Khrushchev's 'Secret Speech': A Turning Point in Soviet Politics - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  607 Words
Date:  2023-01-03


Nikita Khrushchev's speech at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) union also known as the 'Secret Speech' is one of the most important documents in history. The speech not only changed the political environment in the Soviet Union but also in the rest of the world. When it was printed in full in 1989, it sparked protests and revolts in Hungary and Poland. It marked a turning point for Soviet politics. I reflected on the speech and identified a few points that would stand out as some of the greatest and weakest points made by Khrushchev.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

One of the strongest points made by Khrushchev was his criticism of Stalin's purge of the army and the party's leadership. Stalin's actions against the army's top management had cost the Soviet Union high losses during the Great Patriotic War (Khrushchev, 1956). Stalin's mass execution of the country's senior leadership disoriented them and expunged experienced leadership from the Red Army by killing the experienced generals. Russia more than any other nation in the second world war suffered significant losses due to the mismanagement of the war with Hitler.

The second point is one that involved conducting mass terrorism against the general population. One of the pillars of communism was for the benefit of the people, especially the low class. According to Khrushchev, Stalin's methods were contradictory to that of Lenin's wisdom. Lenin had used the techniques of stubborn and painstaking education of the masses, patient work with them and the use of ideological influence to induce them to follow him without the use of compulsion (Khrushchev, 1956). Stalin had opted to discard Lenin's methods of convincing and educating in preference of terror, administrative violence and mass repressions.

The last major point made by Khrushchev was his criticism of Stalin's cult of personality. Marxism-Leninism, which was the official state ideology of the Soviet Union was against "cult of an individual," (Khrushchev, 1956). However, Stalin through his methods had created some form of a cult. Stalin's cult of personality had become the central part of Soviet culture. The cult presented Stalin as an all-powerful and all-knowing being. Furthermore, they had his name and image appearing in every aspect of Soviet life from the school books to public buildings and streets. Stalin's cult had resembled a religion, which conflicts with communism.

If I were a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union since its inception, I would have as welcomed the speech. Although the motives behind Nikita's statement is questionable, his points are correct. Most of the methods that were used by Stalin during his rule were conflicting with the communist manifesto, which served as a guide book for the Soviet Union. But no one would have dared to directly question Stalin's actions, including Nikita who served in his government, when he was alive. His departure allowed Nikita to make such allegations, but that doesn't change the fact that they are correct. Therefore, as the founding members of the CPSU party, I would like to see the party return to its original path by embracing Marxism-Leninism. That means getting rid of cult personality and the use of education and ideology to convince the masses instead of terror and fear. I still wouldn't trust Nikita though because he was one of the supporters of Stalin's purges and served as one of Stalin's most trusted advisers. His U-turn on the former statesman was just a way for him to stand out and consolidate power by isolating Stalin's supporters.


Khrushchev, N. (1956, February 24-25). Speech to 20th Congress of the CPSU. Address presented at 20th Congress of the CPSU in Russia, Moscow.

Cite this page

Khrushchev's 'Secret Speech': A Turning Point in Soviet Politics - Essay Sample. (2023, Jan 03). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism