The twentieth century was one mired in conflict and economic uncertainty in
many parts of the world. In the early half of the century, the world was swept up in what
is now known as World War I, and the groundwork was laid for revolution throughout
Europe after the war, due to gross poverty and disillusionment amongst the masses.
Among the nations that faced large reform following the fighting were Germany, Italy,
and Russia. The new regimes in these nations came to be referred to as ‘totalitarian’.
The term was first used by Italy to describe the new fascist regime it had set up and
came to be used in the thirties to describe the Nazis in Germany and the communists in
Russia1. The rise of Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin are all well documented, but what
pushed these men to totalitarianism is still debated heavily around tho world. All three
were highly respected individuals in their countries, however there is much difference
between them, their rises to power and the ideology they forced on the masses.
Stalin was born December 6th 1878, and given the name of Josef Djugashvili in
Gori, Georgia. The son of a cobbler named Vissarion Djugashvili and an attractive
young girl named Ekaterina Geladze2, he was their third son, but the only of whom had
survived. Known as Soso by his friends and family, he was described as weak, fragile,
and thin3. His father suffered from alcoholism, brought on by the death of his first two
children, and suspicions that his wife had had an affair with a trusted family friend,
resulting in the birth of the illegitimate Soso4. This eventually led to abuse, and a
household environment where Soso suffered terribly and lived in constant fear.
In 1888, at the age of ten, his mother, with the help of a local priest, was able to
get him into a Gori Church School reserved for the sons of the clergymen. He excelled
in his studies, and was a member of the choir. When he was in his...