Lenin Archive

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Dining with the Lenins

11.09.2015 Posted in History, Writing No Comments

Summer went by so fast that I forgot about time and my blog for a couple of weeks. Those who have been following my blog know that I have a book coming out about Angelica Balabanoff by McFarland Publishers in September, The Strange Comrade Balabanoff: Life of a Communist Rebel. To celebrate the book launch, for the time being I will dedicate my blog to various themes about Angelica, her life, friends, favorite recipes and her pass time. Angelica’s life was full with interesting and compelling events. Undoubtedly one of the main events was her dinner with Lenin and his wife Nadezhda Krupskaya. Few people if any have ever dined with the Lenins. In fact Angelica mentioned two such dinners, one of them was described in much detail in her autobiography My Life as a Rebel. The dinner took place in October of 1918, in the suburbs of Moscow, Gorky, where the head of the young Soviet state was recovering after an attempt on his life. Here is what she wrote: “On a little converted balcony,” she described the dinner in her memoirs, “… we ate a bit of bread, a tiny slice of meat, and some cheese – which I had brought from Sweden – and drank a glass of tea with a small piece of sugar.” Pointing at the food, Lenin, as if apologizing in front of Angelica for such abundance, explained that it was sent by the workers from all over Russia who wished him a quick […]

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The Mausoleum is Closed for Two Months as Lenin gets an Extreme Makeover.

20.02.2015 Posted in Lifestyle No Comments

(KRT) MOSCOW — Vladimir Lenin has been dead these 80 years, but the founder of Soviet communism has never looked better. Just ask his curator.* “He looks quite fine, as good as he did 30 years ago,” said Yuri Denisov-Nikolsky, the Russian doctor who just supervised an extensive makeover of Lenin’s corpse. “He looked terrible when he died, but what you see now is Lenin’s face, not someone else’s.” Denisov-Nikolsky has been working on Lenin since 1970, and in a rare interview he pulled back the shroud of secrecy surrounding the body, its original embalming and its periodic makeovers. When Lenin died of a stroke and heart attack on Jan. 21, 1924, his widow said he’d wished to be buried next to his mother in a simple cemetery plot. But the communist elite had other ideas. They originally planned to freeze their beloved leader, but his body began to deteriorate badly as a super-freezer was being built. Instead, using an untested chemical process, Lenin was embalmed and his skin carefully treated to preserve a lifelike appearance. He’s entombed in a granite-and-marble mausoleum in Red Square. The body is sealed in a glass sarcophagus, cooled to 61 degrees, with the humidity between 80 and 90 percent. Some say Lenin appears to be sleeping. Others compare him to waxed fruit. With the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian government stopped financing the preservation of the body, Denisov-Nikolsky said. Private donations pay the meager salaries of his 15-person staff at a research […]