MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE



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Stalin, of `mediocre intelligence'

We finish with the third `truth' about Stalin's personality: the brutal and cold man, of mediocre intelligence, with no consideration for his fellow humans and who had nothing but contempt for his aids.

In fact, the men who had to `endure' this monster day after day for those four terrible war years offer a radically different picture of Stalin.

Here is how Zhukov  described his `master':

`Though slight in stature and undistinguished in outward appearance, Stalin was nevertheless an imposing figure. Free of affectation and mannerisms, he won the heart of everyone he spoke to. His visitors were invariable struck by his candour and his uninhibited manner of speaking, and impressed by his ability to express his thoughts clearly, his inborn analytical turn of mind, his erudition and retentive memory, all of which made even old hands and big shots brace themselves and be ``on the alert.'' '

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Zhukov,  op. cit. , p. 283.

`Stalin possessed not only an immense natural intelligence, but also amazingly wide knowledge. I was able to observe his ability to think analytically during sessions of the Party Politburo, the State Defence Committee and during my permanent work in the GHQ. He would attentively listen to speakers, ... sometimes asking questions and making comments. And when the discussion was over he would formulate his conclusions precisely and sum things up.'

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Vasilevsky,  op. cit. , p. 448.

`His tremendous capacity for work, his ability quickly to grasp the meaning of a book, his tenacious memory --- all these enabled him to master, during one day, a tremendous amount of factual data, which could be coped with only by a very gifted man.'

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Zhukov,  op. cit. , p. 283.

Vasilevsky  added to this portrait with a few comments about how Stalin related to other men:

`Stalin ... had a great capacity for organization. He worked very hard himself, but he also could make others work to the full extent of their ability, squeezing from them all that they could offer.'

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Vasilevsky,  op. cit. , p. 452.

`Stalin had an amazingly good memory .... Stalin knew not only all the commanders of the fronts and armies, and there were over a hundred of them, but also several commanders of corps and divisions, as well as the top officials of the People's Defence Commissariat, not to speak of the top personnel of the central and regional Party and state apparatus.'

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Ibid. , p. 451.

In addition, Stalin knew personally a number of builders of aircraft, artillery and tanks; he often convened them and asked of them detailed questions.

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Zhukov,  op. cit. , p. 284.



next up previous contents index
Next: Stalin's military merits Up: Stalinhis personality Previous: Stalinthe `hysteric'



Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995