Segment descriptions
Modern European History Series:
Imperialism, Revolution
     & World War, Part 2
           Description: Stalin

Imperialism, Revolution &
   World War, Part 2
   sampler  2’52”     (54’ lecture)

Why does Stalin succeed Lenin instead of Trotsky, Lenin’s choice, and what are Lenin’s misgivings about Stalin and the revolution at the end of his life?

                      play sampler




Russian Revolution's Profound Effect on the World (continued)




Russia's economic directions.  The New Economic Policy from 1921 until 1928 for gradual industrialization is part socialist, part capitalist.  The drastic changes for rapid industrialization when Stalin takes power after Lenin's death in 1924.  This effort, while brutal, is effective and helps Russia to survive the Nazi onslaught. 




A Beacon of Light.  Stalin's crimes are overlooked as the Russian Revolution becomes a beacon of light to distressed people around the world.  Yet it is the wrong role model to other countries with different conditions.




Prelude to World War II




Rise of Fascism.  In Italy and Germany, ultra-nationalism, extremism, supported by lower middle class which identifies own achievement with the nation's.  Powerful racism based on pseudo-science.  Concept of the all-powerful leader.  Extreme and violent capitalism.




Anti-Semitism.  An ancient European phenomenon used by Hitler.  The Jew as scapegoat.  Holocaust requires great organization and support.  Slave camps.  Death camps.  The "Banality of Evil," by Hannah Arendt. 




Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939.  This is the moral opportunity to stop fascism.  The world mindset remembering the horrors of World War I plus pro-fascist sentiments plus real politik leads to the start of World War II.