This source states about how there were show trials to instill fear in Russians. I chose this source as in the video, it is stated that during the show trials, confessions were forced through torture and the victim's families were threatened. Officials and journalists were mostly acting so as to make the scenario more believable for the people. This source shows that Stalin's rule was not beneficial for USSR as Stalin was just using purges and show trials to get rid of his political opponents. Stalin discouraged any form of opposition, which caused many Russians to live in fear and terror under an oppressive regime.
This source is a cartoon showing pyramids of skulls with a man which looks like Stalin posing nearby. I chose this source as it depicts the scene of the mass execution of intellectuals and skilled workers due to the purges greatly affected the strength of the country. This source shows that Stalin's rule was not beneficial for USSR as the loss of so many intellectuals, skilled workers and officers had many disadvantages towards the USSR. The loss of engineers and scientists impeded the speed of industrialisation, the loss of administrators and teachers affected the quality and efficiency of the government and the purges of army officers also meant a loss of leadership to lead the military, which affected the strength and efficiency of the German armed force.
This source shows Stalin with a group of children, looking very gentle and caring towards them. I chose this source as Stalin portrayed himself as the father-figure to his people and use media such as books, newspapers, films and art to show himself as a kind, capable and hardworking leader who knew what is best for the country. Censorship was also heavily practiced so that only positive images of Stalin and the Soviet Union that flattered the state were released to the public. This source shows that Stalin's rule was not beneficial for USSR as Stalin was able to influence people to support his policies as a result. Through propaganda, Stalin garnered trust from the people and made them obey him as the leader of the Soviet Union. Political freedom was also suppressed as propaganda denied the public access to the truth.
This source shows a family living in extreme poverty and the people in the picture all looked very malnourished. The place looks very run down, dirty and messy. I chose this source as the drive towards industrialisation caused more people to move to cities to work in factories. This resulted in overcrowding as there was a shortage of housing to accommodate the people. Many workers lived in cramped conditions with inadequate sanitation. The people also had to endure harsh working conditions and long working hours with very low wages. Stalin's rule was not beneficial for USSR as the Russians suffered hardship as a result of collectivisation and industrialisation. The successes of Stalin's economic policies were achieved at great cost to the standards of living of the people in Russia.
This source is a newspaper article showing the famine when peasants' crops were seized. I chose this source as when the state introduced collectivisation, grain and produce were collected by the state at the expense of farmers. Since these farms were then owned by the state, the farmers could not keep produce for themselves. Instead, they had to depend on the state for the distribution of grain. However, the state did not distribute the stockpiled grain and instead sold them overseas to raise funds for industrialisation. This source shows that Stalin's rule was not beneficial for USSR as they were not able to make the right decision, which was to feed their own country. The government failed to distribute enough grains for the farmers during the great famine and close to seven million peasants died of starvation.
This source shows Stalin, as a spider, surrounding the globe, which appears to be instilling fear and gaining authority. I chose this source as the soviet citizens lived under a climate of fear and tension. The secret police had a lot of informers and anyone suspected of being an 'enemy of state' would have to face dire consequences. Anyone who failed to met the targets set by the government at work would find themselves severely punished. Those who fall victim to the arrests were sent to labour camps or even killed, especially during the period of the Great Terror. This source shows that Stalin's rule was not beneficial as the Russians ended up living in fear under the regime as they were being constantly watched by Stalin's officials. The lack of freedom means that the Russians led miserable lives under Stalin's repressive regime.
The picture in the source shows people gathered together eating. They seemed to be having a lack of quality food for proper housing, thus needing to stay in such places with many people. I chose this source as there was the first two five-year plans focused mainly on agricultural and industrial targets but neglected the production of consumer goods such as chairs, textile and sugar. Although the third five-year plan in 1939 planned to produce more consumer goods, it failed to materialise due to the outbreak of the second world war. This source shows that Stalin's rule was not beneficial for USSR as the lack of consumer goods meant that the Russians were deprived of many basic essentials and this resulted in the decline in the quality of life of the people in the Soviet Union.
In conclusion, Stalin was definitely not a saviour of the USSR. As a ruler, he should have cared of the well-being of his people instead of using propaganda to brainwash them. He did make some contributions to the USSR but allowed the country to have such a great fall in a standard of living. He had even caused the deaths of many innocent lives and instilled fear in many people. Hence, which such cruelty, it can be seen that he is not a saviour of USSR.