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Stalin: From Patriot to Oppressor

Written by Animus AniKor Saxcian


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During Iosif's imprisonment, the Social Democratic Parties 2nd Congress was held in London and Brussels. This meeting was an important part of Russian history, where as the famous split in the party materialized. It was here that the two factions know as the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks were conceived. The Bolsheviks were known as the majority, and believed that party membership should be confined to a class of professional revolutionaries. The Mensheviks were known as the minority, and believed party membership should extend to anyone who believed in the parties program. This split, in practical terms, was critical. Now that their was to main parties with basically the same beliefs one was able to carry out getting the idea of a revolution popular (Mensheviks), while the other could take the decisive, violent action, with a small elite group (Bolsheviks). Before World War I the Mensheviks were the stronger wing of the party, .majority. and .minority. terms did not withstand, although, the Bolsheviks drew strength from their Leader Vladimir Lenin. Lenin was an honored Marxist writer and instigator, at this time he was exiled to Western Europe.

A year after his exile to Siberia, Iosif escaped, which was extraordinarily simple to perform during the reign of the House of Romanov. Iosif naturally chose to venture down Lenin's path of Bolshevism, upon his return to Georgia. Iosif began to fall into a dormant state with his career, and failed to distinguish himself among his colleagues. In Georgia he acquired a reputation for being extremist and abusive during party meetings. In this time of Iosif's decline the revolution had begun to intensify. In 1905, the Russian Empire suffered a defeat at the hands of the Imperial Empire of Japan. Subsequent to the defeat, a series of protests rocked the streets of Russia. This was initiated by the protest known as .Bloody Sunday,.where a crowd of peaceful demonstrators were fired up on by Russian authorities at the Czars Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. This date has gone down in history as one of the most tragic days ever, and victims have been honored by bands like U2, in their song, Sunday Bloody Sunday. Protests and strikes proceeded to transpire throughout the incapacitated Empire, and nearly over set the ruling family, Romanov. This 1905 Revolution was only halted when, Czar Nicholas II coincided the formation of an elected assembly, the .Duma,. with the absolute power to pass legislation. In the years after 1905 and the establishment of the Duma, the radicals were forced to go back underground due to the thinning of Georgian Bolshevik ranks.

Iosif had a little involvement in the 1905 revolution; he gave speeches and wrote articles but was far from the action and had been over shadowed by his rival Leon Trotsky, at the time a Menshevist, who organized strikes in St. Petersburg. Iosif, in this turbulent era was devoted to wedding his first wife, Yekaterina Svanidze. Little is known about this woman, although she did bore Yakov, Iosif's first son, in 1907. This same year Yekaterina Svanidze died, and the young Yakov was left behind to be raised by an aunt and uncle in Georgia. Upon his return to the revolution, many Bolshevists had returned to the underground to evade authorities. Russian police prosecuted many of the upper ranks, thus with this shortage of ranks in the Bolshevik Party, Iosif under the Alias, .Koba,. rose to leadership. Iosif attended many party conferences, including one in Finland, where he met Lenin for the first time. In 1906, Lenin's attention was attracted to an Anti-Menshevik creed conceived by none other than Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili. In these trying times the Bolsheviks had to resort to crime for financial support; Iosif was involved in banditry, to help the cause. In 1907, the same year he gained a son and lost a wife, he shifted his operations to the city of Baku in Azerbaijan. In March 1908, Iosif was apprehended for his second time and thus exiled to the Siberian town of Solvychegodsk. He was here for only about a year, although his sentence was for two; however, his escape was in vain. In 1910 he was rearrested and escorted back to Siberia, where he served out his full sentence. Iosif despite being exiled, remained active in politics, as he had sent letters to Lenin that had urged an increase in party organization within Russia. Released in June 1911, Iosif disregarded the terms of his release to avoid St. Petersburg, Moscow, and the Caucases, a southern region including both Georgia and Azerbaijan, and headed straight for St. Petersburg. Iosif was arrested again in St. Petersburg on December 1911, and was sent to the city of Vologda.


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