Communist World News

Georgia’s Stalin museum shifts emphasis towards atrocities

In Europe on April 9, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Stalin was the leader of the USSR from 1924 till his death in 1953

Gori, Georgia — A Georgian museum located in Gori that has honoured Josef Stalin since its founding in 1937 will be remodeled to focus on the atrocities that occurred under the regime of the Soviet leader.

Georgian Culture Minister Nika Rurua said Monday that his nation, which became independent in 1991, can no longer host a museum “glorifying the Soviet dictator.”

Josef Stalin was born in 1879 in the city of Gori and became the leader of the newly established Soviet Union in 1924, which he ruled until his death in 1953. Campaigns under his leadership included agricultural collectivisation, industrialisation, and purging society of perceived counter-revolutionary elements. Official Soviet documents released after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 revealed and confirmed that under the leadership of Stalin 600,000 people were purged, up to 4 million people died as a result of a famine known as the Holodomor, and circa 1 million died in what is commonly known as “the gulag.” With roughly six million deaths attributed to Stalin, he became known as one of the most atrocious dictators in modern history. Something the Stalin museum will shift its attention to, Rurua said.

Stalin remains popular amongst many in the former Soviet Union. In 2008 he was voted the third greatest Russian in Russia. Especially the defeat of Nazi-Germany still sparks admiration. “Stalin was a great man. He defeated Nazism,” said Gori native Archil Dzhikvaishvili, 65, to Associated Press. “As to the purges, they did take place, but there were significantly fewer victims than the number we hear today.”

The Stalin museum was established in 1937 as part of a cult of personality surrounding Stalin. Currently it consists of 47,000 exhibits, including the house in which Stalin was born. It remained open despite the de-Stalinization campaign and denunciation of his personality cult declared by Stalin’s successor Nikita Khrushchev in 1956, and it has remained open up until now.

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