeepers; more are suspected, but can't be conclusively proven. [[ExpectingSomeoneTaller He also stood only 5'4" (to the surprise of Harry Truman)]] and wore platform shoes to appear taller, and had his speeches read by a voice actor to hide his [[VocalDissonance squeaky voice]] and Georgian accent. And while he was not averse to personal risk (ironic considering his paranoia), he was ''terrified'' of flying, going up in an airplane only twice in his life: to and from the Tehran Conference.


There's a growing cottage industry of books on Stalin. The most famous books written during the Cold War is by the poet-historian Robert Conquest whose ''The Great Terror'' while considered DatedHistory today in some parts, nonetheless brought attention to the much larger scope of Stalin's purge, which formerly had focused on the highly publicized show trials of the "Old Bolsheviks". More authoritative works were written by the Soviet dissident brothers, Roy and Zhores Medvedev, who published archival material on Stalin. Recently, the American historian, Stephen Kotkin has won acclaim for the first of his projected three-part biography ''Stalin: Paradoxes of Power'' which focuses on the geopolitical context of Stalin's origins, background and impact. In America and Western Europe, Stalin is the embodiment of evil, one step below Hitler, and the two are often paired or compared to each other. Internationally, in different parts of the world, Stalin's reputation is more mixed and neutral, with condemnation for his crimes balanced with respect for his role as a war leader. Modern Russia has fully made public and acknowledged his crimes and involvement in the purges, TheGulag and collectivization, but this is balanced with, especially under the Putin administration, appreciation for his role as a populist reforming autocrat in the vein of UsefulNotes/PeterTheGreat and Ivan the Terrible, who ruthlessly modernized a nation to better defend it against foreign invasion, first against the Nazis and then the West during the UsefulNotes/ColdWar.

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There's a growing cottage industry of books on Stalin. The most famous books written during the Cold War is by the poet-historian Robert Conquest whose ''The Great Terror'' while considered DatedHistory today in some parts, nonetheless brought attention to the much larger scope of Stalin's purge, which formerly had focused on the highly publicized show trials of the "Old Bolsheviks". More authoritative works were written by the Soviet dissident brothers, Roy and Zhores Medvedev, who published archival material on Stalin. Recently, the American historian, Stephen Kotkin has won acclaim for the first of his projected three-part biography ''Stalin: Paradoxes of Power'' which focuses on the geopolitical context of Stalin's origins, background and impact. In America and Western Europe, Stalin is the embodiment of evil, one step below Hitler, and the two are often paired or compared to each other.other as they overlooked Stalin's war effort against the latter. Internationally, in different parts of the world, Stalin's reputation is more mixed and neutral, with condemnation for his crimes balanced with respect for his role as a war leader. Modern Russia has fully made public and acknowledged his crimes and involvement in the purges, TheGulag and collectivization, but this is balanced with, especially under the Putin administration, appreciation for his role as a populist reforming autocrat in the vein of UsefulNotes/PeterTheGreat and Ivan the Terrible, who ruthlessly modernized a nation to better defend it against foreign invasion, first against the Nazis and then the West during the UsefulNotes/ColdWar.


* Robert Duvall played him in ''Film/Stalin1992'', an {{Creator/HBO}} movie.

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* Robert Duvall played him in ''Film/Stalin1992'', ''Film/Stalin'', an {{Creator/HBO}} movie.


* Robert Duvall played him in an 1992 television movie on {{Creator/HBO}}.

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* Robert Duvall played him in ''Film/Stalin1992'', an 1992 television movie on {{Creator/HBO}}.{{Creator/HBO}} movie.


