Joseph Stalin Timeline


Stalin is born

December 21, 1878

"Joseph Stalin (Iosif Dzhugashvili) was born in Gori, Georgia, a town then plagued by street violence..." -Russiapedia


September 1888

"Stalin enters Gori Church School" -SparkNotes


September, 1894

"Stalin enrolls in Tiflis Theological Seminary" -SparkNotes

Stalin Joins the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Party

August, 1898

" August 1898, while still a teenager, Koba (Stalin) joined the newly formed Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Party, which would one day become he Bolshevik Party." -Stalin: The Murderous Career of the Red Tsar

Expulsion from Seminary

May, 1899

"...Stalin was expelled from the Tiflis Theological Seminary. He was suspected of reading forbidden books and converting students to Marxism.." -Russiapedia

Occupation outside politics

December, 1899

"...Dzhugashvili became, briefly a clerk in the Tiflis Observatory, the only paid employment that he is recorded as having taken outside politics." -Britannica School

First arrest

April 5, 1902

"Stalin arrested for the first time, exiled to Siberia" - SparkNotes

Stalin Joins the Bolsheviks


"After the Social Democrats (Marxist revolutionaries) of the Russian Empire had split into their two competing wings—Menshevik and Bolshevik—in 1903, Dzhugashvili joined the second, more militant, of these factions and became a disciple of its leader, Lenin." -Britannica

Stalin Appointed Secretary General

January, 1912

"Bolsheviks officially separate from Social Democrats, Stalin appointed to the Party's Central Committee by Lenin. " -SparkNotes

Stalin appointed to Central Comitee

February, 1912

"His first big political promotion came in February (January, O.S.) 1912, when Lenin—now in emigration—co-opted him to serve on the first Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party" -Britannica

"Marxism and the National Question"

January, 1913

"Stalin co-writes, with Lenin, "Marxism and the National Question" -SparkNotes

Stalin Asked to Join WWI

October, 1916

In October 1916, with the war raging, Stalin was conscripted...the medical officer deemed Stalin unfit..." -Stalin: The Murderous Career of the Red Tsar

Bolshevik Revolution

October, 1917

"Bolsheviks overthrow Provisional Government, seize power. Stalin plays only a minor role." -SparkNotes

Russian Civil War

1918 - 1920

"Civil war in Russia. Trotsky organizes Red Army; Stalin commands forces in Tsaritsyn, Petrograd (St. Petersburg), and elsewhere." -SparkNotes

Formation of the Soviet Union


"The USSR is born; Stalin becomes General Secretary of the Communist Party..." -Stalin: The Murderous Career of the Red Tsar

Lenin Request the Removal of Stalin

January 4, 1923

"Lenin, in a postscript to his Testament, warns the Party to remove Stalin from his position of power." -SparkNotes

Stalin's attacks on Trotsky

1924 - 1925

"·Stalin publicly attacks Trotsky for being unfaithful to "Leninism." " -SparkNotes

Lenin Dies

January 21, 1924

"Death of Lenin. Stalin survives the reading of the Testament by the Central Committee in May. " -SparkNotes

Tsaritysyn renamed to Stalingrad

April 10, 1925

"...On 10 April 1925 the city of Tsaritsyn - now Volgograd - was renamed Stalingrad. It was one of seven places in the Soviet Union that were renamed after Stalingrad." Stalin: The Murderous Career of the Red Tsar

Five-Year Plan


"Beginning of the first Five-Year Plan" -SparkNotes

First Purges

1930 - 1933

"Stalin's first purges date back to 1930–33 and were aimed at extermination of those who opposed industrialization and the kulaks (well-off farmers and entrepreneurs, who opposed collectivization)." -Russiapedia

Stalin's Jewish State on the Chinese Border


"In the 1930's, he established a Jewish state, Birobidzhan, on the Chinese border. By 1953, Jews were being arrested, tried and shot throughout his empire, and it seems that he intended to deport the entire Jewish population to perish in Siberia and Kazakhstan." -The Telegraph

Stalin's Forced Collectivization


"By mid-1932, nearly 75 per cent of the farms in Ukraine had been forcibly collectivized and on Stalin's orders the amount of foodstuffs to be shipped out to Russia had drastically increased." Stalin: The Murderous Career of the Red Tsar.

Ukraine Famine

1932 - 1933

"The Ukrainian Famine was dreadful famine premeditated by the Soviet Union, headed by Joseph Stalin during 1932-1933, as a means to undermine the nationalistic pride of the Ukrainian people. It served to control and further oppress the Ukrainian people by denying them the basic vital essentials they needed to survive. The Ukrainian Famine is also known as Holodomor, meaning “death by hunger."-United Human Rights Council

Murder of Sergey Kirov


"In 1934 Sergey Kirov, a rival to Stalin, was murdered" -Russiapedia

Assassination of Sergey Kirov

December 1, 1934

"On 1 December, 1934, Kirov was shot and killed outside his office in the Smolny Institute by derange Leonid Nikolaev. It is thought that the assassination was arranged by Yagoda (A member of the secret police) on the orders of Stalin." Stalin: The Murderous Career of the Red Tsar

