Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (real surname -Dzhugashvili) was a Soviet party leader and statesman notorious for dictatorship and “Stalinist” repressions.
Joseph was born into a family of a shoemaker, and often suffered beating from his drunken father, who also beat Joseph’s mother. The boy grew up in the atmosphere of constant material want, and quite early hatred and vindictiveness manifested in his nature.
In 1894 Joseph Dzhugashvili finished Gori spiritual school, having shown great energy and abilities to study, and then entered Tiflis Theological Seminary. As a student, however, he lost interest in his education, since he got engaged in socialist studies and revolutionary activity. Having joined the first Georgian social democratic organization in 1898, he conducted propagation in working circles.
In 1899, finding it meaningless to go on his seminary education, Joseph quit it; officially he was expelled "owing to non-appearance at the examination". In 1901 he went underground, working under party nicknames "Koba", "David", "Stalin", etc. He was a member of Tiflis and Batumi committees of RSDLP (the Russian Socialist Democratic Labor Party - a revolutionary party formed in 1898 in Minsk to unite the various revolutionary organizations into one party). From 1902 to 1913 Koba was arrested 8 times, exiled 7 times, but almost every time (except the exile of 1913) he managed to escape after short periods of confinement. Accusations of Stalin, (later charged against him as well as against various revolutionary figures) that he cooperated with secret political police, were not verified with relevant authentic documents.
Stalin unconditionally accepted Lenin’s version of Marxism and became a Bolshevik after the 2nd Party Congress in 1903.
From 1917 he was in the editorial board of the newspaper Pravda, a member of Petrograd Military-Revolutionary Committee, and the people's commissar on nationalities affairs in the RSFSR (till 1923).
From 1919 he was the people's commissar of the state control of the RSFSR, and a member of the Republic’s Revolutionary-Military Soviet.
Starting from the 1920s, Stalin as Lenin's successor defined the policy of the Soviet Union and expanded the sphere of its influence by means of the system of independent satellite states.
Lenin wrote in his "Letter to Congress": "Comrade Stalin, having become the secretary general, has concentrated immense power in his hands, and I am not sure, whether he will be careful enough in using this power... I suggest that comrades consider a way of replacing Stalin from this post..."
In 1922, after Lenin's death Stalin proclaimed himself the unique successor of Lenin’s mission and his doctrine and became the Secretary General of the Central Committee of Communist Party.
From 1941 he was Chairman of the Council of Peoples Commissars (Soviet government in 1917-46) and the Supreme commander of the armed forces in 1941-1947. According to the secret Pact signed by Hitler and Stalin, the latter one occupied East Poland, the Baltic and Bessarabia. Regime of the most severe terror was established in the country in the second half of the 1930s, reaching its climax in 1937-1938. Search for and annihilation of the so-called "public enemies” affected not only the higher party bodies and the army, but also wide layers of the Soviet society. Millions of Soviet citizens wrongfully accused of espionage, wrecking, or sabotage were victimized and persecuted; they were confined in gulag camps or executed in cellars of People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs.
Millions of people became victims ofStalin’s system based on total control and infinite lawlessness of the power. Joseph Stalin died of an extensive cerebral haemorrhage (as the official version states) on March, 5th, 1953. The sarcophagus with his body was established in the Mausoleum side by side with Lenin's sarcophagus. Following Stalin's death the cult of his personality was debunked. In 1961 Stalin's body was reburied by the Kremlin wall behind the Mausoleum.