Joseph Stalin Biography

JOSEPH STALIN BIOGRAPHY: Joseph Stalin (December 18, 1878 – March 5, 1953) was a “goodie” but really a baddie, and one of the baddest badie in the history of badies at that.
joseph-stalin-biographyStalin depicted on a propaganda poster as the "Father"
of the Soviet Union.
@ Joseph Stalin Biography
Stalin called himself the
Man of Steel and if steel is made of torment, bloodshed and upheaval he well lived up to his name.

Stalin transformed the Soviet Union from an peasant-based society into an industrialized superpower.
He was possibly the most murderous dictator in history, yes, even more than Hitler. Stalin caused famines that killed millions, committed genocide, sent millions more to labor camps (Gulags) and machine gunned his own soldiers when they retreated.

He played a major role in defeating Nazi Germany and cleaved the postwar world into two, split by an Iron Curtain of ideas.
Let’s take a look at Stalin’s life, and in particular his role during World War 2.

Becoming the Man of Steel

The life of Stalin started in the Georgian town of Gori. He was born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, the son of a shoemaker.
He studied to become a priest in Tiblisi but was expelled from his seminary in 1899.
Stalin become entranced with the communist doctrine of Vladimir Lenin and joined Lenin’s Bolshevik faction in 1903.

He became a full-time revolutionary, targeted by the Tsar’s secret police and exiled to Siberia seven times before the Russian Revolution of 1917.

stalin in colorStalin in exile in 1915.He adopted the name “Stalin” (meaning Man of Steel) when he was editor of the communist party newspaper, Pravda. Stalin was elected to the Politburo of the Central Committee in 1917 and became General Secretary in 1922.
In this position Stalin had control over who could join the party and he filled its ranks with political allies.

Stalin’s power grew after Lenin died in 1924. He was effectively dictator by 1929, having ordered teh deaths of rival community party luminaries Leon Trotsky and Nikolai Bukharin.

Sweeping changes

Stalin collectivized Russian agriculture, sweeping away thousands of small farms in favor of a huge, centrally controlled system. This process, known as collectivization, led to massive upheaval and populations shifts across the Soviet Union.
Collectivization caused a famine which killed up to five million people in 1932 and 1933.

pravdaPeasants reading Pravda in the 1930s.
Stalin is pictured on the front.
@ Joseph Stalin Biography
At the same time Stalin transformed the country through industriali-zation.
Workers were forced into factories and the Soviet Union was modernized faster than any other in history.

Stalin’s approach to opposition was simple – kill them.
He ordered a series of purges in the 1930 in which more than 700,000 “enemies of the people” were executed. Most victims were actualy harmless and included priests, teachers, peasants, musicians and beggars.

Stalin's private life

Privately, Stalin was a heavy drinker who often had his senior cronies stay up all night with him. Stalin would down Georgian wine by the bottle and had a soft spot for American cowboy movies, which he watched in the Kremlin’s private cinema.

It’s often thought that Stalin was an atheist because of his persecution of organized religion. This quote backs up the claim pretty conclusively:

“You know, they are fooling us, there is no God...all this talk about God is sheer nonsense.”
-Joseph Stalin, 1940

However there’s also evidence that Stalin held onto his religious beliefs his whole life.

Tourmented family

stalins-wifeEkaterina SvanidzeStalin was married twice. He married Ekaterina “Kato” Svanidze in 1906 but she died of typhus the year after.
Stalin later said that other than his mother, she was the only woman he ever loved.

On Kato’s death Stalin told a friend that “with her died any human feeling in him.”
Stalin and Kato had a son named Yakov Dzhugashvili. The father and son never got along. Yakov wanted to marry a Jewish girl and had to face a royally pissed off Stalin because of it.
Yakov then tried to shoot himself, missed his heart but was badly wounded. All Stalin could say was “He can’t even shoot straight”. Yakov was captured by the Germans during the war and Stalin refused to negotiate for his release.

He died in a German concentration camp. It’s never been proven how. He either committed suicide by running into an electric fence or was shot while trying to escape.
Stalin married again in 1919 to Nadezhda Alliluyeva, who he had know since they were children. The marriage was strained as Nadezhda suffered serious mood swings, and it’s very likely that Stalin shot her after a dinner party in 1932.

She was found with a revolver at her side in her bedroom and the death was officially declared a suicide. Yeah, right. Stalin reportedly said “she died an enemy” at her funeral. Stalin had two children with Nadezhda and one, Svetlana Stalin, later defected to the US.
Born in 1926, Stalin’s daughter is still alive (as of 2010) and known as Lana Peters.

Written by C. Anderson, 2010. Last updated 2011.

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References for Joseph Stalin Biography

Quote on Christianity - Landmarks in the Life of Stalin, E. Yaroslavsky, 1940

•  Please see the next page Stalin Bio World War 2 for references used in the whole text.

Photo sources for Joseph Stalin Biography

• Stalin, father of the Soviet Union

• Stalin in exile WikiCommons

• Peasants reading Pravda

• Ekaterina Svanidze

Unless otherwise stated, all photos used on the page Joseph Stalin Biography are, to our knowledge, in the public domain. If you think otherwise, please let us know.