Quiz about Personality Cults
Quiz about Personality Cults

Personality Cults Trivia Quiz


Repressive regimes indulge in personality cults sustained by an adoring mass media to create the image of the leaders as being larger than life and wise in all things. See if you can identify these characters or their claims to fame.

A multiple-choice quiz by mstanaway. Estimated time: 7 mins.
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Author
mstanaway
Time
7 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
253,271
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Difficult
Avg Score
5 / 10
Plays
1616
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. 'Der Fuehrer' was one of the greatest tyrants of history, causing the death of millions during the World War II. 'Der Fuehrer' was literally...? Hint

The Patriarch
The Father
The Leader
The Hero

2. During the Cultural Revolution in China the personality cult of Mao Zedong, 'The Great _________', assumed religious proportions as rival bands of Red Guards outdid each other purporting to be the true representatives of Maoist thought.

Answer: (One who steers a ship)
3. This authoritarian ruler of a former Soviet republic said that ____________ was devoid of a national identity so he set about giving it one by naming towns and some schools after himself or his mother. Hint

Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Kazakhstan
Afghanistan

4. The leader of this backward European country took an independent line from Moscow and was obsessed with the threat of a foreign invasion. Hint

Bulgaria
Yugoslavia
Albania
Romania

5. Perhaps the most spectacular example of a personality cult was that surrounding Kim Il Sung, North Korea's '___________ Leader' who continued to rule as Eternal President after his death. Hint

Great
Majestic
Dear
Beloved

6. Dr Hastings Banda returned to his homeland in the former colonial territory of Nyasaland to lead his country to independence as the 'Wind of Change' swept Africa in the 1960s. He became the country's first President and renamed it ____________ allegedly because he liked it when he saw it on an old French map. Hint

Botswana
Tanzania
Zambia
Malawi

7. The leader of this Eastern Bloc country followed the Stalinist path of his predecessor Gheorghiu-Dej, encouraging a personality cult which saw him dubbed 'Genius of the Carpathians' and the 'Conducator' a title which prompted the artist Salvador Dali to send a tongue in cheek congratulatory telegram which was published in the official communist party mouthpiece. Who? Hint

Todor Zhivkov
Nicolae Ceausescu
Josip Broz 'Tito'
Enver Hoxha

8. Joseph Stalin the 'Man of Steel' ruled the Soviet Union with an iron fist and had many towns and villages named after him. The present day city of ____________ is the best known of these and was the scene of a climactic battle in 1942-43 regarded as a turning point in WWII. Hint

Leningrad
Volgograd
Kaliningrad
Petrograd

9. Benito Mussolini was a journalist before he became Prime Minister and dictator of Italy.

True
False

10. The most famous example of a fictional personality cult was that of 'Big Brother' in George Orwell's novel '________________________'. Hint

Lord of the Flies
Nineteen Eighty-Five
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Animal Farm


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. 'Der Fuehrer' was one of the greatest tyrants of history, causing the death of millions during the World War II. 'Der Fuehrer' was literally...?

Answer: The Leader

Adolf Hitler, known as 'Der Fuehrer' or 'Leader', led Germany with his Nazi party from triumph to ruin between 1933 and 1945. Hitler surrounded himself with a retinue of fawning sycophants who would try to outdo each other in their attempts to interpret the will of 'Der Fuehrer'.

His aura of authority and fiery speeches created a focus in the lives of many of these flawed individuals many of whom were psychopaths. These people implemented the will of the 'Fuehrer' with unquestioning obedience and committed some of the greatest crimes of the 20th Century in the process.

A large portion of the population fell under his spell as a result of an unremitting propaganda campaign, and few dared question his authority.
2. During the Cultural Revolution in China the personality cult of Mao Zedong, 'The Great _________', assumed religious proportions as rival bands of Red Guards outdid each other purporting to be the true representatives of Maoist thought.

Answer: Helmsman

'The Great Helmsman' was a title bestowed on Mao during the Cultural Revolution which he launched in 1966 in response to his perception that capitalist roaders were in the ascent and he wanted to give the youth a revolutionary experience. To this end schools were closed and students were urged onto the streets to identify counter-revolutionaries and backsliders.

The disruption to the country was profound and the movement was declared ended in 1969 but Mao supporters, most notably the 'Gang of Four', continued the turmoil till his death in 1976.

They created an all pervading personality cult with politicised art and all party members were required to carry at all times, the 'Little Red Book', a collection of Mao's quotes. Nearly 30 years after his death there are some in China who still revere Mao at family altars and temples.
3. This authoritarian ruler of a former Soviet republic said that ____________ was devoid of a national identity so he set about giving it one by naming towns and some schools after himself or his mother.

Answer: Turkmenistan

Saparmurat Niyazov 'Leader of Turkmen' and President for Life of Turkmenistan ruled this former Soviet republic from 1991 till his death in 2006 after being 1st Secretary of the Turkmenistan Communist Party in the old USSR from 1985-91. He imposed a personality cult of Stalinist proportions on his countrymen with numerous portraits of himself around the country and a gold plated statue on the largest building in the country.

His eccentricities included closing libraries so the population could read his personal epic 'Ruhnama' which was intended as spiritual guidance for the nation.

Some of his decrees included requiring all licensed drivers to pass a morality test, teachers failing to publish praise of him would remain at a lower pay scale or be sacked and in March 2004 military conscripts replaced 15,000 public health workers including nurses, midwives and orderlies. More decrees in this vein can be found at www.wikipedia.com Saparmurat Niyazov.
4. The leader of this backward European country took an independent line from Moscow and was obsessed with the threat of a foreign invasion.

Answer: Albania

Enver Hoxha was 1st Secretary of the Albanian Communist Party and led Albania from 1944-85. After his death it was revealed that the country was dotted with half a million concrete bunkers in preparation for an imagined invasion by the US. (Some of the bunkers were facing the villages!) Hoxha isolated Albania from the rest of Europe and took pride in the country becoming self-sufficient in food and developing industry.

The reality proved to be somewhat different, when the opening of borders following the collapse of communism revealed the country to be very backward even by Eastern Bloc standards. Hoxha established a repressive regime enforced by a secret police force called the 'Sigurimi', modelled on the KGB, and promoted an all pervading personality cult in the Stalinist mould. All travel abroad was banned in order to sustain the myth of Albanian prosperity and Hoxha declared the country to be the world's first atheist state in history. Human rights were abused and after the split with China following the downfall of the 'Gang of Four' Albania's isolation was total. Toward the end of his life Hoxha was said to be troubled by dreams of the return of King Zog and the monarchy.

He was succeeded by Ramiz Alia.
5. Perhaps the most spectacular example of a personality cult was that surrounding Kim Il Sung, North Korea's '___________ Leader' who continued to rule as Eternal President after his death.

Answer: Great

It is difficult to determine the real facts of the life of Kim Il Sung or Great leader as he was deified by the state he created. His personality cult was continued under his son and heir Kim Jong Il or Dear Leader. Kim Senior returned to Korea in the wake of the Soviet invasion in 1945 and was installed as leader of a provisional government in the Soviet occupied zone.

The country was split over the failure to re-unify the Northern and Southern occupation zones. Kim precipitated the Korean War of 1950-53 when he staged an invasion in an attempt to unify the country under his control.

After the war he collectivised the agricultural sector, set up a Soviet style command economy and maintained huge armed forces on his side of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). During the Sino-Soviet split he maintained a balancing act his two main sponsors and developed the 'Juche' or self reliance philosophy.

The personality cult increased in the '70's when Kim was attributed with almost supernatural powers and his image permeated all aspects of North Korean life. Repeated attempts to re-unify by Kim's 70th birthday in 1982, inspired by the example of Vietnam, was not possible.

The collapse of communism led to isolation and the practice of Juche cut North Korea off from foreign trade leading to a collapse of the economy and widespread poverty. In later life Kim developed a huge growth on his neck with photos being re-touched to disguise his condition. He died suddenly in 1994 but the public outpouring of grief that followed appeared to be forced.
6. Dr Hastings Banda returned to his homeland in the former colonial territory of Nyasaland to lead his country to independence as the 'Wind of Change' swept Africa in the 1960s. He became the country's first President and renamed it ____________ allegedly because he liked it when he saw it on an old French map.

Answer: Malawi

Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda had a compliant congress declare him 'His Excellency the Life President of the Republic of Malawi Ngwazi (great lion) Dr Hastings Banda' in 1971. Externally he was viewed as an eccentric with a love of three piece suits and matching handkerchiefs with an ever present fly-whisk on hand.

Internally he ran a repressive police state where opponents were exiled or killed and citizens viewed him with cult like devotion or fear. His cult of personality pervaded public life everywhere with all public buildings not allowed any clock or fixture to be higher than his portrait. He imposed his personal preferences by enacting a strict dress code for men and women with provisions like no beards or long hair for men, and the wearing of trousers by women was forbidden. Surprisingly he supported women's rights and was the only African leader to have diplomatic ties with the apartheid regime in South Africa.

