Paper 1- The USSR under Stalin, 1924 to 1941

Paper 1  Exam Stalin

May 2003

SOURCE A An extract from an article in Pravda on 2 March 1930, in which Stalin appears to condemn forcible collectivisation.

But what really happens sometimes? Can it be said that the voluntary principle and the principle of allowing for local differences are not broken in a number of districts? No, unfortunately, that cannot be said. We know that in a number of Northern districts of the grain importing belt, where there are fewer favourable conditions for the immediate organisation of collective farms than in grain growing districts, the preparatory work in organising collective work is ignored and instead forms are filled in boasting of collective farms where none exist.
Or, take certain districts in Turkestan, where conditions are even more unfavourable for collective farms. We know that attempts have been made to “overtake and outstrip” the advanced districts of the USSR by methods of threatening to resort to military force, and deprive the peasants who do not want to join collective farms of water and manufactured goods.
The party’s policy rests on the voluntary principle, not force.

SOURCE B A Report by a Reuter [international news agency] correspondent, 29 March 1932.

Russia today is in the grip of famine. I walked alone through villages and twelve collective farms. Everywhere there was the cry, “There is no bread; we are dying”. This cry came to me from every part of Russia. In a train a Communist denied to me that there was a famine. I threw down a crust of bread I had been eating from my own supply. A peasant, my fellow passenger, picked it up and ravenously ate it. I threw down orange peel. The peasant again grabbed it and ate it. The Communist said no more.
The government’s policy of collectivisation and the peasants’ resistance to it have brought Russia to the worst catastrophe since the famine of 1921 swept away the population of whole districts.

SOURCE C An extract from The Hinge of Fate, by Winston Churchill, London 1950, in which Churchill records his conversation with Stalin in 1943.

[Stalin said]
“It was fearful. Four years it lasted. It was absolutely necessary for Russia if we were to avoid the periodic famines, to plough the land with tractors. We must mechanise our agriculture. We gave tractors to the peasants, they were all spoiled in a few months. Only collective farms with workshops could handle tractors. We took the greatest trouble to explain it to the peasants. It was no use arguing with them. They always argue that they do not want the collective farms and would rather do without the tractors.”

[Churchill asked]
“These were what you call kulaks?”
“Yes”, he said, but he did not repeat the word. “It was bad, but necessary.”
“What happened?” I asked.
“Oh well,” he said, “many of them agreed to come in with us. Some of them were given land of their own to cultivate in the province of Tomsk, but most of them were very unpopular, and were wiped out by their labourers.”
After a pause he added: “We increased the food supply, and the quality of the grain.”

SOURCE D An extract from A History of Twentieth-Century Russia by Robert Service, London, 1997.

The price was awful. Probably four to five million people perished in 1932–3 from “de-kulakization” and from grain seizures. The dead and the dying were piled on to carts by the urban detachments and thrown into common graves. Pits were dug on the outskirts of villages for the purpose. Child survivors, their stomachs swollen through hunger, gnawed grass and begged for crusts.
Collectivisation was a rural nightmare. It is true that the average harvest in 1928–30 was good. But this was chiefly the product of excellent weather conditions. It certainly did not result from improved agricultural management; for often the collective chairmen were rural ne’er do wells [good for nothing persons] or inexpert party loyalists from the towns. Nor did the state fulfil its promise to supply 100 000 tractors by the end of the Five-Year Plan. Only half of these were built.

SOURCE E A photograph of roll-call at the New Life collective, a farm near Moscow, in the 1930s. The man on the left is a party official checking that the female agricultural workers have arrived for work. 

1.  (a) Explain why according to Source D “four to five million people perished”. 
(b) What message is conveyed by Source E?

2. Compare and contrast the views on collectivisation expressed by Stalin in Sources A and C.

3. With reference to their origin and purpose, assess the value and limitations for historians studying Stalin’s agricultural policy, of Sources B and D.

4. Using these sources and your own knowledge, explain to what extent you agree with the verdict on collectivisation expressed in Source D, “The price was awful”. 

November 2003

The following sources relate to Stalin’s use of terror and purges between 1934 and 1939.

Extract from a letter published in 1936 in a Russian Menshevik journal by Boris Nicolaevsky in which he records a conversation he had with Nikolai Bukharin in Spring 1936.
The trend was in quite the opposite direction: not toward reconciliation inside the party, but toward intensification of the terror inside the party to its logical conclusion, to the stage of physical extermination of all those whose party past might make them opponents of Stalin or aspirants [rivals] to his power. Today, I have not the slightest doubt that it was at that very period, between the murder of Kirov and the second Kamenev Trial, that Stalin made his decision and mapped out his plan of “reforms”, an essential component part of which was the trial of the sixteen and other trials yet to come.

Operational Order distributed by the Head of the NKVD, 30 July 1937.
1. All repressed kulaks, criminals, and other anti-Soviet elements are to be divided into two categories:
(a) The first category are the most hostile of the listed elements. They are subject to immediate arrest, and after their cases have been considered by a three-person tribunal they are TO BE SHOT.
(b) In the second category are the other less active though also hostile elements. They are subject to arrest and imprisonment in a camp for 8 to 10 years, and the most evil and socially dangerous of these, to confinement for the same period in prison, as determined by the three-person tribunal.

2.  In accordance with data determined by the people’s commissars of the republics’ NKVDs and the heads of regional administrations of the NKVD, the following numbers of individuals are subject to repression.
The operation is to begin on 5 August 1937 and is to be completed in four months.

Extract from Khrushchev’s “Secret Speech”, to the Twentieth Congress of the Soviet Communist Party in 1956.
Stalin, on the other hand, used extreme methods and mass repressions at a time when the revolution was already victorious, when the Soviet State was strengthened, when the exploiting classes were already liquidated and socialist relations were rooted solidly in all phases of national economy, when our party was politically consolidated and had strengthened itself both numerically and ideologically. It is clear that here Stalin showed in a whole series of cases his intolerance, his brutality and his abuse of power. Instead of proving his political correctness and mobilizing the masses, 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 and the Soviet government.

Extract from a conversation between Molotov and Felix Chuev in April 1982 when Molotov was 92 years old. First published in Moscow in 1991.
Molotov: Of course it is sad and regrettable that there were so many such people, but I consider the terror of the late 1930s was necessary. Of course, there would have been fewer victims, had things been done more cautiously, but Stalin insisted on being doubly sure: spare no one, but guarantee a reliable situation during the war and after the war, for a long period – and that in my opinion was achieved. I do not deny that I supported that line. I simply could not keep track of every individual person. But people like Bukharin, Rykov, Zinoviev and Kamenev were linked with one another. It was difficult to draw a precise line – at which it was possible to stop.

Extract from Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy, Dmitri Volkogonov, London 1991.
He [Stalin] knew that the show trials would enhance his power further, since the people and the party could not fail to draw the lesson that any opposition was hopeless. He used these trials to install a system of mutual social control, by which everyone watched everyone else and only he remained beyond surveillance and informers.
On the other hand, the trials were so arranged that Stalin could remain in the shadows. He made very few public pronouncements on the trials and for most of the population his true role was unknown. This created the illusion that the enemies and spies were being tried by the people themselves. Had the whole nation in fact been responsible for running the trials, it is certain that the result would have been the same.

1. (a) Who, according to Source B, were the enemies of the Soviet State and what would be their punishment?
[2 marks]
(b) According to Source E, what did the show trials achieve? 
[3 marks]

2. To what extent do Sources B and E support the views expressed in Source A?
[6 marks]

3. With reference to their origin and purpose, assess the value and limitations of Sources C and D for historians studying Stalin’s Terror in the 1930s.
[6 marks]

4. Using these sources and your own knowledge, explain to what extent you agree with the statement in Source D that “the terror of the late 1930s was necessary” for both Stalin and the Soviet State. 
[8 marks]

May 2004

These sources relate to the purges under Stalin.

Extract from Hope Against Hope by N Mandelstam, London, 1971, in which Nadezhda describes her husband's treatment.
At the very first interrogation [questioning] M [her husband Osip Mandelstam] admitted to being the author of the poem on Stalin, so the interrogator's task could not have been to find out something M was hiding. The function was to unnerve and wear down prisoners, to make their lives a misery. Until 1937 our secret police made much of their psychological methods, but afterward these gave way to physical torture, with beatings. M was put through the physical ordeal of not being allowed to sleep. Every night he was kept waiting for hours on end. Most of the time was spent not in actual questioning, but in waiting under guard outside the interrogator's door ... The work of undermining a person's sanity was carried out systematically in the Lubianka [a notorious prison]. There were rumours that Yagoda, head of the state security police, had set up secret laboratories and staffed them with specialists who were carrying out experiments with drugs, hypnosis, gramophone records.
The mass terror had nothing to do with security. The only purpose was intimidation ... Stalin ruled for a long time and saw to it that the waves of terror happened from time to time, always on a greater scale than before.


Bukharin's confession taken from the official report of court proceedings of his trial in Moscow, in March 1938.
Bukharin, a former leading communist, was ousted for opposing Stalin's agricultural policy and executed in 1938.
I shall now speak of myself, of the reasons for my repentance [change of heart]. Of course it must be admitted that the evidence produced against me played an important part. For three months I refused to say anything. Then I began to testify. Why? Because while I was in prison I made a re-evaluation of my entire past. There was nothing to die for, if one died unrepentant. And on the contrary everything positive that shines in the Soviet Union acquires new dimensions in a man's mind. This in the end disarmed me completely and led me to bend my knee before the Party and the country ... At such moments everything personal, hatred, pride, falls away, and the sounds and memories of our international struggle return, and the result is the complete moral victory of the USSR over its kneeling opponents.


 Extract from an article entitled The Results of the Trial, written by Trotsky and published in his Opposition Bulletin of 1938.
Judging by the results of the last series of trials, Vyshinsky, the state prosecutor, must conclude that the Soviet state emerges as a centralized organization of state treason...
In their criminal activity, premiers, ministers, marshals [army chiefs] and ambassadors were invariably subordinate to [under] one man. Not an official leader, but an outcast. Trotsky had only to lift his finger and veterans of the revolution became agents of Hitler and the Japanese Emperor. On "Trotsky's instructions" leaders of industry, transport and agriculture destroyed the countryís productive forces and its culture. On an instruction sent from Norway or Mexico ìby an enemy of the peopleî the workers of the Far East organized the derailment of military trains and Kremlin physicians poisoned their patients... There is a problem however. If all the key points of the system were occupied by Trotskyists under my orders, how is it that Stalin is in the Kremlin and I am in exile?


Extract from Mastering Modern World History by Norman Lowe, London, 1997.
Using the murder of Sergei Kirov, one of his supporters on the Politburo (December 1934), as an excuse, Stalin launched what became known as the purges
Over the next four years hundreds of important officials were arrested, tortured, made to confess to all sorts of crimes of which they were largely innocent (such as plotting with the exiled Trotsky or with capitalist governments to overthrow the Soviet state) and forced to appear in a series of "show trials" at which they were invariably found guilty and sentenced to death or labour camp
The purges were successful in eliminating possible alternative leaders and terrorising the masses into obedience, but the consequences were serious: many of the best brains in the government, in the army and in industry had disappeared.


Contemporary photograph of a watchtower at a Gulag camp in Chukotka. Millions of prisoners peopled the vast network of forced camps.
A watchtower at a Gulag camp in Chukotka. 

1. (a) Why according to Source B, did Bukharin make a re-evaluation of his past? [3 marks]
(b) What message is conveyed by Source E?  [2 marks]
2. In what ways do the views expressed in Source C support the conclusions expressed in Source D? [6 marks]
3. With reference to their origin and purpose, assess the value and limitations of Sources A and B for historians studying Stalin’s purges. [6 marks]
4. Using these sources and your own knowledge, explain to what extent you agree with the verdict of Source D, “The purges were successful in eliminating possible alternative leaders and terrorising the masses into obedience, but the consequences were serious”.  [8 marks] 

November 2004 

These sources relate to Stalin's foreign policy in relation to Germany.


Extract from Russia's War by Richard Overy, London, 1997.
A programme of military collaboration developed in the 1920s between two most unlikely partners, the Red Army and the German Reichswehr [Army]. They were drawn together by their countries' shared status as international outcasts, the Soviet Union for its communism, Germany for its alleged responsibility for the war of 1914. Each had something the other badly wanted: the Soviet Union wanted access to advanced military technology; Germany needed somewhere to develop the weapons and tactical experience it was denied under the disarmament terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
So it was that German officers, separated from their communist collaborators by an ideological chasm [wide gap], found themselves operating with them in secret, in military installations. Trainees travelled to the Soviet Union on false passports, in civilian dress. Those that died in training accidents were put in coffins in large crates described as "aircraft parts". Soviet military leaders spent months or years in Germany absorbing German strategic thinking, German tactical doctrine and German ideas on the military economy and logistical support [relating to the movement of troops and supplies]. In 1931 the German officers sent to Moscow on training courses included names that became famous a decade later, including Keitel and Manstein, but a decade later almost all their Red Army counterparts were dead.

Soviet cartoon of 1933. The four figures standing round the cradle, from which Hitler is emerging, represent Britain, France, Germany and the USA. The currency of each country is indicated on the back of each figure by word or sign.

"In the Cradle of German Fascism - Good Day Adolf Hitler." 1933

SOURCE CThe Nazi - Soviet Pact, 23 August 1939. 
The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the USSR, wanting to strengthen the cause of peace between Germany and the USSR, have reached the following agreement:
1. Both parties commit themselves to refrain from any act of violence or aggressive action and any attack on each other, either individually or jointly with other powers.
2. Should either of the parties become the object of aggression by a third power, the other shall not support the third party.
3. The Governments of the two parties shall maintain continual contact with one another in order to exchange information on problems affecting their common interest. ...
5. Should disputes or conflicts arise between the two parties, both parties shall settle these disputes through friendly exchange of opinion.
6. The present treaty is concluded for a period of ten years....


