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This picture shows children being close to Stalin and offering him their respect and loyalty. This can be seen by the boy offering Stalin a bouquet of flowers and they were indoctrinated by him. The children also appears to be willing to serve Stalin and they look up to him very highly. I chose this source because it is clearly seen here that Stalin wanted to win the loyalty of young people and to be seen as the father of the people. This is beneficial to USSR as these children were useful to the Soviet Union.
From this source, it is clearly shown that students learnt technical skills such as sewing and that technical subjects were also emphasized to help meet national industrialisation targets. This meant that the motive behind the growing literacy rates was served to further the interests and influence of the communist party. I chose this source as it shows that education was highly prized by Stalin. His rule was beneficial to the USSR as the skills would be of much help to USSR.
This video shows how important education was and that it was loaded with propagandas which emphasized communism to influence the people. Stalin manipulated the media and the arts to use it to his advantage and it was a success as the propagandas used managed to shape the people’s view of Stalin according to his plan. I chose this video because it shows examples of propagandas which helped to influence the people and brainwash them. This was useful to the USSR in a way that the people were manipulated into thinking that he was a great man.
The original picture at the top shows Stalin with Nikolai Yezhov and the edited version in which Yezhov had been edited out of. This clearly shows the Soviet history was rewritten to boost Stalin’s status and at the same time, discredit his rivals. This made opposition against him more impossible as it boosts Stalin’s authority as well. I chose this source as it is an example of propaganda used to make Stalin seem as the undisputable leader of Soviet Union. This was beneficial to USSR as it influenced the people to view Stalin as their supreme leader.
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This source clearly shows the aftermath of a purge process where there are many piles of skulls stacked up. Those who were thought of as a threat to Stalin were executed or sent to labour camps. He used this chance to get rid of his political opponents such as Kirov, who was a potential candidate for Stalin’s position as the secretary-general. This source was chosen as it clearly illustrates the political situation under Stalin’s rule and how he disposed of people who were threats to him. This was clearly not of much benefit to the USSR as the loss of intellectuals, skilled workers and officers affected the country politically and economically.
This source uses sacarsm to emphasize the fact that people who were thought of being political rivals to Stalin or those who opposed Stalin were forced to confess to crimes that they did not commit, after being tortured or having their families threatened. I chose this source as it shows how tough it was being ruled under the soviet union due to purges and show trials. Stalin’s rule was clearly not beneficial for the USSR in this case as this caused fear to arise among the people especially during the period of the Great Terror where there were show trials, arrests and interrogations, widespread police surveillance and executions.
This video shows survivors testimony under the rule of Stalin. There were many propagandas in it which were mainly used to spread communism and boost Stalin’s status as their leader. Pictures of show trials and purges during that time proved that people’s lives were filled with fear and as a result of the purges, many were executed of which included intellectuals, skilled workers and officers. I chose this source as it contains many pictures and testimonies that were against Stalin’s way of ruling. Therefore, this strongly suggests that his methods was not beneficial to the USSR.
There were both pros and cons under Stalin’s rule. Most of the sources are more towards the fact that Stalin was a savior of the USSR. It was so because history was written which helped to boost Stalin’s authority and status at the same time, it also brings down his rivals and this made it easier to influence people and make them worship him. Hence, it was easier for the USSR to rule over the people. The use of propaganda was crucial in building up Stalin’s profile especially through the arts. The successes of the soviet union were credited to Stalin’s leadership, also through propaganda and this benefits USSR in a way that it made the people fear them. Stalin won the loyalty of young people through encouraging them to join the Communist Union of Youth which indoctrinated them to be loyal to him and the communist party. Soon, the young people were sent to help out in the soviet union. Moreover, education was prized by communist and schools were told to emphasized on technical subjects to ensure that in the future, the students will contribute greatly to the communist party.