Joseph Stalin – Red Terror – A&E Biography Documentary



he was there he was genius devil but devil twenty million Soviet citizens died at the hand of Joseph Stalin he was absolute ruler for 25 years the Bolsheviks arm he craved power he never could have enough power the system of terror was essential to Stalinism hello was was continuous continuous continuous I was asleep totally started I woke up with a show with strangers in military uniform in our apartment – um no his cravat we know that yellow side is a noble and orders to exit clearly totally innocent you know at the end of the 19th century Russia was the largest country on earth from the fertile fields of the Ukraine to the frozen tundra of Siberia this ancient land was big enough to hold the United States and Europe within its borders the ruler of this vast empire was tsar nicholas ii the shy awkward inheritor of the 300 year old Romanov dynasty he and his family lived a privileged and genteel life typical of the European royalty they actually were nine out of ten Russians however lived in villages eking out a living from the land in 1879 two of these peasants gave birth to a son Joseph Jewish fili later to be known as joseph stalin's Joseph's mother was a maid and washer woman and a devout Orthodox Christian his father of whom no photos remain worked occasionally as a shoemaker and was a violent alcoholic the family lived in this Shack in the tiny village of Gauri in the Russian province of Georgia his father was incredible poor very poor man and he had terrible passion to drink he beat wife he beat her cruelly violently and so this violence come in his heart from his childhood he was an awkward looking boy young Joseph space was pockmarked by smallpox and a childhood accident left one arm shorter than the other and he stopped growing at five feet four inches he was quite small he liked to have wedged shoes means a little bit higher and he had a very dark sinister look particular his eyes they're always described as yellow or tigerish eyes that was his main impression given he was a good student good enough to enroll in a seminary school but the priesthood was the last thing on Joseph's Jewish V Lee's mind fifty years earlier Karl Marx had written of a world where the workers not the aristocracy controlled the destiny of a nation in Russia these ideas were turned into a political movement Bolshevism by Vladimir Lenin a man the czars police thought dangerous enough to exile to Siberia this excitement drew the shoemaker's son like a magnet and at 19 he left school to join the cause he was not much of a theorist but he was militant and committed even masterminding a bank robbery to fill the party coffers in 1907 he was a man of action which Lenin admired when Lenin first met Stalin he wrote to someone I'd met a magnificent Georgian and it's clear that he saw in Stalin at that time the kind of person he hoped to attract to a movement that was then primarily a movement of intellectuals that is a person with working-class peasant origins and not an intellectual but a person who as Russians say was very delahoy could get things done he certainly saw himself as a fighter and in 1912 he began using the name Stalin which means man of steel but it was difficult to make any progress because Stalin and his comrades kept getting arrested by the Czar's police they languished in exile for years in houses like this one in distant Siberia he was imprisoned many times he was an exile endless time and prison exile before him as native home and he will make prison and exile like native home for millions of his citizens in future the exiles would soon get their chance On June 28 1914 Archduke Ferdinand was shot by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo World War one broke out a month later and Tsar Nicholas sent millions of Russian troops to fight in his name the men marched off proudly but their enthusiasm soon sank as fierce German fighting decimated the Czarist forces four million Russians were killed wounded or missing within a year the surviving soldiers resented dying for someone else's cause and morale plummeted they refused to go to battle need to find their officers they deserted the army and went home to the village and burned down the landlord's manor house and when later someone said the Lenin who voted for the revolution he said the soldier the peasant soldier voted voted with his feet he deserted in February 1917 a crowd of angry citizens and disaffected soldiers took over st. Petersburg the Czar knew his government couldn't stand and he abdicated a few days later ending the 300 year old Romanov dynasty a provisional government then briefly shared power with the revolutionaries but in April Lenin came back to Russia demanding a completely Polat Aryan victory the people need peace he said and they give you war hunger no food and the land remains with the landholders in October his Bolsheviks swept away the moderate government it was a momentous victory but except for writing a few editorials Joseph Stalin was not a part of the action later he would have soviet historians invent a heroic role for him he would make his mark in the next and bloodiest phase of the revolution the civil war from 1918 to 1920 