27th March 1886 – Birth of Sergei Mironovich Kirov

Sergei M Kirov

Sergei M Kirov

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Sergei Mironovich Kirov 27th March 1886 – 1st December 1934

From The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979)

(Party pseudonym of S. M. Kostrikov). Born March 27th 1886, in Urzhum, in present-day Kirov Oblast; died December 1st 1934, in Leningrad. A prominent figure of the Communist Party and the Soviet state. Became a member of the Communist Party in 1904.

Kirov’s father belonged to the lower middle class (meshchanstvo). After his parents died, Kirov at the age of seven was placed in an orphanage. He studied at the Urzhum City School from 1897 to 1901 and the Kazan Mechanical and Technical School, from which he graduated in 1904; that same autumn he moved to Tomsk and worked as a draftsman with the city executive board. There Kirov became an active member of the Bolshevik group of the Tomsk Social Democratic organization. He was elected to the Tomsk Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) committee in July 1905 and organized an underground printing press and conducted party work among railroad workers in the summer of 1906. In October 1905, Kirov prepared and successfully led a strike at the important Taiga railroad station. He was repeatedly arrested in 1905 and 1906; in February 1907, having spent seven months in prison, he was sentenced to one year and four months of detention in a fortress.

After his release in June 1908, Kirov moved to Irkutsk, where he re-established the Party organization that had been smashed by the police. Evading police persecution, Kirov moved in May 1909 to Vladikavkaz (now Ordzhonikidze), assumed the leadership of the Bolshevik organization, and worked on the newspaper Terek. In November 1912 the newspaper published the article “Simplicity of Mores” over the signature S. Kirov, a surname that became his party pseudonym. In the period of the new revolutionary upswing in 1910–14 and during World War I, Kirov directed all Bolshevik political work in the Northern Caucasus; he was elected to the Vladikavkaz Soviet after the February Revolution of 1917. In October 1917, Kirov was a delegate to the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets and participated in the October armed uprising in Petrograd. Upon returning to Vladikavkaz, Kirov led the struggle of the working people of the Terek for Soviet rule. He attended the second oblast congress of the peoples of the Terek, held in Piatigorsk in February-March 1918, which proclaimed Soviet rule in the Northern Caucasus, and attended the Sixth All-Russian Congress of Soviets in November 1918 as a delegate of Terek Oblast.

In late December 1918, Kirov led an expedition transporting arms and ammunition through Astrakhan to the Northern Caucasus; he stopped in Astrakhan because the Whites had captured the Northern Caucasus by that time. He was then appointed chairman of the Provisional Military Revolutionary Committee of Astrakhan Krai in February 1919, becoming a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Eleventh Army on May 7th 1919, and a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Southern Troop Group of the Red Army on July 7th Kirov was one of the organizers and leaders of the defense of Astrakhan. From January 1919, Kirov and G. K. Ordzhonikidze directed the offensive of the Eleventh Army in the Northern Caucasus; after capturing Vladikavkaz on March 30th and Baku on May 1st the army helped the workers in Baku overthrow the Musavatists and restore Soviet power.

On May 29th 1920, Kirov was appointed plenipotentiary of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) in Georgia, where the Mensheviks had seized power, and on October 1st – 12th 1920, he headed the Soviet delegation in Riga concluding the peace treaty with Poland. Kirov became a member of the Caucasian Bureau of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) RCP (B) after his return to the Northern Caucasus (October 1920). He was elected a candidate member of the Central Committee of the RCP(B) at the Tenth Congress of the RCP(B) in March 1921 and directed the work of the constituent congress of the Gorskaia Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR) (Vladikavkaz) on April 16th – 22nd 1921. Elected secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan in early July 1921, Kirov was instrumental in the rehabilitation of the petroleum industry and was one of the founders of the Transcaucasion Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (December 1922). The Twelfth Congress of the RCP(B), held in April 1923, elected him to the Central Committee of the RCP(B).