 Pact dividing Poland between Germany and USSR, 28th September, 1939.
The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the USSR consider it as exclusively their task, after the collapse of the former Polish State, to re-establish peace and order in these territories. To this end they have agreed upon the following:
The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the USSR shall determine the boundary of their respective interests in the territory of the former Polish state. The territory of Lithuania falls in the USSR sphere, while the province of Lublin and part of Warsaw fall in the German sphere. Both parties will tolerate in their territories no Polish agitation which affects the territory of the other party. They will suppress in their territories all such agitation and inform each other about suitable measures.
SOURCE E Stalin's speech on the radio, 3 July 1941, reacting to the German invasion of the USSR.
Comrades, citizens, brothers and sisters, men of our army and navy! It is to you I am speaking dear friends!
The treacherous military attack by Hitlerite Germany on our Motherland, begun on 22 June, is continuing. In spite of the heroic resistance of the Red Army, and although the enemyís finest divisions and finest air force units have already been smashed and have found their graves on the field of battle, the enemy continues to push forward, hurling fresh forces to the front [Ö] Grave danger overhangs our country.
The Red Army, Red Navy and all citizens of the Soviet Union must defend every inch of Soviet soil, must fight to the last drop of blood for our towns and villages. All our industries must be got to work with greater intensity to produce more rifles, machine guns, shells, planes. We must guard factories, power stations and telegraphic communications, and arrange air raid protection.
We must wage a ruthless fight against deserters, panic-mongers, rumour-mongers [those spreading panic and rumour]; we must kill spies, sabotage agents and enemy parachutists. In areas occupied by the enemy, partisan [resistance] units must be formed. The enemy must be hounded and destroyed at every step, and all their measures frustrated.

1. (a) According to Source A, why did the USSR and Germany work together on military matters?
[3 marks]
(b) What message is portrayed in Source B?  [2 marks]

2. Compare and contrast the relations between the USSR and Germany in Source A with those in Source C.   [6 marks]
3. With reference to their origin and purpose, assess the value and limitations of Source D and Source E for historians studying Stalin's foreign policy in relation to Germany. [6 marks]

4. Using these sources and your own knowledge, analyse the changes in Stalin's foreign policy in relation to Germany up to 1941. [8 marks]
    May 2005

    Sources in this booklet have been edited: word additions or explanations are shown in square brackets [ ]; substantive deletions of text are indicated by ellipses ...; minor changes are not indicated. 

    SECTION A Prescribed Subject 1 The USSR under Stalin, 1924 to 1941

    These sources relate to the struggle for leadership after the death of Lenin.

    SOURCE A An extract from Lenin’s Testament, written in late December 1922, with a postscript in January 1923.

    Comrade Stalin, having become General Secretary, has concentrated enormous power in his hands; I am not sure that he always knows how to use the power with sufficient caution. On the other hand, Comrade Trotsky is distinguished not only by his exceptional abilities – personally he is, to be sure, the most able man in the present Central Committee – but also by his far-reaching self-confidence and a disposition to be too much attracted by the purely administrative side of affairs.
    These two qualities of the two most able leaders of the present Central Committee might lead to a split, if our Party does not take measures to prevent it...
    4th January. Stalin is too rude, and this fault becomes unbearable in the office of General Secretary. Therefore I propose to the comrades to find a way to remove Stalin from that position, and appoint another man more patient, more loyal, more polite and more attentive to comrades...

    SOURCE B An extract from an article by L Trotsky, On the Suppressed Testament of Lenin, published in 1932.

    Lenin no doubt valued highly certain of Stalin’s characteristics; his firmness of character, tenacity, stubbornness, even ruthlessness and craftiness – qualities necessary in war and consequently in its general staff. But Lenin was far from thinking that these gifts were sufficient for the leadership of the Party and the state. Lenin saw in Stalin a revolutionist, but not a statesman in the grand style. Theory was too important for Lenin, and Stalin’s weak theoretical grounding was known in a small circle. Stalin was not acquainted with the West. He was not included in international discussions, and he was not a writer or an orator. His articles are full of crude sins against the Russian language... In his position as General Secretary he became the giver of favour and fortune.

    SOURCE C An extract from a speech by Stalin to the Fifteenth Party Congress December 1927.

    How could it happen that the entire party as a whole, and following it the working class too, so thoroughly isolated the opposition? After all, the opposition is headed by well-known people with well-known names, people who know how to advertise themselves.
    It happened because the leading groups are able to blow their own trumpets [publicise their views].
    It happened because the opposition happened to be a group of petty-bourgeois intellectuals divorced from life, divorced from the revolution, divorced from the Party, from the working class...
    Why did the Party expel Trotsky and Zinoviev? Because they are the organisers of the entire anti-party opposition, because they set themselves the aim of breaking the laws of the Party. They thought that nobody would dare to touch them, because they wanted to make for themselves the privileged position of nobles in the Party.
    SOURCE D An extract from Trotsky the Eternal Revolutionary by Dmitri Volkogonov, published in London in 1996. The Russian author, a former Bolshevik, soldier,

    academic and politician, also wrote biographies of Lenin and Stalin.
    Trotsky was extraordinarily inept [unskilled] at choosing the moment to engage in political struggle. He was no tactician. He knew the poor impression it would make on the Party, his supporters and the army, if he, the second man in the revolution was absent from Lenin’s funeral, even if it was through no fault of his own. He recognised the great importance of this failure only later. Often at the most critical moments of the [leadership] struggle he left the arena. Once when the Politburo was reviewing his position, he was on a hunting trip. Party members preferred to support successful leaders, and Trotsky came across as a loser. His political opposition appeared as a struggle for power, jobs and influence.
    Stalin had understood the importance of appearing as the defender of Lenin and his heritage. All of his speeches against Trotsky were full of quotations from Lenin and references to the dead leader. Stalin spotted Trotsky’s weaknesses and exploited them. As General Secretary he was able to ensure that only those who were against Trotsky were given important positions.

    An Anti-Trotskyist Soviet cartoon, by V Deni (1893-1946), a leading communist cartoonist and poster-artist, published in 1930 (reproduced in Trotsky the Eternal Revolutionary by Dmitri Volkogonov, London, 1996).
    The words on Trotsky’s forehead refer to a British newspaper.
    1. (a) Why, according to Source A, did Lenin think that Stalin should be removed from his position of General Secretary?
      [3 marks]

      (b) What message is conveyed by Source E? 
       [2 marks]
    2. Compare and contrast the views expressed about Stalin in Sources A and B. 
       [6 marks]

    3. With reference to their origin and purpose, assess the value and limitations for historians studying the struggle for leadership, of Source C and Source D. 
      [6 marks]  
    4. Using these sources and your own knowledge, explain to what extent you agree with the assertion that Stalin was able to become leader after the death of Lenin because of Trotsky's weaknesses. 
      [8 marks]


    November 2005

    These sources relate to Stalin's cult of personality.

    SOURCE A Extract from Stalin by Isaac Deutscher, London, 1965. It refers to the year 1929.
    Stalin's ascendancy was now complete... In the last day of the year Moscow celebrated his fiftieth birthday as if it had been a great historic event. From every corner of Russia tributes were addressed to the Leader. His virtues were praised, excessively and crudely, by every party secretary in the country. The walls of Moscow were covered with his huge portraits. His statues and busts filled the squares, the halls of public buildings, the windows of every shop. "Stalin is the Lenin of today," the propagandists shouted themselves hoarse. Some of the older people recalled Lenin's fiftieth birthday. It had been a small and modest occasion, which Lenin reluctantly attended only to remonstrate [argue] with his admirers for their growing fondness [liking] for pomp and ceremony. The new Stalinist cult was now visibly merging with the old Leninist cult, and overshadowing it. When, on ceremonial occasions, Stalin appeared at the top of the Lenin mausoleum [tomb] in Red Square, Lenin's huge tomb appeared to be only the pedestal for his successor.

    SOURCE B Extract from a speech by a delegate, the writer A O Avienko, to the Seventh Congress of Soviets, 1935.
    Thank you, Stalin. Thank you because I am joyful. Thank you because I am well. No matter how old I become, I shall never forget how we received Stalin two days ago. Centuries will pass, and the generations still to come will regard us as the happiest of beings, because we were privileged to see Stalin, our inspired leader.
    The men of all ages will call on his name, which is strong, beautiful, wise and marvellous. His name is engraved on every factory, every machine, every place on earth and in the hearts of all men.
    Every time I have found myself in his presence I have been overcome by his strength, his charm, his greatness.

    SOURCE C Extract from Joseph Stalin: a short officially approved biography, by G F Alexandrov, and others, Moscow, 1947.
    Stalin is the brilliant leader and teacher of the Party, the great strategist of the socialist revolution, military commander, and guide of the Soviet state. An undying hatred towards the enemies of socialism, faithfulness to principles, firmness and clarity of aims and policies, wise and practical leadership, as well as keeping contact with the people, these are the features of Stalin's style.
    After Lenin, no other leader in the world has been called upon to direct such a great number of workers and peasants.
    Everybody is familiar with his faultless logic, his clear mind, his iron will, his devotion to the Party, and his love for the people...  Stalin is the worthy continuer of the cause of Lenin, or, as it is said in the party, "Stalin is the Lenin of today."

    SOURCE D Extract from A History of Twentieth Century Russia by Robert Service, London, 1997.
    Stalin had a craving for adulation [flattery], official text books exaggerated his importance. Articles on the Civil War treated the battles around Tsaritsyn in 1918, when Stalin was serving on the Southern front, as the turning point in the Red Army's fortunes, and Tsaritsyn was renamed Stalingrad. Outwardly he rejected claims to greatness, complaining to a film scriptwriter: "Reference to Stalin should be removed, and the Central Committee of the Party put in its place." He also turned down the proposal that Moscow should be renamed Stalinodar [Stalin's gift]. His modesty was insincere, but he knew that it would increase his popularity among ordinary party members.
    The cult of Stalin was also important for the regime. Russians were accustomed to their statehood being expressed by a supreme leader. Any revolutionary state had to promote continuity as well as change. The first Five Year Plan had brought about huge disruption, so the tsar-like image of Stalin was useful to show that the state possessed a strong leader. It was also essential for Stalin to show his continuation of Marxism-Leninism. The heroism, justice, and inevitability of the October Revolution had to be stated repeatedly, and the achievements of the Five Year Plan had to be proclaimed.


    A 1932 poster by Demi proclaiming the results of the first Five Year Plan (reproduced in The World This Century by Neil DeMarco, London, 1997.) 

     The banner above Stalin states "5 Year Plan in 4 years". The figures on the left represent opposition to the plan.

    1. (a) According to Source D why was Tsaritsyn renamed Stalingrad, but the name of Moscow was not changed?
    [3 marks]

     (b) What message is conveyed by Source E?
     [2 marks]

     2. Compare and contrast the views expressed about (a) Stalin and (b) Lenin in Sources A and C.
    [6 marks]

     3. With reference to their origin and purpose, assess the value and limitations for historians studying Stalin's cult of personality, of Source B and Source D.

    [6 marks] 

    4. Using these sources and your own knowledge, analyse the results of Stalin's cult of personality.
    [8 marks]


    May 2006

    These sources refer to industrialization under Stalin.

    SOURCE A Speech by Stalin, 1st March 1927, to workers in the Stalin workshops of the October Railway, recorded in Stalin by Dmitri Volkogonov, originally published in Russian, Moscow, 1989; English edition, 1991. 

    We are completing the change-over from a peasant country to an industrial one without help from the outside world. How did other countries make this change?
    England created her industry by robbing her colonies for two hundred years. There can be no question of our taking the same path.

    Germany took five billion francs from a defeated France. The way of robbery through victorious wars is not for us. Our cause is a policy of peace.
    There is also a third way, chosen by tsarist Russia. That was through foreign loans and at the expense of workers and peasants.

    We have our own way, and that is to produce our own. We will not get by without mistakes, there will be shortcomings. But the industry we are building is so great that these mistakes and shortcomings will not be important in the end.

    SOURCE B Extract from Stalin and Khrushchev: the USSR 1924-1964 by Michael Lynch, London 1990. 

    Stalin’s programme of industrialisation for the USSR is best understood as an attempt to establish a war economy. He declared that he was promoting a war on the inefficiencies of Russia’s past, a war on the class enemies within, and as preparation for war against the capitalist enemies abroad. The war image also explains the form that Soviet industrialisation took. For Stalin industry meant heavy industry, iron, steel and oil, as they provided the means for war. He believed that the industrial revolutions of the West had been based on iron and steel, therefore the USSR would adopt a similar industrial pattern in its drive toward modernisation. The difference would be that whereas the west had followed a capitalist road, the USSR would take the path of socialism ...

    The character of Stalin’s industrialisation was a series of Five Year Plans, expressed in terms of targets of output and production set by Gosplan ... Essentially the Plan was a huge propaganda project, aimed at convincing the Soviet people that they were engaged in a great industrial enterprise of their own making. 

    SOURCE C Extract from Women in Soviet Society: Equality, Development and Social Change by Gail Warshofsky Lapidus, Berkeley, 1978. 

    Throughout the 1920s the conviction that women should be drawn into social production [work] on a vast scale remained theoretical, because of much urban unemployment ...

    The rapid expansion of the economy after 1928 transformed a politically desirable objective into an urgent economic need ... In the winter of 1929-1930 unemployment began to decline, and by 1930 there was an acute manpower shortage ... A new perspective emerged in official documents, one that viewed the increased employment of women not in terms of its effects on women but as essential to the fulfilment of the economic plans.
    The Party Central Committee stated “to ensure the fulfilment of the production program of the Five Year Plan, it was necessary to draw more wives of workers into production”. This was followed by a government decree with specific measures to increase employment of women. Quotas were established.
    The 1930s saw a massive influx of women into industry, 3 350 000 entered between 1933 and 1937, 82 % of newly employed workers.

    SOURCE D Extract from Gulag by Anne Applebaum, London 2003. 

    A body of evidence suggests that the mass arrests of the late 1930s may have been carried out to satisfy Stalin’s desire for slave labour ... Sentences for petty criminals suddenly became much harsher as the camps were expanding, and more prison labourers were urgently needed.

    In 1934 Yagoda [head of NKVD the State Security Police] wrote to his subordinate in the Ukraine, demanding 15 000 – 20 000 prisoners, “all fit for work” to finish the Moscow-Volga Canal ...
    If arrests were intended to populate the camps, then they did so with absurd inefficiency. Every wave of mass arrests seems to have caught camp commanders by surprise, making it difficult for them to achieve economic efficiency. 

    SOURCE E Soviet 1930s poster from Russia by John Laver, London 1991. 

    ‘Seven Problems – one answer! (The Five-Year Plan in Four Years).’ The seven heads on the left of the poster represent capitalist enemies.

