During his thirty-year rule of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin succeeded in stifling all opposition. There was never a serious threat to his leadership. But there was one occasion, at the end of June 1941, when Stalin suffered what may have been a mental breakdown. When, after three days, his colleagues came for him, he fully expected to be arrested.
But they hadn’t come to arrest him, they’d come to plead with him, begging him to return and take control. Stalin had survived and was to remain in power until his death twelve years later. But what had brought about Stalin’s temporary collapse, and why did his Politburo colleagues fail to bring to an end his murderous rule?
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