Dedicated to the 100 million victims of communism worldwide.
Home  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us
National Exhibit
National Exhibit
Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev

Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev (b.1931), was the last head of the Soviet government and the Communist Party of the USSR. Born in the Stavropol region in southern Russia he made a rapid career in the Communist Party as an official responsible for agriculture. From 1950 to 1955 he studied law at the University of Moscow. In 1970 he was appointed First Party Secretary in his home region.

In 1971, Gorbachev became a member of the party's Central Committee. Eight years later he was elevated to the Politbüro as Candidate member, and the following year as a füll member. In his official capacities, Gorbachev traveled a great deal to the west, an experience which, according to his memoirs, made a profound impression on him.

On March 11, 1985, to general surprise, he was appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He tried to reform the economy of the country but ran into stiff resistance from the entrenched party apparatus. To overcome it, he drew on public frustrations with the status quo, introducing in 1988-89 qlasnost' or "openness" which allowed Soviet Citizens for the first time since 1917 to voice their grievances and wishes in public and allowing them to vote in elections for a new Institution, the Congress of People's Deputies. He also significantly reduced the tensions of the Cold War for which in 1990 he was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize.

These unprecedented steps threatened to undermine the Communist dictatorship and led in August 1991 to an unsuccesful

Click for sources of the victims of communism

USSR:
Location:  Eurasia
Capital:  Moscow
Communist Rule:  1917-1991
Status:  Collapsed - 26.12.1991
Victims of Communism:
20-30 million