Staunton, April 29 – Every April since Gorbachev’s time, Russians have discussed what should be done with Lenin’s body now enshrined in the mausoleum on Red Square, Nestor Pilyavsky says. But in focusing on Lenin alone, they forget to ask what should be done with his 549 comrades in arms who are also buried next to the Kremlin wall.
The Moscow commentator says that to talk about Lenin but not about the others – who include his successor Joseph Stalin, “the legendary sadist Rosaliya Zemyachka, the terrorist Petr Voykov,” and various other heroes of the revolution, including 422 in mass graves – is “somehow unethical” (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5903285C723B4).
Burying Lenin is one thing but reburying all the others would require enormous time and effort, Pilyavsky says; and destroying the mausoleum would deprive Red Square of its “only stylish building.” It would deprive that location of its status as a tourist attraction and thus impose severe economic consequences on the city.
On the basis of such reflections, the commentator makes a proposal which can only be described in Swiftian terms as “modest.” He proposes “not destroying the mausoleum but even increasing its size and have it cover the entire Kremlin with it like a dome.” Having done that, he suggests, it should be the obligatory site for burying all future Russian leaders.
“Inside this new Kremlin mausoleum, it would be possible to put their cadavers under glass,” thus allowing them to decompose slowly while providing the kind of spiritual “bindings” that the current regime talks so much about. And taking that step would remind all leaders: you too, this facility would proclaim, will eventually end up here as well.