1.73 m or 5feet 8inches
Death Date: March 5, 1953
Joseph Stalin was the ruler of the Soviet Union, and is known as one of the most murderous and brutal dictators in history. Stalin’s real name was Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, and he was born in Georgia. He studied in a religious seminary, and it was here that he began studying the works of Karl Marx.
He spent the majority of his time in the revolutionist movemen, and never graduated from the seminary. The next 15 years of his life was spent as an activist, and he was repeatedly arrested and exiled to Siberia. Stalin was not directly involved with the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, but was made General Secretary of the Communist party in 1922.
This allowed him to gain support from other members of the party, and appoint his friends and allies to significant posts within the party. When Vladimir Lenin died in 1924, Stalin promoted himself, and by 1930, Stalin was unofficially dictator of the Soviet Union. Under his rule, the Soviet economy increased immensely, but his policies and programs led to the death of millions of his countrymen.
In the 1930s, Stalin began a program of systematic purging of what he called Enemies of the State, which led to hundreds and thousands of death, and millions of people being exiled to forced labor camps. In 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland. Weeks later the Red Army initiates its own invasion of Poland, and was meet with little resistance as Polish soldiers were under orders, not to engage the Soviets. The Peoples’ Commissariat for Internal Affairs of the Soviet secret police executed over 20, 000 people in Poland. Many of the victims were part of the Poland’s military and technical elite. The event became known as the Katyn Massacre.
The massacre was authorized by Stalin, and signed by the Soviet Politburo. In 1941, Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany broke a non-aggression pact with the Soviets by implementing Operation Barbarossa, which led to the Germany invasion of Soviet held territories on the Eastern Front. The Soviets sustained heavy losses with over 4 million casualties.
The Soviets succeeded in repelling a crucial German Southern campaign, and were able to take the offensive on the Eastern Front. Stalin successfully secured Eastern Germany under the Soviet Sphere of Influence. After the war ended, Stalin brought the Soviet Union into the Nuclear age. In the post World War II era, Soviet forces maintained a presence in some Central and Eastern European countries.
These areas became known as being part of the Eastern Block, or Soviet Block. Joseph Stalin died at the age of 74 after suffering a heart attack. Years later, various groups cited that they believe Stalin was poisoned with Warfarin, a flavorless rat poison. The circumstances of his death will most likely never be known with absolute certainty.
Domestically, Stalin was built up by many Soviets as a great war time leader having defeated the Nazis though his actions lead to the deaths of millions of his own citizens.