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Or we would stand on the fringe of the woods, listening to the babble of a brook and the mating call of the wood-grouse. Vladimir Ilyich would ask me to hold Zhenka while he went into the woods. I would stand there holding the dog, who trembled with excitement, while I felt this tempestuous awakening of nature tingling in ail my veins. Vladimir Ilyich was a passionate hunter, but apt to get too excited over it. Vladimir Ilyich would say: It will be awkward to carry.

Late in the autumn, when sludge was already drifting down the Yenisei, we went out to the islands after the hares. The hares were already turning white. They could not escape from the island, and ran about like goats. Our hunters would sometimes shoot a boat-load of them. When we lived in Moscow, Vladimir Ilyich in his latter years would still go hunting sometimes, but with nothing like the old zest.

Once a fox battue was organized, and Vladimir Ilyich was greatly interested in the enterprise. The beaters drove the fox straight towards him, but he seized his gun when it was too late. The fox stopped and looked at him, then slipped away into the woods. Late in the autumn, when the rivers had frozen overbut no snow had yet fallen, we went far upstream. Every little fish and pebble could be seen distinctly under the ice.

Early life

It was like an enchanted kingdom. In the winter, when the mercury freezes in the thermometers and the rivers freeze right through, the water flows over the ice, and quickly forms a frozen crust. You could skate a couple of miles on this sagging ice crust. Vladimir Ilyich was terribly fond of this sport. In the evenings Vladimir Ilyich usually read books on philosophy — Hegel, Kant or the French materialists — and when he grew very tired, Pushkin, Lermontov or Nekrasov. When Vladimir Ilyich first turned up in St. Petersburg I had known him only from hearsay. Stepan Radchenko told me that he only read serious books and had never read a novel in his life.

It had surprised me at the time. Afterwards, when I got to know him better, this question had somehow never come up, and it was only in Siberia that I found out that the story was sheer invention. Vladimir Ilyich had not only read Turgenev, L. Afterwards, when the Bolsheviks came to power, he set Gosizdat the task of reprinting the classics in cheap editions. His photo albums contained pictures of Zola and Herzen and several photos of Chernyshevsky, as well as photos of his relatives and old political convicts.

How I Became a Comrade: An American Growing Up in Siberian Exile

The mail came twice a week. Our correspondence was extensive. Anna Ilyinichna — Lenin's sister — wrote fully about everything from St. Nina Struve wrote me, by the way, that her baby boy was "already holding his head up, and every day we show him the portraits of Darwin and Marx, and say: Most of the letters, however, were from comrades scattered throughout the neighbouring villages. The Krzhizhanovskys and Starkov wrote from Minusinsk fifty versts from Shushenskoye ; thirty versts away, in Yermakovskop, lived Lepeshinsky, Vaneyev, Silvin and Panin — the latter a friend of Oscar's.

Seventy versts away, at Tes, lived Lengnik, Shapoval and Baramzin, while Kurnatovsky lived at a sugar refinery. We corresponded on every possible topic — the Russian news, future plans, books, new trends and philosophy. We corresponded also on chess problems, especially with Lepeshinsky. Vladimir Ilyich played games by correspondence. He would set out the figures and ponder over the board. He got so enthusiastic about it that he once cried out in his sleep: Both Vladimir Ilyich and his brother Alexander had been enthusiastic chess players ever since they were children.

How I Became a Comrade: An American Growing Up in Siberian Exile

Their father had played chess too. Once I met my father coming out of our room — it was upstairs — with a lighted candle in one hand and the chess manual in the other. He made a study of it too. Vladimir Ilyich gave up chess when he returned to Russia. Vladimir Ilyich, from his early youth, had a knack of being able to cast aside whatever interfered with his work. We not only corresponded with other comrades in exile, but sometimes, though not often, met them. Once we went to see Kurnatovsky. He was a good comrade and a highly educated Marxist, but life had dealt harshly with him.

An unhappy childhood dominated by a cruel father, and then exile after exile, prison after prison. He had hardly ever done any work — after a month or two of freedom he would be snatched back again for long terms. He never had any real life. One little incident stands out in my memory. We were passing the sugar refinery at which he was employed. Two girls were going along, the youngest quite a little one. The elder one was carrying an empty pail, the younger one a pail with beetroots.

