Josef Stalin (1879-1953) was born in the village
of Gori in Georgia, Russia (as Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili). He took
part in the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and by the late 1920's became supreme
ruler of the Soviet Union. Stalin was a ruthless manipulator and mass murder
who created a famine in 1932-33 in the Ukraine thereby liquidating 3 million kulaks
(middle class farmers) through starvation. In 1936, he conducted deadly purges
against Red Army officers and old Bolsheviks. Three years later, he approved
a Non-aggression Pact with Nazi Germany, which encouraged Adolf Hitler to invade Poland and start World War II.
After Hitler attacked the Soviet Union itself in 1941, Stalin took command of
the army and allied himself with Britain and the U.S. Following the war,
he sought to dominate Europe and spread Communism around the world, leading
to the decades-long Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union.
After his death in 1953, Stalin was denounced by his successor, Nikita
Khrushchev. His name was later removed from public buildings, streets,