How did Stalin officially join the Bolshevik party?
- 1922, given the most boring job General Secretary of Bolshevik party - responsible for day to day running and appointment and dismissal of key members
Who were Stalin’s leadership rivals?
The 5 main members of the Politburo
How did position of General secretary help Stalin?
- Could appoint officialsthat would be loyal to him as they could get in becasue of him
- Could remove Trotsky supporters to build a powerbase
What was Lenin’s testament?
- Trotsky should be his next succesor and Stalin should be removed from the party as he is rude and incapable of using authority
How did Stalin avoid the reading of Lenins statement?
- Persuaded members of Central Comittee, especially Kamenev and Zinoviev to keep testament secret so Trotsky can’t win and as it criticised them too
How did Stalin make Trotsky look bad?
- At Lenin’s funeralhe appeared to be chief mourner as he told Trotsky it was the next day so he wasn’t present
- Trotsky was made to be arrogant and disrespectful
How did Stalin play of all his rivals?
- He worked with Zinoviev and Kamenev, 1925 got Trotsky to resign as Comissar of War
- In 1926, then allied with Bukharin and Right wing f Bolshevik to get rid of Kamenev and Zinoviev
- ## 1928, felt strongenough to oppose Bukharin and right wing of party as they supportd NEP but he wanted to get rid of it - 1929 Bukarinforced resign
What were some main strengths of Stalin?
- Built image as someone close to Lenin so he would be his natural successor
- Cleverly played his rivals
- Promoted ‘Socialism in 1 country’, very popular in communist party, attacked Bukharin, Tomsky Rykov for supporting NEP and had them removed
What were the weaknesses of Trotsky/
- Was seen as outisder in party as was Jweish and a menshevik
- Made tactical mistakes, resigned from Leader of Red army
- Lacked urgency tosecure position as leader
- Won arguements by intellect and didn’t form any secret alliances with colleagues
What were the purges?
In 1934 Stalin started to get rid of anyone that opposed him - either executed or exiled to labour camps (Gulags).
Whenever there were farming or industrial failures, the state suspected sabotage rather than human error - purged those involved.
What helped Stalin with the purges?
- Using NKVD(new OGPU), secret police, Stalin purged anyone who opposed his plans, collectivisation, industriaisation
What happened in the purges to those opposing Stalin?
- Mst of accused, were deported, shot or improsoned
Who was purged?
The Communist Party
Teachers, Engineers, Scientists and Industrial Workers
Some secret police members
Anyone creative that might have ideas Stalin didn’t like
What were reasons for the Purges?
- Threats to position, concerned enemies were plotting to overthrow him, destroyed any men that may form alternate gov, especially ‘Old Bolsheviks’
- Stalin totally not responsible, once purges started, hard to stop snowball effect, lost control of them, ppl used it to get rid of enemies
- Link to economic policies, Stalin thought he was only one who could modernise USSR, also thought Hitler would attack USSR and needed more armamanet to stop it
What was the Great Terror?
The period between 1936-38 when the Purges were extremely harsh and millions were purged.
What did Stalin do that gave NKVD increased powers and how did they use it?
- Stalin expanded secret police
- Decree against terrorist act allowed them to arrest without trial and execute them on spot
- They moved inearly morning give nickname black ravens
What were the Show Trials?
Old Bolsheviks’ from the 1917 revolution were forced to confess to crimes they didn’t commit - they were accused of sabotage and treason, so every one of them was shot.
This was in attempt to rid of the old Bolsheviks that knew about Lenin and Stalin’s relationship. Also, he wanted to destroy Trotsky’s reputation.
These trials were corrupted - they only lasted for a few minutes and all ended guilty - people were either shot or sent to Gulags.
What was the importance of the Show Trials?
- Ordinary people didn’t know how fixed they were - they were told it was a fair trial
- The people always confessed so it seemed believable (but this was because they were told their families would be safe if they did)
- Trials scared people and made them less likely to criticize Stalin
- People thought there was going to be a revolution from within the Soviet Union - made people more likely to stay behind Stalin
How did the show trials help Stalin?
- Enabled to him to openly remove well-known Bolsheviks and any potential rivals to his leadership
How many were the victim of purges 1937-38?
Executed - 1 mil
Died in labour camps - 2 mil
In prison, late 1938 - 1 mil
In labour camps, late 1938 - 8 mil
What were the main consequences of the purge?
- In Great Terror, army was greatly affected - thousands of officers removed almost leading to defeat agaisnt Germany 41-42
- Undermined Stalin previous work, able scientists and engineers removed so quality of products dropped
- No one knew who to trust as a simple word could get you killed, executed or sent to the gulags
How did Stalin glorify his role in the Oct rev?
- Photographs were doctored so that Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, BUkharin disappeared from soviet history
- New paintings and histories made emphassising Stalin role and his apparent close links to Lenin - who was still treated as a god in soviet society`
What was Cult of Lenin?
- Lenin still loved and respected after death, Stalin made it seem as if they were close
- He built up cult making Lenin more important and Stalin was seen as right successor
What was the Cult of Stalin?
- Stalin built himself to be seen as a superman that dosen’t make mistakes. His face was all over town and how his reform would help the country
- He made sure every1 knew about his successes and wsmade out to be better looking than he is
What did Stalin do to writers and painters?
- He saw them as dangerous as they had potential to criticise his work
- All writers work was carefully censored - had to be submitted to committees before published
- Any artists deviating from party line severly punished
What was created to control content authors could publish?
- Union of soviet workers, 1932 `
Why was religion a threat for Stalin and what were the main religous groups he had to deal with?
- They posed threat to cult of Stalin as they worshipped a different god not Stalin
- Main religious groups - Russian Orthodox, Muslim and Jews
What did Stalin do to supress these religous groups?
- Early 1920, Christian leaders imprisoned - no. of priests gone down ten-fold
- During five year plans, Church bells melted for industrialisation and priests driven out
- Mosques and Muslim schools banned, pilgrimage to mecca banned
What was the 1936 Constitution?
- A new consitution guaranteeing democracy, freedom of worship, equality and political freedom
- Was praised for most democrati system in the world, but needs of Communit Party could overide constitution
- Supreme Soviet ran the country but Politburo still had ultimate power