Tonight’s Historama is all about people – or rather, their words – that changed Russian history.
Secret of Lenin’s will
Today in 1924, Lenin’s wife Nadezhda Krupskaya released some notes Lenin had made for an address to the Bolshevik Party which later become known as “Lenin’s will.”
The “will” contained Lenin’s ideas about the future of the country and his private opinions about members of the party, including Stalin, whom he described as rude and incapable of ruling.
Those negative comments, however, were suppressed to protect the authority of the party and people quickly forgot Lenin’s will – until it was released in full under Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization drive.
Art becomes political tool
Today in 1932, Soviet socialist writer and political activist Maxim Gorky published a pamphlet called, “Masters of culture, who are you with?”
The question was addressed to Russian intellectuals and dissidents, whom Gorky accused of failing to depict the reality of the Soviet Union.
Gorky argued that the working class should be a major source of inspiration to writers and artists, and that ignoring it would bring hatred and oblivion.
The article’s title became a catchphrase used to identify the political and ideological positions of cultural workers.