Stalin pp 11-26 | Cite as


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


That Dzhugashvili was not yet considered a political criminal when he left the seminary is implied by the first surviving document of any sort in his own handwriting. This is a neat list of temperature readings that he compiled for 2 and 12 January 1901 as an employee of the Tbilisi Physical Institute, a state agency that presumably would not hire known subversives.1 His comrades in the Marxist movement also seem not to have considered him one of the handful of professionals, for he was not yet subsidized from their meagre resources and had to have a job. It was not demanding work and gave him time to continue his underground propagandizing of industrial workers. If one may believe one of them, Sergei Alliluev, who in 1918 became Stalin’s father-in-law, young ‘Soso’ Dzhugashvili was the main organizer of a May Day gathering of workers in 1900.2 This was not what one would call a demonstration, because the estimated crowd of 500 made their way in small clusters at night or early morning to a deserted place near a monastery some eight miles outside Tbilisi, chosen by the ex-seminarian for security. Here they could in privacy unfurl a red banner bearing the portraits of Marx and Engels, sing the Marseillaise and listen to several speakers. The last of these was Dzhugashvili, making his début as an orator. Even in 1946, well into the era of the Stalin cult, Alliluev did not note that the speech was a particular success, even though the audience, he recalled, was full of revolutionary fervour. Nevertheless it is fair to guess that the meeting helped to establish Dzhugashvili as a force in the Georgian labour movement.


Central Committee Party Congress Party Programme Peasant Society Political Exile 
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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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