High Stalinsim

  • Created by: edtc
  • Created on: 13-04-19 08:36

Political High Stalinism

  • Wartime developments worrying - a lot of new Party members introduced under lax wartime leadership. Unreliable?
  • Wartime institutions dismantled, eg. GKO on 4th Sept 1945, and military hierachy was downgraded.
  • Notorious war figues played off against each other - assured Stalin's personal dominance.
  • Central Committee met Mar 1946 to elect new Politburo, Stalin held most of the power himself and bypassed the government. 
  • Party institutions undermined - Party congresses not held 1939-52. Central Committee only met 6x in this period. Politburo reduced to 'advisory' - most decisions made by Stalin and his close advisors.
  • Recruitment reduced - less than war yrs. New Party members different - used to the Party & shifting political policies - therefore more cautious - faceless bureaucrats. 
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Cultural High Stalinism

  • Zhdanovshchina - cultural purge launched 1946 - result of increased Westernisation - promotion of conformity to socialism. 
  • 2x literary journals purged - considered to be 'anti-Soviet' - publishers purged and writers expelled from Union of Writers.
  • Social realism the norm in literature, art and music. 
  • Condemned artists had to publicly recant errors to cont. work.
  • Anti-Semitism - Nazi atrocities portrayed w/o mention of the Jews.
  • Western influence blocked - foreign radio blocked - few Western people allowed in and few Soviet citizens allowed out to West. 
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The Leningrad Case - 1949

  • Stand against the Leningrad Party - had always shown some independence in views/actions. 
  • Some of its members promoted to senior positions in Moscow under Zhdanov.
  • Leading officials arrested under false evidence - Head of Gosplan & Voznesensky - economic reformer who was in Politburo.
  • After Stalin's death - found that 4 of arrested (including Voznesensky) were executed.
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Anti-Semitism

  • End of war - Stalin had initially favoured creation of a Jewish state in Palestine.
  • Israel turned out to be pro-USA - he reverted to former anti-Semitic stance & feared all Jews in USSR were enemies. 
  • 1948 - fear reinforced by arrival of Israeli ambassador to USSR, Golda Meir. Enthusiastically cheered by Jews wherever she went.
  • 1948 - director of the Jewish theatre in Moscow dies in a car crash - almost certainly arranged by MVD. 
  • 1949 - Jewish wives of Molotov and Kalinin arrested.
  • 1949- - campaign against 'anti-patriotic groups' launched. Mainly affected cultural areas & unis. 
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The Mingrelian Case (Georgian Purge) - 1951-2

  • 1951 - purge launched in Georgia against followers of Beria - head of NKVD. 
  • Accused of collaboration w/ Western powers.
  • Beria of Mingrelian ancestry - purge was likely trying to weaken his authority.
  • Many aspects of the purge remain unclear - still in progress when Stalin died. 
  • Also had some anti-Semitic overtones. 
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The Doctors' Plot - 1952

  • 1948 - New conspiracy 'discovered' when Lydia Timashuk - female doctor - wrote to Stalin 2 days before Zhdanov's death. Accused 9 doctors of failure to diagnose/treat him professionally. 
  • Nothing done at the time - case reopened 1952.
  • Stalin ordered arrest of the doctors - accused of Zionist conspiracy to murder Zhdanov & other members of Soviet leadership.
  • Stalin claimed that the Jews used their positions on the medical industry to harm the USSR in the pay of the US and Israel.
  • Minister of State Security threatened w/ execution if he didn't get a confession - hundreds of doctors arrested.
  • Thousands of ordinary Jews arrested & deported to remote areas - turned into labour camps. Anti-Jewish hysteria whipped up by press. All Jewish professionals shunned. 
  • 9 doctors condemned and sentenced to execution, but Stalin died before this could happen. Relief to those at the top - Beria, Mikoyan, Molotov and Kaganovich likely to be lined up as victims of another purge. 
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