Joseph Stalin was the dictator of Russia, then known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, during World War II. He was dictator from 1929 until 1953.
Stalin was born on Dec. 18, 1878 and came into power soon after Lenin died. He was an extremely brutal ruler, and millions of Russians suffered and died under his reign. Just before the start of World War II, Stalin signed a non-aggression act with Adolf Hitler, which was broken by the Nazis in 1941. Stalin then entered an alliance with the forces of the United States and Britain. He subsequently drove out Hitler and his forces, allowing the Soviet Union to take Berlin in 1945 and end the European theater of the war.