As per and article written in Wikipedia, "Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (18 December 1878– 5 March 1953) was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Holding the post of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, he was effectively the dictator of the state. He served as the Premier of the Soviet Union from 1941 onward.
Under Stalin's rule, the concept of "Socialism in One Country" became a central tenet of Soviet society, contrary to Leon Trotsky's view that socialism must be spread through continuous international revolutions. He replaced the New Economic Policy introduced by Lenin in the early 1920s with a highly centralized command economy, launching a period of industrialization and collectivization that resulted in the rapid transformation of the USSR from an agrarian society into an industrial power. However, the economic changes coincided with the imprisonment of millions of people in Gulag labour camps. The initial upheaval in agriculture disrupted food production and contributed to the catastrophic Soviet famine of 1932–33, known in Ukraine as the Holodomor. Between 1934 and 1939 he organized and led a massive purge (known as "Great Purge") of the party, government, armed forces and intelligentsia, in which millions of so-called "enemies of the working class" were imprisoned, exiled or executed, often without due process. Major figures in the Communist Party and government, and many Red Army high commanders, were killed after being convicted of treason in show trials.
In August 1939, after failed attempts to conclude anti-Hitler pacts with other major European powers, Stalin entered into a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany known as the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, or the Nazi-Soviet Pact, that divided their influence and territory within Eastern Europe, resulting in their invasion of Poland in September of that year, but Germany later violated the agreement and launched a massive invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Despite heavy human and territorial losses, Soviet forces managed to halt the Nazi incursion after the decisive Battles of Moscow and Stalingrad. After defeating the Axis powers on the Eastern Front, the Red Army captured Berlin in May 1945, effectively ending the war in Europe for the Allies. The Soviet Union subsequently emerged as one of two recognized world superpowers, the other being the United States. Communist governments loyal to the Soviet Union were established in most countries freed from German occupation by the Red Army, which later constituted the Eastern Bloc. Stalin also had close relations with Mao Zedong in China and Kim Il-sung in North Korea.
Stalin led the Soviet Union through its post-war reconstruction phase, which saw a significant rise in tension with the Western world that would later be known as the Cold War. During this period, the USSR became the second country in the world to successfully develop a nuclear weapon, as well as launching the Great Plan for the Transformation of Nature in response to another widespread famine and the Great Construction Projects of Communism. In the years following his death, Stalin and his regime have been condemned on numerous occasions, most notably in 1956 when his successor Nikita Khrushchev denounced his legacy and initiated a process of de-Stalinization and rehabilitation to victims of his regime. Stalin remains a controversial figure today, with many regarding him as a tyrant. However, popular opinion within the Russian Federation is mixed. The exact number of deaths caused by Stalin's regime is still a subject of debate, but it is widely agreed to be in the order of millions."
As per Wikipedia, "Francisco Franco Bahamonde (4 December 1892 – 20 November 1975) was a Spanish general and the Caudillo of Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975. Coming from a military family background, he became the youngest general in Spain and one of the youngest generals in Europe in the 1920s.
As a conservative and a monarchist, he rejected the abolition of the monarchy and its replacement with a republic in 1931. With the 1936 elections, the conservative Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Right-wing Groups lost by a narrow margin and the leftist Popular Front came to power. Intending to overthrow the republic, Franco and other generals staged a failed coup precipitating the Spanish Civil War. With the death of the other generals, Franco quickly became his faction's only leader.
Franco's Nationalist faction received military support from fascist regimes and groups, especially Nazi Germany and the Kingdom of Italy, while the Republican side was supported by Spanish communists and anarchists as well as help from the Soviet Union, Mexico, and the International Brigades. Leaving half a million dead, the war was eventually won by Franco in 1939. He established a military dictatorship, which he defined as a totalitarian state. Franco proclaimed himself Head of State and Government under the title El Caudillo (the Chief), a term similar to Il Duce (Italian) and Der Führer (German). Under Franco, Spain became a one-party state with a merger of the monarchist party and the fascist party that helped him during the war, the FET y de las JONS, while all other political parties were outlawed.
Franco led a series of politically-motivated violent acts, including but not limited to concentration camps, forced labor and executions, mostly against political and ideological enemies, causing an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 deaths, depending on how death in the more than 190 concentration camps is considered. Although Franco's Spain maintained an official policy of neutrality during World War II, his regime helped the Axis in numerous ways. The German and Italian navies were allowed to use Spanish harbors from 1940 to 1943, the Abwehr gathered intelligence in Spain on Allied activity, and the Blue Division fought alongside the European Axis Powers against the Soviet Union. By the 1950s, the nature of his regime changed from being openly totalitarian and using severe repression to a more authoritarian system with limited pluralism. During the Cold War, Franco appeared as one of the world's foremost anticommunist figures; consequently his regime was assisted by the West, and was asked to join the United Nations and come under NATO's protection. By the 1960s Spain saw incremental reforms and progressive economic development.
After a 36-year rule, Franco died in 1975. He restored the monarchy before his death, which made King Juan Carlos I his successor, who led the Spanish transition to democracy. After a referendum, a new constitution was adopted, which transformed Spain into a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy."
According to the same source (Wikipedia), "Mao Zedong or Mao Tse-tung (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary and founding father of the People's Republic of China, which he ruled as an autocrat styled the Chairman of the Communist Party of China from its establishment in 1949, until his death in 1976. His Marxist–Leninist theories, military strategies, and political policies are collectively known as Maoism or Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
Born the son of a wealthy farmer in Shaoshan, Hunan, Mao adopted a Chinese nationalist and anti-imperialist outlook in early life, particularly influenced by the events of the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 and May Fourth Movement of 1919. Mao adopted Marxism–Leninism while working at Peking University and became a founding member of the Communist Party of China (CPC), leading the Autumn Harvest Uprising in 1927. During the Chinese Civil War between the Guomindang (GMD) and the CPC, Mao helped to found the Red Army, led the Jiangxi Soviet's radical land policies and ultimately became head of the CPC during the Long March. Although the CPC temporarily allied with the GMD under the United Front during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–45), after Japan's defeat China's civil war resumed and in 1949 Mao's forces defeated the Nationalists who withdrew to Taiwan.
On October 1, 1949, Mao proclaimed the foundation of the People's Republic of China (PRC), a one-party state controlled by the CPC. In the following years Mao solidified his control through land reform campaigns against landlords, and perceived enemies of the state he termed as "counter-revolutionaries". In 1957, he launched the Great Leap Forward campaign that aimed to rapidly transform China's economy from an agrarian economy to an industrial one. The campaign contributed to a widespread famine, whose death toll is estimated at between 15 and 45 million. In 1966, he initiated the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, a program to remove "counter-revolutionary" elements of Chinese society that lasted 10 years and which was marked by violent class struggle, widespread destruction of cultural artifacts and unprecedented elevation of Mao's personality cult. In 1972, Mao welcomed American President Richard Nixon in Beijing, signalling a policy of opening China, which was furthered under the rule of Deng Xiaoping (1978–1992). Mao suffered a series of heart attacks in 1976, dying in that September, aged 82. He was succeeded as Paramount leader by Hua Guofeng (1976–1978), who was quickly sidelined and replaced by Deng.
A controversial figure, Mao is regarded as one of the most important individuals in modern world history, and is also known as a theorist, military strategist, poet and visionary. Supporters credit him with driving imperialism out of China, modernising China and building it into a world power, promoting the status of women, improving education and health care, and increasing life expectancy as China's population grew from around 550 million to over 900 million during the period of his leadership. In contrast, critics consider him a dictator comparable to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin who severely damaged traditional Chinese culture, as well as a perpetrator of systematic human rights abuses who was responsible for an estimated 40 to 70 million deaths through starvation, forced labour and executions, ranking his tenure as the top incidence of homicide in human history."
As per Wikipedia, "Kim Jong-un was born 8 January 1984 in Pyongyang and is the Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and supreme leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), commonly referred to as North Korea.