She just looked at him with a puzzled air. We also went to Tes. We had received a letter from the Krzhizhanovskys, saying: We have a mountain here of geological interest. Write and say that you want to explore it. The ispravnik sent his permission by messenger. We hired a dog-cart for three rubles — the woman assuring us that the horse was a strong beast and not a big eater at all — and off we drove.

The "not-a-big-eater," however, proved to be a jibber, but we got to Tes all the same. Lengnik, who had a fine voice, sang to us. That trip, on the whole, is a very pleasant memory. We went to Yermakovskoye once or twice. The first time — to adopt a resolution on the "Credo," Vaneyev, seriously ill with consumption, was dying, and his bed was carried out into the big room where we had all assembled.

The resolution was adopted unanimously. The second time we went there was to attend Vaneyev's funeral. Two of the "Decembrists" were soon put out of action — Zaporozhets, who went mad in prison, and Vaneyev, who died from an illness contracted there. Both passed away just when the flame of the working-class movement had begun to burn high. There were also exiled Narodovoltsi in Minusinsk — Kohn, Tyrkov and others — but they kept aloof. These old revolutionaries were sceptical of the Social-Democratic youth. They did not believe that they were real revolutionaries.

In this connection an incident occurred in the Minusinsk Uyezd shortly before my arrival in Shushenskoye. There was an exiled Social-Democrat named Raichin living in Minusinsk. He was connected with the "Emancipation of Labour" group abroad. He decided to run away. Money was provided for his escape, but the date for it had not been fixed yet.

Raichin was worked up to such a nervous state when he got the money, that he ran away without telling anyone. The old Narodovoltsi accused the Social-Democrats of having known of Raichin's intended flight and not warned them about it so that they could have cleaned up in case the police made a search. Vladimir Ilyich told me about it when I arrived.

These Old Men have bad enough nerves as it is after what they've been through, and all the convict prisons they've been in. We mustn't let ourselves get mixed up in such scandals — we have all our work ahead of us, we mustn't waste ourselves on such affairs. I remember the meeting at which that break occurred. The decision to break off with them had been made earlier, and it was now merely a question of putting it through as painlessly as possible. We made the break because we had to, but we did it without malice, in fact with regret. We kept apart after that. On the whole, our exile was not so bad.

Those were years of serious study. The closer the end of our exile drew in sight, the more did Vladimir Ilyich think about the work facing us. The news from Russia was scanty. We had no printing plants in Russia, and an attempt to arrange printing through the Bund had failed. On the other hand, we could no longer confine ourselves to writing popular pamphlets without expressing our views on the fundamental questions of our work.

Party work was completely disorganized and constant arrests made any continuity impossible. People had gone to such lengths as the "Credo" and the ideas of Rabochaya Mysl , which had printed a letter from a worker, boosted by the "Economists," who wrote that "We workers do not want any of your Marxes or Engelses. Tolstoi wrote somewhere that during the first part of his journey a person usually thinks of what he has left behind, and during the second part — of what is awaiting him ahead.

It was the same in exile. At the beginning it was chiefly a matter of summing up the past. Later we thought more about what lay ahead of us. Vladimir Ilyich gave ever closer thought to the question of what was to be done to extricate the Party from the plight it was in, what was to be done to direct the work into the proper channels and ensure for it a correct Social-Democratic leadership. Where were we to begin?

During the last year of his exile, Vladimir Ilyich had conceived the organizational plan which he afterwards developed in Iskra, in the pamphlet What Is to Be Done? The thing was to start with the organization of an all-Russian newspaper. It was to be established abroad and linked up as closely as possible with the activities and organizations in Russia, and the best possible shipping arrangements had to be made. Vladimir Ilyich hardly slept at all, and grew terribly thin. He sat up all night, working out his plan in fullest detail. He discussed it with Krzhizhanovsky and with me, he corresponded with Martov and Potresov about it, and made arrangements with them for going abroad.

He grew more and more impatient as time went on, eager to throw himself into the work. Just then, as luck would have it, the police came down on us with a search warrant. They had found somewhere a postal receipt for a letter which Lyakhovsky had written to Vladimir Ilyich.

