The 50 Years Ago column from the December 2011 issue of the Socialist Standard
For Stalin, the final disgrace.
His simple grave now mocks the memory of the days when he was the great dictator, who could make Krushchev caper like a court jester.
It mocks, too, the memory of the fulsome praise that was heaped upon him when his pitiless rule was at its height. Here is part of a poem which was published in Pravda on August 28th, 1936:
O Great Stalin, O Leader of the Peoples,
Thou who didst give birth to man,
Thou who didst make fertile the earth,
Thou who dost rejuvenate the Centuries.
Thou who givest blossom to the spring, . . .
And this is Krushchev himself, speaking at the eighteenth Congress in 1938 on the extermination of Stalin’s opponents:
‘. . . Our victory in defeating the fascist agents—all these despicable trotskyists, bukharinists and bourgeois nationalists—we owe above all to the personal effort of our great leader, comrade Stalin. . . . Long live the towering genius of all humanity, the teacher and the guide who is leading us victoriously to Communism, our beloved comrade Stalin.’
Now that the truth about the “beloved comrade” is officially acknowledged in Moscow, we can expect some more rewriting of history, just as it was when Stalin wanted to eliminate the memory of his enemies.
In England the Communist Party will be in confusion for some time. Always taking their line from Moscow, they were among Stalin’s worshippers, and disregarded the facts about the Russian dictator which Socialists, and others put before them. The latest change of policy will be hard to swallow, even for them.
(from editorial, Socialist Standard, December 1961)