He was also an extraordinarily damaged human being, prone to insecurity and low self-esteem because (unlike the other Old Bolsheviks) he had rarely traveled abroad, was not truly ''fluent'' in French or German (or English), always spoke with a noticeable Georgian accent and was more self-consciously provincial than cosmopolitans like Lenin and Trotsky. He did not take insults lightly, held grudges for decades until he could act upon them, and delighted in the suffering and the deaths of his enemies and victims. Politically, he was steadfast believer in the paramount importance of Marxist-Leninist ideological purity even when this created enormous practical problems and human suffering. He made gross errors which almost brought about the destruction of the Soviet Union (Collectivisation, Great Purges). Josef Stalin was ultimately responsible for the avoidable deaths of some 10-12 million Soviet civilians because he believed that (as Lenin put it) [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans "that which is good for the Revolution is good"]]. He was also a big fan of the KlingonPromotion, as evinced by the chiefs of his StateSec (Lavrenti Beriya's first act as chairman of the NKVD was to personally execute his predecessor, Nikolai "The Bloody Dwarf" Yezhov, who had done the same to his own predecessor, Genrikh Yagoda, who [[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers hadn't]] done the same to his old boss[[note]]Vyacheslav Menzhinksy died of natural causes, though at his show trial, Yagoda was forced to claim he had poisoned Menzhinsky[[/note]]).

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He was also an extraordinarily damaged human being, prone to insecurity and low self-esteem because (unlike the other Old Bolsheviks) he had rarely traveled abroad, was not truly ''fluent'' in French or German (or English), always spoke with a noticeable Georgian accent and was more self-consciously provincial than cosmopolitans like Lenin and Trotsky.UsefulNotes/LeonTrotsky. He did not take insults lightly, held grudges for decades until he could act upon them, and delighted in the suffering and the deaths of his enemies and victims. Politically, he was steadfast believer in the paramount importance of Marxist-Leninist ideological purity even when this created enormous practical problems and human suffering. He made gross errors which almost brought about the destruction of the Soviet Union (Collectivisation, Great Purges). Josef Stalin was ultimately responsible for the avoidable deaths of some 10-12 million Soviet civilians because he believed that (as Lenin put it) [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans "that which is good for the Revolution is good"]]. He was also a big fan of the KlingonPromotion, as evinced by the chiefs of his StateSec (Lavrenti Beriya's first act as chairman of the NKVD was to personally execute his predecessor, Nikolai "The Bloody Dwarf" Yezhov, who had done the same to his own predecessor, Genrikh Yagoda, who [[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers hadn't]] done the same to his old boss[[note]]Vyacheslav Menzhinksy died of natural causes, though at his show trial, Yagoda was forced to claim he had poisoned Menzhinsky[[/note]]).


* Appears in his seminarist days in ''{{ComicBook/Helboy}}'' where he defeats the Baba Yaga.



** After Stain's death, Khrushchev is giving a speech emphasizing the importance of de-Stalinizing the Soviet Union. Someone in the audience jeeringly asks why Khrushchev didn't do anything about it while Stalin was alive, at which point Khrushchev pounds the lectern and demands "Who said that!?" while throwing a DeathGlare around and the police officers unholster their weapons. After thirty seconds of unbroken silence, Khrushchev relaxes and says "Now you understand why I did nothing then."

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** After Stain's Stalin's death, Khrushchev is giving a speech emphasizing the importance of de-Stalinizing the Soviet Union. Someone in the audience jeeringly asks why Khrushchev didn't do anything about it while Stalin was alive, at which point Khrushchev pounds the lectern and demands "Who said that!?" while throwing a DeathGlare around and the police officers unholster their weapons. After thirty seconds of unbroken silence, Khrushchev relaxes and says "Now you understand why I did nothing then."


Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, rendered as Josef Vissarionovich Dzugashvili in Russian, 18 December 1878 5 March 1953) was a Georgian who ruled the Soviet Union from 1925 until his death in 1953, the second undisputed ruler after UsefulNotes/VladimirLenin. His official title changed from time to time, but he was generally referred to officially as "Comrade Stalin" and unofficially as ''"Vozhd"''--literally translated as "The Boss." He was born on 18th of December 1878 (Old Russian Calender --December 6th) but he changed his birthday in 1925 (to the 21st of December 1879, Old Russian -- December 9th, [[RiddleForTheAges for reasons that are still unknown]]). He was [[CunningLinguist fluent in Georgian and Russian; proficient in German and French]]; could read Ancient Greek, and knew a smattering of English. He never bought a pair of shoes in his life, making and repairing his own from a young age. He could speed-read at an incredible pace, had over 20,000 books in his personal library (and read all of them, as evidenced by numerous notes on 90% of these books) had an excellent memory, never forgot anyone's name, and had an early photograph in which he appeared to be reading with his finger suppressed. He liked to sing tenor, loved Tolstoy, and would frequently [[GrammarNazi write to his favourite contemporary authors to complain about spelling or grammatical errors]]. He could recite Walt Whitman's poetry verbatim in multiple languages, was a huge fan of Creator/CharlieChaplin, and was an avid gardener. He made a number of lifelong friendships, was eminently charismatic when he put his mind to it, and managed to match wits with Creator/HGWells himself in a face-to-face interview. Politically and diplomatically, he was marked by a remarkably astute practice of {{Realpolitik}}.

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Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, rendered as Josef Vissarionovich Dzugashvili in Russian, 18 December 1878 5 March 1953) was a Georgian who ruled the Soviet Union from 1925 until his death in 1953, the second undisputed ruler after UsefulNotes/VladimirLenin. His official title changed from time to time, but he was generally referred to officially as "Comrade Stalin" and unofficially as ''"Vozhd"''--literally translated as "The Boss.Chief." He was born on 18th of December 1878 (Old Russian Calender --December 6th) but he changed his birthday in 1925 (to the 21st of December 1879, Old Russian -- December 9th, [[RiddleForTheAges for reasons that are still unknown]]). He was [[CunningLinguist fluent in Georgian and Russian; proficient in German and French]]; could read Ancient Greek, and knew a smattering of English. He never bought a pair of shoes in his life, making and repairing his own from a young age. He could speed-read at an incredible pace, had over 20,000 books in his personal library (and read all of them, as evidenced by numerous notes on 90% of these books) had an excellent memory, never forgot anyone's name, and had an early photograph in which he appeared to be reading with his finger suppressed. He liked to sing tenor, loved Tolstoy, and would frequently [[GrammarNazi write to his favourite contemporary authors to complain about spelling or grammatical errors]]. He could recite Walt Whitman's poetry verbatim in multiple languages, was a huge fan of Creator/CharlieChaplin, and was an avid gardener. He made a number of lifelong friendships, was eminently charismatic when he put his mind to it, and managed to match wits with Creator/HGWells himself in a face-to-face interview. Politically and diplomatically, he was marked by a remarkably astute practice of {{Realpolitik}}.


It's a topic of debate and controversy whether whether his policies are a reversal of Lenin or merely an [[FranchiseOriginalSin extension of the most dubious aspects of his administration]], if his regime was evidence of a backward country asserting itself over a revolutionary and modernizing project, or a symptom and extension of the same drive towards modernization. His CultOfPersonality and posthumous elevation of Lenin as a founding figure, legitimated the regime and extended its lifespan to the extent the Soviet Union lasted 37 years after his death. His policies of rapid industrialization played a crucial role in the Soviet Union's victory over the Nazis, in their rise to a superpower and their building of nuclear weapons. Stalin's rule lasted for 30 years, so he was the longest-lasting ruler of the group of Nations comprising the Soviet Union, and in addition to that, he remains for the present moment, the longest-lasting ruler of Russia since UsefulNotes/CatherineTheGreat who reigned for 34 years[[note]]His closest competitor is Tsar Nicholas I who ruled for 29 years, Tsar Alexander II who ruled for 26, Tsar Nicholas II ruled for 23 years, and recently UsefulNotes/VladimirPutin who's been in some capacity or the other, in charge of Russia for some 17 years and counting.[[/note]]

