Was Stalin Mad?(History of Medicine) (Joseph Stalin)
South African Medical Journal, 2008, July, 98, 7
South African Medical Journal
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As the uncontested dictator of the Soviet Union for nearly 25 years, Joseph Stalin made no attempt to gain popular support among his nation, but enforced his interpretation of communist-socialist rule by means of unremitting oppression and terror. He caused severe suffering to vast numbers of his compatriots, and the deaths of many millions of Russians. At the time of his demise, the gulags held some 7.5 million condemned exiles. A survey of his health shows that he suffered from infectious diseases such as typhus, smallpox, tuberculosis and possibly poliomyelitis, and had severe dental problems, irritable colon syndrome, acute appendicitis with complications, and hypertension with ischaemic cardiac and cerebral disease. He died of an intracerebral haemorrhage at the age of 74 years. He was a complex picture of psychological abnormalities. However, he was probably not clinically insane but manifested a psychopathic personality with prominent elements of narcissism, sadism and paranoia. Stalin was the greatest dictator of the 20th century. The people of the Soviet Union widely revered him as its wise protector against imperialism and capitalism. Yet he was responsible (directly and indirectly) for the death of at least 50 million Russians. (1,2) In furthering the cause of 'the workers', he deemed it necessary to persecute the Russian Orthodox Church (killing 8 000 priests and monks in the process), the intelligentsia, writers, artists and scientists--and to eliminate the bulk of his friends and colleagues from the time of the Communist Revolution. When his estranged son, Yakov, unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide, Stalin's comment was: 'Ha, he cannot even shoot straight!' (3)
- Category: Health & Fitness
- Published: Jul 01, 2008
- Publisher: South African Medical Association
- Seller: The Gale Group, Inc.
- Print Length: 10 Pages
- Language: English