Archive for October, 2013


As shown in the picture above there are many similarities between Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler but for some strange reason we look at Hitler as the symbol of a monster, while Stalin is just looked at as being a bad man. Though there is no denying that Hitler was a monster and executed horrendous acts, I believe Joseph Stalin was worse. The reason why I believe this is that Stalin massacred his own citizens and though no one truly knows the exact number it is believed Stalin massacred as little as 20 million people during his reign.

One of the deadliest events in Russian history was the Great Purge, which was a systematic campaign of political executions and repression orchestrated by Joseph Stalin from 1936 to 1939.  This massacre incorporated everyone within the Soviet Union from leaders of the Communist party and the Red army to the peasants; no one was safe from the reach of Stalin. This political purge was an effort by Stalin to eliminate any potential threats to his regime past or present.  However, many people don’t know that Stalin, due to the murder of Sergey Kirov in 1934, launched a massacre which saw to the execution of nearly one million citizens.

This Great Purge also saw these elaborately staged events in the form of three trails of high ranking Communist members.  Those brought to trail where accused of conspiring against the Soviet Union and planning the assassination of Joseph Stalin. The first trail consisted of Grigory Zinoviev, Lev Kamenev and 16 other members of a made up party. They would confess to all charges and were sentenced to death. The second trail consisted of lesser known figures such as Karl Radek and Grigory Sokolnikov as well as 17 other men and was accused of plotting with Trotsky who was supposedly conspiring with Nazi Germany.  The all were found guilty and executed.  The third and most famous trail due to the people involved saw Nikolai Bukharin, Alexei Rykov and 21 other defendants accused of trying to assassinate Stalin and turn over the USSR to its enemies. They were all found guilty and executed.

After reading into the Great Purge and seeing the atrocities that Stalin committed I feel that Stalin is one of the most horrendous men to ever live. Though one could argue that Hitler was worse there is no denying that both men were truly monsters.


Evan Mawdsley, The Stalin Years: The Soviet Union, 1929-1953 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998), pp. 131-133.

Case of the Anti-Soviet Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites: heard before the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R., Moscow. March 2-13, 1938 (Moscow: People’s Commissariat of Justice, 1938), pp. 5-6


Anti-religious and atheistic satirical magazine

The passage of the Law on Religious Organization in 1929 signaled a new level of religious persecution within Russia. Even before the passage of this law, in the early 1920’s actions against religion were taken by the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks tried to remove religious influence from Russian homes believing religiously sanctioned families were “tsarist society in a microcosm.” In doing this restrictions were lifted upon many issues such as abortion, divorce and women, under law, were even given equal rights.

With the passage of the Law of Religious Organization, the goal of the Soviet government was evident. The Soviets wanted to physically remove any religious influence from Soviet society believing it would affect the progress of the country.  The main goal was to try and undermine the importance of religion believing that it would create a state universally focused upon the scientific development.  One of the parts of the Law of Religious Organization required congregations to register with the government in order to legally worship.  Those who do register for legal worship had other guidelines that must be followed such as only having one set of premises for which all of its prayer meetings. Even though this law never fully banned religion the state did try and turn people away from any form of religious worship.  The Soviet state did this by establishing the Commission on Religious Questions who believed that in order to fully eradicate religion can only happen through “agitation and education.” (335) The premise of enforcing these laws fell mostly upon the local police authorities who were responsible for the closing of churches

The passage of the Law of Religious Organization showed just how far the Soviet state was willing to go in order to ensure the prosperity of its country. In doing this it allowed for the continuous work week to be established which would help Russia catch up economically to the prospering countries of the Western world.


Freeze, Gregory L.. Russia: A History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Mervyn Matthews, ed., Soviet Government: a selection of official documents on internal policies (New York: Taplinger, 1974), pp. 63-70.

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