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Monday, August 01, 2005

Leave Lenin Where He Belongs -- the Dump!

AFP reports today that Berlin officials are planning to haul a gigantic bust of V. I. Lenin out of a dump where it has been resting for 14 years and place it in a city museum.

Big mistake. From the sounds of things, the 3.5 ton statue was already being housed in the most appropriate setting imaginable (assuming the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port didn't have room).

While the reasons for the restoration may sound reasonable -- the statue is to be placed in an exhibit on East Germany's communist occupation -- it would be a more powerful historical statement to keep the head Bolshevik's head right where it is now, buried near the Mueggelsee Lake.

Lenin is one of history's greatest monsters. His band of power-hungry thugs derailed Russia's fledgling democratic movement and brought an end to what had been a flowering culture. He brutally murdered his opponents, siezed private property, and introduced economic centralization on a country that had been growing rapidly prior to World War I. And even though he was forced to back-track on some elements of the planned economy before his death, he was primarily responsible for turning Communism from a crack-pot theory to a movement that would engulf half the world and lead governments to slaughter over 100 million of their own people in the decades that followed.

It's hard to see how returning the image of this beast to public display has any benefit. There is no intrinsic artistic value to this slab (like all Soviet-mandated public "art") . And given the number of left-wingers throughout the administrative halls of Old Europe, it's more than likely that it will be placed in some sort of sympathetic museum display that white-washes the horrors of the Communist occupation.

On the other hand, choosing to leave Lenin buried in a public dump sends a compelling message, both about the character of the man as well as Communism's rightful place in the ash-heap of history.

(The complete AFP article is available at


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