Vladimir Lenin’s mummy has been a Red Square attraction since 1924.
Now, 100 years after the Germans put Lenin in a sealed freight car and sent him to destroy Russia, legislation designed to finally bury him has been introduced in the Russian State Duma.
While polls show that Russians support burial, previous attempts to inter Lenin’s remains have been unsuccessful. However, the legislation introduced Thursday “would enforce no immediate action but remove legal impediments to reburial when authorities judged the time right.”
It should be noted that even if you’re a Lenin fan, apparently the Top Bolshie wanted to be buried next to his mom in St. Petersburg’s Volkovskoye Cemetery.
It’s hardly surprising that the Russian Orthodox Church supports interment; but according to Interfax, Russia’s Chief Rabbi, Berel Lazar, also believes that it is time to bury Lenin.
Lazar told Interfax that Lenin “filled Russia with blood” and “sought to replace faith in God with a cult of idolized leaders“.
More from the interview:
– The 100th anniversary of the October revolution will be marked in 2017. How can you evaluate the Soviet period of our history?
– For me it is the dark times. The Bolsheviks have been seeking for their goal to create a “new man” and build a new society without God. They were reaching their goal through violence that reached its apogee under Stalin.
Severe restrictions have been in effect against the believers (regardless of their religious identity) practically throughout the entire Soviet period. Until Stalin’s death they were subjected to large-scale repressions – people were imprisoned or executed simply for the fulfillment of the duties of a clergyman. Then the repressions against the believers became individual, but different harassments and restrictions remained in place that I have still witnessed in the late 1980s. All good what people are speaking about, recalling the Soviet Union, existed not thanks to, but rather in defiance of the regime.
– What characteristics and achievements of the Soviet epoch can be an example for contemporary society and state?
– First of all, it is certainly our victory over nazism that saved the world from monstrous prospect of establishing misanthropic regimen in the world and Jewish people from total extermination. Today Russia continues struggling actively against terrorism and extremism. Another achievement, which can be interesting for modern Russia, is an attempt to form one civil nation. It was not completed in the Soviet period, then we faced the wave of nationalism, today we witness to the renaissance of the idea of creating one civil nation. Among the positive achievements I would like to point out to the education system and the health care system, which allowed settling the problem of illiteracy and spreading epidemics in relatively short terms.
– What is your personal attitude to Lenin and Stalin?
– Both of them are people who filled the country with blood and sought to replace faith in God with a cult of idolized leaders. So, Stalin fairly called himself “Lenin’s devoted follower,” but Lenin did it for promoting his ideas and Stalin – for preserving power.
– Don’t you think it is time to resume the discussion on Lenin’s reburial?
– I suppose that all necessary discussions are over. The body of Lenin should be interred, and the tombs at the cemetery near the Kremlin Wall should be relocated to other cemeteries. Representatives of all denominations share an opinion that this is needed to be done. As to the Lenin’s mausoleum, I believe that it is unnecessary to destroy it, as the building organically fitted in with the Red Square ensemble. It would be better to set up a museum dedicated to the Soviet era at the mausoleum.
As October approaches, it will certainly be interesting to see how both the Russian government and the Russian people struggle with the anniversary of the revolution that Lenin led.
In the meantime, you can “follow Lenin on Twitter”, compliments of RT.