Joseph Stalin

Joseph Stalin Social Studies World History World War II Famous People Russian Studies Visual Arts Biographies

This image depicts Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union during World War II, and includes the way his name appears in Russian.  The translation, from Russian to English, is "Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin."

Born on 18 December 1879, in the town of Gori, Georgia - when that country was part of the Russian Empire - the man who would one day lead the USSR also studied at a theological seminary.  While there, he began to read the works of Karl Marx.  Thereafter, he became a follower of Vladimir Lenin (leader of the Bolsheviks who played a key role in the Russian Revolution of 1917).

Stalin - who changed his last name from Dzhugashvili (his father's family name) to Stalin (based on the Russian word "stal," meaning "steel") - began to assume more power after the death of Vladimir Lenin (in 1924).  By the end of the 1920s, he was effectively dictator of the Soviet Union.

During the 1930s, Stalin and his policies created havoc throughout the USSR as "enemies of the people" were executed or sent to forced-labor camps in the GULAG.  His purges resulted in infamous "show trials," and his agricultural policies - which forced "collectivized farming" - completely changed the way people worked the land and grew crops.  

During World War II, Stalin was one of the Allied leaders whose country helped to defeat Hitler and the Nazis.

To learn more about him, see an excerpt from the Great Patriotic War.

Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Russian State Archives.


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Joseph Stalin" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Nov 13, 2019.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips