Stalinism and Jews Essay

Stalinism and Jews Essay

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Modern World History


Joseph Stalin led the Socialist Soviet Union in the “Revolution from Above,” a movement to centralize the government and transform society without popular participation . Because Stalin’s radical goals were destructive for the populace to attain, his legitimacy was based on the credibility of his ideological authority . In protection of that conviction, Stalin was in constant fear of competitive initiative and philosophy. Stalin subjected society and culture to strict party surveillance and control, issuing pro-socialist, xenophobic propaganda, censoring literature, art, and media, and launching anti-religious campaigns . In addition to his confiscation of religious property and denunciation of belief, Stalin was a contemptuous anti-Semite, using Jewish people as symbols of a corrupt capitalist ethic. However, in 1941, Stalin discontinued his Jewish intolerance and supported the formation of the Jewish Antifascist Committee (JAC) in 1942, contradicting practiced Stalinism and amending his previously categorical policy. Even after WWII, Stalin collaborated with the United States and supported the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine. Soviet Jews raised great hope for future friendship and cooperation with the government . Suddenly, in 1948, Stalin changed his position again, dissolving the JAC, arresting prominent Jews, and beginning the “Black Years” of refreshed repression and anti-Semitism. Although drastic doctrinal oscillations were completely out of character for the inflexible dictator, the changes in Jewish administration were not the only exceptions in his etiology that Stalin made from WWII to his death. The effects of Stalin’s inconstancies were dangerously close to destructive of his legitimacy and authority. What compelled a fanatically unyielding and calculating dictator to alter his policy -- self-preservation, miscalculation, composite guilt, or deteriorating mentality?
     “Stalin owed everything to Lenin.” Stalin’s oppressive rule was legitimized by the “imprimatur of Lenin’s creation and succession.” Marx’s theory became Lenin’s doctrine and Stalin’s creative justification. Lenin’s Bolshevik (“Majority”) party was formed in 1903 with the objective of a stagiest societal evolution of Europe and Russia in the gradual progression from feudalism, to capitalism, to socialism, and to eventu...


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...ed up. Stalin worked with the US to build an Israeli state, “striving to win support among Western public opinion,” while anti-Semitism grew among the populace from blaming the Jews for the Nazi invasion. The JAC was dissolved in 1948, and many of its members killed by the NKVD in “deliberately staged accidents.” In victory, “a product of [the new] fierce Russian nationalism was the re-emergence of an age-old anti Semitism.”
The sudden inconsistencies in Stalin’s principles were blatant. Stalin’s rule was based primarily upon the consistency of his theory, and changes in his normally dogmatic method would have been destructive, had it not been for the recent victory over Germany. Stalin’s fluctuations in policy from 1939 until his death in 1953 and the resulting losses in ideological authority were forgotten in the victory celebrations. . By the time the post-war excessive Russian chauvinism had worn off, Stalin’s policy was again stabilized in anti-Semitic xenophobia. Stalin feared contradicting his ideology, but with the onset of World War II, he compromised the dangers to his dictatorship. Stalin’s risky changes in etiology had strong motives in calculated self-preservation.

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