What other man can make crowds move after death thank Stalin? What man can cast fear over his people after h is laid to rest? Stalin can. This man, a man who rose to rule Russia with an iron fist, as well as hide it behind an iron curtain, played his country like a puppeteer. People feared Stalin. No one had the nerve to contest his ruling and beliefs. But once Stalin died, it was only a matter of time before someone made a stand.
The picture above shows Stalin with some of his colleagues in 1946. One of these men is Nikita Khrushchev. On February 25, 1954, Khrushchev brought together some members of the 20th Party Congress in secret to express his feelings of Stalin’s reign. He acknowledged all the great deeds Stalin did for Russia. But He mainly focused on the “cult” that was created from Stalin’s reign. Stalin got things done in a different way than other leaders tended to do. Most fuel their needs by motivating the people with great speeches. But Stalin wasn’t the type to give rousing speeches, he was the quiet type. Stalin put the people into submission. The people did Stalin’s work out of fear, not because they were inspired to, but because they were afraid of what would happen if they dared to appose him. No one was safe under Stalin. Khrushchev had enough of this while Stalin was in charge and still was after almost a year after Stalin’s passing. He wanted the people to move on. It was time for something new. It was time to begin to care for the people, not for their self interests.
This new idea of moving on from Stalin’s ideas and goals is what defined this era. The “Thaw” was the beginning of a new movement in the USSR. Stalin would forever be remembered as the man who made the USSR great and helped bring Russia out of the terrible Czar system. But Stalin had some very bad morals to his campaign. Life needed to get better for everyone. People needed to be let out of the Gulags. Stalin’s old standards of the soviet life began to “thaw” into a new life.
Russian Reader: p. 540-544