Throughout Stalin’s reign, he had his supporters; however, he had far more people who despised him. Stalin was a very suspicious and paranoid man, as Khrushchev told us, and this only grew as his time in power grew to a close. Five out of the 10 sources are against him and four are pro Stalin. One source gives good and bad about Stalin. The sources that show Stalin in a good light are mainly ones that have almost certainly been ordered by Stalin himself. He was a man who believed he could never be wrong and wouldn’t let anyone be seen to be more intelligent or powerful than he was.
He wanted everyone to believe his ideas, he wanted everyone to admire his ambitions and he wanted everyone to love him. Stalin wanted himself to be pictured as a god or the closest one can get to perfection. Stalin was a cruel leader, but by no means a bad one. The sources don’t manage to cover all the detail, but Stalin managed to change the face of Russia. He industrialised it, making it the second biggest industry second only to America. He also brought in collective farms, which at first brought about the great famine but soon after brought tractors to farms.
There was also more food being produced after collectivisation. 0 – 40 millions of tons of grain were being produced each year after all had settled down, but you cannot ignore the fact that many people suffered and died during the great famine. Many lost their lives through starvation because there was just not enough food for the Russian population. Many suffered because Stalin was too stubborn and refused to abolish the collectivisation project. The sources for Stalin are mostly made by his order. This goes to show that, unless anyone was scared of him, he had very few voluntary pictures or articles that were good about him.
If there was something about Stalin’s greatness that hadn’t been ordered, it would be because the artist, illustrator or writer was in of Stalin, or they wanted to make themselves seem like they support him. They didn’t want to be sent to labour camps or be shot. Stalin brought about so much misery and depression too. Many families and family members were shot, so the existing family would be angry and resentful to him, and through this manner, he gained very little genuine popularity. Any that were prepared to stand up to him were sent to labour camps, often in extremely harsh parts of Russia, working under harsh conditions.
Source A shows Stalin standing in front of pyramids of skulls. He doesn’t look hurt or even remorse about the fact he has brought about the death of enough people to make pyramids. He looks unbothered and casual about the fact he’s seen and ordered the end of so many innocent lives. These acts of evil are admitted by Bukharin when he gave a speech about Stalin in Paris 1936. ‘If someone speaks better than him, that man is for it’. Bukharin is telling us what happened in Stalin’s reign. Stalin wanted to be the best, the first. H wanted no one to exceed his personal ability in anyway.
Stalin does get support from a writer who wrote to the congress of soviets. It was a full blown speech of a man’s admiration of Stalin. The writer went on in his speech about Stalin’s greatness. ‘The man of all ages will call thy name, which is strong, beautiful, wise and marvellous’. The speech is creating this god like image of perfection of Stalin. This man is views as a god according to the writer. He even wants his child’s first words to be ‘Stalin’. It’s no wonder this speech appeared in ‘Pravda’, a paper of the communist party.
Stalin most likely would have had it put there on his orders There is also another source which is very obviously a picture that has been ordered by Stalin. It shows Stalin on the top of a cliff on a magnificent day looking powerful and confident. He is dressed much more smartly and impressively than the surrounding people who are looking at Stalin in a respectful way, as if seeking his advice. He is casually holding his pipe, a sign of wisdom or knowledge perhaps, and in the background is a magnificent bridge that is there because Stalin had it created.
Just by the way he is standing, he radiates confidence and supremacy. Often, similar paintings like this one would appear in papers or just anywhere, showing Stalin either doing well or being honourable or pictures of him striking impressive poses, like the next source. Source C shows Stalin congratulating the wives of army men. It’s showing that he does actually have a heart, which was the aim of the pictures In conclusion, I think that overall these sources show Stalin as a monster.
Despite a few successes like the industrialisation of Russian and collectivisation, he managed those whilst slaughtering so many lives. He had innocent people killed because they thought badly of him. He had people sent to labour camps because they believed something different from him. He would destroy someone and often their family’s lives if they made themselves out to be cleverer than him. Stalin used his power to kill his despisers and create an image of himself. The majority of the sources that are positive about Stalin are most likely ordered by him. The sources make him out as a monster.