His image as “Papa Joe” hid his monstrous reality.
Joseph Stalin slowly climbed to power through his friends and his closeness to Lenin, who came to depend on him. Lenin only realized his mistake following a paralyzing stroke. By then it was too late. Stalin’s ascendency and regime brought death to millions and misery to millions more. He did, however, lead the Russians through World War II and for this he is still seen as a hero by many. Dressed here as Generalissimo of the Soviet Union. Upper left, heavy smoker. Upper right, his famous profile