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Question concerning Stalin

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Post 11 Apr 2015, 14:58
Greeting to all comrades,

I have read long time ago somewhere that Stalin has offered his resignation four times during the period in which he was a member in the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party. is this a historical fact that can confirmed by historical documents ( ex: files or papers from the soviet archive )? or it is just a rumor?

Thank you.
Post 23 Apr 2015, 17:54
It seems that no one of the comrades has heard about this resignation thing.

Post 23 Apr 2015, 20:35
That's the first time I've heard of anything like this, so I can't really comment on it. Plus I can't read Russian and reading Soviet archives would be quite a problem for me.
Post 23 Apr 2015, 22:14
I have read about Stalin wanting to retire from a specific post here and there for bureaucratic reasons before he became de facto boss of bosses. But it was never like he wanted to leave the party or something like that, and definitely not something that merits rigorous study or interest...
Post 24 Apr 2015, 06:05
First, I disagree with Yeqon. If he did present a resignation, it sounds pretty interesting. In my mind, it would be merely a gesture, since he knew that it wouldn't be accepted, but it still speaks a lot about political stratagems and protocol, and the circumstances for each attempt at resignation should also be an indication of the seriousness of a certain setback or of the need to reassert leadership.

Now, as to the question at hand. I remember reading in this board that Stalin presented his resignation when Lenin's much debated "last will" was presented.

Googling around, the answer came up on Ludo Marten's Another view of Stalin, where the author directly quotes Stalin's "The Troskyist Opposition, Before and Now.

Stalin wrote:
`It is said in that ``will'' Comrade Lenin suggested to the congress that in view of Stalin's ``rudeness'' it should consider the question of putting another comrade in Stalin's place as General Secretary. That is quite true. Yes, comrades, I am rude to those who grossly and perfidiously wreck and split the Party. I have never concealed this and do not conceal it now .... At the very first meeting of the plenum of the Central Committee after the Thirteenth Congress I asked the plenum of the Central Committee to release me from my duties as General Secretary. The congress discussed this question. It was discussed by each delegation separately, and all the delegations unanimously, including Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev, obliged Stalin to remain at his post ....

A year later I again put in a request to the plenum to release me, but I was obliged to remain at my post.

So that's twice. It's not too farfetched to think he again has resorted to this, as a way of obtaining a vote of confidence.
Post 24 Apr 2015, 14:30
Perhaps I was being a little careless with my choice of words. Okay, so I was being very careless. I mostly agree with what praxi has stated. There was indeed political manoeuvring in mind when he offered resigning. From what I've read nobody in the central committee ever thought that the position of General Secretary of the Communist Party was or would be of especially high significance politically. They surely wouldn't have let Stalin retain that position if they had known that this very post would be critical to him expelling them and ultimately leading the country.

I don't think that even Stalin back then knew that this post would serve as the de facto highest in the Soviet Union. So the answer to the original question that the opening poster made is yes. Stalin has offered resigning from this post in the past.

I also remember something akin to this during the civil war when differences between him and Trotsky would arise on military questions.
Post 05 May 2015, 01:05
Thank you all for trying to answer the question, but I think the core of the question is not touched even in a superficial way. I have myself read that Stalin offered his resignation four times: after reading Lenin's recommendation to his comrades (It is said that the whole members of the central committee Including Trotsky refused this demand of resignation), two times during the second world war, and some other time which I do not remeber exactly, but the question here, is there, if there can be, any historical document that confirms this '' rumor '' clearly and undebatably?

Post 27 Jul 2015, 23:13
Well, if two times were during the Great Patriotic War, then Trotsky wouldn't have much say on the matter

I can only speculate but I would doubt any attempt at resignation would occur during the war of all times, if anything it would likely be between 1921 and 1924 when the Soviet State was first developing... there was a lot of chaos developing government structures and figuring out whats going to work and what isn't and there were many times certain commissars disagreed with others, so perhaps ultimatums that involved a resignation occurred??? I'd search that period of time for the answer.
Post 01 Aug 2015, 09:12
I know there was another time in 1952 when he asked to resign as General Secretary but was once more asked to stay on:

I think the Webbs already understood quite well in the mid-30s Stalin's predicament:
At this point it is necessary to observe that, although Stalin is, by the constitution, not in the least a dictator, having no power of command, and although he appears to be free from any desire to act as a dictator, and does not do so, he may be thought to have become irremovable from his position of supreme leadership of the Party, and therefore of the government. Why is this? We find the answer in the deliberate exploitation by the governing junta of the emotion of hero-worship, of the traditional reverence of the Russian people for a personal autocrat. This was seen in the popular elevation of Lenin, notably after his death, to the status of saint or prophet, virtually canonised in the sleeping figure in the sombre marble mausoleum in Moscow's Red Square, where he is now, to all intents and purposes, worshipped by the adoring millions of workers and peasants who daily pass before him. Lenin's works have become ‘Holy Writ’, which may be interpreted, but which it is impermissible to confute. After Lenin's death, it was agreed that his place could never be filled. But some new personality had to be produced for the hundred and sixty millions to revere. There presently ensued a tacit understanding among the junta that Stalin should be "boosted" as the supreme leader of the proletariat, the Party and the state....

It seems to us that a national leader so persistently boosted, and so generally admired, has, in fact, become irremovable against his will, so long as his health lasts, without a catastrophic break-up of the whole administration.
The "catastrophic" bit at the end applies more to the time the Webbs were writing than when Stalin died a little less than twenty years later, but the quote is still basically correct.
Post 07 Dec 2015, 19:00
Commrades Send the Spetsnaz. The target is Shaw. there will be blood
Post 07 Mar 2016, 09:10
Stalin himself confirmed for the 1st resignation. I might also have heard about something after WWII, but during the war itself, that seems highly unlikely.
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