Soviet and Germany Non-Agression Pact


"While Hitler was opposed to Communism and had little regard for Eastern Europeans, he appreciated that Stalin represented a formidable force and the two signed a non-aggression pact in 1939." -about education

Assassination of Leon Trotsky


"Trotsky is assassinated in Mexico City." -Stalin: The Murderous Career of the Red Tsar

Katyn Massacre


"The Soviet secret police killed the 22,000 Poles with shots to the back of the head. Their aim was to eliminate a military and intellectual elite that would have put up stiff resistance to Soviet control." -New York Daily News

Operation Barbarossa

June 22, 1941

"On June 22, 1941, Adolf Hitler launched his armies eastward in a massive invasion of the Soviet Union: three great army groups with over three million German soldiers, 150 divisions, and three thousand tanks smashed across the frontier into Soviet territory. The invasion covered a front from the North Cape to the Black Sea, a distance of two thousand miles. By this point German combat effectiveness had reached its apogee; in training, doctrine, and fighting ability, the forces invading Russia represented the finest army to fight in the twentieth century. Barbarossa was the crucial turning point in World War II, for its failure forced Nazi Germany to fight a two-front war against a coalition possessing immensely superior resources."

Seige of Leningrad

September, 1941 - January, 1944

"Leningrad’s horrific siege was one of the most lethal in world history. It lasted for 900 days, from September 1941 to January 1944. The city’s civilian population of almost three million refused to surrender, even though they were completely surrounded. By the first winter of the siege there was no heating, no water supply, almost no electricity and very little food. Despite non-stop air and artillery bombardment, the city’s greatest enemies were hunger and bitter cold. Exhausted people collapsed and died. The streets were littered with dead bodies. The only life-line to the mainland was the ice of Lake Ladoga – known as the “Road of Life”." -Russiapedia

The Battle for Moscow

October 2, 1941

"The Battle for Moscow - the Germans code-named it 'Operation Typhoon' - started on October 2nd 1941. The capture of Moscow, Russia's capital, was seen as vital to the success of 'Operation Barbarossa'. Hitler believed that once the heart - Moscow - had been cut out of Russia, the whole nation would collapse." -History Learning Site

Germans Reach the Ouskirts of Moscow

December, 1941

"Meanwhile the Germans advanced as far as Moscow, reaching the outskirts by early December 1941" -Russiapedia

Formation of the United Nations

January 1, 1942

"On January 1, 1942, representatives of 26 nations at war with the Axis powers met in Washington to sign the Declaration of the United Nations endorsing the Atlantic Charter, pledging to use their full resources against the Axis and agreeing not to make a separate peace." -U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian

Battle of Stalingrad

July 17, 1942 - February 2, 1943

"The Battle of Stalingrad (July 17, 1942-Feb. 2, 1943), was the successful Soviet defense of the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in the U.S.S.R. during World War II. Russians consider it to be the greatest battle of their Great Patriotic War, and most historians consider it to be the greatest battle of the entire conflict. It stopped the German advance into the Soviet Union and marked the turning of the tide of war in favor of the Allies. The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the bloodiest battles in history, with combined military and civilian casualties of nearly 2 million."

The Battle of Kursk

July, 1943

"The Battle of Kursk took place in July 1943. Kursk was to be the biggest tank battle of World War Two and the battle resulted in a severe crisis for Nazi Germany’s war machine in Russia." -History Learning Site

Tehran Conference

November 28, 1943 - December 1, 1943

"The Tehran Conference was a meeting between U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin in Tehran, Iran, between November 28 and December 1, 1943. During the Conference, the three leaders coordinated their military strategy against Germany and Japan and made a number of important decisions concerning the post World War II era." -U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian

D-Day Invasion

June 6, 1944

"Since early 1942, Soviet leader Josef Stalin had been urging a major new front in Western Europe to take some of the pressure off his troops, complaining that his soldiers were carrying too much of the burden. Thus far in the war, eighty percent of German military casualties had occurred at the hands of Russian soldiers. All the while, Stalin had grown increasingly impatient with his Allies. By dawn of D-Day, the greatest seaborne invasion force ever assembled was slowly approaching the Normandy Coast, taking the German soldiers there by surprise. Four thousand vessels carried the troops while over 2,000 American and British warships furiously bombarded the landing zones, five beaches stretching along a sixty-mile front. The British 2nd Army landed toward the east at beaches code-named Gold, Juno and Sword. The American 1st Army landed toward the west at beaches named Utah and Omaha." -The History Place

Liberation of Auschwitz

January, 1945

"The Soviets liberated Auschwitz, the largest killing center and concentration camp, in January 1945." -United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Yalta Conference

February 4, 1945 - February 11, 1945

"The Yalta Conference took place in a Russian resort town in the Crimea from February 4–11, 1945, during World War Two. At Yalta, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin made important decisions regarding the future progress of the war and the postwar world." -U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian

Potsdam Conference

July 17, 1945 - August 2, 1945

"Held near Berlin, the Potsdam Conference (July 17-August 2, 1945) was the last of the World War II meetings held by the “Big Three” heads of state. Featuring American President Harry S. Truman, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (and his successor, Clement Attlee) and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, the talks established a Council of Foreign Ministers and a central Allied Control Council for administration of Germany. The leaders arrived at various agreements on the German economy, punishment for war criminals, land boundaries and reparations."

