This one of the more amusing panels you will see at the Berlin Wall East Side Gallery. It is a reproduction of a Berlin Wall graffiti painting titled “My God, help me to survive this deadly love” that depicts an actual kiss that took place between Soviet Leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German leader Erich Honecker in 1979:
A quick peck on the cheek was a typical greeting among communist leaders in Eastern Europe, but Honecker apparently took it to extremes, provoking the ire of General Wojciech Jaruzelski, the last communist leader of Poland. In a 2005 interview, Jaruzelski claimed that one of the most unpleasant parts of his job was kissing Honecker, due to his “disgusting way of kissing”.
When the Soviet Union fell, the symbols of that regime – the innumerable statues of Marx, Engels, and Lenin – were brought down as well. Many were melted down, demolished, or sold to wealthy Westerners who installed them in American casinos. Some of these statues still survive throughout the former Soviet Union, however, either in the town squares of small towns or places like Fallen Monument Park in Moscow, which houses a large collection of old Soviet statues, including this one of Stalin. I don’t know how Stalin lost his nose here, but I’d like to imagine that it was the result of a large sledgehammer wielded by an average Soviet citizen.
Today I uploaded more footage taken while driving through Pyongyang.
This second video was taken while driving through Pyongyang in the evening. There is not much to see, due to the lack of electricity, and therefore lighting, in Pyongyang.
Near the Monument to the Foundation of the Korean Workers’ Party, a group of North Korean dancers waits to be dismissed by their supervisors.
North Korean students attend a mass dance that was taking place to celebrate the DPRK’s independence day on September 9, 2009.
Taekwondo athletes perform at the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang, North Korea. What exactly are the mass games? Well, take 100,000 North Koreans, place them in the largest stadium in the world, add some perfectly choreographed gymnastics, dancing, singing, and a heavy dose of propaganda, and the end result is a massive show glorifying the achievements of North Korea and its eternal President, Kim Il-Sung.
In Teatralnaya Square, directly across the street from the Bolshoi Theatre stands Moscow’s last remaining monument to Karl Marx, which was erected in 1961. The inscription reads “Proletariat of all countries, solidarity!” (aka “Workers of the world, unite!”) While the Communist Party still occasionally rallies around the monument, some have suggested replacing the monument with, among other things, a bronze statue of Vladimir Putin.