Question by Tfranks: Why was Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin so hard for many Soviets to accept?
So far, I have stated that:
Khrushchev refers to the Stalinist cult that held citizens of the Soviet Union in its thrall for so long. People had been controlled and brainwashed having Stalinist principles driven into their heads, many from birth. They were either unknowledgeable about anything outside of or before Stalin, or too fearful to even consider other paths of thought. To have these beliefs questioned for the first time was incomprehensible for many.
Leninism praised morality and principle beliving that the people were central to progression. He despised individualism and never imposed his views on another. His beliefs held that people should be persuaded, not forced to make decisions and formulate opinions. Stalin abused his power and became paranoid of any challenges to his regime. He did not explain his motives nor did he try to justify his intent. Dissenters and subversives were severely persecuted or executed and freedom was confiscated from the people. This demand of absolute submission had rendered the Soviet people amenable. Though many were enduring horrible oppression, the steps necessary for change risked far worse.
This is part of a large report Im writing.
A direct excerpt from Khrushchevs secret speech states: “..While ascribing great importance to the role of the leaders and organizers of the masses, Lenin at the same time mercilessly stigmatized every manifestation of the cult of the individual… Khrushchev than goes on to emphasize how Lenin always patiently explained his opinions – all while contrasting to Stalin.
and I was not suggesting that Khrushchev claimed the people were brainwashed, I was merely stating it as general fact.
Thank you for your input it is greatly appreciated
Answers and Views:
Answer by Bob Smith
An important note is that freedom of press and freedom of speech were not allowed in the USSR. With pervasive government propoganda and not many detractors, Stalin was known as a hero to his people (outside nations knew the truth).
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