At a crucial point in the struggle against the Trotskyite-Zinovievite opposition, the party sent Kirov to Leningrad, and in February 1926 he was elected first secretary of the Leningrad Province Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolshevik), ACP(B) and of the North-western Bureau of the Central Committee of the ACP(B) and a candidate member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the ACP(B). Under his leadership the Leningrad organization made great strides in all fields of socialist construction. Kirov waged an uncompromising and principled struggle for party unity against all anti-party groupings, such as the Trotskyites, Zinovievites, and Bukharinites. He was elected to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the ACP(B) in 1930, to the Organization Bureau in 1934, also becoming its secretary, and to the Presidium of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR. A passionate tribune totally committed to the cause of the Party, Kirov enjoyed tremendous prestige among and had the love of the Soviet people. On December 1st 1934, Kirov was killed by an enemy of the Communist Party in Smol’nyi Institute (Leningrad).

Kirov had been awarded the Order of Lenin and the Order of the Red Banner. He is buried in Moscow on Red Square at the Kremlin wall.

Sergei with JV Stalin

Sergei with JV Stalin

From The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik)

Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 19039, pp325-328

On December 1, 1934, S. M. Kirov was foully murdered in the Smolny, in Leningrad, by a shot from a revolver.

The assassin was caught red-handed and turned out to be a member of a secret counter-revolutionary group made up of members of an anti-Soviet group of Zinovievites in Leningrad.

S. M. Kirov was loved by the Party and the working class, and his murder stirred the people profoundly, sending a wave of wrath and deep sorrow through the country.

The investigation established that in 1933 and 1934 an underground counter-revolutionary terrorist group had been formed in Leningrad consisting of former members of the Zinoviev opposition and headed by a so-called “Leningrad Centre.” The purpose of this group was to murder leaders of the Communist Party. S. M. Kirov was chosen as the first victim. The testimony of the members of this counter-revolutionary group showed that they were connected with representatives of foreign

capitalist states and were receiving funds from them.

The exposed members of this organization were sentenced by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the U.S.S.R. to the supreme penalty—to be shot.


In a circular letter to Party organizations on the subject of the foul murder of S. M. Kirov, the Central Committee of the Party stated:

a) We must put an end to the opportunist complacency engendered by the enormous assumption that as we grow stronger the enemy will become tamer and more inoffensive. This assumption is an utter fallacy. It is a recrudescence of the Right deviation, which assured all and sundry that our enemies would little by little creep into Socialism and in the end become real Socialists. The Bolsheviks have no business to rest on their laurels; they have no business to sleep at their posts. What we need is not complacency, but vigilance, real Bolshevik revolutionary vigilance. It should be remembered that the more hopeless the position of the enemies, the more eagerly will they clutch at ‘extreme measures’ as the only recourse of the doomed in their struggle against the Soviet power. We must remember this, and be vigilant.

b) We must properly organize the teaching of the history of the Party to Party members, the study of all and sundry anti-Party groups in the history of our Party, their methods of combating the Party line, their tactics and—still more the tactics and methods of our Party in combating anti-Party groups, the tactics and methods which have enabled our Party to vanquish and demolish these groups. Party members should not only know how the Party combated and vanquished the Constitutional-Democrats, Socialist-Revolutionaries, Mensheviks and Anarchists, but also how it combated and vanquished the Trotskyites, the ‘Democratic-Centralists,’ the ‘Workers’ Opposition,’ the Zinovievites, the Right deviators, the Right-Leftist freaks and the like. It should never be forgotten that a knowledge and understanding of the history of our Party is a most important and essential means of fully ensuring the revolutionary vigilance of the Party members.

SM Kirov addressing a meeting in the Ingush village of Bazorkino

SM Kirov addressing a meeting in the Ingush village of Bazorkino

From The History of the Civil War in the USSR

Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1947, pp136-138


In the North Caucasus the Bolsheviks were obliged to fight under extremely difficult conditions. The very intricate national situation, the antagonisms among the Cossacks, the strife between the higher caste of the Cossacks and the Mountain People, and between the Cossacks as a whole and the peasant settlers from other parts of the country, the national strife among the Mountain People, and the numerical weakness of the proletariat in the region – all this necessitated the employment of exceptionally cautious tactics. An example of thoughtful, Bolshevik handling of problems was set in the Terek Region in 1917 by Sergei Mironovich Kirov.

