October 6, 2005

A hero or a beast

The biggest debate in Russia is going on about a body that's been dead for seventy years.

Was he "a hero or a beast, a gifted revolutionary or a syphilitic mass murderer?"

For eight decades he has been lying in state on public display, a cadaver in a succession of dark suits, encased in a glass box beside a walkway in the basement of his granite mausoleum. Many who revere him say he is at peace, the leader in repose beneath the lights. Others think he just looks macabre.


Time has been unkind to Lenin, whose remains here in Red Square are said to sprout occasional fungi, and whose ideology and party long ago fell to ruins. Now the inevitable question has returned. Should his body be moved?
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"It is time to get rid of this horrible mummy," said Valeriya Novodvorskaya, head of the Democratic Union, a small reform party. "One cannot talk about any kind of democracy or civilization in Russia when Lenin is still in the country's main square."
She added: "I would not care even if he were thrown on a garbage heap."

I say just bury him in an unmarked grave.

Posted by Jill Fallon at October 6, 2005 2:28 AM | Permalink