Birth of the Soviet state and party leader Joseph V. Stalin

21 December 1879

9 (21) December, 1879 in the town of Gori, Tiflis Province, into the family of a shoemaker was born Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin (Dzhugashvili), Soviet state and party leader. According to some other sources, the date of birth of Stalin was 6 (18) December, 1878.

In 1894 Iosif Dzhugashvili graduated from the Gori seminary, the same year he entered the Tiflis Orthodox seminary. Under the influence of the Russian Marxists, living in the Transcaucasia, he joined the revolutionary movement; a member of an illegal circle, he studied the works of K. Marx, F. Engels, V. I. LeninG. V. Plekhanov. In August 1898 Stalin officially entered the Tiflis organization of the Russian Social Democratic Party. Being a member of the social-democratic “Mesamedasi” group, he propagandized Marxists’ ideas among the workers of the Tbilisi Railway Shops. In 1899 he was excluded from the seminary. Thus he went underground becoming a professional revolutionary. During his underground revolutionary work, he was repeatedly arrested and exiled.

In 1912, after the Prague Conference of the Russian Social Democratic Party, Stalin was co-opted in his absence to the party’s Central Committee and headed its Russian Office. He actively contributed to preparation and publication of the first issue of “Pravda” paper. At the same time he published his first large theoretical work “Marxism and the national problem”, highly appreciated by V. I. Lenin.

In February 1913 Iosif Stalin was again arrested and exiled to the Turukhansky Krai. Having returned from the exile to Petrograd after the February Revolution, Stalin led the work of the Central Committee and the Petersburg Committee of Bolsheviks until the arrival of Lenin. From May 1917 he had been a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee. Stalin participated in the October armed revolt, after which, at the 2nd All-Russian Congress of Soviets on October 26 (November 8), 1917 was elected a member of the first Soviet government as a Peoples’ Commissar for nationalities (1917-1922); at the same time, in 1919-1922, he headed the Peoples’ Commissariat for the state control, reorganized in 1920 into the Peoples’ Commissariat of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection.

During the Civil war and foreign military intervention of 1918-1920 Stalin was a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic, one of the organizers of the Petrograd defense, a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Southern, Western and South-Western fronts, a representative of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee in the Council of Workers’ and Peasants’ Defense. After the end of the Civil War, Stalin contributed to the restoration of the national economy and the implementation of the New Economic Policy.

In April of 1922, the Central Committee plenum, Stalin was elected the General Secretary of the Central Committee occupying at this post for over 30 years. Under his leadership was developed and implemented the policy of the communist party, the plans for economical and cultural construction, the measures for strengthening of the national defenses. In the years of 1929-1933, named the years of “the great turning point”, the collectivization and industrialization were implemented by force. In December of 1936 a new Constitution of the USSR, unofficially called “The Constitution of the triumphing socialism” was adopted.

In May of 1941 Stalin was appointed the president of the Soviet of Peoples’ Commissars (from 1946 – the president of the Council of Ministers of the USSR). When the Great Patriotic War began, Stalin became the President of the State Defense Committee, the Peoples’ Commissar of Defense and the Supreme Commander in Chief of all the Armed Forces of the USSR. As the head of the Soviet state he attended the Tehran Conference (1943), the Crimea (Yalta) Conference (1945) and the Potsdam Conference (1945) which brought together the leaders of the three powers – USSR, USA and Great Britain. During the post-war period he continued to occupy the post of the General Secretary of the Central Committee and the President of the Council of Ministers of the USSR.

Stalin was a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks from 1919 to 1952; a member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1952-1953; a member of the Executive Committee of the Comintern (Communist International) in 1925-1943; a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee from 1917; a member of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR from 1922; a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union of the 1st – 3rd convocation. He was awarded with the titles of the Hero of the Socialist Labor (1939), the Hero of the Soviet Union (1945), the Marshal of the Soviet Union (1943), the supreme military rank – Generalissimo of the Soviet Union (1945). He was awarded with 3 orders of Lenin, 2 orders of the “Victory”, 3 orders of the Red Banner, the order of Suvorov, 1st class and medals.

