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in the early 20th century Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili assumed the revolutionary name "Stalin" (Man of Steel). He rose to power during the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and became the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1922, the de facto chief executive. By 1927 he eliminated all his rivals and ruled the country for the rest of his life. Between 1926-1934 his policies led to the deaths of perhaps 10 million peasants, and between 1934-1939 he had 1.6 million people arrested, 700,00 shot, and many others tortured by his secret police. During World War II he assumed the title of generalissimus and presided over 26.6 million Soviet deaths. After the war he expanded his control as far west as the Elbe river. He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on 1 March 1953; Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria, the head of his secret police, prevented him from receiving any medical treatment for 12 hours, and he died on 5 March.
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