Impact of the Secret Speech- Khrushchev

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Gobbet 2- Khrusschev’s Secret Speech

The Source is an extract of a speech given by Nikita Khrushchev at the Twentieth Party Congress of the Soviet Union on February 25th 1956. Khrushchev served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964. Khrushchev was responsible for the partial de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, for backing the progress of the world's early space program, and for several relatively liberal reforms in areas of domestic policy. Stalin's political heirs fought for power after his death in 1953, a struggle in which Khrushchev, after several years, emerged triumphant. In 1956, at the Twentieth Party Congress, he delivered the "Secret Speech", vilifying Stalin and ushering in a less repressive era in the USSR. The speech was delivered on the very last day of the Congress, when it was announced that an unscheduled session had been called for the Soviet delegates. Because of the obvious secrecy of the meeting, the speech would have been unknown to those outside the conference, however an Israeli Mossad agent was in secret attendance copying its contents eventually allowing Khrushchev's denouncing of Stalin to be circulated throughout Western media. Although it was not officially published in the Soviet Union until 1988. The speech itself was based on the results of a special party commission known as the Pospelov Commission which was prepared by its chairman Pyotr Pospelov, other contributors included Central Committee secretary Averky Aristov, All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions chairman Nikolai Shvernik and deputy chairman of the Party Control Committee P.D. Komarov. The speech became known as the “Secret Speech” because it was delivered at a closed session, and its actual text was printed only in 1988, although many Party…...

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