How will these resources help you?
Stalin reportedly said ‘One death is a tragedy, a million deaths a statistic’ and the unbelievable scale of the cruelties inflicted on the Russian people by his regime is often difficult to grasp. With breath-taking irony, Soviet children were presented with propaganda posters declaring ‘Thank you Comrade Stalin for our happy childhood’. Seeing these events through the eyes of children and young people allows a deeper understanding of the horrors of this great Soviet project in social engineering, as well as encouraging pupils to make that important distinction between the people and the leader. Studying the life of teenagers under Stalin is a good place to start learning about the mechanisms of social control in totalitarian states. Looking at this era of Russian history is also vital in developing an understanding how Putin’s Russia operates today.
The Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s
by Piers Brendon, published by Penguin, (2001), 9780712667142
I Want To Live: The Diary of a Young Girl in Stalin's Russia
by Nina Lugovskaya, published by Black Swan, (2016), 9781784162337
Developing the theme
The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia
by Orlando Figes, published by Penguin, (2008), 9780713997026
World's Busiest Cities - Soviet Russia
published by BBC, (2017)
Text © Paul Dowsell, 2020.