Kirov had been away in Petrograd on a mission on behalf of the Vladikavkaz Bolshevik organisation and the Vladikavkaz Soviet. He returned on September 2 and immediately plunged into revolutionary work. Every day, and sometimes several times a day, he addressed meetings of workers and soldiers. A brilliant speaker, and well read, he had a gift for illustrating his arguments with vivid metaphors and examples. His inspired speeches, breathing profound faith in the victory of the revolution, literally fired his audiences. In preparing the proletariat and the working people in the North Caucasus in general for armed insurrection Kirov attached enormous importance to propaganda activities among the poorer sections of the Mountain People, among whom he was already extremely popular.

The counter-revolutionaries among the Cossacks and Mountain People did their utmost to foment national strife. Rumours were deliberately spread in the Cossack stanitsas to the effect that the Bolsheviks were· inciting the Mountain People to set fire to and destroy the stanitsas. On the other hand, the mullahs and kulaks among the Mountain People spread the rumour that the shaitans (devils), the Bolsheviks, were urging the Cossacks to wreck their mosques and seize their wives and children. The poorer sections of the Mountain People and the Cossacks, however, knew Kirov as a courageous Bolshevik who had already on one occasion averted what had seemed an inevitable sanguinary collision. On July 6, the soldiers in Vladikavkaz, incited by the counter-revolutionaries, brutally assaulted the unarmed Mountain People who had come to market. The flames of national war threatened to engulf the city, the Cossack stanitsas and the auls, or mountain villages. Foreseeing the frightful bloodshed that would result in the extermination of the best revolutionary forces and the strengthening of the counter-revolutionary forces among the Cossacks’ and the Mountain People, Kirov went off alone to the Ingush village of Bazorkino, where preparations were in progress for an armed attack on Vladikavkaz and succeeded in revealing to the Ingush people the provocative designs of the counter-revolutionaries among the Cossacks and Mountain People. His courage and daring made such a profound impression upon them that they abandoned their intention of attacking the city. Through Kirov, the best representatives of the Ingush people, such as Sultan Kostayev and Yusup Albagachiev, made contact with the Vladikavkaz Soviet of Workers’ Deputies.

Kirov also established connections with the poorer sections of the Ossetian people through the Ossetian revolutionary party known as ‘Kermen’, which was formed in the summer of 1917. This party took its name from the legendary Ossetian hero, Kermcn, a slave, who had fought for his rights and had been treacherously killed by his oppressors. True, this organisation lacked a definite program and clung to a number of nationalist prejudices and fallacies, but it exercised considerable influence among the poorer sections of the Ossetian peasants. In May 1918 the best elements of the ‘Kermenists’ joined the Bolshevik Party and formed an Ossetian Area Bolshevik organisation.

By the autumn of 1917 the Vladikavkaz Party organisation had undergone considerable change. Under Kirov’s leadership, the Bolsheviks had won over the proletarian nucleus in the united Social-Democratic organisation, and from the very first days of the revolution had acted as an independent group. They were backed by the workers in the railway workshops and the Alagir Works.

The split in the Social-Democratic organisation occurred at the end of October 1917. At a general Party meeting held in Vladikavkaz, of the 500 members present, only eight supported the Menshevik platform. In face of this overwhelming defeat the Mensheviks withdrew from the meeting.

Thus, on the eve of the Great Proletarian Revolution the Vladikavkaz Bolsheviks were united in a strong and solid Party organisation. This was an extremely important factor in securing the victory of the Soviet regime in the North Caucasus. Already at the end of September the Bolsheviks had gained control of the Vladikavkaz Soviet.

On October 5 the Vladikavkaz Soviet elected Kirov as one of its delegates to the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets. He was also elected as a delegate to this Congress by the Nalchik Soviet. On October 21, after Kirov had left for Petrograd, the Vladikavkaz Soviet re-elected him in his absence a member of the new Executive Committee that was chosen that night.