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It's a topic of debate and controversy whether whether his policies are a reversal of Lenin or merely an [[FranchiseOriginalSin extension of the most dubious aspects of his administration]], if his regime was evidence of a backward country asserting itself over a revolutionary and modernizing project, or a symptom and extension of the same drive towards modernization. His CultOfPersonality and posthumous elevation of Lenin as a founding figure, legitimated the regime and extended its lifespan to the extent the Soviet Union lasted 37 years after his death. His policies of rapid industrialization played a crucial role in the Soviet Union's victory over the Nazis, in their rise to a superpower and their building of nuclear weapons. Stalin's rule lasted for 30 years, so he was the longest-lasting ruler of the group of Nations comprising the Soviet Union, and in addition to that, he remains for the present moment, the longest-lasting ruler of Russia since UsefulNotes/CatherineTheGreat who reigned for 34 years[[note]]His closest competitor is Tsar Nicholas I who ruled for 29 years, Tsar Alexander II who ruled for 26, Tsar Nicholas II ruled for 23 years, and recently UsefulNotes/VladimirPutin who's been in some capacity or the other, in charge of Russia for some 17 years and counting.[[/note]]


He was also an extraordinarily damaged human being, prone to insecurity and low self-esteem because (unlike the other Old Bolsheviks) he had rarely traveled abroad, was not truly ''fluent'' in French or German (or English), always spoke with a noticeable Georgian accent and was more self-consciously provincial than cosmopolitans like Lenin and Trotsky. He did not take insults lightly, held grudges for decades until he could act upon them, and delighted in the suffering and the deaths of his enemies and victims. Politically, he was steadfast believer in the paramount importance of Marxist-Leninist ideological purity even when this created enormous practical problems and human suffering. He made gross errors which almost brought about the destruction of the Soviet Union (Collectivisation, Great Purges). Josef Stalin was ultimately responsible for the avoidable deaths of some 10-12 million Soviet civilians because he believed that (as Lenin put it) [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans "that which is good for the Revolution is good"]]. This can be broken down into some 6-8 million dead in the 1932-4 famines resulting from the forcible collectivisation of agriculture and lack of national-level provision of food aid, about 2 million from disease and overwork as state prisoners during WWII, about 1 million dead in the 1946-7 famines which resulted from the wartime overuse of poor soils and poor provision of food-aid, 750k dead in the Purges of 1935-38, and several tens of thousands more dead in prison or from execution by the NKVD/NKGB during Stalin's tenure. . He was also a big fan of the KlingonPromotion, as evinced by the chiefs of his StateSec (Lavrenti Beriya's first act as chairman of the NKVD was to personally execute his predecessor, Nikolai "The Bloody Dwarf" Yezhov, who had done the same to his own predecessor, Genrikh Yagoda, who [[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers hadn't]] done the same to his old boss[[note]]Vyacheslav Menzhinksy died of natural causes, though at his show trial, Yagoda was forced to claim he had poisoned Menzhinsky[[/note]]).

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He was also an extraordinarily damaged human being, prone to insecurity and low self-esteem because (unlike the other Old Bolsheviks) he had rarely traveled abroad, was not truly ''fluent'' in French or German (or English), always spoke with a noticeable Georgian accent and was more self-consciously provincial than cosmopolitans like Lenin and Trotsky. He did not take insults lightly, held grudges for decades until he could act upon them, and delighted in the suffering and the deaths of his enemies and victims. Politically, he was steadfast believer in the paramount importance of Marxist-Leninist ideological purity even when this created enormous practical problems and human suffering. He made gross errors which almost brought about the destruction of the Soviet Union (Collectivisation, Great Purges). Josef Stalin was ultimately responsible for the avoidable deaths of some 10-12 million Soviet civilians because he believed that (as Lenin put it) [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans "that which is good for the Revolution is good"]]. This can be broken down into some 6-8 million dead in the 1932-4 famines resulting from the forcible collectivisation of agriculture and lack of national-level provision of food aid, about 2 million from disease and overwork as state prisoners during WWII, about 1 million dead in the 1946-7 famines which resulted from the wartime overuse of poor soils and poor provision of food-aid, 750k dead in the Purges of 1935-38, and several tens of thousands more dead in prison or from execution by the NKVD/NKGB during Stalin's tenure. . He was also a big fan of the KlingonPromotion, as evinced by the chiefs of his StateSec (Lavrenti Beriya's first act as chairman of the NKVD was to personally execute his predecessor, Nikolai "The Bloody Dwarf" Yezhov, who had done the same to his own predecessor, Genrikh Yagoda, who [[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers hadn't]] done the same to his old boss[[note]]Vyacheslav Menzhinksy died of natural causes, though at his show trial, Yagoda was forced to claim he had poisoned Menzhinsky[[/note]]).



