This picture shows a mass execution of Russians through the method of getting hanged due to the purges. The execution of intellectuals and skilled workers greatly affected the strength of the country because the mass execution of scientists, engineers and other skilled workers meant that Stalin's workforce for the push towards industrialisation shrank. With the loss of teachers, engineers and administrators, the quality of the Soviet civil service and education was badly affected and this is turn affected the efficiency in managing affairs in the government. Additionally, the purging of the Red Army commanders and officers meant that there was a lack of experienced military personnel to lead the army and guide the inexperienced soldiers. This is turn affected their ability to prepare for World War II. Hence, Stalin was not a saviour of the USSR and neither did his rule benefit the people of his USSR due to poor living and management quality after the mass execution.
This picture depicts a political cartoon whereby Stalin is pouring a red bucket of paint onto what seems to be a globe. This is probably showing when Stalin used propaganda to extensively build up his own profile as a rightful successor to Lenin. He claimed to be a father to his people and artists who were either intimidated or loyal had decided to praise the leader by producing many forms of propaganda for him. I chose this political cartoon as my source because it clearly depicts Stalin rewriting history and brain washing many people so as to boost his status, authority and increasing the Russian's loyalty to him by removing any possible threatening leaders such as Yezhov and Trotsky. With greater influence, it made any opposition against Stalin nearly impossible. With a minority opinion being muted on immediate effect, this causes many deaths in any cases of opposition even with other leaders. Hence, Stalin was not a saviour of USSR as he did not benefit his people who lived in fear instead.
This 6 minute video is a source which is an example of what a Show Trial is like. Thousands of Russians were identified and accused of being Trotsky's supporters who were involved in the plot of murdering Kirov and other leading communists. A Show Trial is a public trial of a political offender whereby there are no proper legal processes and there is only accusation and verdict which serves to be a warning from the state. Many others who showed any signs of opposition had to confess to crimes uncommitted by them. I chose this video to be my source because this shows how selfish, greedy and impulsive Stalin is the moment he feels threatened by others who own power as well as he wants a great amount of power and authority for himself. As Stalin begins to use accusation at a frequent rate for different crimes for the sake of wanting to go forward and have further development in his own vision, he eventually starts taking away innocent lives as well. Hence, Stalin was not a saviour of the USSR as he did not benefit the USSR.
In this short 3 minute video, it is shown that there was a huge impact of famine when the state decided to control the use of agricultural produce from collective farms by putting a stop to private farming as they were seen as "inefficient". Farmers were banned from keeping their harvests only to themselves as the ambitious agricultural Five-Year Plans meant that grain and harvests would be owned by the state. Even when farmers had tried to hide their hard-earned grown harvests, their produce were still forcibly taken by the Party Officials. I chose this video as my source because when the Great Famine took place in 1932, the state did not distribute this stockpiled harvest to their people, but sold it overseas to raise the economical gains for further industrial machinery and development. Up to seven million peasants passed on due to starvation as there was extreme shortage of food. This tells us that Stalin was no where near being a saviour for the USSR as he had caused the death of many of his people for the sake of economic growth. Hence, Stalin's rule was not beneficial and he was not the saviour of the USSR.
This picture which serves as propaganda back in the days of Stalin's rule shows women working in harsh environments which determination and smiles on their faces alongside men. This is actually a new prospect because back before Stalin's rule, women were stereotypically tasked with jobs such as caring for their own children, cooking for their family and doing all the house chores as housewives. However, under Stalin's rule, there was guarantee that women would receive equal rights as well. After the October Revolution, Russia legalised abortion and divorce so that women could own personal rights and control over their own lives. These efforts were also further highlighted when Stalin built more childcare centres to encourage more women to work in factories or other harsh environments. Although this may seem like a good boost to the economy, it definitely was not for the children as there was poor maintenance at these childcare centres which in turn shows that children were not cared for properly. This in turn might actually turn out to be really exhausting for the women because they might be overworked doing the jobs of men. I chose this source as it clearly depicts that Stalin's rules did not benefit the USSR as the original roles of women were shoved aside which will socially impact every family. This tells us that the Communist Party was trying far too hard to cultivate their ideas of communism between genders to the Russians and their journey towards industrialisation and had forgotten about the true needs of their people for the sake of economical growth. Hence, Stalin's rule did not benefit USSR.
This picture shows a family which probably resides in the house made of poor materials such as hay and wood. This is probably a cartoon which displays the time period of the drive towards indutrialisation when more people had to move into the cities where factories were mainly located. The increasing population only enabled the state to control the land and thus, people had to live in cramped conditions which can also go without sanitation and poor living conditions. Additionally, with the tired looks on the Russian's faces in the photo, this shows that the Russians were pushed very hard in order to achieve the ambitious targets set by the Five-Year Plans. The Russians in the photo were probably made to work long hours, especially with short times off, in poor conditions. The shortage of housing and long working hours led to a fall in the standard of living. I chose this source as this source tells us that Stalin's rule did not benefit USSR and hence, he should not be seen as a saviour of USSR as the poor living and working conditions may push employees to death as Stalin had only looked forward to the economic benefits for the USSR and not the precious lives of the Russians who worked hard under harsh conditions. Hence, Stalin is not a saviour of the USSR neither did he benefit the USSR.
In accordance to all the 6 sources shown above, the most obvious answer by far is actually "No, Stalin was not a saviour of the USSR". Although Stalin had clearly served to be a great benefit to the USSR by drastically causing a big increase in the country's economy, this cannot par up to or justify the many millions of lives he had impulsively taken away for his own benefits during the purges just so that people would fear him and dare not go on opposition towards him or to even get people like the Kulaks to accept his many harsh self-beneficial methods. Stalin had also went to far solutions such as being overly paranoid over his rule in the country and being greedy for all the authority. He is also far too ambitious with his Five-Year Plan which has undoubtedly benefitted the country's development, but served to be a huge black hole for the country's social impacts and political impacts as they were impacted the worst. Hence, I am clearly stating that Stalin is no where near being a saviour of the USSR just by increasing the economy of the country.