Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili was born on December 21, 1879 in the small Russian town of Gori, Georgia. Iosifís mother enrolled him in Goriís Orthodox parochial school when he was only 9 years old.
Iosifís father died two years later, from wounds received in a bar-room brawl, forcing his mother to take up sewing and housework, as well as help young Dzhugashvili. In 1894, Iosif was given a free scholarship to the Tiflis seminary, which is where he began to rebel. In 1898, he joined a secret group called the Mesame Dasi, which were nationalistic and socialistic supporters.
Iosif was forced to leave the seminary in May 1899, and tried tutoring and various other clerical jobs, but left two years later, when he was about to be arrested. That year, he became of the local Social Democratic Party and served in Tiflis and Batum, organizing riots and demonstrations. He also wrote an article for the underground newspaper Brdzola.
On April 18, 1902, he was arrested, and shortly later sent into exile in the frigid lands of Siberia. He managed to escape and show up in Tiflis, and was arrested several more times until late World War I. He also attended numerous meetings with the Social Democratic party in April 1905, just one year after meeting local Bolsheviks. In June 1904, Dzhugashvili married Yekaterina Svanidze, who died three years later after having one son.
Throughout the Russian revolution in 1905, Dzhugashvili helped in several ways. Throughout 1905, he worked with the Caucasion Workersí Newssheet, before continuing on to Baku to gather support for the Bolshevik cause among the poorer workers. In December 1904, Dzhugashvili met Lenin at the first national Bolshevik conference in Tammerfors, Finland, before twice becoming the delegate to the Social Democratic party.
In January 1912, Dzhugashvili was adopted into Leninís underground while in exile. Dzhugashvili escaped two months later and helped to set up a Bolshevik newspaper, called Pravda. The first edition of Pravda showed up two months later, on May 5, 1942. In January of 1943, Lenin and Dzhugashvili met to write a paper on the Bolsheviks stand in regards to minority races. The pamphlet was entitled Marxism and the National Problem, and was again arrested and deported while returning.
During the few years before the war, Dzhugashvili was involved in several papers, during which time he began to use the popular pen-name of Stalin, which meant "Man of Steel". This name would be forever linked with Iosif Dzhugashvili, and eventually replaced his name. Stalin stayed the entire four years, instead of trying to escape in the past.
Stalin returned to the Pravda on March 25, 1917. Joseph Stalinís major break came on April 11, 1917 when he was elected to the Bolshevik partyís main committee, but maintained his position with the Pravda. Stalin also backed Lenin throughout his campaign the overthrow of the government, even though Stalin played only a minor role in the actual revolution.
After serving in several positions through a three-year civil war beginning in 1918, Stalin began a war to re-gain Georgia, while he was the acting Inspector General. Stalin also married Nadezhda Alliluyeva in 1919, and they had two children, one of which was born that year.
After the revolutions subsided, the country returned to normal. Over the next seven years, Stalin would gain a great deal of power, until 1928. Stalin set out to help make Russia a modern world power again, and tried to achieve these goals through Communism. He used the power to form 'collective farms', industrialize the nation, as well as forcing many of the wealthier peasants to be shot, deported, or moved onto the government's 'collective farms'. Stalin also ordered those Russian citizens not living in Russia to return, and they were viewed as traitors and forced onto labor camps. These labor camps were similar to Adolf Hitler's concentration camps, with over half of the workers never returning. Several of Russiaís most popular leaders were forced to leave after making comments about Stalinís plan. Stalin was willing to compromise at first, but begain to execute major military and political figures, or anybody else who chose to disagree with Stalin.
On November 8, 1932, Stalinís life began to fall apart when his second wife committed suicide after writing a letter that attacked both his personal and his political life. He began to become more and more suspicious of people, and if he thought of them as an enemy, then they were also an enemy of the state. Stalin was even willing to execute his own family and the families of some people that Stalin worked alongside, but Stalin also jailed many more. Numerous political opponents, like a Bolshevik supporter named Trotsky, were killed, and more were arrested and sent to Siberia to die. As Stalinís paranoia worsened, he withdrew from society and became more heavily guarded.
At the outbreak of World War II, Stalin managed to stay out of the war due to a non-aggression pact signed with Adolf Hitler. However, Hitler violated this pact in 1941 with several attacks, and Russia joined the Allies against Germany. Shortly before the campaign for Stalingrad, Joseph Stalin ordered the re-organization of the Red Army, a fact which may well have saved the city from the Germans. Throughout the war, Stalin maintained a close diplomatic relationship with Allied nations, which could now fight Germany on both sides and would soon win the war.
In 1942, Joseph Stalin also ordered the internment of an American B-25 Mitchell bomber, which was the only aircraft from the Doolittle's Raid that didn't crash land, but instead landed at the Airport in Vladivostok. The aircrews were considered Prisoners of War, and were treated like them as well, but were returned at the end of the war.
During 1943, the Red Army came upon thousands of Polish soldiers that were buried in mass graves in the Katyn forests. The Polish soldiers were used as propaganda, demonstrating the atrocities that the German Wehrmacht was capable of. However, it was later revealed that the Polish soldiers were actually killed by the Russian army, operating under the orders of Joseph Stalin.
Once the war ended, a new cold war filled the gap, but many politicians were still angry about the treatment they had recieved. After Joseph Stalin died on March 5, 1953, many politicians tried to remove his name from the history books. This angered several other Communist countries, causing some to leave Russian control rather than lose the style of government that had been so successfully employed by Iosif Dzhugashvili, better known as the pen-name, Joseph Stalin.
Joseph Stalin ruled his nation with dedication, but many other politicians had good reason to fear him. His extermination programs included political families, and even his own family. Many politicians wondered if they would be the next to die, but World War II provided to be a bigger problem, and after the war, Stalin tried to restore the Soviet Union to the former government. Despite all the problems that he faced, millions of people feard the method that Stalin ruled by, and made him feared by many. After Stalin died, the remaining politicians began a 'de-Stalinization' program to remove changes that Joseph Stalin made to the government.
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