STALIN: The Man of Steel

By Aminath Eema Asim, 11A

Russia was completely closed and isolated from the rest of the world until 1991, when the communist regime fell. It is only by chance that evidence of many of the many violent acts he committed still survives.

One of the most ‘Stalinist’ acts of the period had been the arrest of  a group of doctors after accusing them of the ‘Doctor’s plot’; they were charged with conspiring to assassinate the soviet leader. Although this may not even have been a real plot, they still confessed to the crime—which gets us thinking about what exactly Stalin must have done to horrify these doctors to the extent where they agreed to a crime they may not have committed.

Makes one curious, doesn’t it?

Stalin can undoubtedly be regarded as the most cold blooded murderer of the 20th century. When we associate ‘murderer’ to a leader, it is the image of Hitler that would come to one’s mind. However, what people are not aware of is that Stalin killed a dozen million more than Hitler did. Yes, Hitler massacred over 6 million Jews. But Stalin killed 25 million people in his lifetime.

While Hitler never dared murder citizens of his country, Stalin effortlessly purged and killed his own people, just to make sure he remained in control. Both rulers were superb propagandists, but Stalin—being the paranoid psychopath he was—justified the death of the 25 million people in his infamous words:

‘One death is a tragedy but a million is just statistics.’

The extent of his messed-up mentality can be seen from how he tried to cover his second wife’s death, and completely ignored his son’s. From historical accounts, it can be stated that he abused his wife until she committed suicide in 1932. He made sure that her death was officially reported as being caused by appendicitis.

Meanwhile, his son Yakov was a soldier in the Red Army and was captured by the Nazis. When they proposed to free him in a prisoner swap, Stalin refused and surrendered his son voluntarily by saying that he was the father of all the sons of the Soviet Union.

Even with such paranoia and violence, Stalin managed to make Russia the country it is today. Thus, it can be said that he most definitely lived up to his name: the man of steel.

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Art: The Young Stalin by Zuhura Ismail, 12A

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