Popular memory of Stalin revolves around his post-1928 paranoia [[note]] When his personal bodyguard was expanded from just one person, to several. Stalin's later paranoia extended to his ''dacha'', or summer home, in Sochi, which has been preserved as a Russian museum. Features include: an exterior painted with camouflage to hide it among the trees; curtains purposely cut short to prevent anyone from hiding behind them unseen; all chairs and couches with backs ''and'' sides high enough to remain unseen from any direction but the front, reinforced with bulletproof material; all floors made of wood to prevent anyone from sneaking around (shoes were mandatory while within the ''dacha''). On the other hand, much of this paranoia was foisted upon him by others - he actually had to be convinced by the Politburo that wandering around the streets of Moscow without an escort was a bad idea [[/note]], his stance on religion [[note]]Like many young men in Georgia, he was raised as an Orthodox Christian parents and was a seminary student, who like other young men of his time found the Church corrupt and hypocritical, and sought alternatives in politics and science. He was a militant atheist like many Bolsheviks/Anarchists/SR and even some Mensheviks, which factored into his violent persecution of religion such as ordering or approving the founding of the organization "The League of Militant Atheists" and approving the publication and distribution of anti-religious propaganda, accompanied by a campaign of terror against religious people, proscription of clergy and demolition of Church property. He later, though for cynical and nationalist reasons, helped enable a revival of the Orthodox church during World War II and withdrew persecution of Clergy after the War, and this is remembered by some clergy even today, [[https://www.rt.com/news/stalin-appears-christian-icon/ leading to instances of Churches featuring Stalin on religious icons]]. [[/note]], and his role as a Leader of an Allied country during the War, where he became etched as Hitler's ArchEnemy[[note]]His famous response on hearing of Hitler's suicide, ""So the bastard's dead? Too bad we didn't capture him alive!"[[/note]]. The supposed circumstances of his death, dying of a preventable stroke because his personal bodyguard were too afraid to disturb him and left him alone for twelve hours, were actually a fabrication. This is [[RashomonStyle the only detail common to all four of the falsified accounts of Stalin's final hours (by Nikita Khruschev, Anasatas Mikoyan, the chief of Stalin's MGB guard detail Colonel Starostin, and Starostin's deputy-chief Lozgachev)]]. The current most accepted guess of Roy and Zhores Medvedev is that Starostin left Stalin untreated out of a pragmatic desire to benefit from the timing of Stalin's crippling or death. Stalin was ultimately, it seems, too amiable and trusting with his staff. [[note]] This was not without precedent. The Kremlin staff had cleaned his office and served him food and drink for years, unsupervised, when it was discovered that many of them hated him personally and had had connections to the former nobility. Many had worked there since the time of the Tsar [[/note]]