counter-revolutionaries known as the whites fought to regain power from the Bolshevik read the fighting spared no one and those that lived through it would never forget it I was right because all the time different troops came to he was occupied first there was a revolution then there was a Nationalist government then came the rats and occupy key then came the whites country occupied the fighting was born kind there were two feelings fear and feeling of anger Lenin's Bolsheviks now became military commanders Leon Trotsky the brilliant orator and theorist was made war commissar Stalin was given the title commissar of nationalities and was sent into the field to enforce the party line it was a role that suited him well war and particularly civil war brings the warfare personalities to the fore and Stalin already during the Civil War begins to become the leader in Moscow of these warfare personalities these can do tough guys who don't really want to debate the dialectics of Marxism who don't really want to talk about the nuances of class struggle but men for whom class struggle meant the fist in 1918 Trotsky sent him a detachment of army specialists Stalin who distrusted the trained military imprisoned some of the men on a boat which then sank under mysterious circumstances he had many of the others just shocked when someone said this might be a problem at headquarters the Man of Steel reportedly replied death solves all problems no man no problem Stalin was real revolutionaries the Trotsky wanted to be real Trotsky wanted to be Croyle trans Trotsky wanted to be real executor for revolutionary enemies but Stalin was cruel Stalin was able to hate really in the end this ruthlessness would turn Lenin away from his protege but for now this small band of men would start pulling Russia into their vision of the world and this world would soon be dominated by a single one of them Joseph Stalin like most young men Joseph Stalin fell in love and married during his early years his first wife Yekaterina Finizio died a few years after they were married their one child Yakov was left with her family Stalin wouldn't see the boy again until he was a grown man at the age of 39 Joseph Stalin married again this time to nadezhda Alleluia the 17 year old daughter of two friends from his exile days they had two children Svetlana and Vasily but Stalin's attention was focused on matters of State the Bolsheviks got rid of the last of the white forces in 1920 now they would remake Russia as the first communist state Marx had called religion the opiate of the masses so the Bolsheviks set out to eliminate it churches were desecrated and priests openly mocked I believe the most terrible scene in Bolsheviks empire that they were a Cystic Empire they finished Russian religion and result was terrible they stopped to be people they became crowd incredible crowd food was scarce since the Bolsheviks had seized every scrap of grain during the war where were the food and peace Lenin had promised this discontent erupted in the naval base of Kuran stocked in the Gulf of Finland when a group of sailors who had fought alongside the Reds in the Civil War began demanding food and political freedom Trotsky sent in the Red Army and slaughtered the resistors it was now clear the popular revolution was over a few thousand Bolsheviks had absolute control of a nation of millions in 1922 Comrade Stalin was given an important job in this new ruling class running the party Secretariat on one hand it was just to keep the books where were the party members who were they but it also was responsible for appointing people to administrative positions in the party and like any good word politician he appointed people who seemed to be loyal to him who thought if he thought and he removed people he didn't like his following was growing but to get more power he knew he'd have to outmaneuver the party leadership after Lenin the most powerful man in the party was Trotsky who had emerged from the war a popular hero so in 1923 Stalin formed an anti Trotsky alliance with fellow Politburo members chemin F and xenovia like all his alliances this one wouldn't blast it they really liked him but they were still taken in by him it was extraordinary way in which somehow they will find themselves working with him in ten years later in the Politburo and they still haven't understood he's going to kill him but Lenin understood the leader of the revolution had suffered a stroke in 1922 realizing the end was near he wrote a secret will of sorts evaluating his men he finally died in 1924 and this Testament was read out loud and said transfuse them hist outstanding men in the Central Committee but he was too inclined to be administrator and Stalin Stalin was also a difficult man and then he would put a PS saying Stalin it is really too bad he's too rude and crude and he must be removed from his post but chemin F and su novia stood by their alliance and Stalin stayed general-secretary it would be their biggest mistake in 1926 Stalin allied with the Conservatives including old friend Nikolai Bukharin to kick CEM enough and shinobi F out of the Politburo soon his conservative allies were ousted as well in 1927 he demoted Trotsky from the party and then sent him into exile