Kim is the third and youngest son of Kim Jong-il (1941—2011) and his consort Ko Yong-hui. Little is known for certain about Kim Jong-un. Before taking power, Kim had barely been seen in public, and many of the activities of both Kim and his government remain shrouded in secrecy. Even details such as what year he was born, and whether he did indeed attend a Western school under a pseudonym, are difficult to confirm with certainty.
Kim was officially declared the supreme leader, following the state funeral of his father on 28 December 2011. Kim holds the titles of Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Chairman of the National Defence Commission, Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, and presidium member of the Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea.
Kim was promoted to the rank of Marshal of North Korea in the Korean People's Army on 18 July 2012, consolidating his position as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and is often referred to as Marshal Kim Jong-un or "the Marshal" by state media.
Kim obtained two degrees, one in physics at Kim Il-sung University, and another as an Army officer at the Kim Il-sung Military University.
On 9 March 2014, Kim Jong-un was elected unopposed to the Supreme People's Assembly. At 32 years of age, Kim is the first North Korean leader born after the country's founding and the world's youngest state leader. Kim was named the World's 46th Most Powerful Person by the Forbes list of The World's Most Powerful People in 2013."
Probably the most well known of the bunch is Adolf Hitler, According to Wikipedia, "Adolf was born on the 20 April 1889 and died 30 April 1945. He was a German politician who was the leader of the Nazi Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei; NSDAP), Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and Führer ("leader") of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. As dictator of Nazi Germany, he initiated World War II in Europe with the invasion of Poland in September 1939 and was a central figure of the Holocaust.
Hitler was born in Austria, then part of Austria-Hungary, and raised near Linz. He moved to Germany in 1913 and was decorated during his service in the German Army in World War I. He joined the German Workers' Party, the precursor of the NSDAP, in 1919 and became leader of the NSDAP in 1921. In 1923, he attempted a coup in Munich to seize power. The failed coup resulted in Hitler's imprisonment, during which time he dictated the first volume of his autobiography and political manifesto Mein Kampf ("My Struggle"). After his release in 1924, Hitler gained popular support by attacking the Treaty of Versailles and promoting Pan-Germanism, anti-Semitism, and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and Nazi propaganda. Hitler frequently denounced international capitalism and communism as being part of a Jewish conspiracy.
By 1933, the Nazi Party was the largest elected party in the German Reichstag, which led to Hitler's appointment as Chancellor on 30 January 1933. Following fresh elections won by his coalition, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, which began the process of transforming the Weimar Republic into Nazi Germany, a one-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideology of National Socialism. Hitler aimed to eliminate Jews from Germany and establish a New Order to counter what he saw as the injustice of the post-World War I international order dominated by Britain and France. His first six years in power resulted in rapid economic recovery from the Great Depression, the effective abandonment of restrictions imposed on Germany after World War I, and the annexation of territories that were home to millions of ethnic Germans—actions which gave him significant popular support.
Hitler sought Lebensraum ("living space") for the German people. His aggressive foreign policy is considered to be the primary cause of the outbreak of World War II in Europe. He directed large-scale rearmament and on 1 September 1939 invaded Poland, resulting in British and French declarations of war on Germany. In June 1941, Hitler ordered an invasion of the Soviet Union. By the end of 1941 German forces and the European Axis powers occupied most of Europe and North Africa. Failure to defeat the Soviets and the entry of the United States into the war forced Germany onto the defensive and it suffered a series of escalating defeats. In the final days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, Hitler married his long-time lover, Eva Braun. On 30 April 1945, less than two days later, the two killed themselves to avoid capture by the Red Army, and their corpses were burned.
Under Hitler's leadership and racially motivated ideology, the Nazi regime was responsible for the genocide of at least 5.5 million Jews and millions of other victims whom he and his followers deemed Untermenschen ("sub-humans") and socially undesirable. Hitler and the Nazi regime were also responsible for the killing of an estimated 19.3 million civilians and prisoners of war. In addition, 29 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of military action in the European Theatre of World War II. The number of civilians killed during the Second World War was unprecedented in warfare, and constitutes the deadliest conflict in human history."
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