From “Monster: A Portrait of Stalin in Blood” (5 part mini-series) 1992
Executive producer: Alexander Ivankin
International producer: Maya Toidze
Stalin was born Joseph Dzhugashvili in the Georgian town of Gori in 1879. He was an early activist in the Bolshevik movement, where he first assumed the pseudonym Stalin (which means “man of steel”). He was named General Secretary of the Communist Party in 1922, a post Stalin used to fortify his power base. When Vladimir Lenin died in 1924, a struggle for control broke out hat pitted Stalin against his nemesis, Leon Trotsky, and a host of lesser party figures. Stalin’s victory was slow and hard-fought, but by 1927 he had succeeded in having Trotsky expelled from the party. By 1928, Stalin was entrenched as supreme Soviet leader, and he wasted little time in launching a series of national campaigns (the so-called Five-Year Plans) aimed at “collectivising” the peasantry and turning the USSR into a powerful industrial state. Both campaigns featured murder on a massive scale.