He suffered defeat when he called an election in 1994 at a time when he was declining into senility.
7. The leader of this Eastern Bloc country followed the Stalinist path of his predecessor Gheorghiu-Dej, encouraging a personality cult which saw him dubbed 'Genius of the Carpathians' and the 'Conducator' a title which prompted the artist Salvador Dali to send a tongue in cheek congratulatory telegram which was published in the official communist party mouthpiece. Who?

Answer: Nicolae Ceausescu

After being a member of the ruling politburo Nicolae Ceausescu became the General Secretary of the Romanian Communist party and ruler of the country in 1965. He was briefly viewed as a maverick by the West when he withdrew from active participation in the Warsaw Pact and refused to take part in the invasion of Czechslovakia in 1968.

This view was soon revised when it became apparent that he was adopting typical authoritarian practices and imposing his personal beliefs on the country. He was a great believer in the North Korean 'Juche' philosophy and had it translated into Romanian.

He initiated a policy of demolition and re-construction to reshape the capital and countryside in the process building the world's second largest building in Bucharest (The People's House).

His social policies were equally draconian when he attempted to increase the country's population by banning contraception and abortion and making divorce very difficult. The resulting social chaos, accompanied by an AIDS epidemic, led to child abandonment and a huge increased in the number of orphaned.

He had to borrow heavily to finance his schemes and this led to a devastating financial situation where most of the country's production had to be exported to service the national debt resulting in severe deprivation at home. Ceausescu became increasingly detached from reality to the extent that he was genuinely bewildered at the crowd's reaction when shots rang out at a rally he was addressing. The ensuing revolution saw him swept from power, tried by a kangaroo court, and shot out of hand alongside his wife Elena on Christmas Day 1989.
8. Joseph Stalin the 'Man of Steel' ruled the Soviet Union with an iron fist and had many towns and villages named after him. The present day city of ____________ is the best known of these and was the scene of a climactic battle in 1942-43 regarded as a turning point in WWII.

Answer: Volgograd

Volgograd was known as Stalingrad during WWII. Stalin was just one of the revolutionary names used by Joseph Dzhugashvili during the early days but it was the one that stuck. The Western media liked to call him 'Uncle Joe' and it is reported he nearly walked out of the Yalta conference when he first heard it.

Other titles bestowed on him by the Soviet propaganda machine included 'Father of Nations', 'Brilliant Genius of Humanity', 'Gardener of Human Happiness'. Recent history was re-written to portray Stalin as playing more significant role in the revolution and during the Great Patriotic War (The Soviet name for WWII).

This fawning devotion from writers and artists reached new levels as they strove to portray him as the savior of the nation.

It seems that Stalin just tolerated these excesses if they helped to keep him in power and was privately sarcastic about some of the more gushing accolades.
9. Benito Mussolini was a journalist before he became Prime Minister and dictator of Italy.

Answer: True

Before becoming dictator Mussolini gained a reputation as a fiery public speaker and a noted journalist. At one stage he was editing the official socialist newspaper "Avanti!" which was against Italy entering WWI but then did 180 degree flip and edited the pro war 'Il Populo d'Italia' because its owner favoured war with Austria.

He cherry picked from the writings of the various revolutionary writers of his time developing no coherent philosophy of his own. He created the Fascist party based on his ramblings and had the media push the line that 'Fascism was the future of the 20th Century'. During his time as dictator most of his economic policies were carried out with his own popularity in mind instead of economic reality. If it was good for Mussolini or 'Il Duce' as he was now known, it was good for Italy.

Some impressive feats such as reclaiming the Pontine Marshes for grain production made good propaganda but the subsidies required to support the farmers pushed the country into debt.
10. The most famous example of a fictional personality cult was that of 'Big Brother' in George Orwell's novel '________________________'.

Answer: Nineteen Eighty-Four

The sinister all-knowing character of Big Brother in 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' epitomises the nature of many of the authoritarian dictators who came to power in the 20th century. Orwell (real name Eric Blair) probably based his character on Stalin whose power was at its height when he wrote his book. 'Animal Farm', also by Orwell, is a fictional account of the consequences of the corrupting nature of absolute power. 'Lord of the Flies' another morality tale was written by William Golding. All of these novels make powerful reading, and I would recommend them to anyone who has an interest in the foibles of human nature.
Source: Author mstanaway

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