5 Atrocities of Joseph Stalin and Why He Was So Hated
Recently the Russian President became the target of worldwide hatred after his decision to invade Ukraine. Putin’s actions are allegedly able to trigger the occurrence of World War III anyway (hopefully) does not shift a name that is known to be the most cruel from the White Bear country, namely Joseph Stalin. Although some Russians dub Putin as Adolf Putin, it is still far from the cruelty of Joseph Stalin.
The people of the world have different views in viewing the Russia VS Ukraine war. There are those who normalize Putin’s actions with a number of reasons, there are also those who firmly say that war is still a war that will cost many people’s lives so it must be stopped for whatever reason.
This incident seems to remind us of ‘Josef Stalin’. No matter how cruelty has taken the lives of millions of people, some people, especially residents of Russia and other former Soviet Union countries, still regard Stalin as a hero who succeeded in overthrowing the Nazi fascist regime.
Was Joseph Stalin Evil?
The man whose real name is Losif (Joseph) Vissarionovih Dzhugashvili was born in a poor family, December 18, 1879. His father was a shoemaker and his mother was a laundry worker. Stalin’s mother, who was a religious Christian, wanted her son to become a priest. This clearly did not materialize because the adult Stalin even called for atheism.
Nevertheless, religious or not, it was not the basis that formed Joseph Stalin’s cruelty as a dictator. Stalin’s atrocities are a product of his era, where in the 20th century there were not a few cruel and evil leaders. Mao Zedong for example, has starved millions of Chinese people and committed suicide.
Stalin is also often compared to his rival, Adolf Hitler, who reportedly killed about 6 million Jews in the Holocaust tragedy. Millions of Armenians were also victims of the genocide of the Ottoman empire in the early 1900s.
In Japan, millions of people also died as a result of Japanese war crimes under the leadership of Prime Minister Hideki Toko, followed by the deaths of tens of thousands of people in the Meiji restoration agenda. Look? How many dictators were born in these eras?
How Many People Did Stalin Kill?
In the book ‘Gulag’ Archipelago written by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, it is said that there were 66.7 million deaths during the Soviet Union between 1917-1959. This number increased again when the author was interviewed by a Spanish television channel to 44 million people. A Soviet citizen who died during WWII.
In total, there were approximately 110 million victims, so this number is often questioned because the 1939 census recorded the population of the Soviet Union at only 170 million.
Data on victims of Joseph Stalin’s atrocities was also offered by western historian Robert Conquest who said that there were 9 million people imprisoned at the end of 1939. Meanwhile, historian Viktor Zemskov estimates that in 1940 there were at least 1.9 million people locked behind bars.
Joseph Stalin’s Policy
In the late 1920s, Stalin embarked on a series of five-year plans to turn the Soviet Union into a modern industrial nation. He feared that if the Soviet Union did not modernize, Communism would fail and the country would be destroyed by its capitalist neighbors.
The Soviet Union achieved major increases in the productivity of coal, oil, and steel. Stalin’s plans were ruthlessly enforced: factories were given stringent targets that many workers found impossible to meet. Those who failed were scapegoated by many as destroyers and saboteurs and imprisoned or executed as enemies of the state.
In addition to massive industrialization, Stalin also collectivized individual agricultural land into state property. Joseph Stalin’s policy was certainly opposed by millions of farmers by killing their livestock and hoarding their grain secretly.
By the late 1930s, farming was entirely collective and productivity was increasing. Stalin believed that goals justified all means and millions of small farmers were killed or imprisoned for this purpose.
List of Joseph Stalin’s Atrocities
Why was Stalin Hated? This question is easier to answer, although it is not as easy as reversing the opinion of many loyalists who think that Joseph Stalin was a hero. Here are five of Joseph Stalin’s atrocities.
This network of prisons and labor camps called the Gulags was originally founded by Lenin. However, it was Stalin who made it a source of fear for the people of the Soviet Union.
Between 1931-1953, an estimated 3.7 million inhabitants of the Soviet Union were imprisoned in the Gulag. The population of the Gulag reached its greatest extent in the early 1950s with an estimated 2.5 million prisoners. According to Lynne Viola in the book ‘The Unknown Gulag: The Lost World of Stalin’s Special Settlements’, at least 1.5 million people died in the Gulag.
According to “The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror Famine,” about 14.5 million people died of starvation in the Great Famine of 1932-33, also known as the Holodomor. While another famine was caused by drought, it was Stalin’s policies towards industrialization and away from small agricultural food production that contributed to this disaster.
The Great Purge
In 1936, Stalin initiated “The Great Purge”, which aimed to rid the Communist Party of some of its biggest detractors and rivals. Hundreds of thousands of people were first captured by the NKVD which was Stalin before being executed and sent to the Gulag.
Eventually, more than a third of the Communist Party died during The Great Purge which also had the effect of terrorizing the general public as well.
Order No. 227
Stalin’s brutality did not stop at civilians and enemies of the Communist Party but also to those who had fought for him and the Soviet Union. In 1942, as the Germans were pushing their way towards Stalingrad in the early days of World War II, Stalin issued one of his most famous and cold-blooded decrees, Order No. 227.
The order also called for lesser offense soldiers to be sent to the front and “guard units” behind the lines to prevent cowards from retreating. It is not clear how many Soviet soldiers died at the hands of their comrades under Stalin’s orders.
Tolerate War Crimes
After hearing reports that Soviet soldiers raped women in Germany and elsewhere, he reportedly said “[A] what’s so bad about having fun with a woman, after such horrors?”
Stalin continued to run the Soviet Union with a fist for most of his life. GULAG actually still held about 2.5 million prisoners in 1953. Joseph Stalin’s death has opened stories of his cruelty during his reign in the Soviet Union.
In Stalin’s final years, he became increasingly suspicious, and continued to purge his enemies within the Party. After a night of heavy drinking, Stalin died of a stroke on March 5, 1953.
Many people in the Soviet Union mourned the loss of the great leader who transformed the Soviet Union from a feudal economy into an industrial power and played an important role in defeating Hitler.
But millions of imprisoned people cheered for the death of one of history’s most murderous dictators. Stalin’s successor, Khrushchev, denounced the dictator’s death and started a wave of “destalinization”.
Undeniably, Joseph Stalin’s cruelty has made him one of the most hated people in Ukraine. On New Year’s Eve 2011, there was an incident where a statue of Stalin was detonated at the Communist Party headquarters in Zaporizhia. This incident has made the political temperature hot in Ukraine at that time.