Memorial human rights group put together a list
of more than 2.6 million names of victims of
Stalin's mass killings. All in all, it is
believed that approx 12 million people were
And because of the
sheer incomprehensibility of this number, let's allow
ingenious Eddie Izzard to help us grasp.
Joseph Stalin's Name
original name was Ioseb
Dzhugashvili, or in Russian,
Dzhugashvili. Also spelled Josif.
derives from the Russian word stal which
Joseph Stalin's Date of Birth
Stalin's birth date is December 21, 1879
(December 9, 1879
But historians found out that December 18, 1878
(December 6, 1878
was his real birthday. Nobody knows for sure why
Stalin gave different birth dates.
Joseph Stalin's Family
parents were peasants from Georgia. Thus, Stalin
was as Russian as Hitler was German.
(Stalin was not a Russian but a Georgian and grew up
with the Georgian language. Hitler was not a
German but an Austrian and grew up yodeling. Back to
Vissarion Ivanovich Dzhugashvili,
a shoemaker and a boozer. Vissarion was also
called Beso. He was born around 1850. Nobody
knows when he died, some say 1909, some say he
was still around in the 1930s.
Yekaterina Georgievna Geladze,
also spelled Ekaterina, and also called Keke.
Yekaterina was a seamstress, who occasionally dabbled in
Yekaterina Dzhugashvili married in 1874. Stalin
was Yekaterina's first child to survive. He was
her third son.
Stalin married in 1904 or 1905. Together with
his first wife,
Ekaterina Svanidze, Stalin had a son,
also spelled Jakov, or Jacob. Yakov was born in
1907. Ekaterina died later in 1907 of pneumonia.
Yakov, in turn,
married Yulia Meltzer.
Together they had a son,
Evgeny was born in 1936. Yakov was taken
prisoner by the Germans in
was shot in 1943 while trying to escape. Stalin
had refused to arrange a prisoner exchange with
the Germans. Some say, Yakov grabbed the fence
of the prison camp just to provoke his getting
Together with his
second wife, Nadezhda
Alliluyeva, Joseph Stalin had a son
herself in 1932. Vasily died an alcoholic aged
40. Svetlana was born in 1926. Svetlana, also
known as Svetlana Alliluyeva and later Lana
Peters, defected to the West in 1967. On
November 22, 2011, she died at 85 of colon
cancer, in Wisconsin. Here is the
article. And here is the photo:
Lana Peters in 2010
Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, Steve Apps
Joseph Stalin's Early Years
became a Marxist in his teens / early twenties.
He was busy organizing strikes and
protests. Soon, his ruthlessness attracted
police attention. Stalin was arrested many times.
Communist Party of the Soviet Union had Stalin
as their secretary-general from 1922 until the
end of Stalin's life.
In 1941, Stalin became premier of
the Soviet Union.
Dictator, in effect.
collectivized the land by force. Under Stalin,
the country's industrial output soared. Human
life, on the other hand, wasn't worth a kopeck.
One Russian rubel made 100 kopecks, by the way.
education and fought against religion.
Major Events During Stalin's Reign
The Great Famine of 1932 -
Also called the
Ukrainian Genocide, or
Holodomor, the Great Famine
of 1932 was Stalin's strategy to terminate all
Ukrainian resistance. And it worked out for him.
The population was dead by the million and
Stalin shipped in Russians to re-populate the
estimate the victims of the Great Famine to have
been between 5 and 7 million people.
The Great Purges 1937 -
The Great Purges, also called the Great Purge
(singular), the Soviet
Purges, or the
Great Terror, was Stalin's
political spring cleaning and included the
elimination of many prominent Bolshevik
revolutionaries and elite members of the Red
Army. It is estimated that over a million
"political criminals" were arrested and more
than 75% of them were executed.
Some say, the
Great Purges had already started on December 1,
1934, with the assassination of
Sergey M. Kirov.
Stalin and World War II
1939, Stalin appointed
Vyacheslav Mikhaylovich Molotov,
father of the famous cocktail of the same name,
for the post of People's Commissar of Foreign
Molotov obtained a visit from Nazi
Germany's foreign minister
Ribbentrop. Together at Moscow and
with Stalin looking over their shoulders, Germany
and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression
pact on August 23, 1939.
This pact is also
Hitler-Stalin Pact, or the
SIGNING THE GERMAN-SOVIET NONAGGRESSION PACT,
RIBBENTROP EAGLE-EYEING BEHIND HIM AND STALIN
In effect, the
German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact paved the way
for Germany's invasion of Poland and thus the
World War II.
was one of the few guys who could still surprise
Stalin. He launched
Operation Barbarossa and had his
troops attack the Soviet Union out of the blue
on June 22, 1941.
Stalin met with
Churchill at the
February 4 - 11, 1945, in which he fooled both,
the President of the United States and the Prime
Minister of Great Britain.
ROOSEVELT, STALIN AT YALTA
To create a
buffer zone between the Soviet Union and the
Western European powers, and contrary to the
promises made at the Yalta Conference, Stalin
saw to it that an Eastern bloc of smaller
countries under communist regimes was
established, each one with strong ties to the
not appoint a successor prior to his death.