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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • February 25, 1956

    Khrushchev's Secret Speech, 'On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences,' Delivered at the Twentieth Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

    In a secret speech before a closed plenum of the 20th Congress of the CPSU, Khrushchev denounced Stalin’s cult of the personality. In addition, he revealed that Stalin had rounded up thousands of people and sent them into a huge system of political work camps (Gulags). This revelation was met with astonishment by many present for the speech, but helped to break the power that Stalin still held over the country.