Stalin And The Soviet Union

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With the arrival of the second half of the 20th century, came the death of Stalin and a new age for not only Russia but the entirety of the Eastern Block as well. Russia, as always, stood in the face of adversity and, instead of crumbling, began to develop and progress in leaps and bounds. In the span of a mere 50 or so years Russia went from one political, social, and economic standing, (Stalinism) to its exact obverse. Despite the obvious changes a switch like this requires there are still some fundamental and intrinsically Russian sentiments and characteristics that were maintained throughout the change. The first waves of change started with Khrushchev’s Secret Speech. In February, 1956, Nikita Khrushchev, then leader of the Soviet Union, made a speech during the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, openly condemning his iconic predecessor, Stalin. Khrushchev tells the Congress, “It is here that Stalin showed in a whole series of cases his intolerance, his brutality, and his abuse of power ... he often chose the path of repression and physical annihilation, not only against actual enemies, but also against individuals who had not committed any crimes against the party or the Soviet Government” To say the least, his peers were stunned. In making this speech Khrushchev was actively tearing down the Cult of Personality that had surrounded the premier position since Lenin. This was intentional. While Stalin used the Cult to gain power and

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