In JV Stalin, Works, Volume 14, pp63-65


1st December 1934

A great sorrow has befallen our Party. On December 1st, Comrade Kirov fell victim to the hand of an assassin, a scallawag sent by the class enemies.

The death of Kirov is an irreparable loss, not only for us, his close friends and comrades, but also for all those who have known him in his revolutionary work, and have known him as a fighter, comrade and friend. A man who has given all his brilliant life to the cause of the working class, to the cause of Communism, to the cause of the liberation of humanity, is dead, victim of the enemy.

Comrade Kirov was an example of Bolshevism, recognizing neither fear nor difficulties in the realizing of the great aim, fixed by the Party. His integrity, his will of iron, his astonishing qualities as an orator, inspired by the Revolution, were combined in him with such cordiality and such tenderness in his relations with his comrades and personal friends, with such warmth and modesty, all of which are traits of the true Leninist.

Comrade Kirov has worked in different parts of the U.S.S.R. in the period of illegality and after the October Revolution – at Tomsk and Astrakhan, at Vladicaucase and Baku – and everywhere he upheld the high standard of the Party; he has won for the Party millions of workers, due to his revolutionary work, indefatigable, energetic and fruitful.

During the last nine years, Comrade Kirov directed the organization of our Party in Lenin’s town, and the region of Leningrad. There is no possibility, by means of a short and sad letter, to give an appreciation of his activities among the workers of Leningrad. It would have been difficult to find in our Party, a director who could be more successfully in harmony with the working class of Leningrad, who could so ably unite all the members of the Party and all the working class around the Party. He has created in the whole organization of Leningrad, this same atmosphere of organization, of discipline, of love and of Bolshevik devotion to the Revolution, which characterised Comrade Kirov himself.

You were near us all Comrade Kirov, as a trusted friend, as a loved comrade, as a faithful companion in arms. We will remember you, dear friend, till the end of our life and of our struggle and we feel bitterness at our loss. You were always with us in the difficult years of the struggle for the victory of Socialism in our country, you were always with us in the years of uncertainty and internal difficulties in our Party, you have lived with us all the difficulties of these last years, and we have lost you at the moment when our country has achieved great victories. In all these struggles, in all our achievements, there is very much evidence of you, of your energy, your strength and your ardent love for the Communist cause.

Farewell, Sergei, our dear friend and comrade.

J. Stalin, S. Ordjonikidze, V. Molotov, M. Kalinin, K. Voroshilov, L. Kaganovich, A. Mikoyan, A. Andreyev, V. Tchoubar, A. Idanov, V. Kuibyshev. Ia. Roudzoutak, S. Kossior, P. Postychev, G. Petrovsky, A. Ienoukidze, M. Chkiriatov, Em. Iaroslavski, N. Ejov,


2 December 1934

Sergei Kirov Apartment Museum

Sergei Kirov Apartment Museum

SM Kirov House and Museum

From the museum website.

Kirov’s museum is located in the famous ‘House of Three Benois’ on the second entrance of the house number 26/28 on Kamennoostrovsky Prospect, on the 4th and 5th floors.

‘The House of three Benois’ is one of the largest pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg tenement buildings. It was constructed in 1911-1914. for the First Russian Insurance Company, designed by architects L. Benois, A. Benois, J. Benois and A. Gunst.

After the revolution of 1917, many apartments in this house became communal. Some of the apartments have been given to the Party and government leaders.

In April 1926, Kirov started to live in a service apartment number 20 in the house 26/28 on the Krasnyh Zor’ (Red Dawn) street (former Kamennoostrovsky Avenue). Sergei Mironovich Kirov was head of the Communist party organization in Leningrad. There he lived with his wife, Maria Lvovna Marcus until the last day of his life, up to December 1st 1934. In 1955, the apartment became a museum.

