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Source A comes from a cartoon published in Paris in the 1930s. It shows Stalin looking very smug at his achievements - mass murder. He is pointing at pyramids of skulls, with vultures on them, symbolising death and possibly him preying on the weak.

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Introduction

1. Source A comes from a cartoon published in Paris in the 1930s. It shows Stalin looking very smug at his achievements - mass murder. He is pointing at pyramids of skulls, with vultures on them, symbolising death and possibly him preying on the weak. The purpose of this poster is to criticise the way Stalin rules - by fear. He is portrayed as a sick and twisted man who enjoys taking peoples lives. It has not been censored, so it shows peoples view of him - they are anti-Stalin. The caption written at the bottom written in French is translated into "Visit the Pyramids of Russia". This seems as if he is trying to bring tourists to Russia to show his 'achievements'. Source B is the complete opposite to source A. It is a painting of Stalin and workers at a new factory opened in the 1930s as a result of his five year plans taking place. Stalin is dressed in white and surrounded by happy, smiling workers. This source shows Stalin as an approachable man who is trustworthy. It has been censored to project Stalin's image as a caring man and the ideal leader, as his achievements will become a reality. Source C is similar to source B as it shows the image Stalin wants to project. It is a photograph of Stalin surrounded by army officers wives, congratulating him. ...read more.

Middle

Now Stalin is dead, he does not have to be afraid of what could happen to him. Khruschev knew Stalin well, so it is possible that he is portraying Stalin as trustworthy. The sources were both written in the same year, but are different. It is hard to say if they are reliable assessments of Stalin, but I am more inclined to believe khruschev's assessment of him. However, Khruschev does not talk of the 5 year plans and whether they were achieved, so he may want people to forget so they think he is a better leader. 5. Source I is an American cartoon, mocking Stalin's show trials. It suggests that the trials are a fraud. The trial is pre-determined, and the people in the dock are behaving ironically as they are laughing whilst admitting to being guilty. The purpose for this trial is to convince the soviet public of the guilt of the accused party, who will be executed as a result. This is a contrast to source J, as it shows France's perception of the show trials. The cartoon published in the late 1930s is not censored, so it shows what Stalin's show trials are like. It focuses on the pre-determined nature of the trial. Source J shows the trial being taken seriously, but all the men in the source look like Stalin, possibly illustrating that everyone shares his beliefs and would carry out the same actions. ...read more.

Conclusion

If we look at source K, the views we are given regarding his character are positive and different to other sources. Source D written by Stalin, gives us a sense that did indeed have a caring side for other people. We have seen many different sides to him. We cannot forget that these positive sources have been written by Stalin himself or Russians. Therefore, these sources cannot be reliable, leading to people disagreeing about Stalin's real character. If we look at the purges there has been arguments to whether they were or were not necessary. Many people argue that Stalin committed mass murder through the elimination of millions of innocent people, just to maintain his power over the country. If someone posed a threat, he simply killed them. It is difficult to know the truth about Stalin, the use of censoring and propaganda in the USSR. When he was in power, the sources came from the USSR, so the reliability is questionable. Sources that came out of France are also questionable, as they are mostly written by exiled Russians, who would have been bitter and therefore their accounts cannot be reliable. The sources convey that the disagreements were due to differing accounts during Stalin's time in power. Some portray him as a monster whereas some portray him as the hero. He did many amoral things but also a few good things for the USSR. He was a good politician and changed the USSR, but was also very paranoid and felt the need to kill anyone who posed to be a threat. ...read more.

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