Letter signed by Joseph Stalin sells for $4,500
A letter signed Russian dictator Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) has sold for $4,500 on AbeBooks.
The “confidential” two-page typed letter dates from World War II, and is dated April 1943. It commands the creation of a ‘Major General’ position within the tank section of the Soviet military. Stalin has signed in red, “I, Stalin”
“National Commissar of Defense, Union Socialist Soviet Republics, April, 1943,
To: Commanders of Fronts and Military Districts
To: Commanders of Tank & Military Camps
To: Superiors of Armor Tank Centers,
“Issue a position of Vice-Commander of Department into Staff # 010/418 of Administration of Tank and Mechanical Department. The Military Title is – Major General (VUS) – 1. Salary is 2200 rubles. March of Soviet Union, I. Stalin.”
In the early months of 1943, the Soviet war machine was attempting to replenish its top ranks after suffering heavy casualties in the Siege of Leningrad. Stalin seized power in the mid-1920s and died from a stroke in 1953. More than eight million Soviets soldiers and around 15 million civilians are believed to have died in World War II under his rule.