Stalin museum

I think not
Stalin museum is 'an insult to millions sent to death in Gulag'

By Andrew Osborn in Moscow
Published: 18 February 2006

The imminent opening of a museum devoted to Josef Stalin has stirred outrage among relatives of the millions he persecuted and has prompted claims that Stalinism is on the march again.

After a number of delays, a "Stalin museum" dedicated to the once venerated Father of the People is to be opened at the end of March in Volgograd, the Second World War "hero city" once known as Stalingrad.

The project is being financed by local businessmen but will controversially enjoy pride of place in the official complex that commemorates the epic Second World War Battle of Stalingrad.

The museum will display a writing set owned by the dictator, copies of his historic musings, a mock-up of his Kremlin office, a Madame Tussauds-style wax representation of him and medals, photographs and busts.

Svetlana Argatseva, the museum's curator, said she felt the project was justified. "In France, people regard Napoleon and indeed the rest of their history with respect. We need to look at our history in the same way."

But Eduard Polyakov, the chairman of a local association of victims of political repression, is among those who believe the project is an insult to the millions who suffered in Stalin's purges and were sent to their death in the Gulag. "I don't even want to hear about this," he said.

"In the Stalingrad area, 100,000 families suffered from political repression and were forcibly resettled because of their ethnicity. How can people spit into our souls like this?"

The scandal comes half a century after Stalin's cult of personality was officially dismantled and the crimes he perpetrated against his own people exposed.

Coming up, on 25 February, is the 50th anniversary of the "secret" speech made by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1956 denouncing Stalin, an event that ushered in "de-Stalinisation" and saw monuments to the autocrat torn down across the country.

Ironically, however, though the former dictator appears to be enjoying a mini-revival. Actors playing "Uncle Joe" are in serious demand as TV and theatrical productions about the Stalin era flourish and the modern-day Communist party says his crimes were "exaggerated".

The comeback of a man whose bloodied hands are often compared to Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot and Mao Zedong, has alarmed the more liberal wing of Russia's political class. The Soviet Union's last leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that neo-Stalinism is on the march again while Russia's first post-Soviet President Boris Yeltsin has said he can't understand why Stalin is still so popular.

Between 30 and 40 per cent of poll respondents regularly rate Stalin's achievements as "positive" and a survey last year named him the most revered Communist leader the USSR produced. Admirers cite his turning the Soviet Union into a superpower, the country's defeat of fascism and the "order" he enforced. According to Mr Gorbachev, Russia is going through a dangerous period.

"We can see what was seen in the 1930s even now," he said earlier this week. "Portraits of Stalin and a renaissance of Stalinism can be observed in the mass media and in theatres. Some attempts are being made to preserve Stalinism and this is very serious."

The total number who died under Stalin's regime is disputed but Western historians put the figure at 20 million.

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Well back in my more radical days I went over to Cuba for a world conferance of Youth. It was a mix of Socialists, Social Democrats and Social Liberals really from most nations of the world. But of course since it was in Cuba there was a large communist showing too. On the way to the opening every nation went in there groupings, As Canadians we were behind I believe Columbia. There were a few communists in our group from the different communist "sects" CPC, CPC-ML and a half dozen Trotskist sects. They were horrified as much as the rest of us that this VERY large communist group had a banner of Stalin, and it was near us. I mean even the traditional Communist party of Canada members were horrified and upset at this Image. Later when I talked to one of the older leaders of the communist party of Canada to why there were such stupid people still in the world I was told by him that even though the Communist party of Canada knows the evils of Stalin many other nations which in poorer counties who live in ****ty conditions sometimes think of him as a strong armed socialist and think the negitivity against stalin is just propaganda by the right wing. I personally was still horrified and he agreed with me that Stalin was a horrible blight on the people of the soviet union, on the communists on both the right and the left of the party, socialists, social democrats, **** everybody!

To this day I think that 20 foot image of Stalin will always be burned into my memory never to forget seeing such a large veneration of such an evil man who killed millions, not for any socialist goal, not for a Utopian earth and not even to kill "capitalist piags" but to further his own leadership. I'm sorry to say if I saw skin heads giving a pic of Hitler the facsist salute I don't think it would have botherd me as much. For some reason I know there's no way very many people believe in him anymore. Not enough to make any difference, but this Columbian party or at least sect of the CCP i found out was extremly populer among the working class and it had sects in other communist parties in latin america.


I can't believe anyone would still look up to the basterd, even the nation he ruled over denounced him only years after his death.

To be fare I looked up the "pro-stalinist" stance... and nothing it could say could convince me that what Stalin did could ever be seen as the right thing to do. Most of the pro's to his rule were to indestrize Russia fast in preperation for war against Hitler. But Stalin ****ed over the USSR by killing capapal general's who were xp during the civil war because he saw them as threats to his own rule and installed stalinists in there place. Keep in mind these were COMMUNIST generals he killed. Plus almost every single leader of the bolshivic revolution was purdged during his rule.

Stalin killed any dreams of this Utopian ideals of a communist world by turning the USSR into a workers nightmare. Truly durning his terror it was better dead then red (at least in the USSR).

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