• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

the purges of stalin

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

STALIN 'Death solves problems - no man, no problems' Joseph Stalin was born on December 21st, 1879 and died on March 5th, 1953. He was the leader of the Soviet Union from mid 1920's till his death in 1953. He was also the general secretary of the communist party of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1953. After Lenin's untimely death, there were many issues left to resolve, even though the financial crisis had been taken care of like the path to socialism, democracy and the leadership of the party. These issues led to major controversies and a fight for power as there were conflicting feelings between all the important personnel, for the next 5 years. Eventually, in the 1920's Stalin prevailed over Leon Trotsky and rose to power. Stalin often claimed his principles were based on Marxism and Leninism, but his policies were made into a new category called Stalinism. ...read more.

Middle

Soon the purges spread to all parts of society, the GULAG camps had many categories, such as labour camps, women camps. Very flimsy pretexts were used to declare a person "Enemy of the People" and this started the public harassment, abuse, interrogation, torture and deportation. Around 1.5 million people were deported to Siberia and other Central Asian countries. The GULAG was a special department of the police for operating the penal system of forced labour camps. The GULAG camps housed all criminals but they had been set up for political prisoners. Each of these prisoners were assigned separate economical tasks including making the most of all available natural resources, claiming remote areas. The conditions were very harsh and the characteristics of these camps were extreme production quota, malnutrition, harsh elements of nature, bad hygiene facilities, medical problems, brutal treatment by camp guards and officials and improper living conditions, which led to high casualty rates, sometimes as high as 80%. ...read more.

Conclusion

The prisoners were taken in ocean going convict ships with 12,000 prisoners in one ship. Kolyma was a site for gold and platinum, and the slaves had to mine for these two precious metals, not even using machines or any implements but bonfires, ice and their bare hands. The purges finally decreased around the end of 1938, as Stalin finally realized how shaken up Russian society and administration had become due to this horror, with key people missing which had an adverse effect on industry. But the purges were continued in a more subtle and reduced manner during the Second World War. The victims of the Purges claimed they never ended. Historian Robert Conquest said that from 1929-1953 a grand total of 20 million people died out of which around 3 million were victims of the Kolyma Camps alone, and 7 million in the famine of 1932-1933. * Despite all the atrocities committed, Stalin was a hero to his people. When he died, people all over Russia wept, even in the labour camps. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 essays

  1. The Policies of Joseph Stalin 1928 1953

    There is some truth in this quote as during the Great terror, when everyone lived in fear of being "denounced" to the NKVD, secret police. It disagrees with source D stating "Absolute power turned a ruthless politician into a monstrous tyrant."

  2. Stalin man or monster

    The soviet people sincerely believed in Stalin and this belief was built up deliberately by communist leaders and by Stalin himself examples of people's obsession are in source E where it is suggested that the first word children would utter is Stalin rather then "mother" this symbolises that Stalin has even taken the role of a mum.

  1. The blance sheet for russia.

    With the end of the civil war, the need for a drastic change in policy was increasingly evident. The essential thing for the Bolsheviks was to hold out for as long as possible until assistance arrived from the West. A most serious situation arose when the naval garrison at Kronstadt mutinied.

  2. Russia 1905-1945 Stalin - man or monster - source based questions

    3: Study Sources E and F. Which of these two Sources is the more reliable? Explain your answer. In first place, we might think if the sources are reliable or not? Both of these Sources give two different points of views about Stalin, both of them could be correct, but

  1. How did the rule of Stalin affect the Soviet Union?

    Livestock (Million herd) 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1938 Cattle 70.5 67.1 52.5 47.9 40.7 38.4 51 Pigs 26.0 20.4 13.6 14.4 11.6 12.1 25 Sheep's and Goats 146.7 147.0 108.8 77.7 52.1 50.2 66 The lives on the Kolkhoz didn't change very much.

  2. Consider this judgement on the consequences of Stalin's leadership of the Soviet Union 1928 ...

    This contributed to famine that plagued Russia throughout the early 1930's, killing at least 10 million. However, the execution of those guilty of destroying food supply would not bring the lost product back. By 1932, food consumption had fallen drastically below 1928 levels- e.g., 214kg of bread was consumed per person in 1932 whereas it had been 250kg in 1928.

  1. Source related questions on Joseph Stalin

    The public were afraid to behave or speak their mind in case they were not seen as supporting Stalin. Not supporting Stalin would lead to the death of who ever was against him. To add to that, the only way Stalin would like a member of the public was if denounced citizens whose behaviour was anti soviet.

  2. Purges and Hysteria in the Soviet Union

    It was easier for someone at the top to believe that democracy was functioning than it was for those who still looked with favour upon a dissenter or outcast like Trotsky, and Kirov was one such believer. With other Party members he also believed in the Leninist position that the Party should debate and then close ranks.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work