    1. (a) What evidence is there in Source D to suggest that Stalin’s motive for the mass arrests of the late 1930s was to obtain slave labour? 
       [3 marks]

      (b) What do you understand by “absurd inefficiency” as used in Source D? 
        [2 marks] 

    2. Compare and contrast Stalin’s view of industrialisation as a war economy as expressed in Sources B and E. 
       [6 marks]

    3. With reference to their origin and purpose, assess the value and limitations of Source A and Source C for historians studying industrialization under Stalin. 
       [6 marks]

    4. Using these sources and your own knowledge, assess Stalin’s methods for a “change-over from a peasant country to an industrial one” (Source A).  [8 marks] 
    November 2006  
    These sources refer to purges and terror under Stalin, and their impact on Russian society. 

    SOURCE A Extract from Natasha’s Dance by Orlando Figes, London 2002. 

    Prokofiev [the composer] became a lonely figure in Paris. “I am a Russian, the least suited of men to be an exile. I’ve got to talk to my own people, so that they can give me something I lack here – their songs – my songs.”

    From 1932 Prokofiev began to spend half the year in Moscow, and later he and his family moved there permanently. He was given a luxurious apartment and allowed the freedom to travel to the West (at a time when Soviet citizens were sent to the gulag for speaking to a foreigner). He was awarded prizes and flattered in his native land.
    But Prokofiev’s working life became difficult. Attacked as a formalist [one who was regarded as preferring their art as an art form, rather than it being understood by the millions] like Shostakovich, he retreated by writing music for the young: Peter and the Wolf with its wolf hunt, was a product of the terror years, but most of the music he had written in Paris and New York was banned. 

    SOURCE B Extract from Hope against Hope, by N Mandelstam, London, 1971. The author and her poet husband were exiled in 1934, allowed to return to Moscow in 1937, but he was sent to a labour camp in 1938, and died there. 

    As regards the Stalinist terror, we could never imagine that it might end. ... It was essential to smile – if you didn’t it meant you were afraid or discontented. This nobody could afford to admit. Everybody had to walk around wearing a cheerful expression, as though to say: “what’s going on is no concern of mine, I have important work to do. I am trying to do my best for the state. My conscience is clear – if what’s his name is arrested, there must be good reason.”

    The mask [pretence] was only taken off at home, and then not always. Even from your children you had to hide how horror-struck you were; otherwise they might let something slip at school.

    SOURCE C How the Mice Buried the Cat: Scenes from the Great Purges of 1937 in the Russian Provinces, by Sheila Fitzpatrick, in The Stalin Years, edited by Christopher Read, London, 2003. 

    There was nothing new about blaming Soviet rural officials for harvest failures, but in the raion [local district] trials of 1937, officials were not blamed for failing to meet state grain procurement targets, as in the early 1930s, but for allowing so little grain to be distributed among kolkhoz [collective] households, that they starved.

    Alekseev, a kolkhoz chairman admitted at his trial:
    “In 1936 no grain was distributed at the harvest. When I saw it, I decided to run away. I told the chairman
    of the raion. He said: “get away as fast as you can.” Alekseev ran, but not fast enough, probably because he tried to take his house with him, using kolkhoz horses. 

    SOURCE D Extract from Stalin by Isaac Deutscher, London, 1961. 

    He [Stalin] offered his nation a positive and new programme of social organization which, though it caused privation and suffering for many, also created undreamt-of openings for others, who had a vested interest in his rule. ... The purges created numberless vacancies in every field. From 1933 to 1938 about half a million administrators, technicians, economists, and men of other professions graduated, and filled the ranks of the purged and emptied offices. They, brought up in the Stalinist cult from childhood, threw themselves into their work with a zeal and enthusiasm undimmed by recent events.

    List drawn up by Stalin and distributed by the Head of the NKVD giving quotas of people to be arrested (no cause was given) in particular regions: 30 July 1937. First category meant death, second 8 to 10 years imprisonment.

    Region 1st Category  Azerbaijan 1 500 Armenia 500 Beloruss 2 000 Georgia 2 000  2nd Category Total  Kirgiz Republic Tadzhik SSR Uzbekistan Bashkortostan Buryat Mongolia SSR Dagestan  Karelia Crimea  1 500 12 000 5 000 250 500 750
    These questions relate to purges and terror under Stalin, and their impact on Russian society. The accompanying sources are on pages 2 to 4 in the Source Booklet.
    1. (a) According to Source A, why was Prokofiev unhappy in Paris?
      (b) To what extent was Prokofiev’s return to Moscow, as recorded in Source A,
    2. compare and contrast the views of the purges under Stalin as expressed in Sources c and D.
    3. With reference to their origin and purpose, assess the value and limitations of Source B and Source E for historians studying the impact of Stalin’s purges and terror on society.
    4. Using these sources and your own knowledge, analyse the effects of Stalin’s purges on society.
    May 2007

    These sources refer to collectivisation under Stalin. 

    SOURCE A Speech by Stalin to peasant party activists, in Siberia, January 1928, taken from Stalin by Dmitri Volkogonov, originally published in Russian, Moscow 1989; English edition, London 2000. 

    You are working badly! You are idle and you indulge [favour] the kulaks. Look at the kulak farms, you will see their granaries and barns are full of grain, they have to cover the grain with sheets of canvas because there is no more room for it inside. The kulak farms have a thousand tons of surplus grain per farm. I propose:

    a) you demand that the kulaks hand over their surpluses at once at state prices
    b) if they refuse to submit to the law, you should charge them under Article 107 of the Criminal Code
    and confiscate their grain for the state, 25 per cent of it to be distributed among the poor and less well-off peasants
    c) you must steadfastly unify the least productive individual peasants into collective farms. 

    SOURCE B Extract from Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore, London 2003. 

    In November 1929, Stalin returned refreshed from holiday and immediately intensified [increased] the war against the peasantry, demanding “an offensive against the kulaks... to deal the kulak class such a blow that it will no longer rise to its feet.” But the peasants refused to sow their crops, declaring war on the regime...

    Days after Stalin’s birthday party [December 21 1929] soviet officials realised they had to escalate [intensify] their war on the countryside and wipe out the kulaks as a class. They waged a secret police war in which organised brutality, vicious pillage and fanatical ideology, destroyed the lives of millions. Stalin’s circle was judged by success in collectivisation.
    In 1930, Molotov planned the destruction of the kulaks, who were divided into three categories: first category to be immediately eliminated; second category to be imprisoned in camps; third category, 150 000 households, to be deported. Molotov oversaw the death squads, the concentration camps and the railway carriages, like a military commander.

    SOURCE C Extract from Gulag by Anne Applebaum, London 2003. 

    In 1929, the Soviet regime accelerated [quickened] forced collectivisation in the countryside, a vast upheaval which was in some ways more radical than the Russian Revolution itself. Rural commissars forced millions of peasants to give up their small landholdings and join collective farms, often expelling them from land their families had farmed for centuries. The transformation permanently weakened Soviet agriculture and created conditions for terrible famines in 1932 and 1934. Collectivisation also destroyed – forever – rural Russia’s continuity with the past.

    Millions resisted collectivisation, hiding grain in their cellars, or refusing to co-operate with the authorities. These resisters were labelled kulaks, a vague term which could include nearly anyone. The possession of an extra cow, or bedroom, was enough to qualify any poor peasant, as was an accusation from a jealous neighbour...
    As famine increased, all available grain was taken out of the villages, and denied to kulaks. Those caught stealing, even tiny amounts to feed their children, also ended up in prison. A law of 1932 demanded the death penalty or long camp sentence for all such “crimes against state property”. 

