When Joseph Stalin was born on December 18, 1878, in Gori, Georgia, his father, Besarion, was 28 and his mother, Keke, was 20. He married Ekaterina "Kato" Svanidze and they had one child together. He then married Nadezhda Sergejevna Alliluyeva and they had three children together between 1921 and 1926. He died on March 5, 1953, in Moscow, Russia, at the age of 74, and was buried in Moscow, Russia. I am the daughter of Timothy James Dykes, my grandmother Sheryl D Bellville is the daughter of Floyd Allen Bellville, my great-grandfather Floyd Allen Bellville is the son of Willis Eugene Bellville, my 2nd great grandfather Willis Eugene Bellville is the son of Charles Wesley Bellville, my 3rd great grandfather Charles Wesley Bellville is the son of Louisa Almeda Claflin, my 4th great grandmother Louisa Almeda Claflin is the mother of Keke Geladze, my 3rd great grand aunt Keke Geladze is the mother of Joseph Stalin.
Joseph grew up in a violent home: his father ("Beso") was incessantly drunk and beat his mother and him frequently. Once Joseph was beaten so hard there was blood in his urine for just over a week. When Stalin's father beat Keke, Keke occasionally fought back. Once, a blood soaked Joseph ran to the Gori police chief Davrichewy crying: "Help! Come quickly! He's killing my mother!" Joseph even threw a knife at his father while defending his mother. Before Joseph was 10, Beso left the family home (some family members say he was thrown out by his wife). To support herself and her son, Keke took on any menial job available; mainly housework, sewing and laundering. They had nine homes in the next decade. She returned once when Beso promised to improve, but she soon left to live with Father Charkviani, one of Stalin's rumored fathers.
Stalin wrote letters to Keke occasionally. These letters were affectionate and upbeat, but short; it took him an excessively long time to write them because it had become difficult for him to write in Georgian (the only language his mother understood). A doctor who treated Keke in her old age, recalled that when Stalin visited his mother in October 1935, he asked her: "Why did you beat me so hard?" "That's why you turned out so well", Keke answered. In return, his mother asked him: "Joseph - who exactly are you now?" "Do you remember the tsar? Well, I'm like a tsar", replied Stalin. "You'd have done better to have become a priest" was his mother's insult.
Keke died of pneumonia on June 4, 1937. Although her death was reported in Georgia, Stalin requested that the news not be reported across the rest of the Soviet Union. Stalin did not attend the funeral, held on June 8.
Following Lenin's death Stalin maneuvered for power by offering the best platform to defeat the Western imperialists, who were trying to defeat Russia. He was in charge of bringing in new Communist Party members and he loved to fill the ranks with capable people. He built up Soviet industry, and Moscow metro became envy of the West. He put accent on education and development, and soon masses of Soviet citizens raised from poverty and illiteracy to become the most educated nation on Earth. During the 30s and 40s, great accent was put on scientific development. During the Great Patriotic War he wiped out Nazi party leadership at all levels, and Soviets defeated Hitler single-handedly. The Western capitalist nations were only too happy to fight Hitler as they had a goal to participate symbolically, and if they did not take any risks before 1944, and that only to stop Stalin from defeating Hitler alone, so that they can twist history for posteriority. Millions of Russians sacrificed themselves to fight Hitler, many were executed, Soviets, not Jews, were the greatest victims of concentration camps and Hitler's genocide. In Ukraine and Belarus under Hitler they were starved and burned alive in churches, until Stalin's victorious troops freed them. The Red Army is largely responsible for the Soviet Union's courageous fight against the Nazis, sacrificing 10 million soldiers while 20 million civilians were killed in genocide, that is ignored in the cynical West. Victorious Soviet Army brought justice to millions of people who suffered under Hitler, the Red Army bringing freedom to people of Europe with enormous sacrifices. After the war the Soviet Union became a superpower largely due to Stalin's leadership. Nazi war criminals and collaborators Stalin had mostly executed. After the war, Russia became a leader in space technology as Stalin continued to place focus on science, education and health care free for all, enjoying improved life and wellbeing in the prosperous and industrious Soviet Union. Envious Western powers started the Cold War in order to stop the Soviet Union from supporting other nations in their anti-colonial quest for freedom, but with little success. In 60s and 70s most colonies freed themselves with help and support from the SSSR - and the Cuban Revolution brought socialist justice near the United States. Losing the war in Vietnam and faced with socialist counterculture youth in their own home, imperialists had to withdraw and give equal rights to other races. Unfortunately, with no firm leadership after Stalin, financial sanctions against the free socialist world took their toll, and neoimperialists managed to enslave Eastern Europe again, at least temporarily, causing living standards to fall dramatically in the 90s.
