Kyle S, Douglass


In modern context, would Stalin be considered a hero or villain of the USSR in WWII, and how do the lengths he took to win the war prove or disprove his heroism?

If WWII was fought today, Stalin would be considered a villain of the USSR.

Karl Marx

Karl Marx was the leader and creator of the socialist "Marxist" party. Stalin was a member of this party, and strongly believed in his morals. The socialists believed that the economy should strongly affect the government's actions. Stalin grew to power, and eventually became dictator of the USSR.

Daily Life Under Stalin

  • Schools were forced to teach children about Stalin's life, and his "great deeds" along the way. Curriculum was centered around Stalin, just to play to his ego.
  • Children's education was not the only thing that Stalin strictly regulated. He controlled the extracurricular activities also, forcing them to join clubs that taught kids how to be good socialist citizens
  • Adult life was also regulated, with strict laws about glorifying Stalin, and nothing else. Artists and authors were required to publish works about Stalin, and they wouldn't be published unless they had something good to say.

Stalin's Purges

  • Stalin murdered a large portion of his citizens, the total number coming to around 43,000,000. He was ruthless, always ready to kill of more citizens in his "Purges", if he doubted their loyalty. This demonstrates his motives; to run a society where he has absolute power, and can kill anyone he doesn't trust.

POW Cruelty

  • Stalin believed in absolute victory, as well as absolute power. Due to these beliefs, he held POWs, just like any other warring country. He used them as ransom, to trade something with their home country, just like any other country. He commonly tortured them to death, just like any other country with absolute victory beliefs.
  • Where he differs from all other countries, is that he didn't release his German POWs, the soldiers who lost the war, when WWII ended. He continued his cruel torture methods, until 1955 or 1956, 10 years after the war ended! These POWs were likely only released because he died of stroke in 1953.

Stalin's heroism of the USSR in WWII

Battle of Stalingrad

  • The above link will take you to a map of the USSR, showing some important cities from the war. Among them is Stalingrad, now known as Volgograd. This city was the location of a great Nazi invasion of the "holy grail" of USSR cities other than Moscow.
  • The city, full of USSR citizens and soldiers, survived a month long onslaught of their city. The battle ended when the Soviet military sent a large portion of its soldiers from Stalingrad to flank the Nazi army. The Nazis were surrounded, and forced to surrender.
  • The total casualty count for the USSR was 1 million troops and citizens compared to Germany's 750,000 casualties. This siege shows Stalin's heroism, but also his recklessness in losing so many troops and citizens.
  • The link below will take you to a video with more information on the topic of the Battle of Stalingrad.

The Allied Conferences

The map above the Battle of Stalingrad section also showed a city in the USSR known as Yalta. This city was an important location for the Allied forces in WWII, because Allied leaders met here. Among them were Winston Churchill, leader of the UK, Theodore Roosevelt, leader of the USA, and Joseph Stalin, leader of the USSR. Together, they strategized for the war.

Concluding Statement

All in all, Stalin would be considered a villain of the USSR during WWII. He sacrificed and murdered too many of his citizens to be justified as a hero. Although he may have had many heroic actions throughout the war, his cruelty cannot be overlooked.