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Is Stalin a Man or a Monster?

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Introduction

History Coursework; Is Stalin a Man or a Monster? Study Sources G and H; �Do you trust Khrushchev's assessments of Stalin? Use your knowledge of Stalin to explain your answer. Source's G and H are both sections taken out of one of Khrushchev's speeches in 1956. The two sources, however, portray two different impressions of Stalin. For this question I am going to combine my own knowledge with background sources/ other sources to conclude if I trust Khrushchev's assessment of Stalin. Khrushchev: After the Russian Revolution had ousted the Czar, Khrushchev joined the Bolshevik forces of the Red Army in the Russian civil war, serving as a political commissar. He was a dedicated communist. Khrushchev's rise to power coincided with one of the darkest periods in Soviet history: the Great Terror. During the 1930s, Stalin began a series of bloody purges to consolidate his power. The terror spread throughout the Soviet Union, and Khrushchev was part of it. ...read more.

Middle

This was all going to take place through a series of 5 year plans. Russia was going to be pulled out from the stone ages and thrown into the modern world head first to take the stand as a dominant industrialised country. Not any easy task and harsh sacrifices were going to be made in order to accomplish this. Sources G and H carry no bias opinions at all, unlike previous sources I have studied. Source G especially applies to this as Stalin and Khrushchev were both close and therefore Khrushchev would have no need to exaggerate Stalin's murderous personal. There would be no need to lie to benefit Stalin neither is there any need to portray Stalin badly. Stalin and Khrushchev were never enemies. Source G is a plot by Khrushchev to obtain popularity from the Russian people. This source tells us a lot about what Stalin was like and what people thought of him. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is hard to say why Khrushchev would say this as he so widely praised and glorified Stalin in previous speeches. The statements that Khrushchev makes in Source H are somewhat political. Khrushchev was a liberal leader and he wanted to develop new relationships with Europe. His liberal attitude gave Russian people the feeling of more freedom. Although Khrushchev did not particularly need Russian approval as he was already an absolute dictator; by seeming liberal the capitalists west may begin to trade with him. This source had to ensure capitalists that Stalin was an anomie; he had to enforce the impression that the new leaders were different. This would inevitably abolish any fear of communism. It is extremely hard to believe that these two sources are extracted from the same speech. As they completely contradict themselves it is hard to know whether they are trustworthy assessments. I would conclude after closely examining both sources, that source G is more reliable. I believe this source more as it coincides with my own knowledge of the type of man Stalin was. I take source G to be more reliable, balanced and unbiased. ...read more.

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