Trotsky with Hitchens and Service

The letter was about a tombstone for Fedoseyev, and this was a good enough excuse for the gendarmes to make a search. This was done in May They found the letter — quite an innocent one — and went through our correspondence without finding anything of interest. By old habit acquired in St. Petersburg, we kept our illegal correspondence apart from the rest.

It was not much of a hiding place, though — the bottom shelf of the bookcase.

The making of a revolutionary

Vladimir Ilyich pushed up a bench for the gendarmes to stand on, and they began their search from the top shelves, which were lined with various statistical publications. They got so tired that they did not even look at the bottom shelf, and were satisfied with my statement that it only contained my books on pedagogics. The search passed off safely, but we were afraid they might make this a pretext for adding a few more years to our term of exile.

An escape in those days was not the common occurrence it became later. In any case it would have complicated matters, because, before going abroad, a good deal of organizing work had to be done in Russia. Everything went well, however, and our term was not increased. In February , at the end of Vladimir Ilyich's term of exile, we set out for Russia. Pasha, who had grown into a beautiful girl in two years, wept rivers of tears at night.

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Minka busied himself, collecting and lugging home the paper, pencils, pictures and other odds and ends that we were leaving behind. Oscar came in and sat down on the edge of a chair, evidently deeply agitated. He brought ms a present — a hand-made brooch in the form of a book with the inscription "Karl Marx" on it, in memory of the lessons on Capital which he had taken with me.

The landlady and her neighbours kept looking in. Our dog could not make out what all the fuss was about, and kept opening all the doors with his nose to make sure that everything was in its proper place. Mother busied herself with the packing, coughing from the dust, and Vladimir Ilyich tied the books up with a business-like air. We arrived in Minusinsk, where we were to pick up Starkov and Olga Silvina. The whole exile fraternity were gathered there, and the mood was the usual one that prevailed whenever one of their number returned to Russia.

Each was thinking when and where he would go himself when his time came, how he could work. Vladimir Ilyich had already made joint-work arrangements with all those who were expecting shortly to return to Russia, and now arranged for carrying on a correspondence with those who remained. Everyone was thinking about Russia while talking trivialities. Malenkov denounced the Stalin personality cult, [] which was subsequently criticised in Pravda.

There, Khrushchev denounced Stalin for both his mass repression and his personality cult. Khrushchev's de-Stalinisation process in Soviet society ended when he was replaced as leader by Leonid Brezhnev in ; the latter introduced a level of re-Stalinisation within the Soviet Union. Amid the social and economic turmoil of the post-Soviet period, many Russians viewed Stalin as having overseen an era of order, predictability, and pride. The only part of the former Soviet Union where admiration for Stalin has remained consistently widespread is Georgia.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Stalin disambiguation. This name uses Eastern Slavic naming customs ; the patronymic is Vissarionovich and the family name is Stalin. Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili [a].

Early life of Joseph Stalin. The existing government of landlords and capitalists must be replaced by a new government, a government of workers and peasants. The existing pseudo-government which was not elected by the people and which is not accountable to the people must be replaced by a government recognised by the people, elected by representatives of the workers, soldiers and peasants and held accountable to their representatives.

Stalin is too crude, and this defect which is entirely acceptable in our milieu and in relationships among us as communists, becomes unacceptable in the position of General Secretary. I therefore propose to comrades that they should devise a means of removing him from this job and should appoint to this job someone else who is distinguished from comrade Stalin in all other respects only by the single superior aspect that he should be more tolerant, more polite and more attentive towards comrades, less capricious, etc.

Rise of Joseph Stalin. We have fallen behind the advanced countries by fifty to a hundred years. We must close that gap in ten years. Either we do this or we'll be crushed. This is what our obligations before the workers and peasants of the USSR dictate to us. Soviet famine of — The image was later altered to remove Yezhov completely. Death and state funeral of Joseph Stalin. Stalin brutally, artfully, indefatigably built a personal dictatorship within the Bolshevik dictatorship.

