Stalin: Man or Monster?
Uploaded by james john on Dec 10, 2001
Do these sources give similar or different impressions of Stalin?
These sources give different impressions of Stalin, however there are some similarities.
Source A is a cartoon published in Paris in the 1930´s. It shows Stalin and the results of his policies according to the artist. The cartoon features Stalin showing three pyramids of skulls as if he was a tour guide. The caption under reads, “Visitez L´URSS ses pyramides!” This translates to, “Visit the pyramids of the USSR!”
This source is very famous and was drawn by an exiled Russian, therefore the artist could be bitter and biased against Stalin and his policies.
Source B is an official Soviet painting of Stalin with workers at a hydroelectric power station in the 1930´s. It is trying to show the results of industrialization. It shows Stalin talking to the workers, they seem very proud to be meeting Stalin. Because it is an official Soviet painting it is very likely to be biased and a source of propaganda as it would be Stalin or the government who commissioned it.
Source C is a photograph of Stalin congratulating wives of army officers. The women are reaching for Stalin in a fanatical manner; they seem desperate to touch him. The source is a photograph, which gives the impression that it is a reliable source. However this isn´t true, Stalin could have had the photograph doctored or had people pose and claimed it was showing something it wasn´t.
The sources give very different impressions of Stalin.
Source A shows Stalin to be a monster responsible for the death of millions of people.
Stalin´s policies were responsible for the death of millions of people. Collectivization caused the death of thousands of Kulaks and left many homeless and starving. One million people were executed during the purges, two million people died in camps, one million people died in prison and eight million people died as a result of the work ethic Stalin began.
Source B shows Stalin to be a great man who made Russian industry prosper.
Stalin´s industrialization did make Russia a very successful industrial country. By the late 1930´s many Soviet workers had improved their conditions by gaining well-paid skilled jobs and earning bonuses for meeting targets. There was an almost non-existent unemployment rate. Stalin also encouraged woman to work by setting up childcare services; four out of five new workers recruited between 1932 and 1937 were women. Stalin also made education compulsory and...