Russia: Lenin and Stalin
Randy Black writes: Christopher Jones’ story about
the removal of the statues of past leaders of Franco Spain reminds me of
Russia’s efforts to purge the statues of Stalin and in some cases, Lenin. When I
moved to Omsk in 1993, I had the opportunity over a period of months to count 26
statues of Lenin in that city of 1.2 million, but none of Stalin. It was
explained to me that Stalin’s were purged for obvious reasons but that Lenin was
sort of still respected, as the father of modern Russia, even though he was
responsible for the murder of many, but not to the degree of Stalin. One
colleague even stated, We don’t hate Stalin in Omsk. He never came
I have three Russian women and their children at my home today
and when I asked why Lenin continues to be respected and Stalin not, one replied
Stalin was like Hitler, Lenin was not. She is from Novosibirsk.
did not question further. Questioning a Russian about the crimes of their past
practices is somewhat akin to them asking us about the practice of slavery or
the extermination of the Native Americans, and is something most Russians are
too polite to do.
RH: In Russia during the Soviet period, I mentioned
Lenin, and a government woman said reverently "He was a saint". I never heard
anyone say that about Stalin.
Ronald Hilton 2005
April 16, 2005