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Joseph Stalin was the soviet communist leader whos passing molded an era and whose iron rule determined the lives of millions of people Considering that he shaped the direction of post-World War II Europe we may regard him as the most powerful person to live during the 20th century Joseph Stalin was born Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili on December 21 1879 in Gori Georgia Both his parents were peasants His father Vissarion Dzhugashvili was a cobbler hopping that one day his son will be apprenticed in the same trade his mother Yekaterina Geladze Dzhugashvili worked as a house servant for various upper-class Georgian families Stalin was rather sickly as a child he was badly scarred by smallpox and another illness crippled his left arm later in his life in 1916 this disability will prevent him from joining the Russian army Nevertheless he is described as having been in excellent physical shape as a teenager throughout much of his life he was muscular and well built Sosso Stalins schoolboy nickname was an excellent student He graduated from the Gori Church School in 1894 with very high marks and managed to earn a full scholarship to the Tbilisi Theological Seminary While attending the seminary in his way to become a priest Stalin was converted over to Marxism He quit the seminary before graduation in order to be a full-time revolutionary Stalins revolutionary career began in 1899 when he joined the Social-Democratic party as a propagandist among Tbilisi railroad workers In 1902 he was arrested by the police under the charge of revolutionary activities and he was imprisoned for eighteen months in Baku After this incarceration ended Stalin was sentenced to three years exile in Siberia from which he managed to escaped in 1904 This became a familiar pattern Between 1902 and 1913 Stalin was arrested eight times he was exiled
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