Stalin’s Death

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On 1 March 1953, Stalin’s staff found him semi-conscious on the bedroom floor of his Volynskoe dacha. He had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. He was moved onto a couch and remained there for three days. He was hand-fed using a spoon, given various medicines and injections, and leeches were applied to him. Svetlana and Vasily were called to the dacha on 2 March; the latter was drunk and angrily shouted at the doctors, resulting in him being sent home. Stalin died on 5 March 1953. According to Svetlana, it had been «a difficult and terrible death». An autopsy revealed that he had died of a cerebral hemorrhage and that he also suffered from severe damage to his cerebral arteries due to atherosclerosis. It is possible that Stalin was murdered. Beria has been suspected of murder, although no firm evidence has ever appeared.

Stalin’s death was announced on 6 March. The body was aembalmed, and then placed on display in Moscow’s House of Unions for three days. Crowds were such that a crush killed around 100 people. The funeral involved the body being laid to rest in Lenin’s Mausoleum in Red Square on 9 March; hundreds of thousands attended. That month featured a surge in arrests for «anti-Soviet agitation» as those celebrating Stalin’s death came to police attention.The Chinese government instituted a period of official mourning for Stalin’s death.



  • Couch: Cozy armchair, designed for two or more people.
  • Autopsy: Surgery practiced on a dead body.
  • Embalmed: Process made on a dead body in order to preserve it.


Read about Russian history in English in order to learn new vocabulary.


  • What was strange about Stalin’s death?

Session 6

Welcome to this activity created by Regional Leader Mr. Daniel Curiel from Santa Fe Branch. Take note of all the pink words, read the text, watch the video and answer the question in the comment section below.

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