Nikita Khrushchev Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (9)  | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (4)

Born in Kalinovka, Dmitriyev Uyezd, Kursk Governorate, Russian Empire [now Khomutovka Raion, Kursk Oblast, Russia]
Died in Moscow, RSFSR, USSR [now Russia]  (heart attack)
Birth NameNikita Sergeyevich Khrushchyov
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Nikita Khruschev was born on April 17, 1894, into a family of peasants in the village of Kalinovka, Kursk region, Russian Empire. He was raised among agricultural and mining workers. He studied for only two years at grammar school as a child. After the Russian Revolution he joined the Red Army, then joined the Communist party in 1918 and made a career as a politician.

He was active in the Russian revolution and Civil War, when the intellectual elite was brutally killed as well as the family of Nickolas and Alexandra. The Civil War continued for decades in a form of the "Great Terror" and repressions under Joseph Stalin during the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s. Under orders from Moscow, Khrushchev participated in massive confiscations of food, crops, forage grains, and supplies, that left millions of peasants starving to death in famines of 1920s-30s. Some areas of Ukraine and Russia suffered so much that people later perceived WWII as liberation from the Soviet regime. In 1931 Khrushchev was promoted to Moscow, where he briefly studied at the Soviet Industrial Academy. In 1934 he became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and in 1935 - the 1st Secretary of the Moscow City Committee. In 1938 Khrushchev was appointed the 1st Secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party and promoted to Politburo.

During WWII Khrushchev was coordinating the defense of Ukraine, while his family was evacuated to Kuibyshev. In 1942-42 he was a political commissar during the battle of Stalingrad. There, frozen Nazi Armies were stopped and lost the battle to the Russian soldiers, who defended their land. Khrushchev was decorated and promoted in the Communist party. He was later a political commissar of the 1st Ukrainian Front, where his deputy was Leonid Brezhnev. Khrushchev patronized Brezhnev, whom he knew since 1931.

After the death of Joseph Stalin on March 5, 1953, and following the elimination of Stalin's inner circle, Khrushchev became the leader of the Communist Party on September 7, 1953. He completed the takeover after the execution of his main rival Lavrenti Beria in December 1953, with the help of the powerful Marshal Georgi Zhukov. Then Khrushchev promoted Leonid Brezhnev in hopes to have a steady ally in the coming power-struggles against the Stalinist conservatives.

In his historic speech on February 23, 1956, Khrushchev denounced Joseph Stalin for his brutal purges and massive executions of people. Khrushchev spoke behind closed doors at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party. His speech was the "new order" message to the ruling Soviet elite. Not everyone liked it, regardless of its many historic benefits. In 1957 Khrushchev with backing from Leonid Brezhnev and Marshal Georgi Zhukov defeated the Stalinist conservatives Vyacheslav Molotov, Georgi Malenkov, and Lazar Kaganovich. Then Khrushchev exiled the powerful Marshal Georgi Zhukov and became the undisputed ruler of the Soviet Union.

Khrushchev's speech was designed to liberate people from Stalin's brutal regime based on manipulative methods of control by fear. The speech was addressed to the Soviet leadership as well as to the people of Russia and other republics, however, the Soviet leadership decided to keep the speech secret from the people. At the same time Khrushchev's speech was available in the rest of the world. After reading Khrushchev's speech, Moshe Dayan said that Soviet Union may disappear in 30 years, and he was off only by 5 years. Although Khrushchev was unable to see that far, he made efforts to liberate intellectuals and to clear innocent victims of the "Great Purges" under Stalin's regime.

In the late 1950's Khrushchev initiated the "Thaw" during the Cold War. Hundreds of thousands of innocent victims of Stalin's "Great Purges" were posthumously cleared of all charges and their sentences were reversed to full rehabilitation. Many surviving intellectuals, actors, like Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy, Georgi Zhzhyonov, Vitali Golovin and others were allowed to return from imprisonment and Siberian exile. Film directors such as Sergei Parajanov, Eldar Ryazanov, Georgiy Daneliya made new kind of films. The First International Festival of Students and Youth was held in Moscow, in 1958. The First International Tchaikovsky Competition was held in Moscow, where the Texan pianist Van Cliburn became the first winner, and was praised by Khrushchev. Some performing artists, like Svyatoslav Richter and Mstislav Rostropovich were allowed to go on personal international concert tours.

Khruschev's "Thaw" liberated the Soviet life to a degree, that allowed some foreign books, movies and music, along with the other previously banned art, literature and music of Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, Aram Khachaturyan, publications of Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Zoschenko, Yuriy Olesha, and others. The 60's generation emerged during the "Thaw" with Evgeniy Evtushenko, Bella Akhmadulina, Andrei Voznesensky, Bulat Okudzhava, Vasiliy Aksyonov and other writers. They played an important role in liberation of the collective consciousness after decades of repressions under Joseph Stalin and in changing of some old bans, what later made possible the publication of Mikhail A. Bulgakov. Khrushchev personally approved the 1962 publication by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn about the Stalin's "Gulag" prison-camps.

Khrushchev attacked those whom he failed to understand, like the Nobel Laureate writer Boris Pasternak, poet Andrei Voznesensky, and avant-garde artists. Khrushchev mismanaged agriculture by banning any private farming. His major mistake was forceful replacing of wheat by corn, which could not grow in Russian climate. This and other mistakes caused serious food shortages and the bloody popular uprising in Novocherkassk, in 1962. Khrushchev showed uncivilized and undiplomatic behavior at the UN conference by insulting other delegates verbally and by banging on the table with his fists and with his shoe. Khrushchev pushed the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. He made risky political moves and later lost control during the Cuban missile crisis, when the world came to the brink of a nuclear war.

Leonid Brezhnev dismissed Khrushchev on October 14, 1964, after Khrushchev's vacation at the Communist Party owned Black Sea resort. He was stripped of all privileges and lived under house arrest outside Moscow. After his death on September 11, 1971, Khrushchev was not buried officially like other Politburo members near the Kremlin. Instead, he was buried without an official ceremony at the Novodevichy Cemetery. The cold war continued. Khrushchev's historic speech denouncing Joseph Stalin was banned from publication until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Spouse (2)

Nina Kukharchuk (1924 - 11 September 1971) ( his death) ( 3 children)
Yefrosinya (1915 - 1921) ( her death) ( 2 children)

Trivia (9)

Premier of the Soviet Union from 1957-64.
In World War II he was Chief Political Commissar during the Battle of Stalingrad.
First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party Central Committee, September 1953-October 1964.
Chosen as Time Magazine's "Man of the Year" in 1957.
Although one of Joseph Stalin's trusted assistants, he denounced and privately criticized Stalin's many crimes and atrocities to a secret session of the 20th Communist Party Congress in the Soviet Union in 1956. The speech soon leaked out to the west, sparking a fresh look at the rulers of the Soviet Union.
Confirmed in his memoirs that Ethel Rosenberg and Julius Rosenberg, whom many in the West believed innocent victims of the 1950s' "witch hunts," did, in fact, pass atomic secrets to the Soviets, for which they were executed.
Played by Bob Hoskins in Enemy at the Gates (2001).
Played by Murray Ewan in Stalin (1992).
He is mentioned in the lyrics of the songs "Killer Queen" by Queen and "Russians" by Sting.

Personal Quotes (3)

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers.
We will bury you, and you capitalists will sell us the shovels.
If the people believe there's an imaginary river out there, you don't tell them there's no river. You build an imaginary bridge over the imaginary river.

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