Joseph Stalin: In terms of His Country He Was Never Stalln'
Joesph Stalin
Eric Fuhs
Cam Shannon
Tate Derwent
Tati Montes

Joseph Stalin was born on December 6, 1878 in Gori, Georgia. His given name is Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugasvili,” (Haugen, 15), but took the name of “Stalin” or “man of steel” (Stalin, Joseph (1879-1953) paragraph 2). He was the ruthless dictator and the founder of Communist Russia and the world network of Communism. His reign provoked terror among the people he governed and is seemed to be one of the coldest most ruthless men that was never "stallin'." -Eric

Young Stalin
Joseph Stalin was the "son of a humble, poverty-ridden peasant cobbler" in "Gori, a town near Tbilisi in Georgia, a mountainous area in what was the southwestern part of the Russian Empire" (Davis 9, Marrin 825). His childhood consisted of a dysfunctional family and an education in seminary school. His mother "by a great effort, had entered him in priests' seminary so that one at least of the family might rise above its poverty" (Ludwig 91). "Though he excelled in seminary school, Joseph left in 1899" due to his mother's inability to pay for it ("Joseph Stalin Biography" 1). -Cam

His young adulthood was spend during his "career as an active revolutionist" (Marrin 825). Stalin was arrested multiple times and spent a majority of the time during the events leading up to the revolution in jail. He stayed in Northern Siberia until "at last, in March 1917, Kerensky's revolution opened all the prisons" (Ludwig 102). His harsh childhood, active participation in radical movements, and time spent in jail all led up to his cruel, and unjust reign of terror. -Cam

Connection to Events:
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Joseph Stalin was a malevolent dictator with intentions of evil reign. However, he's not the only man of the 1930s who hungered for power. Adolf Hitler, from Germany, is best known for his "influential voice in organization, implementation, and execution of the Holocaust" ("Adolf Hitler" paragraph 1). Hitler and Stalin were constantly competing for the opportunity to be the most powerful, and they were willing to do anything to get there. Both leaders followed similar paths of using genocide to reign superior though they were from the same decade. Stalin and Hitler's similarities seem to relate to the novel Night, the book we read in class, because Hitler killed Jews, and Stalin killed Russians. They are similar because they were both killing people of their own countries for the sole purpose of gaining power and maintaining it. Another dictator that ruled by genocide and terror was Kim Jong-Il. He is "directly responsible for the starvation and deaths of million of North Koreans" (Dagatan paragraph 3). This makes three dictators that all ruled by the same principles and motives. -

Connection to Learner Traits:
Many of the IB learner traits can only be seen through a positive side, and Joseph Stalin did not apply towards many traits. Stalin was an inquirer. After leaving school he spent a large portion of his time studying books on politics, and "among them was a book by Karl Marx called The Communist Manifesto, which explained a theory called communism" (Haugen 21). Stalin became an inquire in the government style of "Communism", and he began to enjoy learning the ways of it. -Tate
Communist Manifesto

Stalin was also a Risk-Taker in his lifetime. He did not finish school "instead devoting his time to the revolutionary movement against the Russian monarchy" ("Joseph Stalin (1879-1953) paragraph 2). He took a large risk by going against the government and fighting for what he believes in. He started working against the Russian monarchy early after leaving school, and this brought him upon an unfamiliar task. -Tate

There are other learner traits that did not qualify towards at all, such as caring and balanced. Considering that "by some estimates, he [Stalin] was responsible for the deaths of 20 million people during his brutal role", Stalin was not a very caring man ("Joseph Stalin" paragraph 14). He saw the deaths as a statistic and the people as resources. He did not care for the citizens under his rule. While forcing agricultural collectivism, Stalin was a great gatherer of resources, but at the same time, he did not care about the needs or emotions of others. While collecting the crops, he left families to starve, after everything they had grown was taken. These are some traits that can only be seen in a good perspective, and Stalin did not apply to these at all. -Tate

Connection to H&S:
Russian Gulag
Russian Gulag
Joesph Stalin was a man that did what was needed to accomplish what he wanted no matter the cost. Essentially what he did was kill people in order to get the results he wanted. He had many methods to get people to do the work he requested whether it be camps internal passports or just killing those that slumped behind. The things that he did led to there being threats of him losing his power so he dealt with that.This included the people that formally worked with him “in the 1930s he began a series of purges that led to the arrest and execution of his former opponents and even his own lieutenants” ("Stalin, Joseph" paragraph 4). He also did things to not only retain his power but make sure work was being done in the process. He decided he would send prisoners to Gulags or prison work camps “these were labour camps where the kulaks [peasants] were sent and also hundreds of thousands of political prisoners were sent during the ‘purges’,” (Mimmack, Eunice, Daniela 111). This way he got a greater work force along with eliminating those that opposed him. He made these decisions that impacted other's health for the "safekeeping of the great U.S.S.R." he was able to do all of these things because he had little respect for human life, “Stalin used his citizens
Stalin on the Cover of Time Magazine Feb. 5, 1945
as renewable resources; if one dies there would always be another to replace him or her,” (Haugen 11). This was his overall mentality about what he did in order to industrialize Russia and many people suffered.

The sacrifices that were made by the people led to the industrialization of Russia at great speeds. He did this his three five-year plans. The first began in 1927; “Stalin set out to create a proletariat by moving large numbers of peasants from the countryside to the cities” (Mimmack, Eunice, Daniela 113). This set up the basis for the next plans by arranging the work forces he planned to use in order for his plans to succeed. The second and third plans took place from 1922-1941, “the focus in these two five year plans shifted to the production of heavy industrial goods” (Mimmack, Eunice, Daniela 114). This is what the death of the Russian population led to which in fact provided at greater future for the country. All in all, the decisions that he made impacted the health of the people yet led to the great future of Russia.

Interesting Facts:
  • Joseph Stalin's original name was Losif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, but he later changed it to Joseph Stalin, or man of steel.
  • Stalin suffered a physical abnormality in his left arm, making it distinctly shorter than the right.
  • Stalin battled small pox as a child and they left a permanent scar.
  • Stalin would kill anyone who opposed him or his programs.
  • Although he was a cruel man, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice for his involvement in defeating Germany.
  • Stalin was a fan of American cowboy movies and would host screenings of them for his friends in a private cinema.
  • Stalin had any of his political opponents removed from power because he did not want anyone questioning his authority.


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Ludwig, Emil. Three Portraits: Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin. New York: AMS, 1981. Print.

Marrin, Albert. "Stalin, Joseph." World Book Millennium 2000. 2000 ed. Print.

Mimmack, Brian, Eunice Price, and Daniela Senes. History. Oxford: Pearson Education, 2010.


"Stalin Facts: 10 Little Known Facts." Military History Monthly. Current Publishing, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2013.

Wolfe, Bertram. “Stalin, Joesph (1879-1953).” The Newbook of Knowledge. Grolier online,

Web. 8 Apr. 2013.