The Stalinist dictatorship and reaction 1941-64

When did the Nazis invade Russia?
22nd June 1941.
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Within 24 hours of attack, how many Soviet aircraft were destroyed?
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How many troops were killed and injured within 3 weeks?
1 million troops.
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How many were living under German rule within 3 weeks?
20 million.
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Which small group conducted war/progression?
State Defence Committee.
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What did Stalin appoint himself?
He was head of overall military command.
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What did he allow his generals to do that Hitler did not?
He left his generals free to direct the military campaigns.
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How did Stalin address the Russian people in his first wartime speech?
He called them his ''brothers and sisters''.
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How did Stalin refer to Russia in his first wartime speech?
He called Russia the ''motherland'' to provoke a sense of patriotism amongst the Russian people.
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What name did the Russians give to WW2?
'The Great Patriotic War".
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Who did Hitler hope would desert Stalin?
Those in ethnic minorities e.g Ukrainians/Baltics.
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Who did Stalin suspect of being enemies?
Any members from ethnic minorities/weren't Russian.
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Where did Stalin send many ethnic minorities?
He deported them east and sent many to labour camps/gulags.
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How many people did Stalin deport in total? (ethnic minorities)
1 million people
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How many Poles were shot as a result of Stalin's repression? (WW2)
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What fraction of all deported nationalities died in exile?
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How many Volga Germans were deported in 1941?
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How many 'deserters' were shot for retreating from Stalingrad in 1942?
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Where were Russian prisoners of war sent when they returned home in 1945, and why?
Many were transferred straight to gulags because Stalin feared that they had been corrupted by Western ideals.
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What had Stalin done when building factories in the 1930s?
Stalin had built many major factories on the Eastern side of the Urals which made it almost impossible for German forces to occupy.
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How many new factories were built East of the Urals c.1942?
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What percentage of Russian industry was moved east?
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What percentage of GDP went on defence during the war?
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How many hours a week were workers expected to work?
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Which was the most produced tank in WW2?
T34 (Russian tank)
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What happened in the factories to boost production?
Factories were placed under marshall law and absenteeism was made illegal.
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What had happened by 1943 in terms of Russian industry?
It had exceeded Germany's.
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How many were lost during the war?
25 million (mostly civilians)
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How many troops were lost during the war?
8.5 million.
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For how many years was Leningrad besieged and what happened?
For 2 years - there was no heating, no lighting and no water.
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How many died in Leningrad in the winter 1941-42?
800,000 - more than combined US/UK losses.
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What fraction of farmers were women during the war?
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After what year were there no more reforms?
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Whose powers were increased after 1945?
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What was increased after 1945?
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What did Stalin abolish?
State Defence Committee.
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Which role did Stalin assign himself?
Defence Minister
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Which Marshal was exiled away from Moscow?
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When was the next party congress?
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When was the Leningrad Affair?
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What did the Leningrad Affair involve?
Stalin turned on the Leningrad party organisation which has gained momentum during the siege in 1941/2. Two of its leaders were seen as potential threats to Stalin so he had them arrested, forced to confess and shot.
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When was the ''Doctors' Plot"?
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What was the ''Doctors' Plot''?
In 1952 with fear of Soviet Jews rising up against him - Stalin announced that Kremlin doctors were plotting to kill him - 7/9 of them were Jewish.
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When did Stalin die?
5th March 1953.
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Did people rejoice or did they grieve?
Many rejoiced at this news such as those in Labour camps but there was widespread and genuine grief.
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Who were the three main contenders for power after Stalin's death?
Beria, Molotov, Malenkov.
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Who was the dominant figure of the troika?
Beria - he made himself appear as a reformer.
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How many prisoners did Beria release from the gulags?
1 million
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What happened to Beria in the end?
He was killed in 1954 in a military coup organised by Khrushchev.
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Who was General Secretary of the party after Stalin's death?
Nikita Khrushchev.
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Why wasn't Khrushchev seen as a threat by other party leaders?
He was from a peasant background and had been poorly educated.
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How did Khrushchev use his position of Gensek?
Like Stalin, Khrushchev used his position as Gensek to gain and build up a power base within the party.
