Study sources A, B and C.Do these sources give similar or different impressions of Stalin? Explain your answer with references to the sources.These three sources are very different but they do have some similarities in the impressions they give of Stalin.Source A is a cartoon published in Paris in the 1930’s, it pictures Stalin showing three pyramids of skulls as if he was a tour guide and the results of his policies as if they were a tourist attraction. The cartoon is comparing piles of skulls of Stalin’s pyramids to one of the seven wonders.
An anti-Stalinist in exile could have drawn the cartoon so it is probably supposed to be against Stalin and his policies. This source clearly gives a negative view of Stalin.Source B also pictures Stalin, but this time it gives a very good impression of Stalin. The source shows Stalin standing with workers at a newly opened hydroelectric power station in the 1930’s. They all seem very proud and happy.
This source is an official soviet painting, therefore likely to be biased, and used for propaganda by the government. This source is clearly trying to show the good results of industrialization, but it pictures Stalin meeting workers when he hardly left the Kremlin.Source C is a photo of Stalin meeting the wives of army officers.
The women seem desperate to touch Stalin who is smiling happily at them. The authenticity of this source is questionable as there is no author or date attached to it. During the purges Stalin killed leading army officers therefore it is likely that this photograph was either taken before the purges or doctored. This source is not very reliable but it does give a good impression of Stalin.The sources show different views of Stalin but source A describes Stalin as a monster responsible for the deaths of millions of Russians. Source B shows Stalin to be a good man who improved the Russian industry. He did make it a very successful industrial country. In source C, Stalin is again seen as a caring and good man congratulating the wives of his army officers.
In this source he is put in a hero position.These sources are not totally reliable. However, B and C are similar in some ways as he is shown to be a great man who cared about his people and was prepared to talk to them.In conclusion, the sources express different views and neither of them are one hundred percent reliable. Sources B and C do share some similarities. These sources show the different views of the people. Some idolized him whilst others thought he was an evil dictator.2.
Study source D.Does this source provide any useful evidence about Stalin? Explain your answer.Source D is an account written by Stalin in 1945. This article will surely give a good representation of how Stalin portrayed himself within the USSR in 1945. He used this story to make him look good and the old leaders look like tyrants.In the passage, Stalin shows deep concern for the drowned man who was left back by his ‘comrades’. Stalin uses the story to say that the lack of concern these men had was like that of the Russian leaders, though Stalin proves to be a different leader. Stalin is trying to put across that he cares about his people, even after the millions of Russians he had murdered during his purges.
This passage is similar to a parable, it has a moral meaning behind it. I believe that Stalin also used this story to justify the hard measures he had taken during his reign, like the purges. For instance, that the traitors like the ones in the passage needed to be abolished.
This source doesn’t give very much useful evidence about Stalin. The passage was written by him so it will surely be biased and we can never know if it is a true story. Stalin used to tell lies and using the media for his propaganda. If this story happened to be true it shows us that may be Stalin was a caring man and that he thought his purges were the only way in which Russia could succeed to become a powerful country in the world. However, this thought cannot be proved true.I think that the only useful evidence about Stalin that can be seriously taken from this source is that Stalin comes from the peasants and that he lived in the countryside. Therefore, he understands the Russian peasants as he was one of them, so it is easier for him to lead his people.By writing this account, Stalin is showing to his people that he was a peasant once therefore he understands his ‘comrades’ and has a special care for them.
Stalin had all means to broadcast these kinds of stories; he had the power to make people believe in these things.3. Study sources E and F.Which of these two sources is the more reliable? Explain your answer.
Source E is from a speech by a writer to the congress of Soviets in 1932. The speech was published in Pravda, the paper of the communist party. The newspaper Pravda (which means ‘truth) was heavily censored so the source will be as well, only positive comments about the party and its leaders would be read in this newspaper.
It was also written by a communist to the communists therefore it may be a biased source.Source F is from a speech made by Bukharin in Paris in 1936. Bukharin became a supporter of Stalin against Trotsky as Lenin’s successor.
In 1929, he fell into disgrace and was one of the victims of the purges in 193. Stalin led Bukharin to disgrace after using him, therefore, in this source, it is likely that Bukharin would be trying to show everyone Stalin’s evilness.Unlike source F, source E praises Stalin in a much exaggerated manner. The writer claims Stalin to be the greatest man that ever lived. The source has many repetitions alliterations like:”every…
, every…” which is an effective way of putting across a point especially in a newspaper. The writer fills the speech with many compliments about Stalin, very exaggerated ways to describe a man and fanatical statements:”..
. [his name] which is strong, beautiful, wise and marvellous…”However, source F has a contrasting view of Stalin. Bukharin disliked Stalin because he had used him to become the leader and then had turned on him.Bukharin was expelled of the party in 1929, leaving him bitter because of how he’d been used.