In addition to the memorial five-room apartment (in four of which authentic furniture are fully preserved ) you will see two hallways, bathroom and kitchen (which were renovated in the 2000s.). In the former maids room is an interactive educational game ‘Take what you are given’, which dedicated to the food supply and rationing system in 1920-1930 Leningrad. In another room of the museum is an exposition ‘Kirov’s office in Smolny’.

Location and information

5th floor

Kamennoostrovsky Avenue, 26-28,

St. Petersburg,


Metro: Petrogradskaya, Gorkovskaya

Opening Hours

Everyday: 11.00 to 18.00.
Ticket Office: from 11.00 to 17.30
Closed: Wednesday


Adults 200 ruble

Students 150 ruble

Guided Excursion (individuals) 600 ruble + entrance

(group 3-5) 1,500 ruble + entrance

To Book a Guided Excursion: (812) 346-02-89

E-mail: KirovCM@yandex.ru

Website: https://kirovmuseum.ru/en

More on the USSR

More on the ‘Revolutionary Year’

JV Stalin pamphlets, compilations, articles, correspondence and commentaries

Towards Economic Abundance!

Towards Economic Abundance!

More on the USSR

The Great ‘Marxist-Leninist’ Theoreticians

JV Stalin pamphlets, compilations, articles, correspondence and commentaries

A more comprehensive collection of the writings of Comrade Stalin can be found at JV Stalin – Collected Works and more about his life at JV Stalin – Biographies, Reminiscences and Appraisals.

An Interview with the German Author Emil Ludwig, December 13, 1931, (Moscow, 1932), 22 pages.

Marxism vs. Liberalism, an interview by H.G. Wells, July 23, 1934. (NY, New Century Publishers, September 1945), 28 pages.

Marxism and the National Question, (Moscow, FLPH, 1945), 80 pages.

War Speeches – Orders of the Day and Answers to Foreign Press Correspondents during the Great Patriotic War, July 3rd, 1941 – June 22nd 1945, (London, Hutchinson, 1945), 140 pages.

On the Draft Constitution of the USSR – Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the USSR, (Moscow, FLPH, 1945), 86 pages.

On the Draft Constitution of the USSR – Constitutional (Fundamental Law) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, (Moscow, FLPH, 1950), 130 pages.

On China: Writings from November 1926 to August 1927, (Bombay, Feb. 1951), 114 pages.

Report to the Eighteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U.(B.) on the Work of the Central Committee, March 10, 1939. (Moscow, FLPH, 1951), 108 pages.

Dialectical and Historical Materialism, (Moscow, FLPH, 1951), 56 pages.

Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR, (Moscow, FLPH, 1952), 104 pages.

The law of value under Socialism, from Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR, pp18-24

Speech at the 19th Party Congress, October 14, 1952, (Moscow, FLPH, 1952), 20 pages. One of the last public speeches and appearances before his death in March 1953.

Anarchism or Socialism?, (NY, International, 1953), 64 pages.

Prospects of the Revolution in China, Speech delivered in the Chinese Commission of the ECCI, November 30 1926, with Questions of the Chinese Revolution, Thesis for Propagandists, approved by the CC of the CPSU (B), (Moscow, FLPH, 1955), 100 pages.

Correspondence between the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Presidents of the USA and the Prime Ministers of Great Britain the Great Patriotic War of 1941 – 1945, Volume 1, Correspondence with Winston S Churchill and Clement R Atlee, (July 1941 – November 1945), (Moscow, Progress, 1957), 403 pages.

Correspondence between the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Presidents of the USA and the Prime Ministers of Great Britain the Great Patriotic War of 1941 – 1945, Volume 2, Correspondence with Franklin D Roosevelt and Harry S Truman, (August 1941 – December 1945), (Moscow, Progress, 1957), 291 pages.

On Stalin’s ‘Economic Problems’ – Part 1, (Dublin, ICO, 1969), 40 pages. Irish Communist Organisation Pamphlet.

Marxism and Market Socialism – On Stalin’s ‘Economic Problems’ – Part 2, (Dublin, ICO, 1969), 92 pages. Irish Communist Organisation Pamphlet No 16.

Notes and corrections to Marxism and Market Socialism.

Dialectical and Historical Materialism, (Dublin, Irish Communist Organisation, 1970), 44 pages.

Dialectical and Historical Materialism, (Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist, 1972), 28 pages.

On Lenin, (Dublin, ICO, 1970), 28 pages. 4 articles. The organiser and leader of the Russian Communist Party (On the Fiftieth Anniversary of Lenin’s Birth). Sketches (Comrade Lenin’s Convalescence). On the Death of Lenin (Speech delivered at the Second Congress of Soviets of the USSR, 26th January, 1924). On Lenin (Speech delivered at a Memorial Evening of Kremlin Military Students, 28th January, 1924). Irish Communist Organisation.

On an Article by Engels, (Dublin, ICO, 1971), 23 pages.

On the Personality Cult, (Dublin, ICO, 1971), 12 pages.

Marxism and Problems of Linguistics, (Peking, FLP, 1972), 55 pages.

Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR, (Peking, FLP, 1972), 101 pages. This is an almost exact reproduction of the Moscow, FLPH version published in 1952 (see above). The only difference is that this version has a couple of pages of Notes.

On Organization, (Calcutta, New Book Centre, 1974), 56 pages. 4 articles. On problems of Organisational Leadership; Cadres decide everything; Selection, promotion and Allocation of Cadres; On Practical Work. Plus 2 Appendices, one by LM Kaganovich and one by G Dimitrov.

The Foundations of Leninism, (Peking, FLP, 1975), 128 pages. Lectures delivered at the Sverdlov University.

Principles of Party Organization, (Calcutta, Mass Publications, 1975), 47 pages. Thesis on the Organization and Structure of Communist Parties, adopted at the Third Congress of the Communist International in 1921. It was on this basis of this thesis that JV Stalin based his lectures reproduced in ‘The Foundations of Leninism’.

Stalin’s Speeches on the American Communist Party, (San Francisco, Proletarian Publishers, 1975), 39 pages. 3 articles. Speech delivered in the American Commission of the Presidium of the ECCI (May 6, 1929). Speech delivered in the Presidium of the ECCI on the American Question (May 14, 1929). Second Speech delivered at the Presidium of the ECCI on the American Question (May 14, 1929).

On October Revolution, (Calcutta, Mass Publications, 1976), 107 pages.

Lenin, (Peking, FLP, 1977), 56 pages.

Mastering Bolshevism, Speech to the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, March 3, 1937. 19 pages.

The Stalin Question, (Calcutta, Kathashilpa, 1979), 400 pages. An Anthology on the question of Stalin. Edited by Banbehari Chakrabarty. ‘Brings together most of the relevant materials – adequately prefaced and annotated – highlighting the basic aspects of the question as reflected in the writings of Lenin, Mao, Khrushchev, Voroshilov, Zhukov, Togliatti, Tito, Garaudy, Hoxha, Trotsky and Stalin.’

My Dear Mr Stalin – the complete correspondence between Franklin D Roosevelt and Joseph V Stalin, ( New Haven, Yale, 2005), 382 pages.

Compilations from the works of JV Stalin with other great Marxists

Strategy and Tactics of the Proletarian Revolution, (N.Y., International, 1936), 95 pages. Consists of a series of brief extracts mostly from the works of Lenin, Stalin and from some reports of the Comintern.

The Dictatorship of the Proletariat, articles and extracts from the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, compiled and arranged by V. Bystryansky and M. Mishin, ‘Readings in Leninism’ series, (NY: International, 1936), 132 pages.

Lenin and Stalin on Youth, (London, Lawrence and Wishart, 1940), Little Lenin Library, Volume Twenty One, 48 pages.

Lenin and Stalin on The State, (London, Lawrence and Wishart, 1942), Little Lenin Library, Volume Twenty Three, 48 pages.

Selections from V. I. Lenin and J. V. Stalin on the National and Colonial Question, (Calcutta, 1970), 244 pages.

Marx, Engels and Lenin: On the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, a collection of quotations, (Peking: FLP, 1975), 52 pages. (Some underlining.) This collection also appeared in Peking Review on February 28, 1975.

In Spanish

El Marxismo y los Problemas de la Linguistica, (Peking, FLP, 1976), 55 pages.

The Death of Stalin

The Death of Stalin – An investigation by ‘Monitor’, (London, Allan Wingate, 1958), 144 pages. This is a strange one. I assume, but am not definite, that this was a publication of the Christian Science Monitor organisation. It’s certainly not a ‘pro-Stalin’ nor pro-Soviet approach towards the death of JV Stalin. However, the conclusion that Stalin was almost certainly murdered is interesting. Or one of the earlier ‘conspiracy theories’?

More on the USSR

The Great ‘Marxist-Leninist’ Theoreticians

JV Stalin – Biographies, Reminiscences and Appraisals

Generalissimo Stalin

Generalissimo Stalin

More on the USSR

The Great ‘Marxist-Leninist’ Theoreticians

JV Stalin – Biographies, Reminiscences and Appraisals

Joseph Vissirionovich Stalin (Djugashvili – his family name) is a controversial figure to say the least. From the time he became the leader of both the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) in 1924, after the untimely death of the great Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (prematurely as a consequence of an assassination attempt in 1918) he has been vilified and denigrated by all those who seek to maintain the status quo of exploitation and oppression and the control of everything by a small minority.

In 1939 Chairman Mao wrote a short pamphlet entitled To be attacked by the enemy is not a bad thing but a good thing. The Chairman has also been subject to vicious slanders and calumnies, in the same way as ‘Uncle Joe’ before him. But we have only to look at those throwing the insults to consider that we should take a step back and not just follow the mindless herd.   

(For information about Stalin’s life, especially as it was represented in the art created in the Soviet Union before the Revisionists and reactionaries were able to gain control of the country, can be seen in the Stalin Museum in Gori.)

What follows is a selection of biographies (mostly) from a ‘pro-Stalin’ stance. I make no excuse about only including those which stress the positive aspects of Comrade Stalin’s time as not only leader of the Soviet Union (and its Communist Party) but also – until the end of World War II and the success of the Marxist-Leninist led Liberation movements in Albania and China – the leader of the International Communist Movement. 

If you want ‘the opposing view’ just open a newspaper (analogue or digital); turn on a radio or TV; open a book by the sycophantic and toadying authors whose mission is to create confusion and discord based upon shallow and doubtful ‘scholarship’; or (perhaps frighteningly so) listen to any of the politicians in what used to be socialist countries as they push anyone else away as they seek to get as deep as possible up the fundament of capitalism.

As such opposition to Stalin is so ubiquitous – and as (in the capitalist west, especially the UK with its lauded BBC with its remarkably prejudiced ‘impartiality’) you are supposed to look at both sides of the argument you will better spend your time downloading and reading some of the biographies made available here.


Joseph Stalin – a short biography, Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1940, 96 pages. The first ‘official’ (so far as I’ve encountered – at least in English) biography of Stalin, produced by the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute in Moscow and published in translation in London in 1940 – before the Soviet union was considered an ally of the UK in the war against Hitlerite Fascism.

Shaw on Stalin, Russia Today Society, London, June 1941, 11 pages. Correspondence between the Irish writer George Bernard Shaw and the Social-democratic magazine The New Statesman where there was a disagreement of the position that Stalin would take in the war against Hitlerite Fascism. Published by The Russia Today Society in June 1941, just a matter of days before the Hitlerite invasion of the Soviet Union

Stalin and the Red Army, KE Voroshilov, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1941, 62 pages. Reminiscences of the role that JV Stalin played in the Russian Civil War (and the War in Intervention by the capitalist powers) between 1918-1922. Written by one of those who fought at his side. Again published just before the invasion of the Soviet Union by the Hitlerite forces of Fascism.

Joseph Stalin – a short biography, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1942, 77 pages. A revised version of the 1941 biography published by the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute and printed in London. This time a version printed in Moscow in 1942 – after the invasion by the Hitlerite Fascists.

