Joseph Stalin Biography
As brutal dictators go Joseph Stalin takes some beating, but despite the 20 million plus victims of his iron fisted rule he was also responsible for transforming Russia from an agricultural society to an industrialised force with the technology to make nuclear bombs.
His industrialisation was just in time to see out the end of WWII as the T-34 tank became the nemesis for Adolf Hitler's German army and with production reaching 1,300 per month by 1943 there was a lot of fast moving fire power rolling off the Russian production lines. Such a swift transformation from an agrarian society to an industrialised world power came at a huge cost in human capital as millions were killed as they were forced to work in inhuman conditions and if they refused were arrested and executed.
Stalin did indeed see the bigger picture and he ruthlessly carried out his plan with total disregard for human life and limb. Before the Bolshevik revolution comrade Vladimir Lenin was impressed by the young Stalin and took him under his wing and although the heir apparent to Lenin was Leon Trotsky, Stalin managed to outmanoeuvre Trotsky and his allies after Lenins death and it was not long until the The Red Tsar of the Caucasus established himself as supreme leader of the party.
Pre-revolution he got a taste for Siberian exile for various crimes and political misdemeanours and once he was in power he was to turn the Lenin inspired Gulag into a feared sadistic labour camp that few would ever return from. To consolidate his power Trotsky was banished to Kazakhstan in 1928 and deported one year later, however his exile in Mexico still did not satisfy Stalin who sent an assassin in August 1940 to kill the last of his opponents from the former party's leadership.
If the Gulag's were not bad enough he instigated the "Great Purge" between 1936 and 1938 whereby anyone he perceived to be a potential threat was eliminated, inevitably this saw swathes of the hierarchy of the Red Army and Navy executed whilst the Communist party was to be purged from top to bottom. It didn't stop there as millions more were sent to death camps or simply executed as Stalin and his feared secret police chief Nikolai Yezhov as head of the NKVD saw fit.
In 1939 Uncle Joe even turned on his ally Nikolai Yezhov when he had him arrested and in 1940 summarily executed. Yezhov's replacement as Stalin's secret police chief was Lavrentiy Beria who took torture to a new gruesome level even by Russian standards as the Gulags became industrialised.
From 1924 until his ultimate demise in 1953, it has been estimated that he was responsible for more deaths than the efforts of the Hitler, Mao Zedong and Pol Pot regimes all combined.
The only unseemly blots on Uncle Joe's dictatorial resume were the two inconvenient nominations for Nobel Peace Prizes in 1945 and 1948 which recognised his endeavour's to end World War II, apart from that, as one of the greatest dictators of the twentieth century he was also good for a one liner, so this is my compilation of 22 of the best Joseph Stalin quotes
Quotes About Joseph Stalin
The Marxist political activist Isaac Deutscher recognised his remarkable achievements by saying:
"He had found Russia working with wooden ploughs and leaving it equipped with atomic piles"
Yugoslavian Communist Milovan Đilas didn't beat about the bush with his description saying:
"In him were joined the senselessness of a Caligula with the refinement of a Borgia and the brutality of a Tsar Ivan the Terrible"
The American diplomat W. Averell Harriman praised his statesmanship whilst enduring the adversity of WWII when he said:
"Stalin was better informed than Roosevelt, more realistic than Churchill, in some ways the most effective of the war leaders"
The Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru paid this tribute to the Soviet leader:
"The service of Stalin to his people and the peace and in wartime brought him unique glory, and his death wrested from the modern world the personality of exceptional talents and great achievements. The history of Russia and the whole world will bear the imprints of his efforts and achievements"
Sir Alexander Cadogan from the British Foreign Office recalled this tale from the Kremlin in 1942:
"There I found Winston and Stalin, and Molotov who had joined them, sitting with a heavily laden board between them: food of all kinds crowned by a sucking pig, and innumerable bottles. What Stalin made me drink seemed pretty savage"