A Personality Cult’s Rise and Fall: Three Cities after Khrushchev’s “Secret Speech” and the Stalin Monument that Never Was
- Region: Regional Studies of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia
- Slavica Publishers
- Volume 4, Number 2, 2015
- pp. 309-326
- Additional Information
Recently, in post-Soviet space, new Stalin statues have been created, and old ones have reappeared. These battles, both symbolic and material, over monuments fuel and exemplify contemporary “memory wars.” This article highlights the disparate meanings of three historical Stalin monuments that served as focal points for three major cases of mass demonstrations during Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization campaign: Tbilisi, Budapest, and Prague. Next, drawing on newly found materials from Tbilisi’s Central Committee Archive of the Communist Party of Georgia, this article discusses Bogdan Muradovich Kirakosian’s never-realized project to build a massive Stalin monument that would have overlooked Tbilisi. Last is the analysis of survey data that captures individuals’ attitudes towards Stalin for those born in Georgia before 1945 in order to surmise how such a grand monument to Stalin would have been received at the time.