Stalin pp 208-235 | Cite as


  • Robert H. McNeal
Part of the St Antony’s book series


On 11 December 1937 Stalin gave a speech that should have caused the perceptive listener to fear that the Leader’s mental state was slipping wholly out of control. The setting was the ornate Bolshoi Theatre, and the occasion was meant to be joyous, optimistic. It was a special meeting of the voters of the ‘Stalin’ electoral district, assembled to hear speeches on the eve of the election of deputies to the Supreme Soviet, the parliament established by the ‘Stalin Constitution’ which had been adopted the previous year. Stalin had been nominated by 3346 districts as their deputy, but could stand as a candidate only in one, which turned out to be central Moscow. The build-up for the election had included speeches by all the political magnates except Stalin, and on this occasion those among his lieutenants who were in Moscow were not required to speak again. They merely sat in the audience to hear appropriately grateful, celebratory speeches by two factory workers, a physician, a teacher and a housewife.1


Central Committee Foreign Minister Electoral District Party Secretary Party Official 
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Copyright information

© Robert H. McNeal 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert H. McNeal
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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