With all the controversy surrounding local exhibit of dead bodies I was reminded that this is not my first time not attending a viewing of a preserved cadaver. Thus, ground-breaking series “Behind the Iron Curtain” continues with a short new installment: Lenin’s Mausoleum.
For over 80 years the Soviet and then the Russian people lined up on Moscow’s Red Square to view an embalmed body of the leader of the Great October Socialist Revolution Vladimir Illyich Lenin. V.I. Lenin died on January 21, 1924 and his body was on display ever since, with the exception of WWII and some maintenance downtime. The story of the Mausoleum (or Tomb) is sufficiently told in Wikipedia, so there is not too much left to add. Although I’ve been to Moscow many times and visited Kremlin and Red Square I never had any desire to stand in line for many hours for a brief moment with the famous stiff. There were plenty of schmucks willing to do it without me.
When I was growing up, majority of people stopped thinking that Lenin was a second coming of Jesus and grew skeptical about the whole socialism idea. Jokes about Lenin and other Soviet leaders became common although still told in a circle of friends only. It always puzzled me who were the millions of idiots waiting in line to see the Tomb. At one time Lenin was joined by a corpse of Stalin for a “double the fun” experience, but Stalin was later kicked out for being a tyrant. Since then Lenin is all by himself silently watching millions of people pass by his bulletproof sarcophagus. Millions of people whose life he touched in one way or another.
There was a lot of talk about finally burying him next to his mother, but all these years later it still causes too much controversy to deal with it.
It was scary when alive