Then he launched and saw through a bloody socialist remaking of the entire former empire, presided over a victory in the greatest war in human history, and took the Soviet Union to the epicentre of global affairs. More than for any other historical figure, even Gandhi or Churchill, a biography of Stalin It is hard for me to reconcile the courtesy and consideration he showed me personally with the ghastly cruelty of his wholesale liquidations.

Others, who did not know him personally, see only the tyrant in Stalin. I saw the other side as well — his high intelligence, that fantastic grasp of detail, his shrewdness and his surprising human sensitivity that he was capable of showing, at least in the war years.

I found him better informed than Roosevelt, more realistic than Churchill, in some ways the most effective of the war leaders I must confess that for me Stalin remains the most inscrutable and contradictory character I have known — and leave the final word to the judgment of history. Excess mortality in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. During his years as a revolutionary, he adopted the alias "Stalin", and after the October Revolution he officially made it his name. This birth date is maintained in his School Leaving Certificate, his extensive tsarist Russia police file, a police arrest record from 18 April which gave his age as 23 years, and all other surviving pre-Revolution documents.

As late as , Stalin himself listed his birthday as 18 December in a curriculum vitae in his own handwriting. After coming to power in , Stalin gave his birth date as 21 December Old Style date 9 December That became the day his birthday was celebrated in the Soviet Union. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. Russia's Power Transfer Crises. Retrieved December 1, So what was the motivation behind the Terror?

The answers required a lot more digging, but it gradually became clearer that the violence of the late s was driven by fear. Most Bolsheviks, Stalin among them, believed that the revolutions of , and had failed because their leaders hadn't adequately anticipated the ferocity of the counter-revolutionary reaction from the establishment. They were determined not to make the same mistake. Illness and Inhumanity in Stalin's Gulag". The American Historical Review. Archived from the original on 8 July Retrieved 23 September New studies using declassified Gulag archives have provisionally established a consensus on mortality and "inhumanity.

Stalinism in Post-Communist Perspective: Europe-Asia Studies , Vol. Archived from the original on 22 August Retrieved 4 August History of the Present. Archived PDF from the original on 5 February Retrieved 22 September Putin opens first Soviet victims memorial". Archived from the original on 5 January Retrieved 30 October Archived from the original on 5 September Retrieved 25 June Archived from the original on 20 March Retrieved 30 April Archived from the original on 19 July Retrieved 21 June Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.


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The Secret File of Joseph Stalin: Brent, Jonathan; Naumov, Vladimir The Plot Against the Jewish Doctors, — New York and London: A Reassessment fortieth anniversary ed. Oxford and New York: Davies, Norman []. White Eagle, Red Star: Davies, Robert; Wheatcroft, Stephen The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia Volume 5: The Years of Hunger: Basingstoke and New York: Cambridge Journal of Economics.

Stalin's Solution to the Jewish Question". The Cummings Center Series. How the Soviet Union is Governed. Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe. Archived from the original PDF on 9 July New Biography of a Dictator. Translated by Nora Seligman Favorov. New Haven and London: Paradoxes of Power, — Waiting for Hitler, — For the Soul of Mankind: Internal Communist Party Reports". Journal of Cold War Studies. Stalin and Stalinism third ed. Revolutionary in an Era of War.

Joseph Stalin - Wikipedia

Montefiore, Simon Sebag The Court of the Red Tsar. Belief, Behavior, and Legitimation. Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia. The Soviet Government and the Jews — In Sarah Davies; James Harris. From World War to Cold War, — A Short History of Soviet Socialism. Europe between Hitler and Stalin. The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 13 October Translated by Harold Shukman. Stalin and the Cold War in Europe. Bideleux, Robert; Jeffries, Ian A History of Eastern Europe: Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin in Peace and War revised ed. Stalin's Terror of the s. Master of the House: Janet rated it it was amazing Apr 13, Caroline Wright rated it it was amazing Jul 28, Brooks marked it as to-read Jun 01, Nik Markevicius marked it as to-read Jun 14, Darrin marked it as to-read Jun 15, Cathy Blackler marked it as to-read Feb 09, Caz marked it as to-read Dec 20, SK is currently reading it Jan 17, Kerry marked it as to-read Sep 22, R Baxter is currently reading it Apr 23, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.