“Comrades, Vladimir Ilich’s health has grown so much worse lately that it is to be feared he will soon be no more. We must therefore consider what is to be done when the great sorrow befalls us…. Modern science is capable of preserving his body for a considerable time, long enough at least for us to grow used to the idea of his being no longer with us.” – Joseph Stalin
Lenin’s Mausoleum was definitely high on my list of favorite excursions in Russia…odd, I know. Contrary to popular belief, there is not a never ending Disneyesque line to see the former Soviet leader’s body (or wax dummy, if you believe that). We stood in line for about 5 minutes before being allowed to walk to the mausoleum (for some reason, the Russians block off half of Red Square during the mausoleum’s “open” hours). Before proceeding into the mausoleum you are searched for cameras, of course. When you enter the nice air-conditioned tomb, you walk down a flight of stairs…I almost tripped down them due to the lack of light. Then you proceed to the room with Lenin…and there he is chilling in his glass coffin. My first thought was “damn, he’s short”…because he is…and he is also wearing a black tie with white polka dots…what’s up with that? They should change his tie color according to the seasons. Anyways…you walk around Lenin’s glass coffin under the watchful eyes of four very serious-looking guards. I suppose that the Soviets meant for this to be a solemn place, but when I got out of the mausoleum I wanted to laugh…because it is so crazy that they preserved Lenin’s body and put it on display for millions of people to gawk at! Lenin would have been sooo pissed if he knew Stalin was going to do that.
Lenin’s Tomb was also used as a parade reviewing stand by leaders of the USSR, as shown in this picture. After Stalin’s death, his preserved body was placed alongside Lenin’s, but was later removed as part of Kruschev’s “de-Stalinization” process. He is now buried behind the mausoleum.
Red Square…Lenin’s Mausoleum on the left…notice the Communist rally!
Up close view…The letters in the middle are Cyrillic for “Lenin”.
Kate, myself, and Will in front of the mausoleum.
Me and Will.
Me in front of the mausoleum striking a pose in a fur commie hat.
Will strikes a pose…astounded Russians look on.
Lenin or wax dummy? You decide. I didn’t take this picture…I had no desire to visit a Russian prison, thank you very much.