Trotsky would never see Russia again but Karin said Stalin knows only vengeance the stab in the back the grievous an ultimately fatal mistake of all of Lenin successors except Stalin was they fought among themselves sometimes aligned himself with Stalin when it suited them sometimes not and while these men fought among themselves over matters of principle one of the great intriguers and political operators of the twentieth century step-by-step destroyed all of them by the end of the 1920s Stalin was the unquestioned leader of the Communist Party [Applause] heed now pulled the Russians into his vision of the world whether they liked it or not the first step was to collectivise the farming cornerstone of Marxism he had the better off farmers known as kulaks kicked off their land and sent to Siberia more than 15 million of them were uprooted in the 1930s the rest of the peasants were then forced onto enormous collective farms but they didn't go happily furious farmers slaughtered half their cattle in 1930 alone to keep the state from having them and despite these cheerful propaganda films grain yields began to fall the revolution wasn't working Astana has said the new collectivization would produce far greater food far more weaken anything else when it didn't he said we're going to get the food but the wheat the grain whether it's there or not so he took all the grain and every scrap they could get and even searched houses for capitals in the floor and because the result was a terrific family 10 years hard labor was the price for stealing an ear of corn eventually some people turned to cannibalism those who lived through the famine would never forget it more and more hungry peasants in this street they went from apartment to apartment knocked the door and asked for bread and they didn't get it five million starved to death in the Ukraine but Stalin completely denied the famine he made even mentioning it a punishable offense he focused instead on the more public achievements like the great industrial projects of the first five-year plan started in 1928 Stalin knew that if socialism was going to work the Soviet Union would have to industrialize quickly people threw themselves into the work and some industry rose out of the wilderness but no amount of enthusiasm could fulfill Stalin's unrealistic expectations hardly anyone met that quotas but since failure meant prison or worse accountants merely lied about productivity it was impossible to find any production figures were because every director had to fake his figures because if you if you say you failed you're out so you might as well be caught a year later for thinking it was this happening very large-scale this mass deception could only work if people were too terrified to tell the truth so Stalin developed the gulag a group of labor camps where millions of people were literally worked to death one man was sentenced to ten years in the gulag when his army tank got stuck in the mud it was enough to convict him of sabotage the reasons well full full of people who were 10 minutes late for work little 17-year old girl I remember she came to our camp she was 10 minutes late to work somebody stole some potatoes sack of potatoes they were getting three five years in prison in labor camps that was terrible thing Terrell was was continuous continuous continuous the camps became microcosms of the illogical world outside I remember I was in one of the camps and the commander of this game he was he was continuing was talented because he took on himself the mission to shoot at random every evening somebody he selected p5 some people ten people and you're shooting them for nothing slave labor built some of stalin's most ambitious projects like the Baltic White Sea canal the canal was an engineering disaster and was soon abandoned but a proud Joseph Stalin visited the site proclaiming it a victory for socialism these kinds of successes were impressive especially to Western visitors like Charles Lindbergh and Anthony Eden HG Wells visited in 1934 and when he met Stalin he said I have never met a man more candid fair and honest everybody trusts him Franklin Roosevelt even reopened diplomatic relations closed since 1917 a better judge of character was Lady Astor who asked Stalin how long he was going to go on killing people he candidly replied as long as necessary he would find it necessary for the rest of his life in 1929 Joseph Stalin turned 50 years old he was now portrayed as a secular god as the savior of his people the propaganda was relentless it was Stalin who brought you the revolution Stalin who gave you food Stalin who saved the Soviet Union from the corruptions of the West it's very difficult to explain to the American people how much indoctrination and propaganda is all the time swept on you you are indoctrinated in something that when you are two four five six seven years old you start to believe it that it's too schoolchildren were taught that Stalin was infallible his ideas on philosophy literature and even genetics became state policy the worship of Joseph Stalin was the new Soviet religion people saw his portraits everywhere every newspaper every day that his portraits he was really everywhere and when people go to sleep last