He was executed during the purges in 1938. Therefore this source only mentions Stalin’s bad side as Bukharin wrote it at the time of his disgrace, two years before his execution. Bukharin tells us that Stalin has always to be the best and anyone that becomes better must then die.Bukharin knew what Lenin really thought of Stalin, as he was friends with Lenin and responsible for the NEP, this surely scared Stalin. The source is an attempt at unmasking Stalin’s true evilness. Bukharin shows that Stalin was incredibly insecure about anyone speaking, or being at some point, better than he is.
This can be proven by Stalin’s actions during the purges.Bukharin also speaks openly about Stalin, especially knowing that this could be extremely dangerous to him as he is insulting the leader of Russia: “He is a narrow-minded, malicious man…”In conclusion, both sources are unreliable because they are both very opinionated.
However, Source F can be definitely more reliable because it wasn’t published under the influence of the government. On the other hand, Bukharin must have been very sure of what he was saying as he knew Stalin well and worked with him for a long time and suddenly started hating him. He was expelled from the party and said all this openly against the most dangerous and powerful man in the USSR. He was putting himself in great danger by saying all this, therefore he must have had his very strong reasons.Source E is too much of propaganda with far too many exaggerating statements praising Stalin. But although, both sources are unreliable and not trustworthy, I think that source F isn’t totally reliable but certainly more reliable that source E.4. Study sources G and H.
Do you trust Khrushchev’s assessments of Stalin? Use your knowledge about Stalin to explain your answer.These two sources come from the speech that Nikita Khrushchev gave to the soviet communist party in 1956. It is known as the “Secret Speech”, three years after Stalin’s death. Khrushchev was a Stalinist member of the communist party, he worked together with Stalin for many years.In this speech Khrushchev talked a lot about Stalin and in which ways he was going to be different from Stalin, talked about peaceful co-existence and claimed that Stalin was guilty of crimes such as the murder of Kirov, rigging ballot at the 17th congress and execution and imprisonment of innocent.Source G seems to be justifying what Stalin accomplished in the past.
In this extract from his speech, Khrushchev defends Stalin. We also have to take in consideration that Khrushchev would not have wanted to disrespect Stalin in anyway because the speech was given to Stalin’s former party, of which Khrushchev was now in charge, and he knew that the Soviet communist party looked up to Stalin even though he was gone. However, even though Khrushchev had the same ideals as Stalin, I don’t think he agreed with many of Stalin’s actions, such as the purges and the execution of innocent.In source H, Khrushchev gives a very different view point he had of Stalin. He describes Stalin as a distrustful man, may be somehow paranoid by seeing everyone as his spy or enemy.
He so suspicious that he even distrusted people he had known for years, like members of his party.I think that these two sources prove that Khrushchev knew Stalin quite well. He worked closely with Stalin while Stalin was in power.
He is, therefore, a firsthand witness to Stalin’s acts, thoughts and possibly might have even given some advice to Stalin. If, in these sources, Khrushchev comments about Stalin’s bad side and wrong actions that means he didn’t agree with many of Stalin’s acts. However, Khrushchev didn’t do anything about it nor opposed to any of Stalin’s ideals at that time. This could mean that Khrushchev was fearful of what Stalin could have done to him, as he had witnessed many of Stalin’s actions.In my opinion, Khrushchev’s assessments are trustworthy in a way. Firstly, because Khrushchev worked closely with Stalin and surely knew him well.
Secondly, Khrushchev, in his speech, talked about Stalin’s dark side without necessarily disrespecting him. This means, therefore, that Khrushchev sensibly described Stalin, trying not to use exaggerating compliments or negative comments about the former leader, not to risk his position as Stalin’s successor.Khrushchev also would have wanted to give a good image of himself to all the members of the party, of which he was going to be in charge. Therefore, he might have given different views of Stalin in his speech so that he could get everyone in the party to agree with him, in one way or another.Using my own knowledge of Stalin, I would agree with Khrushchev’s view in source G, and partly with source H. I would say that Stalin was far too distrustful, suspicious and paranoid.
However, there are many more negative points about Stalin that Khrushchev did not mention in his speech. This was either because he didn’t want to disrespect the former leader, due to his high position within the party, or because he may have agreed with some of Stalin’s earlier actions for the defence of the principles of communism, which I suspect.In conclusion, I see these two sources as trustworthy and I could relate them to the character of Stalin that I know of. However we must not forget that there are many more characteristics about Stalin that Khrushchev did not mention, especially negative ones. Despite this, these assessments of Stalin are quite accurate in what they say but, indeed, they leave many things to be said about this man’s character.