The Life of Josef Stalin


Stalin Elected as General Secretary of the Communist Party

April 1922

Lenin writes his last Testament; triumvirate is formed against Trotsky

December 1922

Lenin's Postscript recommends Stalin's dismissal

January 1923

Triumvirs begin their campaign against Trotsky

February 1923

Central Committee keeps Lenin's Testament secret; Don't dismiss Stalin

May 1924

Trotsky dismissed as Commisar of war

January 1925

Leningrad Opposition starts

May 1925

14th Party Congress; Leningrad Opposition outvoted

December 1925

United Opposition formed

July 1926

Trotsky & Zinoviev expelled from communist party, Kamenev from C. Commitee

November 1927

15th party congress; Zinoviev & Kamenev end united opposition

December 1927

16th Party Conference, right is defeated over collectivisation

April 1929

Bukharin removed from the Politburo

November 1929

16th Party congress (signs of opposition towards Stalin)

June 1930

Ryutin Affair

September 1932

Smirnov's anti-party group is charged with attempting to replace Stalin

January 1933

17th Party Congress

February 1934

Secret trial of Zinoviev, Kamenev, and 17 other members of a Moscow center

January 1935

Ezhov replaces Yagoda as Head of NKVD Secret Police

September 1936

Bukharin is expelled from the party

February 1937

Beria replaces Ezhov as Head of NKVD Secret Police

December 1938

18th Party Congress

March 1939

Nazi-Soviet Pact signed in Moscow

August 1939


Lenin dies

January 1924

Stalin reveals "socialism in one country" for the first time

November 1924

Trotsky deported to Alma-Ata

January 1928

Trotsky deported to Constantinople

January 1929

Bukharin is removed as editor of the Pravda

April 1929

Kirov is murdered; thousands arrested

December 1934

Start of Great Terror

December 1934

First show trial

August 1936

Trial of the 16 (first show trial) and Great Purge starts

August 1936

Second Show Trial (Trial of the Seventeen)

January 1937

Third Show Trial (Trial of the Twenty-One)

March 1938

Purges end; Stalin is in control

March 1939

Trotsky assassinated by Stalin's agents in Mexico City

August 1940

Stalin becomes Generallisimo and starts to reassert control over party and state

June 1945

Leningrad Affaiir

July 1949

Mingrelian case


Stalin dies

March 1953


First Five Year Plan approved

April 1929

Stalin calls for Kulaks to be liquidated as a class

December 1929

Mass arrests continue

January 1935

New Family Law is introduced

June 1936

Zhdanov dies

August 1948


First five year plan starts

October 1928

Start of mass collectivisation

January 1930

Start of Stakhanovite movement

August 1935


14th Part Congress (industrialization congress)

December 1925

Party purge expels thousands of lower ranking party members

1928 - 1930

Seventeenth party congress approves Second Five Year Plan

January 1934

18th Party Congress Approves Third Five Year Plan

March 1939

Fourth Five Year Plan Announced


Fifth Five Year Plan starts



Crisis in industry; forced collectivization causes famine

1932 - 1933

Doctor's Plot

January 1953


Bukharin wins Central Committee vote to slow down collectivization

July 1928

Red Army purge begins

May 1937

Outbreak of World War II

September 1939

End of World War II; Soviet Union controls Eastern Europe

April 1945

Sino-Soviet Treaty signed

February 1950