Josef Vissarionovich Stalin
Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин
December 18, 1878 – March 5, 1953
"We are 50 or 100 years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in 10 years. Either we do it, or they will crush us." Josef Stalin, Speech "The Tasks of Economic Executives" (4 February 1931). Stalin said this in 1931, at the beginning of the rapid industrialization campaign. Ten years later, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
In a long conversation in Geneva, Switzerland on December 22, 1973, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, "I've always had respect for Stalin's foreign policy. He had a long-range vision.... In 1939, you had to make a big decision. I think you were essentially right on the pact with Ribbentrop." Gromyko responded, "We didn't have any reasonable choice." Kissinger agreed, stating "One could say that the pact made the war inevitable ... but there was very stupid leadership in Western Europe."
Purpose of this Site
The purpose of this web site is to provide information, in a fair and historically accurate manner, regarding the thoughts and actions of Josef Stalin.