Stalin has taken complete power over the Soviet Union. He has put in place a 5 year plan designed to maximize industrial output. He has organized collective farms by assigning families to join together. He has organized labor camps that will require workers to ration food and increase the output of industrial goods.
The brutality of the 5 year plan back in 1928 was unbearable. Stalin was heartless and believed that his plan would transform Russia from an agrarian country to an industrial one. Stalin thought that it was the blueprint for the development of industry, agriculture, railways, canals, trade, energy, housing, education, and all public services. He was right. However, no amount of development made the pain and suffering my family experienced worth it. Next, the government had told my family that they would be rationing our food and that we would be fed based on how much coal we extracted. My family was dying of starvation, along with millions of other Russian families. There were days that I was so hungry I couldn’t even stand up on my own. I hated Stalin for this.
I can remember the day Stalin announced his plan for collectivization. I was in shock. The government took away our farmland. The Kulaks, rich farmer families, were moved to our land. We grabbed only our necessities. My wife and children were crying the whole way to our new home. They had moved us to a larger area with 60 other families. On top of this, they announced that we would not able to make profit from selling our grain anymore. We were required to produce a minimum amount of grain to the government each month and they would pay us in wages. Fights were common among the families in the collective farms. Our family was usually not involved: only when it came down to self-defense. Due to the lack of food, there was a lot of stealing around the houses. There were many nights when my family went to bed hungry because our food had been stolen.
One night when everybody was asleep, I snuck out of our living quarters in pursuit of food for my family. I stumbled across the house of the man that stole from us a little while back. I opened the old, creaky, wooden door and made my best effort to quietly sneak across the house to where they stored their food. I filled my arms with all the food I could hold, but when I turned around I saw him staring me in my eyes with a look of pure hatred. I will never forget the look that my wife gave me the next day when she saw me. Cuts and bruises covering my entire face. I was unable to move, and several of my bones were broken. I learned a valuable life lesson that night, no matter how necessary it seemed, stealing was never the way to go.
After about a year, the Gulags, a secret police force set up by the government, had arranged for Labor Camps to be set up. Just as I thought it couldn’t get any worse, they separated me from my family. This was without a doubt the worst day of my life. The labor camps, set up all over Russia, were heavily guarded by watchtowers, surrounded in barbed wire, and were in the most remote areas possible. There was no escape. I was sure I would never see my family again. We were fed based on the amount of work we did. I shared a tent with two other men. In the night time it got so cold that often times workers would freeze to death. I remember waking up one day and the man that I was sleeping next to was frozen to a rock; the other man stole his blankets while he was sleeping.
Now that Stalin has signed the Nazi-Soviet pact he thinks that the Nazis are no longer a threat to Russia. How naïve. Britain and France made a wise move by not signing a peace treaty with Russia. Stalin is a crazy and unpredictable man. There is no telling what he will decide to do next. He took my family from me, the only thing that keeps me going. After all the pain and suffering he has caused me all I can do is hope and pray that somebody brings justice to the Russian people.