    SOURCE D Extract from the 1933 diary of Tikon Puzanov, a young peasant supporter of collectivisation, taken from Stalinism edited by David Hoffmann, Oxford 2003. 

    All that I think about is how we will obtain a happy future. Others think differently – and they are the majority. They are not interested in their work. They don’t care about how they work, as if they were serving a sentence. They are not involved in the present world. For them it is difficult, since collective labour has not yet entered their minds. These people are dreaming about a small farmer’s existence.

    SOURCE E Statistics on collectivisation, taken from Stalin and Khrushchev: The USSR, 1924–64 by Michael Lynch, London 1998 (10th edition). 

    Percentage of peasant holdings collectivised in the USSR between 1930 and 1941. Individual percentages for the years 1937 to 1940 were not available.  Consumption of foodstuffs (in kilos per head), 1928 and 1932  Comparative numbers of livestock, 1928 and 1932  1930    1931    1932    1933    1934    1935    1936    1941  23.6 %    52.7 %    61.5 %    66.4 %    71.4 %    83.2 %    89.6 %    98.0 %
    These questions relate to collectivisation under Stalin.
    1. (a) What do the statistics in Source E on the consumption of foodstuffs and the numbers of livestock, suggest about the lives of peasants between 1928 and 1932? (b) What do the percentages of peasant holdings collectivised in the USSR between 1930 and 1941, in Source E, suggest about the timing and scale of collectivisation under Stalin? 
    2. compare and contrast the views on collectivisation expressed in Sources B and C.
    3. With reference to their origin and purpose, assess the value and limitations of Source A and Source D for historians studying collectivisation under Stalin. 
    4. Using these sources and your own knowledge, analyse the claim in Source B that collectivisation by Stalin was a “war on the countryside”.

    November 2007

    These sources relate to Stalin’s rise to power after the death of Lenin, 1924 to 1929.

    SOURCE A Extract from Stalin and Khrushchev: The USSR 1924–1964 by Michael Lynch, a British historian, published in London 1990. 

    Stalin became the indispensable [necessary] link in the chain of Communist Party and Soviet government command. What these posts gave him was the power of patronage, the right to appoint individuals to official positions in the party and government. He used this power to place his own supporters in key positions. Since they then owed their place to him (he fired as well as hired) Stalin could count on their support in the voting of various committees ... Whatever the ability of individuals who opposed him or the strength of their arguments, he could always out-vote them. Stalin’s advantages over his rivals had been increased by changes in the structure of the Communist Party. The party had undertaken the ‘Lenin Enrolment’ [an expansion of party membership]. The new members were poorly educated and politically unsophisticated but they understood that the privileges that came with Party membership depended on being loyal to those who admitted them. They provided the General Secretary with a reliable body of votes in the various Party committees at local and central level. 

    SOURCE B Extract from a conversation between Nadezhda Joffe and a journalist in the late 1990’s recalling attitudes to Stalin. (Her father was Trotsky’s close friend.) 

    Nobody felt Stalin represented any danger. For example Zinoviev and Kamenev would not have liked to see Bukharin having the role of General Secretary, and Bukharin would not have liked to see Zinoviev having the post, and all of them agreed that they were afraid of Trotsky ... but nobody seemed particularly opposed to the idea of Stalin having the post and that’s why it happened in the end. 

    SOURCE C Extract from Khrushchev Remembers: Memoirs by N. Khrushchev, published in London 1971, describing events in the Party. 

    The Party led a great political ideological struggle against those in its own ranks who proposed anti-Leninist theses, who represented a political line hostile to the Party. This was a stubborn and difficult fight, but a necessary one because the political lines of both the Trotskyite bloc and the Bukharinites led towards the restoration of capitalism and capitulation [surrender] to the bourgeoisie ... It was for this reason that the Party led the ideological fight and explained to Party members and the non-Party masses the harm and danger of the non-Leninist proposals of the Trotskyite opposition and the right opportunists. And this great work of explaining the Party bore fruit [was successful]; both the Trotskyites and the right opportunists were politically isolated; the overwhelming Party majority supported the Leninist line and the Party was able to awaken and organise the working masses to apply the Leninist Party line and to build socialism.

    SOURCE D A painting, commissioned by Stalin in the mid 1920s, entitled “Comrades in arms at the first All Russian Congress of Soviets”.

    1. (a) What, according to Source A, were Stalin’s advantages over his rivals?
      (b) What message is conveyed by Source D? 

    2. Compare and contrast the methods used by Stalin to weaken the opposition as expressed in Sources A and C. 

    3. With reference to their origin and purpose, assess the value and limitations for historians studying Stalin’s rise to power, of Source B and Source E. 

    4. Using these sources and your own knowledge, explain to what extent you agree with the view that Stalin’s control of the Party was the main reason he was able to become the leader of the USSR by 1929. 

    May 2008
    These sources refer to industrialization under the Five Year Plans.

    Source A Extract from The Stalin Years, edited by Christopher Read, Basingstoke, 2003. 

    Alongside the debate [in 1928] on rapid industrialization was a parallel discussion on planning. It was assumed that some form of state planning would be needed to encourage the growth of industry, as socialism was a system that believed in planning ...
    How did this complex [complicated] debate result in the process of industrialization? In the first place Stalin had not joined the left in denouncing the NEP. Trotsky denounced him for his timidity. By 1929, however, industrialization was advancing at a great pace, due to several factors interacting with one another. The “war scare” of 1927 focused attention on the industrial weakness of the country, secondly the NEP seemed to be in trouble.
    The Politburo, in spite of divisions, adopted the first Five Year Plan in 1928, but it was only in 1929 that the planning tried to enforce rapid industrialization with the slogan “there is no fortress the Bolsheviks could not storm”. Far from being a carefully planned process, the first Five Year Plan set unrealistic targets, and even raised them. The result was such chaos that a more modest regime of advance was instituted ...
    However a breakthrough had taken place. While calculations today show the falsity of claims made at the time, production in key areas did make an upward surge. 

    Sourcce B Extract from a speech by Stalin to the Central Committee of the Communist Party in January 1933 attacking those who had hindered industrial progress. Taken from Stalin by Dmitri Volkogonov, London, 2000. 

    The remnants of the dying classes – industrialists and their servants, private traders, former nobles and priests, kulaks and their henchmen, former white officers and NCOs [non-commissioned officers], former policemen – they have all wormed [worked] their way into our factories, our institutions, our trading bodies, our railways and river transport and into our collective and state farms. They have disguised themselves as workers and some of them have managed to work their way into the party.
    What have they brought with them? Of course they have brought their hatred of the Soviet regime ... The only thing left to them is to play dirty tricks and harm the workers. They set fire to warehouses and break machinery. They organise sabotage. They organise wrecking.

    Source C Extract from “Women in Soviet Society: Equality, Development, and Social Change” by Gail Warshofsky Lapidus, in Stalinism edited by David Hoffman, Oxford, 2003.

