"in Stalin's time"

Joseph Stalin
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeJoseph Stalin - Credit: Militaryace (original photographer Margaret Bourke-White)

First mention of Joseph Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, 1878-1953), General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1922 until his death. A friend and colleague of Lenin, Stalin succeeded the architect of the Russian Revolution as leader of the Bolshevik government.

Stalin caused the disastrous Soviet famine of 1932-33 (in which an estimated 6-8 million people, mostly Ukrainians, starved to death), the Great Purge or Great Terror of 1936-38 (in which several million more were executed or imprisoned in the gulag as suspected enemies of the state), and of course the creation and expansion of 476 prison camps in the Gulag system (see Bookmark for page 252), which at its height held as many as 2.5 million political prisoners and in which nearly 2 million people died between 1930 and 1953.