March 5, 1953 Iosif V. Stalin died and was buried on the Red square in Moscow.

In 1956, at the 20th Congress of the Communist Part of the Soviet Union, the cult of personality and the activities of Stalin were severely criticized by N. S. Khrushchev.

Lit.: Антонов-Овсеенко А. В. Портрет диктатора. Нью-Йорк, 1980; Бим-Бад Б. М. Сталин. Исследование жизненного стиля. М., 2002; Верхотуров Д. Н. Сталин. Экономическая революция. М., 2006; Волкогонов Д. А. Сталин: политический портрет. М., 1996; Грей Я., Троцкий Л. Сталин. М., 1995; Громов Е. Сталин: власть и искусство. М., 1998; Гусляров Е. Н. Сталин в жизни. М., 2003; Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин. Краткая биография. М., 1947; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL:; Капченко Н. И. Политическая биография Сталина. М., 2004-2009; Медведев Р. А. К суду истории: О Сталине и сталинизме. М., 2011; Милюков П. Н. Сталин // Современные записки. 1935. № 59; Приказы Верховного Главнокомандующего в период Великой Отечественной войны Советского Союза. М., 1975; Сойма В. М. Запрещённый Сталин. М., 2005; Сталин в воспоминаниях современников и документах эпохи. М., 2002; Сталин И. В. Сочинения. Т. 1-13. М., 1946-1951; То же. Т. 14-18. М.; Тверь, 1997-2006; Суходеев В., Соловьёв Б. Полководец Сталин. М., 1999; Такер Р. Сталин. История и личность. М., 2006; Троцкий Л. Д. Сталин. М., 1996; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL:

From the Presidential library materials:

The Great Victory Memory: [digital collection];

1945: From the War to the Post-War World : [digital collection];

Выступление по радио председателя Государственного Комитета Обороны И. В. Сталина: 3 июля 1941 года. Омск, 1941;

[И. В. Сталин У. Черчиллю]: Меморандум. [Б. м.], 13 авг. 1942;

И. В. Сталин, Ф. Рузвельт и У. Черчилль на Тегеранской конференции: декабрь 1943 г.: фотография. Тегеран, дек. 1943;

И. В. Сталин, А. А. Громыко, И. М. Майский, В. Н. Павлов в ходе работы Крымской (Ялтинской) конференции руководителей трёх союзных держав — СССР, США и Великобритании: февраль 1945 г.: фотография. Ялта, февр. 1945;

И. В. Сталин, Г. Трумэн и К. Эттли с министрами иностранных дел в ходе Берлинской (Потсдамской) конференции: август 1945 г.: фотография. Берлин, авг. 1945;

История СССР: альбом наглядных пособий. Вып. 12: СССР в период борьбы за завершение строительства социализма и проведения Сталинской конституции, 1935-1941 гг. 1950;

Они совещались в Тегеране: [фотография]. Дек. 1943;

Письмо президента США г-на Франклина Д. Рузвельта на имя тов. И. В. Сталина. Вашингтон, 25 мая 1944;

Похороны В. И. Ленина, 23-27 января 1924 года. Борьба за власть после смерти В. И. Ленина: [фрагменты кинофильма «Политбюро. Страницы истории». Вып. 8. 1992]. СПб., 2011;

Приходя к пониманию: [фотография]. Дек. 1943;

Сталин И. В. О Великой Отечественной войне Советского Союза: [сб.]. Омск, 1943;

Страницы советской истории: [фрагменты]. СПб., 2011;

Тегеран, Иран, Дек. 1943: [фотография]. 1943;

[Члены «Большой тройки» сидят за столом во время Потсдамской конференции]: [фотография]. 1945.