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These sources give a very mixed view of Stalin's character and the results of his policies.

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Introduction

1. These sources give a very mixed view of Stalin's character and the results of his policies. Source A is a French cartoon, and as such it is most likely to be biased against Russia. The cartoon portrays Stalin as a vicious, murdering tyrant. The French were particularly worried about the spread of communism from the USSR across Europe, as they had internal problems with the French communist party. This propaganda was therefore intended to show the French people the results of communism. Sources B and C are completely different. They are both propaganda from inside the USSR, and so portray Stalin as a great and compassionate man. Nothing but pictures of this type would have been released from inside the USSR as people feared for their lives if they crossed Stalin. 2. This source, written by Stalin, is a useful example of communist propaganda. It is not useful in determining his character, or morals, because as far as we know it could be complete fiction. It is helpful in showing the readership the image that Stalin wanted to portray of himself, as a fair and just leader. ...read more.

Middle

He felt that the people should now put Stalin's rule behind them, and the best way to do this was to portray him as a 'very distrustful man.' However, the points raised in the speech do have some elements of truth, from what we know today of Stalin - for instance the horrific purges that he enacted on the Russian peasants. 5. These two sources both agree strongly about Stalin's 'show trials'. When looking at them, however, it must be borne in mind that they both originate from western, capitalist countries (France and the US) and so will be strongly biased against Stalin and communism in general. The sources agree that the trials were, in essence, meaningless. The American cartoon implies that the defence in these trials had no hope, and whatever they said they would still be punished. The men are saying things to Stalin such as 'Sure, I tried to betray my country!' The French one, in which the entire courtroom is filled with Stalins, shows the power that Stalin had over the courts. The sources agree that the defence, and the courts themselves, were completely controlled by Stalin. ...read more.

Conclusion

He was simply a man who used monstrous tactics to try and achieve his goals. 8. The one major source of disagreement and confusion of Stalin has been the amount of blatant propaganda, both for and against him. All the sources in the paper have their own agenda, as at the time, no one was impartial towards Stalin. Stalin used every method possible to force the Russian people into believing in him and his policies. There was the constant bombardment of propaganda from the media, and the secret police, watching every person to make sure they agreed with Stalin. The 'iron curtain' that surrounded Russia at the time, as well as the constant threat of the secret police, makes it almost impossible to determine what the Russian people really thought of Stalin and his rule. Viewpoints from other countries, both the west and other communist states, were either overly critical or overly respectful of his regime, such as 'generations to come will regard us as the happiest of people, because we were privileged to see Stalin, our inspired leader.' from a communist newspaper. All this leads to serious ambiguity about Stalin's personality, and the intentions behind the regime he inflicted on Russia. ...read more.

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