The family lived at Dawpool, Cheshire. Bruce Ismay was educated at Elstree School and at Harrow.
He Mr joseph the son of a poor cobbler in the provincial Georgian town of Gori in the Caucasusthen an imperial Russian colony. The drunken father savagely beat his son. Speaking only Georgian at home, Joseph learned Russian—which he always spoke with a guttural Georgian accent—while attending the church school at Gori — The mother, a devout washerwoman, had dreamed of her son becoming a priest, but Joseph Dzhugashvili was more ruffianly than clerical in appearance and outlook.
He was short, stocky, black-haired, fierce-eyed, with one arm longer than the other, his swarthy face scarred by smallpox contracted in infancy. Physically strong and endowed with prodigious willpower, he early learned to disguise his true feelings and to bide his time; in accordance with the Caucasian blood-feud tradition, he was implacable in plotting long-term revenge against those who offended him.
In DecemberDzhugashvili became, briefly, a clerk in the Tiflis Observatory, the only paid employment that he is recorded as having taken outside politics; there is no record of his ever having done manual labour. In he joined the political underground, fomenting labour demonstrations and strikes in the main industrial centres of the Caucasus, but his excessive zeal Mr joseph pushing duped workers into bloody clashes with the police antagonized his fellow conspirators.
After the Social Democrats Marxist revolutionaries of the Russian Empire had split into their two competing wings— Menshevik and Bolshevik —inDzhugashvili joined the second, more militant, of these factions and became a disciple of its leader, Lenin.
Between April and MarchDzhugashvili was seven times arrested for revolutionary activity, undergoing repeated imprisonment and exile. The mildness of the sentences and the ease with which the young conspirator effected his frequent escapes lend colour to the unproved speculation that Dzhugashvili was for a time an agent provocateur in the pay of the imperial political police.
Rise to power Dzhugashvili made slow progress in the party hierarchy. He attended three policy-making conclaves of the Russian Social Democrats—in Tammerfors now TampereFinland;Stockholmand London —without making much impression. His first big political promotion came in February January, Old Stylewhen Lenin—now in emigration—co-opted him to serve on the first Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party, which had finally broken with the other Social Democrats.
In about Stalin had married a pious Georgian girl, Ekaterina Svanidze.
She died some three years later and left a son, Jacob, whom his father treated with contemptcalling him a weakling after an unsuccessful suicide attempt in the late s; when Jacob was taken prisoner by the Germans during World War IIStalin refused a German offer to exchange his son.
Besides heading the secretariat, he was also member of the powerful Politburo and of many other interlocking and overlapping committees—an arch-bureaucrat engaged in quietly outmaneuvering brilliant rivals, including Trotsky and Grigory Zinovyevwho despised such mundane organizational work.
Because the pockmarked Georgian was so obviously unintellectual, they thought him unintelligent—a gross error, and one literally fatal in their case. Vladimir Ilich Lenin, Archpriest of LeninismStalin also promoted his own cult in the following year by having the city of Tsaritsyn renamed Stalingrad now Volgograd.
Soon afterward Stalin joined with the rightist leaders Nikolay Bukharin and Aleksey Rykov in an alliance directed against his former co-triumvirs. His most-powerful rivals were all dismissed, Bukharin and Rykov soon following Zinovyev and Kamenev into disgrace and political limbo pending execution.
Stalin expelled Trotsky from the Soviet Union in and had him assassinated in Mexico in This was, in effect, a new Russian revolution more devastating in its effects than those of Resisting desperately, the reluctant muzhiks were attacked by troops and OGPU political police units.
Uncooperative peasantstermed kulakswere arrested en masse, being shot, exiled, or absorbed into the rapidly expanding network of Stalinist concentration camps and worked to death under atrocious conditions. Collectivization also caused a great famine in Ukraine. Yet Stalin continued to export the grain stocks that a less cruel leader would have rushed to the famine-stricken areas.
Some 10 million peasants may have perished through his policies during these years.
Crash industrialization was less disastrous in its effects, but it, too, numbered its grandiose failures, to which Stalin responded by arraigning industrial managers in a succession of show trials. Yet Stalin was successful in rapidly industrializing a backward country—as was widely acknowledged by enthusiastic contemporary foreign witnesses, including Adolf Hitler and such well-known writers as H.
Wells and George Bernard Shaw. They had two children. The son, Vasily, perished as an alcoholic after rising to unmerited high rank in the Soviet Air Force.
The great purges In late —just when the worst excesses of Stalinism seemed to have spent themselves—the Secretary General launched a new campaign of political terror against the very Communist Party members who had brought him to power; his pretext was the assassination, in Leningrad on December 1, of his leading colleague and potential rival, Sergey Kirov.
Stalin used the show trial of leading Communists as a means for expanding the new terror.
In AugustZinovyev and Kamenev were paraded in court to repeat fabricated confessions, sentenced to death, and shot; two more major trials followed, in January and March In JuneMarshal Mikhail Tukhachevskyat the time the most influential military personality, and other leading generals were reported as court-martialed on charges of treason and executed.
Such were the main publicly acknowledged persecutions that empowered Stalin to tame the Soviet Communist Party and the Soviet elite as a whole. Other victims included foreign Communists on Soviet territory and members of the very political police organization, now called the NKVD.
All other sections of the Soviet elite—the arts, the academic world, the legal and diplomatic professions—also lost a high proportion of victims, as did the population at large, to a semi-haphazard, galloping persecution that fed on extorted denunciations and confessions.
These implicated even more victims until Stalin himself reduced the terror, though he never abandoned it.Mr. Joseph Young Mr. Joe Young (Also known as Mighty Joe Young, and King Joe) was an ape from Africa.
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