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USSR in the 1930's.

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7. I agree more with the statement 'There can be no justification for the "terror" in the USSR in the 1930's. It was motivated purely by Stalin's lust for power.' However, I can understand why one could say that terror was essential for the survival of the new communist state or Soviet Union. Stalin used terror to force the USSR to industrialise quickly, which enabled them to ward off the threat from fascism and develop into a world power. Source I, written by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 a few years before communism fell in Russia, appears to be relatively balanced. It does not accuse Stalin of using 'terror' methods, however is does not overly praise him either. 'Yes industrialisation... was indispensable..' saying that Stalin needed to industrialise in the 1930's to combat the increasing threat of fascism. However, I believe that although industrialisation was indispensable it could have occurred without the use of "terror." Gorbachev seems to make the point, though, that with the benefit of hindsight, we can be critical of the way Stalin went about the rapid industrialisation but, I think at the time, the threat of fascism, being left behind industrially and preserving the new communist state was a major concern to Stalin. Gorbachev also mentioned that the tactics were contradictory to the principles of socialism, which was a negative. ...read more.


This means that this Source may be unreliable because Khrushchev would have to be careful because he was addressing a congress that was still filled with Stalin's loyal followers and if he criticises Stalin too harshly than he risks losing his job. This also shows how effective Stalin's "terror" was because there were still loyal followers to him and his methods in the Politburo three years after his death. Source H supports Statement B with comments like 'The nation which Stalin took power might, apart from small groups of educated people and advanced workers, rightly be called a nation of savages' this quote shows that Stalin took control of a nation when it was extremely backward and Stalin had to use methods such as "terror" to make the country move forwards rapidly not only industrially but also in education. 'The nation has, nevertheless, advanced far in most fields of its existence...' This shows that the use of terror did help the USSR quickly industrialise. This source is probably reliable because Deutscher was a member of the Polish Communist Party where he was expelled for anti-Stalinism. This would make one think that he would be harsher on Stalin and in this source he is reasonably moderate and balanced. This source also conforms to my knowledge and, therefore, is likely to be reliable. ...read more.


Source B, is not reliable because it is written by the Communist Party and therefore is likely to be biased. This Source does show us how many members of the party believed in the Stalin approach and how essential they thought terror was for the survival of the USSR. Source C believes statement A because it describes that the victims of the purges were not 'enemies' but honest communists that were worn down by the persecution that they 'charged themselves with all kinds of grave and unlikely crimes'. This source is somewhat reliable because it is Khruschev, the Russian leader in 1971 who has the benefit of hindsight and is more powerful than he was in Source J and probably feels more able to criticise Stalin openly. This view is confirmed by Source D where you see people in court, facing Stalin as the judge, happily confessing to crimes when they know they face death with the executioner in the background. It is hard to justify the horrible terror tactics that Stalin used in the early days of the communist 'revolution' in Russia. As Gorbachev mentions, the end result or industrialisation was critical not only to enable the Russians to ward off the Nazis but to quickly bring the country into the 20th century but the terror tactics were contrary to the socialist principles and the hindsight even the Russian leaders believed they were not necessary. ...read more.

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