Rule of Stalin in the 1930s

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Bukharin show trial in the 1930's.

A very powerful combination of archive film and witness statements showing the role of Stalin in the Soviet Union in the 1930's. Has rare archive film showing a Stalin speech and the show trial of Bukharin in the 1930's. Also interviews with Bukharin's widow and a journalist / cartoonist who remembers the trial and his reactions to the event.
From: People's Century: 1917 - Red Flag
First broadcast : 27 September 1995

Teachers' notes

Age Group : 11-14,14-16,16+

Subject : History

Topic : Modern world, Politics of Society 1918-1939, Twentieth century world

Keywords : Revolutions, Change in Russia, History of Europe, Wales Europe and the world, Cult of Stalin and political repression, Soviet communism, Bukharin, Show trials, Totalitarianism

Notes : Rich potential for both closed and more open-ended questions and activities on aspects such as propaganda, totalitarianism, ideology and power. COURSES/SUBJECTS:
HISTORY KS3: Twentieth Century World.
GCSE: One Historic theme - Revolutions
A-Level: Aspects of the history of Europe 1880-1980. Modern world. History of Russia.
Welsh Baccalaureate: Wales Europe and the World.
POLITICS: History of Communism. Stalin.
OPPORTUNITIES TO DEVELOP SKILLS IN HISTORY: Use evidence to evaluate Stalin's personality. Develop knowledge and understanding of power and how Stalin employed it. Use previous knowledge and understanding to analyse how Stalin accumulated such a level of personal power. Investigate the reasons why Stalin turned against so many members of his own party and why this was supported by some in the USSR. Form opinions on the question of whether the crimes that defendants were accused of in these show trials were faked. Evaluate why despite this, Bukharin (and other defendants in these trials), was still an avowed communist to his death.
OPPORTUNITIES TO DEVELOP WIDER SKILLS: Improve research skills. Develop the 4 literacy skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing through a variety of exercises. Develop skills necessary for co-working through exercises such as role-play, work in pairs and groupwork.
SUGGESTIONS FOR SETTING CRITERIA TO EVALUATE LESSON SUCCESS: Ask pupils if they can: 1) Can define the key issues related to charisma, rule and power 2) Understand authority and totalitarianism 3) Know and understand the Show Trials 4) Can form an opinion on the issues and events in the clip 5) Can understand the motivations and activities of those who suffered and those who gained from Stalin's rule.


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