U.S.A. stops shipments to East Germany

May, 1946

"In May 1946, the Americans stopped reparations shipments from their zone to the Soviets."

Deportation of Jews to Siberia

1948 - 1949

"In 1948 and 1949 Stalin had already had cause large number of Jews to be deported to central Siberia.." Stalin: The Murderous Career of the Red Tsar

Beginning of the Korean War

June 25, 1950

"...Korean War Begins, with Stalin providing military help to North Korea" -Stalin: The Murderous Career of the Red Tsar

Stalin dies

March 5, 1953

"Death of Stalin" -SparkNotes

Stalin's Body Lay in State

March 6, 1953

"On 6 March 1953, Stalin's body lay in State in the Hall of Columns, A few streets from Red Square. Over the following three days it is estimated that several million people trooped by to see him one last time." -Stalin: The Murderous Career of the Red Tsar

Stalin Denounced by Khrushchev

February 14, 1956

"Khrushchev gave a long speech in February 1956 that criticized Stalin for arresting and deporting opponents, for elevating himself above the party and for incompetent wartime leadership, among other things"

Removal of Largest Monument


"In 1961, the biggest monument to Stalin - an massive granite statue 15.5 metres high and 22 metres long, which had been erected in Prague - was destroyed." -Stalin: The Murderous Career of the Red Tsar

Removal of Stalin's body from the Red Square


"In 1962 his body was removed from the mausoleum on Red Square and buried in a simple plot beneath the Kremlin wall."

1989 Poll Regarding View of Stalin in Russia


"It found that Stalin is the uncontested No.1 on the Russians’ list of great historical figures, ahead of Lenin, Marx and Peter the Great. In 1989, only 12 percent of Russians felt that way." -New York Times

Demise of Soviet Union

December 25, 1991

"On Christmas Day 1991, the Soviet flag flew over the Kremlin in Moscow for the last time. A few days earlier, representatives from 11 Soviet republics (Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) met in the Kazakh city of Alma-Ata and announced that they would no longer be part of the Soviet Union. Instead, they declared they would establish a Commonwealth of Independent States. Because the three Baltic republics (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) had already declared their independence from the USSR, only one of its 15 republics, Georgia, remained. The once-mighty Soviet Union had fallen, largely due to the great number of radical reforms that Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev had implemented during his six years as the leader of the USSR. However, Gorbachev was disappointed in the dissolution of his nation and resigned from his job on December 25. It was a peaceful end to a long, terrifying and sometimes bloody epoch in world history."

Compensation of Stalin's Victims


"The Russian Government is planning to compensate victims of Soviet political repression for property taken from them, most of it under Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin" -Time

Poll on feelings towards Stalin by Russians Today


"In a recent poll conducted by the Russian Center for Public Opinion, 53 percent of the respondents said that they considered Stalin to be a great historical figure and, in a separate poll, 36 percent of the respondents said that they believed that he was more good than bad." -National Reviews Online

Survey on Views Towards Stalin


"In 2006, nearly half of Russians polled by the Levada Center, a leading Moscow survey group, said they viewed positively, while just 29 percent perceived him negatively." -Chicago Tribune

Putin's Initiative


"In 2007 the Putin government directed an initiative to restructure the national curriculum, teaching schoolchildren that Stalin’s actions were ‘entirely rational’." - History Today

Stalin as the Third Greatest Russian Ever


"Most remarkably, when a television station held a national vote for the "Greatest Russian Ever" in 2008, Stalin came third, even after the station had made pleas for the nation to vote for other candidates." -History Today

Re-Stalinization of a Moscow Subway Station

August, 2009

" A central Moscow subway station reopened this week after a painstaking, yearlong restoration of its initial Stalin-era luster, complete with gilt-trimmed words of praise to the Soviet dictator spelled out around the vestibule’s rotunda that add new fuel to debate about his role in Russian history." -The New York Times

Tearing Down of Statue of Stalin


"But in a secret operation early today Georgia's pro-western government ripped the monument down. The six-metre high bronze statue of Stalin kitted out in a full-length general's overcoat is to be moved into the museum courtyard." -Theguardian

Russian State Duma blames Stalin for Katyn Massacre


"In 2010 the Russian State Duma voted in favour of blaming him for the Katyn Massacre of 1940, in which 20,000 Polish officers died." -History Today

Views of Stalin by Russia's Younger Generation


"Recent opinion polls show that only 46 per cent of people under 30 would definitely not vote for Stalin were he running in an election now." -HistoryToday

Putin Claims Stalin was no Worse than Oliver Cromwell


"Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was no worse than 17th century English dictator Oliver Cromwell, (an English military and political leader.) Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed at a press conference."

Sochi Olympics

February 6, 2014

"...Joseph Stalin, the notorious dictatorial leader of the Soviet Union, still holds a curiosity for many. The Georgia native helped create much that is modern Sochi, the host of the 2014 Winter Games, when he built his summer retreat in this town in 1937." -CNN