name which is a heart it was Stalin if Stalin were to remain a god he'd have to make sure no one threatened his rule in 1934 Sergei Kirov was murdered the man Stalin had hand-picked to head the Leningrad Communist Party Kirov had been very popular a little too popular for Stalin some say he ordered the killing himself he also began purging the educated classes thousands of writers artists and scientists in fact most of the Intelligencia were tried and convicted as traitors the sentence was death or the gulag and he almost eliminated his old enemy the military elite 57 out of 85 corps commanders disappeared along with tens of thousands of lower ranking officers the officers signed confessions but these documents were highly suspect the documents were produced a year or two ago they all read oh yes I confess mr. perota document but they found that they were forensic verifiable bloodstains on the confession and of course torture was used an enormous scale in the silent period no one was spared Stalin even tried the heroes of the revolution men that a generation of Russians had grown up revering from 1936 to 38 the old Bolsheviks were convicted of ridiculous charges of espionage and counterterrorism he even purged his old ally Nikolai Bukharin Stalin needed a bizarre form of coronation as a great leader by making linens closest friends and comrades confessed to having been not real communists not real patriots not real Bolsheviks but spies assassin wreckers to force them to confess to these crimes was for Stalin the ultimate or he hoped it would be psychological fulfillment of this need to be the one and only embodiment of everything glorious in modern Russian Soviet history he needed these trials Stalin approved the death sentences of these men even though he knew the confessions had been forced by torture Trotsky who was in exile in Mexico was the only one and could speak out his trials developed not from communism not from socialism biddeford from Stalinism that is from the irresponsible despotism of the bureaucracy over the people but is now my principal task to reveal the truth to show into the most demonstrative true criminals hide in the big talk of the accuser but Stalin soon silenced him too in 1940 a Soviet agent attacked Trotsky with an icepick he died the next day it wasn't just the famous who were liquidated anyone could turn you in on a trumped-up charge a neighbor a boss even your children terror became an everyday emotion as millions just disappeared from sight every evening nobody knew what's going to happen to him because the individual means nothing the individual is like a piece of sand in the big big desert you can run it over with the track you can you can step on it it just you can crash it it just means nothing yet Comrade Stalin seemed to remain above the fray he blamed the terror on an overzealous police force and would periodically purge the head of the secret police and they weren't just killed they were erased from all official memory no Jim you mean he was now even my grandfather who was the victim of Stalinist repressions she was able to survive she did not complain about the Soviet power or about Stalin he thought that the local leaders the local bosses were to blame a proud day it's a very strange situation the the role that Stalin played in the lives of people in missile union at the same time that he was evil and terrifying he was secretive enough about it that I'm not sure that people until much later associated what was actually happening with the person of Joseph Stalin but one person did his wife nadezhda had learned about the famine from students returning from the ukraine she and Stalin began arguing frequently one night at a banquet at the Kremlin Stalin started flicking cigarettes at her across the table she stormed out of the room and was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head the next day what we don't know is whether she retreated to their apartment in the Kremlin and shot herself to death or whether there was a fight in he killed her we don't know people who hate Stalin greatly in Russia believe he killed her people who still find some reason to say positive things about Stalin believe she committed suicide and after that as they say his heart turned to stone nadezhda steth severed his last link to reality he had seen enemies everywhere for so long that he could no longer recognize a real one in Germany Adolf Hitler was creating a society as inhuman and repressive as Stalin's Soviet Union and while the Nazis and the Communists professed to hate each other in reality and grudging admiration existed between their leaders Stalin personally admired it the way how he manipulated with the people how she what converts millions of Germans so he was you sometimes even watching him and trying to reuse his experience when for example in 34 Hitler eliminated the commander of the Assad rooms and strim and when Stalin got to know about that he told his college she said look at Hitler what a bad guy you know he shows us how to deal with political opponents in 1938 Hitler took Austria by March of 1939 all of Czechoslovakia was occupied by the Nazis Stalin knew he had to ally with someone he had earlier approached the West but Germany seemed like a better bet they could offer him territory the Baltics and half of Poland and peace at least temporarily so in August 1939 Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact Hitler would soon betray his new ally and bring the Soviet Union to the brink of disaster in the summer of 1940 the German takeover of Europe seemed unstoppable as the Nazis marched up the shah's Alizee Hitler started thinking that Russia might fall just as easily as France it soon seemed clear that Germany would attack but Stalin couldn't believe the Fuhrer would go back on his word but on June 22nd 1941 Nazi troops crossed into the Soviet Union the foreign minister Molotov confirmed the news to Stalin and when Molotov came to Stan's office and told it instead he just lost his speech he could not even speak he just sat down and was silent for some time because here he understood how Hitler practically tricked him how he misjudged to hit them the misjudgment was monumental in a month German troops were 100 miles from Leningrad Smolensk fell on July 16th at a meeting of the Politburo Stalin moaned all that Lenin created we have lost most of the military command was gone since Stalin had killed them during the purges so at first he made decisions himself with often disastrous results Kiev was overrun in September and his advisors begged him to evacuate the doomed city but he refused and over half a million were either killed or taken prisoner the largest single loss of the war ever searching for a scapegoat Stalin blamed the prisoners themselves well he declared that all POWs were to infect traitors who weren't allowed to be be taken prisoner and when they got back they were sent to labor camps missing when his son by his first marriage knockoff was taken prisoner the Nazis approached sahlan about trading him for some of their own Stalin said he had no son by that name Yakov was shot and killed when he ran toward the barbed-wire fence at the camp now that is too old to the country he gave his son as a sacrifice yes he could not have acted otherwise if he returned his son ordinary the front and at-home Gazette would they have said of him look at him he saves his own son what about our son our fathers mothers even theoretically Stalin could not have done it but because he was Stalin for hearing your estate was the most important thing in his life by October the Germans were perilously close to Moscow preparation began to move the government employable chef 500 miles away but Stalin decided to stay even attending a parade in Red Square on November 7th these tanks drove right past the commander-in-chief to the front line just 25 miles outside the city the Soviet troops fought valiantly and the Russian winter began to cripple the German forces freezing fuel lines and cutting off supplies in the end the Nazis couldn't solidify their gains Stalin also wisely teamed up with the Allies starting in 1941 Franklin Roosevelt began sending airplanes tanks and guns to the beleaguered Soviet troops if Hitler was going to be stopped the war in Russia had to be won in June 1942 the Nazis began an offensive in southern Russia the fighting settled in Stalingrad where it quickly degenerated in the fierce house-to-house combat this time Stalin let his commanders do their jobs the early part of the war were he intervene Thomas always a mistake several disasters but by the time of Stalingrad he was not intervening direct he was a bit but but not on the scale he had been before he did leave it to the generals and so that was a success Nazi troops began retreating from Stalingrad on Christmas Day 1942 the war would drag on for another two and a half years but Soviet victory was now in sight when Roosevelt Churchill and Stalin met in Tehran in 1943 Joseph Stalin was reintroduced to the West as kindly uncle Joe Churchill even presented Stalin with a sword of honour to commemorate the victory at Stalingrad by 1945 the Soviet Union had won the war but the cost was enormous over 25 million Soviets had died six times as many casualties as Germany Stalin vowed to never let Russia be this vulnerable again so Soviet forces liberated their neighbors from the Nazis but the shadow of Moscow never left Eastern Europe the Balkans and eastern Germany were soon all within the Soviet sphere at the Yalta Conference in 1945 the Allies met to discuss the post-war world Stalin made it clear this territory was under his control for Russia fascist Germany was just another Western power come to Russia from the West and those days armies had to come through Eastern Europe through Poland and therefore after this war with his losses the Stalin regime was not going to settle for anything less than a guaranteed security zone in Eastern Europe and that was the essence of the alter the Allies met one last time at Potsdam and while they may have posed politely for the newsreel cameras new US President Truman and Churchill were unhappy with Stalin's behavior in Eastern Europe the alliance against the Nazis was over the Cold War was on behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe back home Stalin was even more popular than before grateful Russians hoped that the Magnificent victory would sweep clean the miseries of the past but the war