USSR: Cults of Personality

  • Created by: Safi
  • Created on: 21-05-17 14:21
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  • Cults of Personality
    • Lenin
      • After his death the newspapers, cinema and statues all contained images of Lenin
      • His body was embalmed and put on display in Red square
      • Petrograd renamed Leningrad in 1924
      • Although Lenin was against cults of personality the one that was built around him posthumously was used by successive leaders to gain legitimacy
    • Stalin
      • Tried to create links with Lenin and portray them as close colleagues
        • Although Lenin was against cults of personality the one that was built around him posthumously was used by successive leaders to gain legitimacy
        • 'Stalin is the Lenin of Today' slogan used by members of party
        • 1925, Tsaritsyn renamed Stalingrad
          • He gained titles such as 'Brilliant Genius of Humanity' and 'Gardener of Human Happiness'
        • Paintings, statues and other art portraying him as omnipotent and the defender and benefactor of socialism, or as a down to earth and humble peasant/ worker
          • During WW2 he was often portrayed in military dress in front of an army,
            • WW2 massively increased his prestige and people truly saw him as the saviour of 'Mother Russia'
        • Films and statues portrayed him as over 6ft when in reality he was 5ft 6
          • Film 'The Fall of Berlin' 1950 showed Stalin exiting a plane to applause just after the fall when in reality it wasn't till weeks later
        • 'Offical History of he All-Union Communist Party' gave Stalin prominent role in the October Revolution
      • Khrushchev
        • Initially condemned Stalin's use of the cult of personality in Secret speech in 1956
        • Cult had helped him gain power in the power struggle with Malenkov
        • Photos with peasants on visits to collectives helped to build it
          • Developed into adulation through posters, books and articles
        • Appointed his son as head of Izvestiya and used the media to feed his own ego and self-publicise
        • Although the cult never reached the heights Stalin's did it there was enough for it to count towards his dismissal
      • Brezhnev
        • Cult was useful to securing power in the power struggle after Khrushchev's dismissal
        • Cult became substitute for real power, he had all the trappings but not wish to exercise it
        • Awarded over 100 medals
        • If they are poking fun at me it means they like me
        • As his health deteriorated and he became incapacitated the cult kept up the appearance of leadership

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