STALIN
Joseph Stalin, 1935.
The Soviet totalitarian leader who industrialized the USSR, introduced Soviet Collectivization, granted women equality in the workplace, and ultimately improved the standard of living for those who were still living (very big conditional there).

Famous for many events, such as the purges, the creation of the Iron Curtain, and "In Soviet Russia" jokes such as "In Soviet Russia, the TV watches YOU!, originally created by famous comedian Yakov Shmirnoff"
The Great Purge
· Follwing his rise to power after his succession of Lenin, Stalin used terror to confirm his position as leader of the Soviet Communist Party by using “exile, imprisonment, and execution” against his critics (Great Purge).
· With the failure of the first Five Year Plan, opposition to Stalin increased in both the political and public domain (Great Purge).
· The Great Purge (also known as the "Great Terror") began with the assassination of Sergei Kirov, a moderate politician who threatened Stalin’s powers (Great Purge).
· ‘Stalin used this incident to round up many of his opponents, while placing many of his supporters in key positions: Khrushchev became Moscow party secretary, Vyshinsky was made chief prosecutor, and Yezhov became head of the NKVD” (Great Purge).
· In the summer of 1936, the Great Purge was set in motion with the reorganization of the forced labor system into Gulags, camps designed to hold those suspected of treason (Great Purge).
· The Great Purge was characterized by “show trials,” in which prominent party officials were tortured into confessing for fictional acts of treason and promptly executed(Great Purge).
· “In this way, almost 70 per cent of the Communist Party Central Committee and 50 per cent of the Party Congress were executed or died in labour camps; 35,000 Red Army officers were tried, among them 80 per cent of its colonels, 90 per cent of its generals, and all of its deputy commissioners of war” (Great Purge).
· Though the death toll is unclear, estimations range anywhere from one and ten million people (Great Purge).
· “With the party, military, economy, and society completely exhausted, it ended in late 1938, though Stalin's terror continued in other forms until his death” (Great Purge).

"Great Purge" A Dictionary of Contemporary World History. Jan Palmowski. Oxford University Press, 2008. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Infohio - NOACSC. 30 August 2009 <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t46.e952>