had only distracted not changed Joseph Stalin thousands of returning soldiers were sent to labor camps because Stalin was afraid they would revolt against life at home now that they had seen this plane news of Europe even his loyal translator was not above suspicion my boss was taken away and I went out waiting that I'll be arrested next day but two weeks passed and nothing happened I even didn't go home at night and users they usually arrest people at night and then all of a sudden came a call from a magazine a weekly magazine and I was invited to work for that and from the editor of this magazine I understood that it was Molitor who protected me I don't know why you know for assistance before me of monitor were shot why I was not shot I don't know why somehow he just now put me there and probably also got some kind of blessing by Stalin so not to touch me few got off so easily the crowds may have adored him but Stalin was still sure everyone was out to get him his newest public enemy was the Jews many leading Jewish intellectuals were tried as enemies of the state and killed he even arrested the most prominent doctors in Moscow many of whom were Jewish because he thought they were plotting to poison him and his advisors quite a lot of doctors were arrested there all the soldiers they named a group of eight or ten of whom three were Gentiles and seven Jews they said we're not be anti-semitic murmuration gentle as well the one that was his own doctor he wanted to arrest him because he told him to lay off politics for a bit he thought this was a plot naturally on Stalin's 70th birthday in 1949 pictures of the great leader were projected into the sky over Moscow his all-knowing all-seeing eye was everywhere but his omniscience couldn't keep time from catching up to him after a long feast On February 28 1953 Joseph Stalin had a paralyzing stroke over the next few days he slowly suffocated to death he died on the morning of March 5th the funeral was an orgy of grief soviets couldn't imagine life without their God and Father I was in Moscow only about four blocks from the place where Stalin's body was laying after his death a lot of people were crying and they were crying because when you live in paternalistic society you are raised to believe that he makes all the decisions for you and without the International fall apart Stalin's eventual successor Nikita Khrushchev would bring a wave of honesty to Soviet politics but Stalin's memory would not go quietly in 1956 Nikita Khrushchev gave an extraordinary speech at a closed session of the 20th Party Congress he said that Paul Stalin had been a great leader he had committed terrible crimes against the Soviet people his listeners were stunned and some were angry for a lot of people was the beginning of the end of belief in the system because if the man who ruled Russia for almost 30 years could be so wrong and so maniacal and so horrible and so bloodthirsty what did that say about all of them who had lived under his rule and had been a part of building this system Leonid Brezhnev and his successors went back to the silence of the past but in 1985 when Mikhail Gorbachev became general secretary he vowed to break the stranglehold that Stalinism had left behind his reforms pulled the Soviet Union away from the secrecy and terror of the past they also broke the country apart Yamini a bogus 50 years I thought that the system that we inherited could be improved but that was an illusion because it was imposed by the Bolsheviks on our country machine commie system then seventh a monopoly of power dictatorship required party very difficult to go beyond to move away from that system in fact someone moved back to it today there is a resurgence of nostalgia for the strong hand of Joseph Stalin's reign the others put a Muslim I'm proud because during the Stalin era not show you Siddhartha how country became one of the most developed world you've got one Glenn in what way people respect no nobody was afraid of it after the revolution of 1917 the country was revived it became industrialized today we believed in the future we had believed for a better life in Georgia Joseph Stalin's birthplace has again opened up as a museum in a chaotic world Stalinism is fondly remembered by some as a time of clarity and strength it's a legacy that won't easily fade

19 thoughts on “Joseph Stalin – Red Terror – A&E Biography Documentary

  1. I wonder of the Russians were happy after the Romanovs were pushed out? Did they get a better way of life?

    Friggin' idiots. But all humans are.

  2. This documentary is so blatantly anti Communist. Fine with facts not aligning with my opinions but this documentary has an opinion all of it's own. Stick to other documentaries unless you like fox news-est reporting

  3. Excellent documentary. I wasn't aware of how paranoid and psychopathic Stalin was.

  4. Stalin he was came from small cauntry gorgia whay he ruling soviet he was stupid whay rusia choosin him

  5. Is that Denis Prager narrating this overly long statement of the fucking strikingly obvious?
    " Yeah, er, that Stalin, he's bad, mm'k?" And that's about the sum total, for 44:50!! Yep, profound stuff, huh?

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