An astonishment a day - 
drives your depression away...

The funeral of Stalin and Prokofev. 

When the radio announced that Stalin had died (born 1879 - died 5 March 1953), hoards of Muscovites forced their way to the Kremlin in order to pay homage to their beloved leader, Father of the Soviet Union. Such havoc arose in the centre of Moscow that neither the militia or the army could contain it, and basically all control was lost. Moscow had never seen such a mess, not even in 1917. The chaos that followed cost the lives of about 1 000 people - all of whom, just like during the war, died with Stalin's name on their lips. We need to remember this. 

The Muscowites did not run to the Kremlin out of joy that the tyrant was no longer alive. They were doing it to pay their respects... A similar situation was observed at Lenin's Mausoleum.  Hundreds of millions of people have passed through the Mausoleum out of love and respect. Russian neighbors should remember this, even after so many years. 

Later, when the motivation behind this spontaneous farewell was looked into, an unlikely phenomenon became apparent. It was characterized quite well by the confession of a KGB officer, and witness of the times, Ilya Dzhirkwelov - "It never even occurred to us that Stalin could die, he was our Savior, our God, our Leader and our Father." 
Svetlana, the daughter of Stalin, remembers the scene at the funeral:
"All of his Marshall's stood alongside the open casket of my father, and Marshall Rokossowski wept.... I have never seen a man cry like that. Tears fell down his uniform, onto his medals and badges."

The atmosphere of idolizing Stalin is illustrated well by a scene that occurred at a different time and at a different place. It is described by Evgenya Semionovna Ginzburg, a prisoner of many years at Magada - "...Two girls are watching a film at the movies in Magadan in the forties. The scene is taking place in Italy, and in some church, mass it taking place. One girl says to the other: Look at how much they worship God! It's as if he was Stalin!" 
However there's not much that we can say, as we were just the same ("Freedom, which intoxicates us - it is Stalin" as said by Lec.

It turns out purely by coincidence that the funeral of both, Stalin and Prokofev (1891 - 5.3.1953) occurred on the same day. Three million people followed Stalin's coffin, whereas Prokofev had only three followers. Stalin was responsible for the deaths of a few million people, whereas Prokofev composed seven symphonies, and at least twenty two concerts. It would be nice to explain all of this with the following: 'That is the nature of Homo sovieticus', but this is not entirely true. This is the nature of Home sapiens sapiens..

The sea of flowers at the Kremlin wall.


Guard of  honour: Nikolai Bulganin, Nikita khrushchov, Lazar Kaganowich.

This is Stalin alongside Lenin in the Mausoleum, which was already called the 'Lenin-Stalin Mausoleum'.
 However Stalin was not there for long, the same Khrushchov was the Chairman of Funeral Commission, 
and later on he managed the exportation of Stalin from the Mausoleum.

Anthem of the USSR 




(C) (selected from publications of 
 R. Antoszewski

Titirangi, Auckland, 
New Zeland

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February  2003


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