    It was not a revolutionary program of emancipation [liberation] that brought about the profound changes in women’s roles, it was the indirect result of the first Five Year Plan in 1928 and Stalin’s determination to increase industrial output ...
    The massive entry of women into the industrial labour force during the 1930s was a central feature of social transformation, with increased educational opportunities for women, provision of child care, and legislation to ensure the compatibility of women’s domestic responsibilities with industrial employment. These changes affected many social institutions, including, most importantly, the family itself. The new roles assumed by women were thus linked to Stalin’s strategy of industrialization which needed women to work in industry.

    Source D
    Table of Industrial Production taken from The World This Century: Working with Evidence, by Neil De Marco, London, 1997.
      output in 1927  target  actual output in 1932  Coal  35.4  75  64  Oil  11.7  22  21.4  Pig iron  3.3  10  6.2  Steel  4.0  10.3  5.9  output in 1933  target  actual output in 1937  Coal  64  152.5  128  Oil  21.4  46.8  28.5  Pig iron  6.2  16  14.5  Steel  5.9  17  17.7

    Source E
    Extract from Stalin, by Isaac Deutscher, London, 1965. Deutscher, a former communist, was a Polish journalist who lived in London from 1939. 

    It was only in the late thirties that the achievements of the second revolution began to mature. Towards the end of this decade, Russia’s industrial power was catching up with Germany’s. Her efficiency and ability to organise was still much lower. So was the standard of living of her people ...
    The other continental [European] nations, to whom only a few years before, Russia still looked up, were left behind, and after the Second World War the USSR was to rise to the rank of an industrial giant, second only to the USA. 

    1. (a) What, according to Source C, was responsible and what was not responsible for changing women’s roles after 1928?
      (b) What, according to Source C, were the main changes in women’s roles? 

    2. To what extent do the figures recorded in the first section of Source D support the views expressed in Source A about industrialization? 

    3. With reference to their origin and purpose, assess the value and limitations of Source B and Source E for historians studying industrialization under the Five Year Plans. 

    4. Using these sources and your own knowledge, analyse the judgement expressed in Source E, that Russia’s industrial power was catching up with Germany’s, but the standard of living for her people was low.

    November 2008 

    These sources relate to the extent of Stalin’s power in the 1930s.

    Source a  
    Extract from Parallel Lives – Hitler and Stalin by Alan Bullock, London, 1993. 

    In the Soviet Union ... the Communist Party had taken over the government. After 17 years not only the state administration but the economy, industry, agriculture and the armed forces all operated under the direct leadership of the Party. The centre of power was not the Council of People’s Commissars but the Politburo (the main decision making body of the Party), whose members reappeared in the Council as chairman, deputy chairman and commissars in order to ensure that policies decided by the Politburo were carried out by the administration. Nothing made this clearer than the fact that the most powerful man in Russia was neither head of state, head of government nor even a member of the Council of Commissars but was content to exercise his power in the post of general secretary and as a member of the Politburo. 

    Source B 
     Extract from Stalinism by Graeme Gill, London, 1998. 

    While this purge [1933–1934] did aim at general housekeeping tasks within the Communist Party, it is mistaken to argue that it did not also aim at eliminating enemies within Party ranks. It is clear that in the central leaders’ minds, at least part of the administrative sloppiness was due to the activities of those in the Party who were opposed to the Party and its policies. The purge’s inability to rid the Party of enemies is reflected in subsequent Party policy. Particularly important were the campaigns for the verification of Party documents in 1935 and the exchange of Party cards in 1936. Like the earlier purge, both campaigns were directed in part at improving the Party’s administrative procedures, but in their intent and implementation they were directed at those who did not obey directions from the centre. These were seen as enemies, seeking to subvert Party policy. The assumption that enemies of the Party and the regime could be found inside the Party was an important element which facilitated the outbreak of the great terror and the application of it to the Party.

    Source c Extract from History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, authorised by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Moscow, 1939. 

    In 1937 new facts came to light during the trials [of Pyatakov and others] which showed that these dregs of humanity, in conjunction [together] with the enemies of the people had been in conspiracy against the Communist Party and the Soviet State ever since the early days of the October socialist revolution ... the vile assassination of Kirov, the acts of wrecking and explosions ... all these and similar villainies [crimes] ... were committed under the direction of Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev at the behest [request] of espionage services of bourgeois states.
    They had set out to destroy the Party and the State, to undermine the defensive power of the country ... to prepare the way for the defeat of the Red Army and to bring about the dismemberment [tearing apart] of the USSR and restore capitalist slavery to the USSR. 

    Source D A photograph of Stalin carrying Kirov’s coffin at his funeral in 1934. Published in Russia and the USSR 1905–1956 by John Laver, London, 1985.

    Source e 
     Extract from The European Dictatorships, Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini by Allan Todd, Cambridge, 2002. 

    Although Stalin had defeated the Left, the United and the Right Oppositions by 1929, dissent still existed within the Communist Party. Signs of this became apparent during the Sixteenth Party Congress in 1930 and on several occasions in the years 1930–34 when Stalin found he could not always get his policies adopted. This undercurrent of dissent, which involved most important leaders of the Politburo and Central Committee, led Stalin to fear that he might be replaced, especially as his old opponents and defeated rivals were still around. While this opposition was not open, Stalin came to feel that in order to maintain the Party’s (and his own) power, drastic action was required.
    A more serious indication of the extent of opposition to aspects of Stalin’s policies came in 1932 when Ryutin, a Rightist and a senior figure in the Party, wrote a document calling for the end of forced collectivization, the rehabilitation [restoration of the reputation] of the defeated oppositionists (including Trotsky) and the dismissal of Stalin.
    1. (a) What, according to Source B, were the aims of the 1933–1934 purge of the Communist Party?
      (b) What message is conveyed by Source D? 

    2. Compare and contrast the views expressed about the extent of Stalin’s power in Sources A and E. 

    3. With reference to their origin and purpose, assess the value and limitations of Source C and Source E for historians studying Russia in the 1930s. 

    4. Using these sources and your own knowledge how far do you agree that Stalin’s power in the late 1930s was due to his dominance of the Communist Party?
    May 2009

    These sources relate to relations between the USSR and Nazi Germany.

    Source A Extract from Stalin’s speech to the seventeenth congress of the Russian Communist Party, 1934, taken from War and Peace: International Relations 1914–1945 by David Williamson, London 1994. 

    Some politicians say that the Soviet Union has now allied with France and Poland and that from an opponent of the Versailles Treaty it has become a supporter of that treaty, and that this change can be explained by the establishment of the fascist regime in Germany. That is not true. Of course we are not enthusiastic about the fascist regime in Germany. But fascism is not the issue here, if only because fascism in Italy has not prevented the USSR from establishing the best relations with that country. 

    SourceB Extract from A History of Twentieth-Century Russia by Robert Service, London 1998. 

    Stalin had always expected war to break out again in Europe. In every major speech to the Central Committee he stressed the dangers in contemporary international relations. Lenin had taught his fellow communists that economic rivalry would turn imperialist capitalist powers against each other until capitalism was overthrown. World wars were inevitable meanwhile, and Soviet foreign policy had to start from this first premise [assertion] of Leninist theory on international relations.
    The second premise was to avoid unnecessary involvement in an inter-imperialist war ... But what could Stalin do? Complete diplomatic freedom was not possible. But if he dealt mainly with the victors of the First World War, could he trust them? If he attempted an approach to Hitler, would he not be rebuffed [refused]? ... In the winter of 1938–1939 he [Stalin] concentrated efforts to prepare the USSR for war.