Joseph Stalin – man of steel, DM Cole, Rich and Gowan, London, 1942, 136 pages, A biography written after the Hitlerite Fascist invasion of the Soviet Union just after the tide was beginning to turn against the invaders. A general look at the life of the Soviet leader. I can find no information about the author.

Landmarks in the life of Stalin, E Yaraslavsky, Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1942, 191 pages. A biography first published by the Foreign Languages Publishing House in Moscow in 1940 but which was reprinted in London as the interest in the background of the principle ally in the fight against Hitlerite Fascism grew after the invasion of the Soviet Union by the Nazi forces in June 1941. Yemelyan Yaroslavsky was a historian as well as a member of the Central Committee of the RCP from 1919. He was involved in the publication of a number of historical works of the Soviet Union – including the Civil War.

Stalin – 1879-1944, JT Murphy, John lane The Bodley Head, London, 1945, 251 pages. A biography written by a member of the Communist Party of Great (sic) Britain in 1945  after the Liberation of the country from Nazi Fascism in the Great Patriotic War. Murphy seemed to have quite personal access to Stalin at the time of his visits to the Soviet Union.

Joseph Stalin – a short biography, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1949, 207 pages. THE official biography of Stalin. Published in 1949, well after the defeat of Fascism, it was the last biography to be produced before the revisionist denunciation of Stalin (and consequently Lenin and all that the Revolution of 1917 meant for the workers and peasants of the world).

Stalin and the Armed Forces of the USSR, KE Voroshilov, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1951, 152 pages. A series of three articles written by Kliment Voroshilov on the 59th, 60th and 70th anniversary of the birth of Comrade Joseph Stalin.

My Uncle Joseph Stalin, Bude Svanidze, GP Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1953, 235 pages. Different from the other biographies that concentrate on the political situation in which Stalin lived. This is the reminiscences of a nephew who talks about Stalin and his relationships with his family – including Stalin’s three wives. (There’s an element of controversy about the provenance of this work. See the comments section on this blog.)

The Stalin Era, Anna Louise Strong, Mainstream Publishers, New York, 1956, 128 pages. ‘I think that, looking back, men will call it ‘the Stalin Era’. Tens of millions of people built the world’s first socialist state, but he was the engineer. he first gave voice to the thought that the peasant land of Russia could do it. from that time on, his mark was on all of it, on all the gains and all the evils.’ (From the Author’s Foreword)

Centenary of the birth of JV Stalin, 8 Nentori Publishing House, Tirana, 1979, 119 pages. A photographic history of JV Stalin, including some rarely seen photos. Published in Tirana, Albania and with an emphasis on the importance Stalin played in the Liberation of the country and in the building of Socialism.

Next to Stalin – notes of a bodyguard, AT Rybin, North Star Compass Journal, Toronto, 1996, 111 pages. Memoirs of a soldier who became one of Stalin’s bodyguards in 1931 until his death in 1953.

Another view of Stalin, Ludo Martens, EPO, Belgium, 1996, 179 pages. An analysis, and refutation, of the lies that have been perpetuated over the decades to vilify JV Stalin, not only to demonise the man himself but to place doubts in the minds of workers and peasants throughout the world that the solution to their problems is the building of Communism through the means of a revolutionary change of society. (An OCR scan from the original.)

Stalin – man of contradiction, Kenneth Neil Cameron, The Strong Oak Press, Stevenage, 1989, 203 pages. An evaluation of the life of JV Stalin which seeks to counter the simplistic, anti-Communist approach of many in the capitalist countries and, although not without faults, stresses the successes the Soviet Union achieved under his leadership.

With Stalin – memoirs, Enver Hoxha, 8 Nentori Publishing House, Tirana, 1979, 224 pages. Enver Hoxha’s reflections on his meetings with Comrade Stalin, published on the occasion of the Centenary of the Birth of the Great Marxist-Leninist Joseph Stalin.

The death of Stalin, Allan Wingate, London, 1958, 144 pages. An investigation by the ‘Monitor’ which comes to the conclusion that Stalin was murdered.

More on the USSR

The Great ‘Marxist-Leninist’ Theoreticians