Stalins Intolerance

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  • Stalins Intolerance
    • Political
      • 1921 Decree Against Factionalism
      • 1936 Constitution
        • Party was the key institution & party interests came before any personal or group interests
        • Recognised only 1 political party
      • Destruction of Kulaks
      • Purges - expulsion of individuals considered to be suspect in their loyalty to the party
        • 1 million members expelled
        • Great Purge 1936-38
        • Followed Criticism of Stalin by Ryutin
        • Caused by murder of Kirov 1934
        • Ensured Stalins power could not be challenged
      • 1936 August Show Trial of Zinoviev & Kamenev
        • Publicly destroyed those who offered alternative ideas
      • 1940 Assassination of Trotsky in Mexico
      • Regional Communist parties purged = 30,000 official arrested & 10000 executed in Georiga
        • All Ukrainian Politburo members arrested
      • Armed forces purged, 3/5 marshals executed
      • 1941 - Gulags contained estimated 8 million prisoners (mainly purged party members)
      • Historians - Robert Conquest 'Stalin carried out the purges to explicitly destroy potential opposition
        • BUT J.Arch & Thurston: Purges were the result of complex social & economic circumstance (Stalin was reacting to circumstance& feared for his own life after assassination of Kirov = gave NKVD more powers to protect party leadership
    • Religion
      • Committed to destroying organised religion + religious beliefs as no alternative to the one true set of ideas could be allowed
      • Churches turned into grain stores in attempt to break religion in the countryside
      • Attack on Ukraine Church - bring republic under control
      • Law 1929 - Illegal to engage in religious activity outside Churches + only officially licensed congregations allowed to meet
      • League of the Godless 1925 - membership 1 million 1929
      • 1930 Islam on the verge of destruction : 10000/12000 mosques closed
      • BUT April 1931 : Bullard wrote in his diary that churches in the city were crammed for Easter
        • BUT 1937 census: 57% of population described themselves as having a religion - Bolsheviks could not break religion
        • After Nazi invasion June 1941 Stalin reopened Churches & used religion as a unifying factor to mobilise support for the regime
      • 1930's Churches closed & anti -religious museums opened in churches
      • All but 87 of Moscows Orthodox churches closed
        • Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Mosow destroyed to make way for new palace of soviets
        • 1937-1939 105200 Orthodox Priests executed & 87500 arrested
        • 1939 only about 100 churches open & 12/163 Bishops survived
          • Only 1 Catholic Priests in Leningrad for 36000 Catholics
    • Cultural
      • Control of press & arts = only official doctrine communicated to the people
        • Pravda & Izvestiya 2 main newspapers
      • Radio controlled by the State
      • New style 'Socialist Realism' had to be followed in all creative work
      • 1932 Union of Soviet Writers
      • Artistic & intellectual freedom destroyed & replaced with poor quality works
      • 1930 Cinema reorganised
        • Foreign films no longer imported
          • Stalin approved scripts
        • 1940 = 28000 cinemas
      • Party Youth organisations - Pioneers (Under 14's) & Komosomol (14-28) - membership 10.2 million 1940
      • 1930 Compulsory primary education = 1941 35 million children in schools
        • BUT teachers regarded as 'bourgeois' in country districts (no rations virtually & delayed salaries) = shortage of teachers = effectiveness of education reduced
      • 1936 Constitution 'most liberated women in the world'
        • BUT womens section of the party shut down 1930 (politics male sphere of life)
        • 1936 Abortion illegal except on medical grounds
        • Mothers became a symbol of stability = mothers given to families of large children : 5 = Medal of Motherhood, 10 = Mother Heroine of Soviet Union
        • Contraception no longer availabe
          • BUT Birth rate in 1930's failed to increase
        • Women as cheap labour: 1928-1940 women in employment = 3 million to 13 million
          • Forced to take dangerous & physically hard jobs e..g heavy industry + chemical industry
      • 1934 Homosexuality illegal, prostitution condemned
      • Ethic differences greatest threat to socialist unity
        • Purges of non=russian Bolsheviks in the republics
        • Excessive grain collection in Ukraine

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