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When did Malenkov resign as leader of the Communist Party?
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When did Khrushchev make his secret speech?
1956 - 20th Party Congress
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Why was the speech made?
1) To break the hold which Stalin had held over Russia. 2) Allow the new leadership to move on and make changes. 3) Absolve Khrushchev and other leaders of complicity in Stalin's terror.
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What did Khrushchev accuse Stalin of doing?
He criticised Stalin for his ''abuses of power'', blamed him personally for the terror and attacked the ''cult of personality''.
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Why did Khrushchev critics the regime before 1934?
The aim of his speech was to blacken Stalin's reputation - not the Communist regime itself/leaders like Lenin.
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What did other people think of de-Stalinisation?
Many thought that de-Stalinisation was the start of a new era of tolerance and freedom.
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How many prisoners were released from the gulags by 1960?
2 million
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Although the regime had improved, what still remained?
The USSR was still a one-party state and forms of repression, e.g the KGB still remained.
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How many factories were destroyed during WWII?
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When was an atomic bomb tested (nicknamed Joe 4)?
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What did Khrushchev recognise the need for?
Improvements to standards of living.
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What did Khrushchev do to help struggling peasants?
He increased payments made to peasants for their grain and cut taxes.
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What did Khrushchev do in terms of housing?
He launched a massive house-building programme to help with homelessness.
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What did Khrushchev want for Russia to do in order to overtake the USA?
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In which areas was investment increased?
Oil, natural gas and consumer goods.
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When did the USSR launch the first satellite in space?
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Who was the first man in space and what year?
Yuri Gagarin - 1961.
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What was the Virgin Lands' Scheme?
Khrushchev wanted to solve the problem of chronic food shortages by cultivating ''virgin and idle'' land in Siberia and Kazakhstan.
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How much did Soviet grain production rise by from 1954-1958?
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What went wrong with the Virgin Lands' Scheme?
Much of this land was on the edge of desert and subject to drought. Soil was not properly fertilised. Scheme was poorly planned and top layers of soil were subject to wind erosion. Only 1/6 of crops were harvested.
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What did the Soviet Union have to do in 1963 (in relation to grain)?
Import large amounts of grain from North America to avoid famine.
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What was social life like under Stalin?
Little improvements in standards of living. Few consumer goods and housing. 12 hour working day. Kolkhoz farmers earned 1/6 of a factory worker.
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What was social life like under Khrushchev?
Higher priority - consumer goods. Fridges and TV sets seen in Soviet homes. Minimum wage increased. Pensions expanded. Harsh punishment - absenteeism were abandoned. 108 million - moved into new homes. No of doctors, hospitals and students increased.
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What was cultural life like under Stalin?
Soviet culture should be seen as superior to the West. Anti-Western policy shaped policy towards the arts (social/cultural realism), writers and artists were attacked for showing non-Soviet values.
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What was cultural life like under Khrushchev?
Became easier to access news from the West. Books such as Dr. Zhivago which were previously banned under Stalin were published. Khrushchev was keen to mobilise young people.
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When was the World Festival of Youth and how many attended and from how many countries?
1957 - 34,000 people and 131 countries.
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During the Khrushchev thaw a new group of opposition emerged, what were they known as?
Cultural dissidents.
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What were most cultural dissidents keen to promote?
Human rights and a greater democracy.
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Why were they so keen to promote rights and democracy when Stalin was no longer alive?
The Soviet Union had remained highly authoritarian still.
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Which was the most widely used form of criticism?
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Define samizdat:
Secret publication of banned literature (underground).
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What were people condemned for in terms of opposition?
People were condemned for their ''anti-social, parasitic way of life''.
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When did opposition within the party attempt to remove Khrushchev from power?
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Why were they unsuccessful?
Khrushchev had the support of the KGB, the Presidium and the Central Committee.
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What happened to his political opponents?
They were sent far away from Moscow to work insignificant jobs - but none were executed.
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When was Khrushchev removed from power?
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Who led the opposition movement? (Initially a supporter of Khrushchev's)
Leonid Brezhnev
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Give some reasons for Khrushchev's fall from power:
1962 Cuban Missile Crisis - poor foreign policy. ''One-man'' style of leadership - didn't listen to anyone else. Failure of Virgin Lands and removal of Gosplan. Promotion of consumer upset those who preferred heavy industry.
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Card 2


Within 24 hours of attack, how many Soviet aircraft were destroyed?



Card 3


How many troops were killed and injured within 3 weeks?


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Card 4


How many were living under German rule within 3 weeks?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Which small group conducted war/progression?


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