A New Soviet God
Through the late 1930’s the Soviet union was experiencing a new more quiet change. While propaganda was a standard in the USSR there was a more serious influence that was occurring at the top. During this period Stalin had grown even more paranoid, and while the Purges rooted out his possible rivals and nay sayers Stalin was taking actions that would serve to solidify his power with future generations and laborers of the Union. In a move that many other dictators make Stalin sought to make him self the Premier in the soviet union in more than just his status. Stalin pushed and succeeded in making himself almost like the god of the soviet union. Portraits hung like a deity, his name in songs and story. Stalin made himself bigger than life, bigger than his true self.
In this photo of girls exercising in a soviet class room notice the large photo of Stalin.
Beneath reads “Cheers to the great Stalin”
These changes came to be known as the cult of personality. Photos and paintings of Stalin in public buildings, offices, and class rooms were soon everywhere. In school children were taught history doctored by Stalin and his followers to include him more in the revolution. In these changes to history Stalin also whitewashed other leaders roles so that they could not pose any threats. Soon Stalin was considered almost as a god. His photo everywhere his presence felt in everything and even whole cities named for him. As the war creeped closer Stalin tightened his grip and control on the USSR and while he did this many watched star-y eyed.
In this video we can see just how much Stalin had the common man under his trance.
With his cult of personality Stalin almost insured his rule over the USSR for the coming decades. With these historical changes and the wave of glorification he created for himself Stalin would be the USSR’s unquestioned leader until his death In fact when his lies and atrocities were exposed some were so shocked there were heart attacks reported when they were exposed by then Premier Nikita Khrushchev. The Following video is more for a little humor but think about what its saying. And then think that most Soviet people would have never thought their great and glorious Comrade Stalin would ever do such things and certainly not for personal gain or pleasure.
Hail the great Stalin!
October 19, 2015 @ 5:23 pm
Some good insight here on the how the Cult of Personality worked. I especially like the Stakhanovite video clip: “If I had wings, I would have flown”! And your comment about it is right on.
It’s always “fun” to see some Histeria! in the mix too — might be good to contextualize that one a bit so your audience doesn’t get confused? (Also – there’s a refrain in there that reminds me of Sound of Music (“and then I don’t feel so bad…”)
October 19, 2015 @ 9:56 pm
I liked your post, it was very informative. It definitely proves that Stalin may not have been a great person, but he was a great dictator.
October 19, 2015 @ 11:01 pm
This definitely calls to light a theme common to many dictator-lead regimes. Throughout history we see dictators, and emperors for that matter, raised to a level akin to that of a deity in the eyes of their people. Whether it be Caesar or Stalin, they use their image and influence to secure their rule for further generations. This was a great post!
October 19, 2015 @ 11:25 pm
Hahaha that video was so funny! Also like how you saw him promoting himself as god-like. He definitely must of saw himself to have been able to put pictures of himself everywhere, present history the way he wanted to, and use self promoting propaganda. Great Post!
October 20, 2015 @ 1:18 am
I thought your description of Stalin in this period as “god-like” was extremely accurate. It reminds me of modern-day North Korea and the glorification of Kim Jong-Un. Very interesting post.
October 20, 2015 @ 1:47 am
I really like the artifacts you found, especially the one with the portrait of Stalin hanging on the wall. His Cult of Personality really shows that he wasn’t a true Soviet in my opinion. The whole goal of the Revolution was to put the people in control, but he did the opposite by consolidating power, deceiving the people, and putting himself as the face of the state instead of the people.
October 20, 2015 @ 1:50 am
Although some of this information is slightly amusing, it is terrifying to imagine that one man could gain so much power. It is astonishing that he was able to get away with this.
October 20, 2015 @ 1:51 am
It is crazy to think that that many people were convinced and loyal to Stalin as not only their countries leader, but essentially as a god. It almost mirrors some of the glimpses we can see of North Korea, which goes to show you how a country like that can exist within a modernizing world.
October 20, 2015 @ 4:00 am
I find it especially interesting how similar Stalin was to Hitler, both built a cult of personality, both purged the disloyal, both rode massive popular movements to the top, and both were cold, calculating dictators. Hitler just ended up on the wrong side of history, if things had gone slightly differently it could have just as easily been Stalin in his place.