Impact of the Secret Speech- Khrushchev

1320 Words Oct 18th, 2013 6 Pages
Gobbet 2- Khrusschev’s Secret Speech

The Source is an extract of a speech given by Nikita Khrushchev at the Twentieth Party Congress of the Soviet Union on February 25th 1956. Khrushchev served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964. Khrushchev was responsible for the partial de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, for backing the progress of the world's early space program, and for several relatively liberal reforms in areas of domestic policy. Stalin's political heirs fought for power after his death in 1953, a struggle in which Khrushchev, after several years, emerged triumphant. In 1956, at the Twentieth Party Congress,
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The government would now rule now not by terror and compulsion, but by calling on the initiative of the people and their co-operation. Khrushchev launched the de-Stalinization campaign for internal reasons, and in the teeth of strong opposition from Stalinists such as Molotov, Malenkov and Voroshilov. The speech achieved its purpose, at least within the Communist party of the Soviet Union. It drew a firm line under the Stalinist era, acknowledging its monstrosities and disasters while preserving the fiction that the present Communist leadership bore no responsibility. Khrushchev became secure in power and won a relatively free hand to reform the Soviet economy and liberalize the apparatus of terror. In addition to this old Stalinists such as Molotov were removed from their positions. A period of liberalization followed which was known as Khrushchev’s Thaw. This was a chain of unprecedented steps to free people from fear and dictatorship. Two climactic acts of de-Stalinization marked the process firstly, on October 31, 1961, Stalin's body was removed from its mausoleum in Red Square and reburied, and secondly, on November 11, 1961, the "hero city" Stalingrad was renamed to Volgograd. However the power struggle between liberals and conservative pro-Stalinists never stopped, and it eventually weakened the Soviet Communist Party. However the real significance of
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