“Stalin was a very distrustful man, sickly suspicious. He could look at a man and say: “Why are your eyes so shifty today?” or “Why are you turning so much today and avoiding to look me directly in the eyes?” The sickly suspicion created in him a general distrust. Everywhere and in everything he saw “enemies”, “two-facers” and “spies”.”
I was wondering what our class thinks about this specific quote. Do you think the events that were taking place during this time period forced Stalin to not trust anyone or anything? Or do you think that he naturally just thinks this way?
2 Replies to “The Cult of the Individual”
I think that was just the type of person Stalin was. I feel as if he put on a front to intimidate anyone below him to let them know who is in charge. I am not sure if he was like that in his day-to-day life away from politics and the government. As mentioned in Khrushchev’s speech, Lenin was aware that Stalin had characteristics that were not ideal as a leader, to say the least.
I agree with Naomi that being distrustful might just have been in Stalin’s nature, but I also believe it had to do with his political endeavors. I think that he had no choice but to be on edge because he did not necessarily have the support of all Soviet citizens on top of his oppressive regime. However, as a leader, you have to accept that not everyone will agree with you, so his excessive distrust was misplaced and lead him to be disliked even more. Also, I feel that his suspicion and distrust helped to normalize or justify his oppressive policies because he saw everyone as “enemies”, “two-facers”, or “spies”.