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Popular memory of Stalin revolves around his post-1928 paranoia [[note]] When his personal bodyguard was expanded from just one person, to several. Stalin's later paranoia extended to his ''dacha'', or summer home, in Sochi, which has been preserved as a Russian museum. Features include: an exterior painted with camouflage to hide it among the trees; curtains purposely cut short to prevent anyone from hiding behind them unseen; all chairs and couches with backs ''and'' sides high enough to remain unseen from any direction but the front, reinforced with bulletproof material; all floors made of wood to prevent anyone from sneaking around (shoes were mandatory while within the ''dacha''). On the other hand, much of this paranoia was foisted upon him by others - he actually had to be convinced by the Politburo that wandering around the streets of Moscow without an escort was a bad idea [[/note]], his stance on religion [[note]]Like many young men in Georgia, he was raised as an by Orthodox Christian parents and was a seminary student, who like other young men of his time found the Church corrupt and hypocritical, and sought alternatives in politics and science. He was a militant atheist like many Bolsheviks/Anarchists/SR and even some Mensheviks, which factored into his violent persecution of religion such as ordering or approving the founding of the organization "The League of Militant Atheists" and approving the publication and distribution of anti-religious propaganda, accompanied by a campaign of terror against religious people, proscription of clergy and demolition of Church property. He later, though for cynical and nationalist reasons, helped enable a revival of the Orthodox church during World War II and withdrew persecution of Clergy after the War, and this is remembered by some clergy even today, [[https://www.rt.com/news/stalin-appears-christian-icon/ leading to instances of Churches featuring Stalin on religious icons]]. [[/note]], and his role as a Leader of an Allied country during the War, where he became etched as Hitler's ArchEnemy[[note]]His famous response on hearing of Hitler's suicide, ""So "So the bastard's dead? Too bad we didn't capture him alive!"[[/note]]. The supposed circumstances of his death, dying of a preventable treatable stroke because his personal bodyguard were too afraid to disturb him and left him alone for twelve hours, were actually a fabrication. This is [[RashomonStyle the only detail common to all four of the falsified accounts of Stalin's final hours (by Nikita Khruschev, Anasatas Mikoyan, the chief of Stalin's MGB guard detail Colonel Starostin, and Starostin's deputy-chief Lozgachev)]]. The current most accepted guess of Roy and Zhores Medvedev is that Starostin left Stalin untreated out of a pragmatic desire to benefit from the timing of Stalin's crippling or death. Stalin was ultimately, it seems, too amiable and trusting with his staff. [[note]] This was not without precedent. The Kremlin staff had cleaned his office and served him food and drink for years, unsupervised, when it was discovered that many of them hated him personally and had had connections to the former nobility. Many had worked there since the time of the Tsar [[/note]]


The historiography of Stalin has changed over time, shifting from him being an all-knowing sadist, an "[[{{Orientalism}} Oriental despot]]", or a neo-Tsar who embodied the recidivism of a backward people (Pre-UsefulNotes/ColdWar view and one that was shared by Stalin's enemies inside the USSR, and also partly by Stalin himself); a largely oblivious puppet of the Soviet bureaucracy (Dissident and Trotskyist view, which was aimed to separate Stalin from "real" Marxism and "real" Communism); a mad ideologue who was Socialism and Marxism taken to the logical extreme (UsefulNotes/ColdWar view which meant that [[RedScare all Communists in every nation]] past, present, and future were future Stalins). The fact that USSR was an isolated closed society, and that the government maintained controls on information and education, means that a full picture untethered by political and ideological biases had to wait for the end of the USSR to really form itself. A lot of the documents from the Stalin era are still under wraps. Today the best living biographers of Stalin, Stephen Kotkin and the brothers Roy & Zhores Medvedev, among others, put the number of 'avoidable' deaths under Stalin's leadership at about 10-12 million. This can be broken down into some 6-8 million dead in the 1932-4 famines resulting from the forcible collectivisation of agriculture [[note]] which motivated many independent farmers to destroy their tools and herds, hitting the Ukraine (where pre-collectivisation membership in traditional village communes was just 25%) and central Asia particularly hard [[/note]]and lack of national-level provision of food aid, about 2 million from disease and overwork as state prisoners during WWII (as the Soviet State prioritized the importation of rare materials necessary for war production over the high-calorie-content food products necessary to keep prisoners alive), about 1 million dead in the 1946-7 famines which resulted from the wartime overuse of poor soils and poor provision of food-aid, 750k dead in the Purges of 1935-38, and several tens of thousands more dead in prison or from execution by the NKVD/NKGB during Stalin's tenure.

to:

