Tag Archives: Joseph Stalin

this day in the yesteryear: Victory Day (1945)


Victory Day (1945)

Still celebrated in most of the Soviet successor states, Victory Day marks Nazi Germany‘s capitulation to the USSR in WWII. Signed on the evening of May 8, 1945—May 9 in Moscow’s time zone—the surrender followed Germany’s initial capitulation to the Allies. When the first surrender document was being signed, only one Soviet representative was present, and he had no instructions from Moscow nor any means of immediate contact with Soviet leaders. Was he punished or lauded for deciding to sign it? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Battle of Taranto (1940)


Battle of Taranto (1940)

The Battle of Taranto during World War II marked the first all-aircraft naval attack in history. The results were definitive, as British planes destroyed much of the Italian fleet anchored in Taranto, in an arm of the Ionian Sea. The battle is seen as a turning point in military history, marking the end of the reign of “big-gun” battleships and leading to the rise of naval air power. Certain aspects of the attack were studied as part of the planning for what other notorious aerial assault? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Leon Trotsky (1879)


Leon Trotsky (1879)

Trotsky was a Russian Communist revolutionary whose ideas form the basis of Trotskyism, a Communist ideology based on the theory of worldwide revolution. He was a key figure in the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and organized the Red Army in the civil war that followed. After a power struggle with Joseph Stalin in the 1920s, Trotsky was exiled from the USSR. In 1940, he was assassinated in Mexico by a Spanish Communist with alleged ties to Stalin. From whom did he borrow the name “Trotsky”? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Dmitri Shostakovich (1906)


Dmitri Shostakovich (1906)

Although Shostakovich is regarded as the greatest Russian composer after Igor Stravinsky, he was denounced multiple times by the authorities and had his work banned during his lifetime. The first denunciation—of his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, in which he experimented with avant-garde trends—made a strong impression on him and led him to adopt a very different style that was serious and elegiac, with a directness aimed at the public. What brought him back into Stalin’s good graces? More… Discuss

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: NIKITA KHRUSHCHEV (1894)


Nikita Khrushchev (1894)

In the power struggle that followed Joseph Stalin’s death, Nikita Khrushchev emerged as leader of the USSR. He became First Secretary of the Communist Party in 1953 and the Soviet premier five years later. He was highly critical of Stalin’s rule and oversaw many reforms. Jovial in manner and often deliberately uncouth, he had a brash, extraverted style of diplomacy that became his trademark. Before his removal from office, the Communist Party accused him of mishandling what event in 1962? More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: STALIN APPOINTED GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY (1922)


Stalin Appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party (1922)

After the October Revolution of 1917, Stalin began to emerge as a leader within the new Russian regime. He became one of Lenin’s top aides and was appointed general secretary of the Communist Party in 1922. Although Lenin expressed misgivings about Stalin’s use of power and recommended his removal, Stalin maintained his position and went on to take control of the USSR following Lenin’s death. Born Joseph Dzhugashvili, he adopted the surname Stalin in 1913. What does the name mean? More… Discuss

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: SVETLANA ALLILUYEVA (1926)


Svetlana Alliluyeva (1926)

The youngest child of Joseph Stalin, and his only daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva caused a furor when she defected to the West in the 1960s, leaving behind her two grown children in the process. After becoming a naturalized US citizen, she published two successful memoirs, married, took the name Lana Peters, had a daughter, and divorced. In 1984, she returned to the USSR and renounced her defection, but her resolve soon wavered. How long was it before she left again for the West? More… Discuss

 

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This Day in the Yesteryear: SOVIET EMBASSY CIPHER CLERK IGOR GOUZENKO DEFECTS TO CANADA (1945)


Soviet Embassy Cipher Clerk Igor Gouzenko Defects to Canada (1945)

Considered by some to be the first major international event of the Cold War, the defection of Soviet cipher clerk Igor Gouzenko radically transformed the way the West regarded and approached Soviet espionage. The authorities at first dismissed Gouzenko’s reports of Stalin’s efforts to steal nuclear secrets and of Soviet spy rings operating in Canada and the US, but he soon convinced them of the truth behind his allegations. The information he revealed helped lead to the apprehension of whom? More…Discuss

 

Joseph Stalin: Red Terror



Joseph Stalin ranks as one of the greatest tyrants of all time, responsible for the deaths of 20 million of his own countrymen. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the extent of Stalin’s atrocities has been revealed, and he has taken his place alongside Hitler as one of the most reviled leaders of the century. This comprehensive portrait revisits the life of “Uncle Joe” via Soviet archival film and an astonishing collection of interviews.

 

Mystery of Stalin’s Death (RT Documentary)


This Soviet figure was probably one of the most prolific leaders the world has ever known. He led the Soviet Union to victory during the Second World War, though many suffered greatly under his rule. His personal life was complicated, and the circumstances surrounding his death still remain a secret. He was the man with an iron heart: Joseph Stalin.

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This Day in History: Potsdam Conference Concludes (1945)


Potsdam Conference Concludes (1945)

The Potsdam Conference was an Allied conference held in the Berlin suburb of Potsdam after Germany’s surrender in World War II. Representing the US, USSR, and UK, respectively, Harry Truman, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill met there to discuss European peace settlements and reparations, the administration of Germany, the demarcation of Poland, the occupation of Austria, the USSR’s role in eastern Europe, and the war against Japan. Who replaced Churchill during the conference? More… Discuss