Joseph Stalin s official reign of terror ended with his death in 1953, but the effects of his autocratic rule continued for many years to follow. His lasting hold on the people of the former Soviet Union still lingers in a few brainwashed minds. In the article Stalin s Afterlife and the movie Russia s War - Blood Upon the Snow , Stalin is portrayed as the monster really was and should be remembered as.

It said in Stalin s Afterlife that Stalin s policies created a holocaust greater than Hitler s. , which unbelievably is true. The horror of the crimes Joseph Stalin committed against his own people is appalling. For example, Stalin s plan for collectivization resulted in the death of twenty million people. The great five-year plan to turn the peasant farmers into one, huge farming community brought on famine, starvation and eventually death to twenty million peasant farmers. Another atrocity that Stalin was responsible for was the forced labor camps known as Gulags. ...the murderous forced labor camps of the Gulag archipelago - victimized tens of millions of innocent men, women, and children for more than 20 years. Millions of people were sent to the Gulag camps from 1939 through 1953, for the crime of doing absolutely nothing. There were ...eight million souls (a conservative estimate) who languished in Soviet concentration camps every year between 1939 and 1953. under the horrible conditions at the Gulags. Every year Stalin, in his paranoia sent millions of people off to their deaths.

Russia s War - Blood Upon the Snow brought into view a more detailed, personal account of Stalin s atrocities. People recalling memories they had of what it was like to live under Stalin s paranoid rule. During his five-year plans to become a more industrialized nation, Stalin had thousands of people forced into building the White Sea Canal. They were made to continue working until they dropped from exhaustion. When it was completed in 1933 the workers who were still left were drowned in the canal. Another paranoid act Stalin ordered to be carried out was the murder of over a thousand members of the seventeenth congress. When Stalin held a vote to elect who the general secretary would be, three hundred votes were against him. He feared that he would be overthrown by Sergei Kirov, who only received three votes against him. Joseph Stalin, over a short period had Kirov murdered as well as one thousand out of nineteen hundred sixty-six committee members and ninety-eight out of one hundred and thirty-nine central committee members. During Joseph Stalin s rule many were affected by his management of the Soviet people.

The view of Stalin in the Soviet Union changed in the years after his death, from bad to good and vice versa. Some people saw Stalin for what he truly was and some continued to be brainwashed by the propaganda they were fed for years. The leader who succeeded Stalin was Nikita Khrushchev. He tried to sway the people from the propaganda that Stalin had put into their minds that he was a god. In his efforts, he tried de-Stalinization and rehabilitation for mostly the whole country which had fallen victim to believing all Stalin did was good. Khrushchev tried to educate the people in the horrors Stalin committed. Even though some believed him, many people just would not accept that their great leader could be capable of those crimes. After Khrushchev s overthrow in 1965, neo-Stalinists took over the government. Forcing an end to de-Stalinization and once again filling the people s heads with propaganda that Stalin was the father of the peoples . Though he was no longer a god in the minds of the people, he was highly revered as a wise statesman and benefactor of the people. Thus, the Soviet people were thrown back and forth in forced belief that Stalin was either a bad leader or he was a good leader.

In 1998, after the fall of communism in the now former Soviet Union there is no longer the government forcing what they want the people to believe. The people of the former Soviet Union can now freely decide whether they believe Stalin to be a wonderful leader or a monster. The new generation must realize the horrible atrocities Stalin committed to their relatives and think him a terrible criminal. Hopefully the generation that was alive during the time of Stalin and his successors, who were brainwashed into believing Stalin was a wise leader now realize that he was not all he was heralded to be. For the most part people in the former Soviet Union must view him as the evil, paranoid man he was, but do realize his accomplishments at industrializing and beating Hitler in World War Two, though at terrible costs. There still will always be those few holdovers, who have been so confused with propaganda that they would still believe Stalin a good leader. For the most part, hopefully, the people of the former Soviet Union must recognize the horrific fact that Stalin murdered more than twenty million innocent people.

A million quotes and explanations could not ever describe how terrible Stalin s rule was. The murders, the labor camps, the fear, it has to seem so unrealistic to any American, who has always lived under a democratic government. The heinous crimes committed by Stalin are so far away from anything anyone of that sits in Lawrence Highschool complaining about having to learn about Stalin and the rest of history. Thankfully it is safe to say that hopefully nothing as horrible that which occurred in the Soviet Union from 1929 to the fall of communism, will ever happen to any American, and hopefully to no one else.

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