The historiography of Stalin has changed over time, shifting from him being an all-knowing sadist, an "[[{{Orientalism}} Oriental despot]]", or a neo-Tsar who embodied the recidivism of a backward people (Pre-UsefulNotes/ColdWar view and one that was shared by Stalin's enemies inside the USSR, and also partly by Stalin himself); a largely oblivious puppet of the Soviet bureaucracy (Dissident and Trotskyist view, which was aimed to [[NoTrueScotsman separate Stalin from "real" Marxism and "real" Communism); Communism]]); a mad ideologue who was Socialism and Marxism taken to the logical extreme (UsefulNotes/ColdWar view which meant that [[RedScare all Communists in every nation]] past, present, and future were future Stalins). The fact that USSR was an isolated closed society, and that the government maintained controls on information and education, means that a full picture untethered by political and ideological biases had to wait for the end of the USSR to really form itself. A lot of the documents from the Stalin era are still under wraps. Today the best living biographers of Stalin, Stephen Kotkin and the brothers Roy & Zhores Medvedev, among others, put the number of 'avoidable' deaths under Stalin's leadership at about 10-12 million. This can be broken down into some 6-8 million dead in the 1932-4 famines resulting from the forcible collectivisation of agriculture [[note]] which motivated many independent farmers to destroy their tools and herds, hitting the Ukraine (where pre-collectivisation membership in traditional village communes was just 25%) and central Asia particularly hard [[/note]]and lack of national-level provision of food aid, about 2 million from disease and overwork as state prisoners during WWII (as the Soviet State prioritized the importation of rare materials necessary for war production over the high-calorie-content food products necessary to keep prisoners alive), about 1 million dead in the 1946-7 famines which resulted from the wartime overuse of poor soils and poor provision of food-aid, 750k dead in the Purges of 1935-38, and several tens of thousands more dead in prison or from execution by the NKVD/NKGB during Stalin's tenure.


[[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement While Stalin was ultimately responsible for the human cost of his rule, as we have documentary evidence that he was fully aware of it, approved of it and conceived or ordered actions that contributed to it, there is considerable room for quibbling over the role played by his subordinates.]] An entire generation of idealistic and opportunistic bureaucrats, including UsefulNotes/NikitaKhrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev, encouraged Stalin's paranoid and ruthless tendencies out of genuine belief, for personal gain, and/or both. After Stalin's death these men attempted to pin sole responsibility upon Stalin to avoid implicating themselves, with Khrushchev's "Secret Speech" to the 20th Party Congress on the 25th of March 1956 inaugurating this development. Western European scholarship of the time took this assertion and ran with it, but from the late 1990s onward (after the opening of the Soviet Archives) scholars began to appreciate that much of Stalin's policies had a sizable consensus among party elites and even the peoples of the Soviet Union. Here we should distinguish very clearly between the Collectivisation measures of the Second Five-Year Plan of 1928-1933 and the Purges of 1935-38. Stalin pushed the former from above over the objections of experts and Regional governments, but in the latter was met halfway by Local government figures (like UsefulNotes/NikitaKhrushchev) and even some ordinary citizens trying to remove experts and Regional government figures so they could rise through the ranks and make the regional governments responsive to central control.

to:

[[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement [[Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment While Stalin was ultimately responsible for the human cost of his rule, as we have documentary evidence that he was fully aware of it, approved of it and conceived or ordered actions that contributed to it, there is considerable room for quibbling over the role played by his subordinates.]] An entire generation of idealistic and opportunistic bureaucrats, including UsefulNotes/NikitaKhrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev, encouraged Stalin's paranoid and ruthless tendencies out of genuine belief, for personal gain, and/or both. After Stalin's death these men attempted to pin sole responsibility upon Stalin to avoid implicating themselves, with Khrushchev's "Secret Speech" to the 20th Party Congress on the 25th of March 1956 inaugurating this development. Western European scholarship of the time took this assertion and ran with it, but from the late 1990s onward (after the opening of the Soviet Archives) scholars began to appreciate that much of Stalin's policies had a sizable consensus among party elites and even the peoples of the Soviet Union. Here we should distinguish very clearly between the Collectivisation measures of the Second Five-Year Plan of 1928-1933 and the Purges of 1935-38. Stalin pushed the former from above over the objections of experts and Regional governments, but in the latter was met halfway by Local government figures (like UsefulNotes/NikitaKhrushchev) and even some ordinary citizens trying to remove experts and Regional government figures so they could rise through the ranks and make the regional governments responsive to central control.

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