Look at all the graphic elements shared in common between those two propaganda posters. Not only depicting Stalin & Hitler standing in exactly the same position, and in the same framing within the image -- but also the large flag and the many smaller flags arrayed in a line, the buildings in the distance, and soldiers standing in line. An excellent example of visual typology. Suchender, I'm curious if you're familiar with Grover Furr's work on the Stalin era? I've only seen his articles, but haven't read any of his books. I'm particularly interested in Furr's work on Leon Trotsky. Furr says that Trotsky was guilty of conspiring with Germany and Japan, as well as his Trotskyite followers within the Soviet Union, to overthrow Stalin's government. He claims that the Moscow trials of the late 1930's were not "show" trials, but legitimate proceedings that uncovered a real conspiracy. A review of Furr's book Leon Trotsky's Collaboration with Germany and Japan by William Podmore at Amazon's page states: In this extraordinary book, Professor Furr refutes many of the anti-communist lies about the Moscow trials in the Soviet Union in the late 1930s. In particular, he exposes the lies about of the leaders of the Opposition. He shows that the defendants were indeed guilty of treason. He writes, “of the defendants at the three public Moscow trials eight men claimed to have heard directly from either Trotsky or his son Sedov about contacts between Trotsky and German or Japanese officials: Ol’berg, Piatkov, Radek, Shestov, Rakovsky, Krestinskii, Bessonov, and Rozengol’ts. One man, Sokol’nikov, heard of Trotsky’s collaboration with Japan from a Japanese diplomat.” He explains, “There is no reason whatever to doubt that Bukharin was telling the truth in his pre-trial and trial confessions and in his post-trial appeal. Bukharin was very clear and explicit that Radek had told him more than once about Trotsky’s involvement with the Germans and Japanese. This is corroborative evidence. Bukharin’s first confession corroborates Radek’s confession at the January 1937 trial – Bukharin confirms what Radek said, meanwhile adding a bit more detail.” “Radek, Sokol’nikov, and Iakovlev testified that they were approached by German and Japanese officials who told them about Trotsky’s collaboration with their countries.” There is documentary evidence of Marshal Tukhachevsky’s collaboration with the Japanese – “the Arao document, a communication from a Japanese military attaché to his superior in Japan testifying to secret contact with a representative of Marshal Tukhachevsky.” “three of the eight figures in the Tukhachevsky Affair – Primakov, Putna, and Tukhachevsky himself – had direct contact with both Trotsky and the Germans.” On 27 February 1937 Trotsky wrote, “It is quite certain that in the next trial, with Rakovsky participating as the accused, there will be charges of conspiratorial dealings between Rakovsky and the Japanese diplomats and military (under orders from Trotsky, of course).” Furr comments, “This was a ‘prediction’ so precise that the only way Trotsky could have made it is if he knew what Rakovsky would say – that is, if Rakovsky’s confession was true.” Georgii Cherniavskii, the Russian Trotskyist biographer of Rakovsky, “read Rakovsky’s confessions. Unfortunately for us he chose not to reproduce them. But Cherniavskii would certainly have told us of any sign that the NKVD investigators had invented the accusation that Rakovsky had become a Japanese spy and forced Rakovsky to confess to it. Cherniavskii says nothing of the sort. In fact Cherniavskii thinks that Rakovsky himself invented the charge of Japanese espionage in order to make the trial look ridiculous. This means that according to Cherniavskii, the NKVD did not force Rakovsky to confess to espionage for Japan but that Rakovsky volunteered this information on his own.” This is all circumstantial evidence & hearsay, and by itself it reveals very little about the specifics of Trotsky's scheme. But perhaps it's another piece of the puzzle. In other books and articles, Furr claims to show that the picture of Stalin as a bloodthirsty maniac who deliberately caused the deaths of tens of millions of Russians, was largely invented by later anti-Communists. But even if Stalin is exonerated for those crimes, now he stands accused of preparing a massive aggressive war designed to conquer all of Europe, using Hitler as a vanguard; and also of self-sabotage of his own diabolical plot? If Stalin was indeed a traitor to the Communist revolution, it's hard to see where this came from in his youth or his early party activities. At Seminary? He seems to have rejected religious traditionalism from a very early age; from Wikipedia: At his teachers' recommendation, Stalin proceeded to the Spiritual Seminary in Tiflis. He enrolled at the school in August 1894, enabled by a scholarship that allowed him to study at a reduced rate. Here he joined 600 trainee priests who boarded at the seminary. Stalin was again academically successful and gained high grades. He continued writing poetry; five of his poems were published under the pseudonym of "Soselo" in Ilia Chavchavadze's newspaper Iveria ('Georgia'). Thematically, they dealt with topics like nature, land, and patriotism. According to Stalin's biographer Simon Sebag Montefiore, they became "minor Georgian classics", and were included in various anthologies of Georgian poetry over the coming years. As he grew older, Stalin lost interest in his studies; his grades dropped, and he was repeatedly confined to a cell for his rebellious behaviour. Teachers complained that he declared himself an atheist, chatted in class and refused to doff his hat to monks. Stalin joined a forbidden book club active at the school; he was particularly influenced by Nikolay Chernyshevsky's 1863 pro-revolutionary novel What Is To Be Done? Another influential text was Alexander Kazbegi's The Patricide, with Stalin adopting the nickname "Koba" from that of the book's bandit protagonist. He also read Capital, the 1867 book by German sociological theorist Karl Marx. Stalin devoted himself to Marx's socio-political theory, Marxism, which was then on the rise in Georgia, one of various forms of socialism opposed to the empire's governing Tsarist authorities. At night, he attended secret workers' meetings, and was introduced to Silibistro "Silva" Jibladze, the Marxist founder of Mesame Dasi ('Third Group'), a Georgian socialist group. In April 1899, Stalin left the seminary and never returned, although the school encouraged him to come back. From that point forward, Wikipedia depicts that Stalin participated in a whirlwind of revolutionary activities, interspersed with years of exile and imprisonment under the Tsar's secret police. All a fake? Stalin, an agent of the Jesuits and the Okhrana? Trotsky, involved in some sort of parallel attempt at collaboration with the Nazis and the Axis? My head is spinning.