During the nineteen sixties the Soviet Union had a problem in their cities of providing adequate housing for their people. Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union at the time, decided to build what he thought would be greater housing then before. Khrushchev’s private housing was supposed to be this grand building of high end apartment buildings but instead became the slums of the city. Khrushchev’s plan was a good thought but poorly executed. Khrushchev had many problems that he faced during the course of building but what is important when looking at the private housing construction is the effects it had on the people that lived there and how that effected the government as a whole.
The problem that Khrushchev had was the plan was too enormous to start off with. This is not new for Soviet history, they kind of have a go big or go home attitude with their programs and this was no different. I think the need to build up the Soviet Union after the destruction of World War II is the number one reason for this big idea. Since there is a need and a want in the Soviet Union for better housing you have the government start giving private contracts to builders to build housing. So the building is a social program that cost the Soviet government money and must be managed to make sure that the program is going well.
The managed part is the biggest problem that the government had in implementing this program. There was no supervision that looked over the construction. In the Current Digest of the Soviet Press, this issue was looked at in depth by stating that, “It is necessary to establish some kind of technical supervision.” The construction was a disaster because the government really did not have oversight from the beginning. This is why you have buildings looking so run down and cheaply built.
The people that lived in the new housing had promises of better living conditions and the government failed to provide this. Since Khrushchev headed this plan it was forever linked to him. Whole villages and farmland that had been cultivated for centuries were ploughed under to make way for new apartment blocks. By doing this it changed the culture that Russia and the Soviet Union until this time had which was agriculturally driven. This building plan was the end of that and put a stamp on what the modern Soviet Russia was. In the end housing plan did not have all the grand things to it as promised and it did nothing to fix the living conditions for the Soviet people.
March 6, 1953, the Soviet Union announced that Comrade Stalin had died the day before. The address that was given to the Central Committee and to all working people of the Soviet Union highlighted the greatness of Stalin. It was a great piece of work politically; it showcased all the great things that the party and Stalin did for Russia. The address was a look at what we did for you the people more than it was were so sorry Stalin died. The address made over Stalin death was a very easy way to thank Stalin for what he did and to push the party forward. The change of power was under way.
In the wake of Stalin’s death, the funeral in Moscow ended up being deadly for the thousands that flock to see a glimpse of the great Stalin. The mobs of people became too much and a small girl ended up getting crushed. The people screamed, “Form chains! Form chains!” while people where being crushed and mangled in the confusion in the crowed. I think the want to see the simple Soviet man as one spectator called it, was a huge reason why so many people in Moscow where in an upheaval at his funeral. It is ironic that with how many people died by the hands of Stalin that even his funeral people died. A fitting way to end his regime, don’t you think?
In the end Stalin can never be erased from Soviet history his influence defined what Soviet Russia was. As the address stated, “The immortal name of STALIN will live forever in the hearts of the Soviet people and all progressive mankind.” The hearts of the workers and the collective farmers could never forget Stalin and the party for everything they did to them. This chapter of Soviet history is done. Lenin last brother in arms is gone and Russia will look to form a new chapter for the Communist party.