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Intro

This section covers Stalin's struggle for control of the Party and society between 1932 and 1936. We will be asking who opposed the Stalinist regime? Were Stalin's fears of opposition real or was he paranoic? How did the Party purges work? What sort of people were promoted by Stalin to the new élite during the 1930s? How and why did the cult of Stalin take on so much force? Who killed Kirov in 1934? The section also contains extracts from my books, photographs and a video, and a list of books to read. Register here to get information on accessing more materials including my responses to exam questions on these themes.

Kaganovich, Stalin, Postyshev, Voroshilov, 1934

From left: Kaganovich, Stalin, Postyshev, Voroshilov, 1934


The Crisis of 1932

By 1932, Stalin's policies had brought the Soviet Union to the verge of a catastrophe. Forcible collectivization had been a disaster. Read more...

The Riutin Platform

It was the groundswell of anti-Stalin feeling in the rank and file that made the emergence of opposition factions in the Party leadership so dangerous to the Stalinist regime. Read more...

Party Purges

In April 1933 Stalin announced a general purge of the purge of the Party's ranks. Read more...

Origins of the Purges

The purges began long before Stalinís rise to power. Read more...

The New Stalinist Elites

As well as purging the Party, Stalin encouraged the emergence of a new élite by promoting workers from the factory floor into white-collar and administrative jobs. Read more...

The Cult of Stalin

Stalin's growing domination of the Party and the country was reflected in the cult of his personality. Stalin took a personal interest in its promotion. Read more...

The Congress of Victors

The cult of Stalin was on full display at the Seventeenth Party Congress which met in the Great Hall of the Kremlin from 26 January to 10 February 1934. Read more...

Towards the Great Terror

On 1 December 1934 Kirov was murdered in his offices in the Smolny Institute by a disgruntled Party member known to be a danger but unstopped by the NKVD. Read more...

Q & A

Here are some exam-like questions. Read more...

Podcast
Further Reading

A list of further reading. Read more...

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