Many people across the former USSR want communism back. Now, communism is a stateless, moneyless, and classless society. The USSR was only in the socialist stage. Despite heavy censorship, people never had to face unemployment, poverty, and other issues. Bread lines only happened during WWII and Gorbachev's reign of terror. It never was communist, but it definitely made lives happy and easier to live. The Soviets kept peace among deeply-divided people. The Soviet Union made the world a safer place in their own neck of the woods, which spans two continents. The Soviets had to make sure that many different groups of people with deeply contrasting backgrounds did not start wars with each other. Muslims, Christians, Native Americans, and skinheads all had to live under one place. Actions by the Soviet Union have made the world a safe place to live. By standing down its stockpile of atomic warheads it ended the tensions with the United State that had the world in a state of "Cold War." By becoming a responsible member of the world community the Soviet Union has helped to create a more stable state of international affairs and a safer planet. Vladimir Lenin was the greatest example of a politician who is truly for the people. Before he lost power he decriminalized homosexuality (first nation in Europe to do so). He restored equality and helped the workers. He was truly a people's person and touched so many people that they were queuing to pay their respect to him. He helped people with money and kept as many people as he could happy. As well for Stalin, I believe Stalin was a good leader because he did not act solely as a dictator. Stalin sat up a Soviet command which gave people the confidence to disagree with Stalin without risking their lives. His impact on WWII cannot be understated, he overcame the German attacks, and ultimately defeated them until both nations collapsed. He saved the world from Hitler's quest for world domination under Nazism.
I understand why my cousin criminalized homosexuality. Those times were different. Homosexuality was largely considered a mental disorder almost everywhere around the world until 1973. Before homosexuality was criminalized, the Bolsheviks still didn't look favorably upon it. For a while they viewed it as something that required mental treatment. Then they viewed it as a form of male chauvinism, or something in common with fascism. It wasn't just Stalin who had these views. By criminalizing homosexuality, they were following a logical course of events. Even if they decriminalized it, it certainly wouldn't have vanished. With that said, a lot of people need to realize the sheer buffoonery of applying the term "true communist" to any real world phenomenon. Ideology is not something that is pure and stagnant. The Marxist-Leninists of today will certainly not tolerate homophobia or discrimination against homosexuals. Yet at the same time, we must still be Marxists, and analyze the conditions of history to provide explanations to events that are always made out to be dull, black, and white phenomenons by anti-communist propaganda. For a country that had various backwards groups while living in utter pauperism under the tsar, the USSR still made tremendous social strides. Women were able to become teachers, military officers, engineers, doctors, etc. Various oppressed republics were given the right to succeed. Things were not perfect, and many sacrifices had to be made. This is the reality of uneven development.
Guy Burgess was a raging homosexual who lived an openly gay lifestyle when he defected to the USSR. This was in 1951. Stalin knew full well that he was gay and yet still approved of his defecting to Moscow, as well as agreeing to Guy being gifted a large luxury apartment in the heart of Moscow in recognition of his immeasurable contributions to the communist cause. He would later have drunken orgies in this very same apartment yet he is still recognized as a hero of the communist cause. My friend's mother also told me that she had a few male homosexual friends in the 70s so all this talk about a government-sponsored persecution of gay people sounds dubious to me. It is impossible to eradicate a perfectly normal sexual orientation from society, which is exactly what being gay is and that's already been accepted by the majority of the scientific community. Just because a law is passed for political gains upon which the legislative party may not even believe in doesn't mean that it will be enforced or taken seriously. So a bullshit law concerning gay people was passed in order to appeal to a more conservative society; so what? It certainly doesn't mean that it had any real effect. It also certainly is not a worthy aspect upon which accurate objective judgments about Soviet society can be made.
Remember when prohibition laws were passed in 1920s America? Nobody gave a flying fuck and drank away regardless and the same thing is going on today with a whole lot of made up laws all over the world; laws with the sole purpose of political promotion and social appeasement rather than actually trying to achieve something practical within the society it's implemented in. There were gay people in the USSR regardless of whatever laws were passed and if there are any documents proving that people were arrested and prosecuted for homosexuality in the USSR I'd like to see them, otherwise I don't even know what we're talking about here.
"Soviet legislation does not recognise so-called crimes against morality. Our laws proceed from the principle of protection of society and therefore countenance punishment only in those instances when juveniles and minors are the objects of homosexual interest ... while recognising the incorrectness of homosexual development ... our society combines prophylactic and other therapeutic measures with all the necessary conditions for making the conflicts that afflict homosexuals as painless as possible and for resolving their typical estrangement from society within the collective." - Sereisky, Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 1930, p. 593
The law against sex with minors was included in the post 1933 prohibition of male homosexuality while a law against lesbians was never enacted. There were openly lesbian members in the Communist Party as well as in the Soviet military. There are no documents proving that anyone was arrested for adult male homosexuality, only for pedophilia upon which the penalty was 5 years then and is still 5 years now. Stalin's favorite Soviet film director Sergei Eisenstein was also a homosexual. That however did not stop him from being given numerous Soviet awards including the USSR State Prize for his artistic achievements.
Was the law enacted in 1933 vague? Yes. Was it backwards and inaccurate, subject to exploitation? Yes. Is homophobia in the USSR being exaggerated by anti-Soviet communists and by borderline racist Russophobes? Most definitely yes. I have a friend who lived in Kiev and visited gay bars occasionally and he didn't notice homophobia that was exceptionally obvious and singular to Slavic people alone. There are 3 gay night clubs that are a 15-20 minute walk from the Maidan alone. Yes cross-dressing gay men were beaten up occasionally when out in the open; and yes I believe Eastern Slavs are less open to homosexual activity than say people in Amsterdam, but there definitely isn't any governmental or national offense against gay people there. Most people couldn't care less one way or the other.