This is the incredibly powerful story of the Stalin years. It is based on rarely seen archival footage, contemporary diaries and documents and personal memoirs, as well as interviews with relatives and those people who survived the Gulag labour camps and World War II. It follows events from Stalin's rise to power, his association with Hitler and the Soviet involvement in the Second World War right through to his death. With an introduction by Nobel Peace Prize winner, diplomat and statesman Dr. Henry Kissinger, this is the incredibly powerful story of the Stalin years. It is based on rarely seen archival footage, contemporary diaries and documents and personal memoirs as well as interviews with relatives and those people who survived the Gulag labour camps and World War II.
Part 1 Part One begins with the death of Lenin and the power struggle that followed. Stalin's rise to power saw him launch an assault on the peasantry and his political rivals, as well as a disastrous purge of the Red Army. An alliance with Nazi Germany was soon to follow, yet would be quickly rendered meaningless as the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, leading to chaos and confusion as the Red Army fell back. Stalin, paralysed by the shock, retreated to his dacha. Minsk, Kiev and Smolensk fell. Stalin returned from hiding and signed the infamous Order 270, branding captured Soviet officers as traitors and committing their wives to forced labour. All too soon, the Wehrmacht would arrive at the gates of Moscow. Part 2 Part Two begins with the Germans at the gates of Moscow, as the winter closed in and starvation claimed thousands of lives in the besieged city of Leningrad. During the war in the occupied Soviet Union, many oppressed Soviet citizens welcomed Hitler, but their enthusiasm was shortlived as they discovered his plans. The Partisan resistance began without Stalin's support, but he would soon grow to accept the Partisans, providing them with supplies. As the Wehrmacht moved south toward the oil fields of the Caucasus, Stalin specifically prohibited any retreat on the battlefield on pain of death. The battle for Stalingrad would test that resolve. Part 3 Part Three opens with 'the spring stalemate'. Soviet war production, now moved out of the reach of German bombers, had begun to increase dramatically. The Germans prepared to meet the Red Army on the plains of Kursk, in the greatest tank battle in the history of warfare. After a 900-day siege, the Soviets finally liberated Leningrad. The Red Army pushed westward and began to retake the territories that had been occupied by the Germans for so long. Once again, Stalin had plans for the people who suffered under the occupation. Part 4 Part Four begins with Germany on the brink of defeat. As the Red Army approached Berlin, Hitler mobilised both young and old to defend the doomed city. Following the fall of Berlin and the death of his old enemy, Stalin turned once again to the control of his own people. As old age crept up on him, Stalin's obsessive paranoia continued and he further persecuted his people. With the threat of the atomic bomb blocking his plans for territorial expansion, the world entered the new era of the Cold War.