Hist1403E March 21, 2012
Soviet Union: End of Stalin and Post-Stalin
Good Done by Stalin?
Helped to expand Russian territory and played a major role in assisting the Allies in
winning the war.
Space exploration was initiated under his regime.
Saw the war as his chance to establish the Fatherland.
Brought the USSR into the Nuclear age (Good?)
Stalin After World War II ( - 1953)
o Loses trust in his soldiers that come back after the war, because they have been
Westernized. As a solution, he builds more concentration camps in Sybieria - this
is where the returning soldiers would work.
o He didn't trust the clergy (or what was left of them) that he had allowed to come
back in. He changes his mind, removes them, and kills off their leadership
(Mosques, Synagogues, Churches, etc.).
o The farmers are limited in their production so that they cannot succeed.
o Expanded the terror system under what used to be the chekka (KGB). Almost as
paranoid as Hitler was, he didn't trust a lot of Russia's elements.
o Becomes increasingly anti-Semitic (harbours a very personal dislike for the
o Starts purges.[EXAM = PURGES] "Cleaning from the inside."
o After the war is over, Stalin develops an intense dislike for Soviet art, thinking,
and writing (he should have been promoting it!). If he opened the doors to
freedom of speech, he felt he would lose control.
o Solzhenitsyn was exiled in 1942/3 for saying things that contradicted the
interests of the Soviet Union. On the way to a concentration camp, he passes
through a subway station, he was inspired to tell people about the evil potential of
o Rumor that nine Jewish doctors - the people that Stalin hated - were going to
poison Stalin. In order for this to be prevented, Stalin orders their assassination
in the mid-1940's. Fortunately the truth was found out: it was a plot made simply
to illustrate Stalin. This is evidence of Stalin's discomfort in his own country.
Nikita Krushchev (1953 – 1964)
Friendly in comparison to Stalin - very undictitorial.
An agriculturalist, came from a farming family, and not wealthy. Under Stalin, he was in charge of maintaining Communism in the Ukraine. He grows up
under Stalin's shadow, and rises to power.
He was not chosen by Stalin (after his death), but dominated due to his promising and
successful platform - change!
Famous Phrase: The “Thaw”
o Felt that Russia was deteriorating from the inside. Through this approach, he
wants to show the world that Russia is a good place to invest.
o He gets rid of all sense of terror - Secret Police, Concentration Camps, etc.
o He was bringing about change very rapidly and majorly.
o Destalinization - All images of Stalin were to be taken away (get rid of statues
and portraits, names of towns and streets were changed).
o Intellectual Life - Freed Solzhenitsyn, showing how much he wanted change
and encouraged freedom of speech.
o Economy - Decentralization - All of the economy would be controlled by the
Soviet regime/government headed in Moscow. At