    Source C Extract from Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore, London 2003. 

    European diplomacy was played out like a game of poker with swift moves, secret talks and cold hearts. The dictators proved much better at this fast moving game than the democracies who had started to play in earnest much too late. Belatedly they realised that Hitler had to be stopped: and on 31 March guaranteed the Polish border. They needed Russia to join them but failed to understand Stalin’s point of view, his sense of weakness and isolation. Ironically the Polish guarantee increased Stalin’s doubts about the depth of British commitment: if Hitler invaded Poland, what was to stop Britain from using the guarantee as a bargaining [tool] to negotiate another Munich-style deal, leaving Hitler on his borders?
    Stalin therefore required a contractual military alliance with the West if he was not to turn to Hitler. On 29 June, Zhdanov backed the German option, in a Pravda article, stating “I believe that the British and French have no wish for a treaty of equality with the USSR” ... Britain and France sent a low-level delegation to Moscow by steamboat to offer an alliance but no guarantee of Soviet frontiers and no freedom of action in the Baltic. Stalin was unimpressed and that same day, 12 August, the Russians signalled to the Germans that they were ready to start negotiations. 

    Source D The Nazi/Soviet Pact, 23 August 1939, taken from Stalin and Khrushchev: The USSR, 1924–1964 by Michael Lynch, London 1990

    The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the USSR, wishing to strengthen the cause of peace between Germany and the USSR, have reached the following agreement.
    1. To refrain from any act of violence, any aggressive action, and any attack on each other, either individually or jointly with other powers.
    2. Should one of the contracting parties become the object of belligerent action [war] by a third power, the other will not help the third power.
    3. The Governments of the two contracting parties shall in future maintain contact and consultation with each other in order to exchange information on problems of common interest. 

      5. Should disputes or conflicts arise between the two parties they shall settle their disputes through friendly exchange of opinion, or if necessary arbitration.
    Secret additional protocol:
    The question of whether the interests of both parties are served by the maintenance of an independent
    Poland and how such a state shall be [limited] can only be decided after further developments.

    Source E
    “Wonder How Long the Honeymoon will Last?” Published in the Washington Star, 9 October 1939, taken from War and Peace: International Relations 1914–1945 by David Williamson, London 1994.
    1. (a) Why, according to Source A, did some politicians say the Soviet Union had become a supporter of the Treaty of Versailles?
      (b) What, according to Source A, were Stalin’s views on fascism? 

    2. Compare and contrast the views expressed in Sources B and C about Stalin’s foreign policy during the 1930s. 

    3. With reference to their origin and purpose, assess the value and limitations of Source D and Source E for historians studying relations between the USSR and Nazi Germany. 

    4. Using these sources and your own knowledge, analyse the reasons why Stalin signed the 1939 Nazi/Soviet Pact.
    November 2009
    These sources relate to collectivization under Stalin.

    SOURCE A Extract from Stalin’s speech to administrators after he visited Siberia in January 1928,

    taken from Collected Works, by J V Stalin, Moscow, 1955. 

    You have had a bumper harvest ... your grain surpluses this year are bigger than ever before. Yet the plan for grain procurement [something obtained by effort] is not being fulfilled. Why? Look at the kulak farms: their barns and sheds are crammed with grain ... You say that the kulaks are unwilling to deliver grain, that they are waiting for prices to rise, and prefer to engage in unbridled [unlimited] speculation. That is true. But the kulaks are demanding an increase in prices three times those fixed by the government ... But there is no guarantee that the kulaks will not again sabotage the grain procurements next year. It may be said with certainty that as long as there are kulaks, there will be sabotage of grain procurements. 

    SOURCE B Opinion of a member of the Ukrainian Central Committee in 1930 taken from The Harvest of Sorrow, by Robert Conquest, senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Oxford, 1986. 

    The peasant is adopting a new tactic. He refuses to reap the harvest. He wants the bread grain to die in order to choke the Soviet government with the bony hand of famine. We will show him what famine is. Your task is to stop the kulak sabotage of the harvest. You must bring it in to the last grain and immediately send it off to the delivery point. The peasants are not working. They are counting on previously harvested grain they have hidden in pits. We must force them to open their pits. 

    SOURCE C Extract from Stalin and His Hangmen, by Donald Rayfield, professor of Russian literature at the University of London, London, 2005. 

    Stalin’s entourage [followers] were enslaved to doctrine. The kulak was to be eliminated even though he was rarely rich enough to be an exploiter but often employed poor peasants, giving them corn to survive the winter ... even worse, to meet targets for confiscation, middle peasants were arrested as kulaks. The idiocy of Stalin’s policy was that the peasants who could farm the land and worked hard were turned off it, very often to die, and those who could not farm and would not work inherited the earth as members of the collective farms ... Why was there no effective protest from within or outside the party at this campaign of unprovoked violence against the class that all of Russian society professed to be the core of the nation? Was it ignorance of what was happening? Did people believe the Stalinist propaganda? ... Did dissenters fear deadly reprisals? All three factors deterred intellectuals and party workers from taking a stand. The deafening silence must lead us to conclude that Stalin’s apparatus on the one hand and (the) OGPU on the other had, by 1928, established their reputations for omniscience [knowledge of all things] and ruthless intolerance.


    “Statistics showing agricultural output and state procurement of grain 1928-1935” from AN ECONOMIC HISTORY OF THE USSR 1917-1991 by Alec Nove (Allen Lane The Penguin Press, 1969, Third edition 1992. Copyright © Alec Nove, 1969, 1972, 1976, 1982, 1989, 1992. Reproduced by permission of Penguin Books Ltd. 

    Grain harvest (million tons)
    State procurement of grain (million tons)
    Grain exports (million tons)
    Cattle (million head)
    Pigs (million head)
    Sheep and goats (million head)

    Extract from Stalin in Power, by Robert C Tucker, professor of international studies at Princeton University, Princeton, 1992.

    Khataevich, (Secretary of the Ukrainian Central Committee in 1933) explained, “A ruthless struggle is going on between the peasantry and our regime. It’s a struggle to the death. This year was a test of our strength and their endurance. It took a famine to show them who is master here. It has cost millions of lives, but the collective farm system is here to stay. We’ve won the war.”
    Just how many millions of lives were lost remains a subject of research, speculation and dispute to this day. Informed estimates range from 3 to 4 million famine deaths at the lower end to as many as 7 to 10 million at the higher ... ultimately, however, the toll [number] in death, suffering and blighted [ruined] lives resulting from terroristic collectivization and the famine, which constituted both a part and a consequence of it, defies statistical expression. Let it be said simply that Stalin’s “October” was one of our violent century’s most monstrous crimes against humanity. 

    1. (a) According to Source C, what were the effects on agriculture of the elimination of the kulaks?
      (b) What message is conveyed by Source D about agricultural output and state procurement of grain between 1928 and 1933? 

    2. Compare and contrast the views on collectivization expressed in Sources A and B. 

    3. With reference to their origin and purpose, assess the value and limitations of Source D
      and Source E for historians studying collectivization under Stalin. 

    4. Using the sources and your own knowledge, assess the claim that collectivization was a political success but an economic failure and a human disaster.