ALEXANDER KERENSKY Alexander Kerensky - a failed military leader and possibly the second most unpopular Russian leader after the Tsar himself. His most important mistake: to stay in the war against Germany. He fled Russia after the Communists came to power and ended up running a restaurant in America.
LENIN Lenin and theBolshevikshadforcedthemselvesintopower in October 1917, yettherewereonlyabout 250,000 Bolscheviks in thewhole of Russia.
LENIN AND RUSSIA 1917-1928 Even though the Bolsheviks controlled only two cities –Petrograd and Moscow-, Lenin held on to power with ruthless determination. Their most important achievements were: 1. They put an end to the war by signing the treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany. 2. They called elections for what would be their first parliament.3. They won the Civil War between the Reds and the Whites, under the leadership of Leon Trotsky.4. They issued the law of land redistribution.5. They set the NEP (New Economic Policy) which let some aspects of capitalism return.
LENIN AND TROTSKY Lenin addresses a meeting - to his left, Leon Trotsky, the principal organizer of the Communist Revolution and the real brains behind the creation of the Soviet Union
AFTER THE CIVIL WAR: FAMINE, 1921 The devastation of the Russian civil war upon the Russian and Ukrainian people: a Ukrainian family, suffering from the emaciating disease typhus, sit by the wreckage of their house. No one knows how many people died, but figures vary from five million to twenty-five million.
THE RED TERROR IN LENIN’S TIME Moving the capital to Moscow, the Bolsheviks then instituted what became known as the Red Terror - all opponents, suspected or real - and there were many of them - were arrested and most often executed in a wave of violence which made even the previous Tsarist system seem mild.
The NEP (New EconomicPolicy) Under the NEP, peasants were allowed to farm their own land and sell their own produce. The government took a percentage as tax. They more they produce, the more they could keep. This gave origin to a class of better-off peasants known as the kulaks.
Whowouldsucced Lenin? Lenin died in January 1924. Some days before his death he had written: “Stalin is too crude and this fault is very bad in a General Secretary. Therefore I propose to comrades to find a way to remove Stalin and appoint a man more patient, more loyal, more polite, more attentive to comrades”
STALIN’S PLANS • Stalin wanted to modernise Russia, to make it an advanced industrial country. His method of modernising Russia was through the Five-Year Plans, which covered both agriculture and industry. • In agriculture, he set up collective farms in what was known as Collectivization. A collective farm combined all the small farms of all the peasants in a village into one large unit. In this way it could be run more efficiently. • In industry, a central planning office set up production targets for each industry to meet by the end of the five years. Factory managers then had to calculate targets for every workshop, every shift and every worker.
SOVIET PROPAGANDA Soviet Collectivization Propaganda (1930). The poster reads "Hey Friend, Come with us into the Collective!" Collectivization meant a great extension of state control and Communist Party control over the life of every Russian peasant. A collective was run by a committee of which the chairman was always a Communist Party member. The deputy director was a member of the secret police.
This poster shows a hand writing "dogovor" (contract) and photographs of peasants holding various tools and lining up to work in a factory. Peasants were recruited by the millions to build and work at the factories of Stalin's first Five Year Plan.
ATTACK ON THE KULAKS Stalin accused the kulaks of being enemies of the state. When the Communist Party officials reached a village, the kulaks were arrested and sent away, either to a remote are or to a labour camp. Those who resisted the setting-up of the collective were shot. This Soviet propaganda poster reads: "We will smite the kulak who agitates for reducing cultivated acreage".
COLLECTIVIZATION The Five-Year plans required certain crops to be grown in certain quantities. Some of these were crops for industry: cotton, sugar-beet or flax. Some were crops to feed the workers in the new factories of the cities. Each collective had to supply a certain amount of its crop to the state regardless of the harvest. Stallin called this the ‘First Commandment’
Stalin’spolicy of collectivization Once when talking to Winston Churchill, Stalin made reference to ten million people dying in the Ukraine. Death was everywhere. In May 1933, an authorized agent in charge of meat deliveries in Murafa said, “I can fulfill your quota of meat deliveries, not with pigs or cows, but with human corpses
New factories were built and new cities grew at lightning speed. A visiting worker from the US described the building of the steel factory at Magnitogorsk: “A quarter of a million souls, communists, kulaks, foreigners, convicts and a mass of blue-eyed peasants building the largest steel works in Europe in the middle of the Russian steppe. Here men froze, hungered and suffered, but the construction went on with a disregard for individuals and a mass heroism unparalleled in history.”
Moscow’s underground system was built by prisoners at great speed and with a huge loss of lives, as safety was ignored to get the work done quickly.
STALIN’S PURGESStalin could not accept any criticism and he could not even bear anyone else to be popular. Anything was an excuse for his popular purges. One by one, the old Bolsheviks were arrested. Some were shot, but some confessed to ridiculous charges after torture, in order to save their lives. Half a million party members were arrested, tried and disappeared, and also army officers and members of the Central Committee.