Lesson #2: Lenin’s Embalmed Body

Three very quick notes on Lenin’s Tomb:

Originally built of wood*, had a house built around it during the Second World War**, had Stalin entombed there for eight years***.

The discussion about burying Lenin’s body: There has been a long standing debate between the pro- and anti-Soviet/Communist factions in Russia about what to do with Lenin. Politically, it’s fascinating. Yeltsin wanted to bury him. Putin thought that detrimental to Russia because burying Lenin would mean that the values of the Soviet Union were in some way flawed. In 2004, it was reported that the majority of Russians want Lenin out of Red Square.

The most interesting site I could find on the debate is actually from the Lenin’s Tomb website, which I’m guessing was last updated sometime before Putin officially took power in 2000.

And in May, the Belarussians offered up new digs in Minsk for Lenin.

One last fun fact: in October, a historian claimed that Lenin died of syphilis — likely contracted from a Parisian prostitute — and not a stroke.

*It was built as a temporary housing structure in the week after Lenin’s death.

**In order to hide it from the Germans. How the hell they were going to see a house in the middle of Red Square and be fooled is outside my realm of understanding.

***He was removed as part of the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union during the Kruschev years.


2 thoughts on “Lesson #2: Lenin’s Embalmed Body

  1. Jamie Geelow says:

    Did I ever tell you about the time I saw Lenin’s body? The guards were intense and at one point used the ‘bullet-shoots-out-here’ portion of the gun to remove the hands from his pockets of one of the guys I was with.
    Ahh, Moscow…how I miss it…

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