Clara's War autobiography by Clara Kramer End of page 21
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dzе Jugashvili 18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953) was the ruler of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. He served as the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952) and premier of the Soviet Union (1941–1953). Despite initially governing the Soviet Union as part of a collective leadership, he eventually consolidated power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin formalised these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies are known as Stalinism.
Humor is the merit of our nation. Caustic and bitter, simple-hearted and intricate, Russian humor has lived through the most ferocious, most desperate years. And I wish to believe, as long as we are able to joke, that we remain a great nation! – Sergei Dovlatov
See quote at 35s