21 Lenins Mausoleum: How It Came to the World

Lenins Mausoleum: How It Came to the World

Posted on May 29, 2012 by team


V. I. Lenin’s Mausoleum (1953-61 the Mausoleum of V. I. Lenin and I. V. Stalin) – monument – burial vault on Red Square of Moscow at the Kremlin wall. Let’s trace the history of this unique object.

The first wooden Mausoleum (project of A. V. Schusev) was erected by the Vladimir Lenin’s funeral day (27 January, 1924), it had a cubic form and was topped with a three-stage pyramid. It had stood only to spring 1924.

To the second wooden Mausoleum erected in 1924 they attached tribunes from both sides. The initial project of the sarcophagus was announced too complicated and an architect K. S. Melnikov offered 8 new variants of the project. One of them was confirmed and soon built to stay there till the end of WWII.

Compact shape of the second Mausoleum was used while designing the third, existing today, monument, made of reinforced concrete with brick walls coated with granite, marble, labradorite and porphyry coating. Inside the building has a vestibule and a hall of honor 100 m2 big. In 1930 new tribunes appeared aside the Mausoleum and trimmed graves at the Kremlin wall.

During WWII, in July, 1941, the body of Lenin was evacuated to Tyumen. It was kept in the building where Tyumen state agricultural academy is located today. In April 1945 the leader’s body came back to Moscow.

In 1945 a central tribune of the Mausoleum was built. The old sarcophagus of Melnikov was replaced by a new one made under the project of A. V. Schusev and a sculptor B. I. Yakovlev. In the period 1953—1961 the body of Stalin was also kept in the Mausoleum.

On the granite slab mounted in 1953 they wrote “Lenin and Stalin” over “Lenin”. The new inscription had remained till they found a unique giant 60 tonned labradorite monolith in the Zhitomir region. They used to say that in severe cold the old inscription became visible with hoarfrost. In 1958 the slab was replaced with a new one with inscriptions “LENIN” and “STALIN” one under another. In 1961 the granite slab with the name of Lenin returned to its original place. Simulteneously with the funeral of Stalin they made a decision to move the sarcophagi of both leaders to pantheon but it was never done.

In 1973 they replaced the old sarcophagus with a bulletproof one.

Honor guard post №1 had been at the Mausoleum till October 1993, it changed every hour at the signal of the Kremlin clock.  But during the constitutional crisis in 1993 the post was abolished. Since 12th of December, 1997 it was back there, but at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

A biochemist B. I. Zbarsky was responsible for embalming, he had made a recipe of “embalming liquid” in which they soaked Lenin’s body each 18 months. Zbarsky had taken care of Lenin’s remains till his death in 1954. In the end of 1939 they created a scientific research laboratory that had to solve problems connected with Lenin’s body preservation. The government commission created in 1990 stated that the body of the leader could be preserved in the same condition for some dozens of years more.

The workers of the laboratory embalmed bodies of many well-known persons, such as Georgy Dimitrov (1949, Bulgaria), Horlogiyn Choybalsan (1952, Mongolia), Joseph Stalin (1953, the USSR), Klement Gottwald (1953, the Czech Republic), Ho Chi Minh (1969, Vietnam), Agostinho Neto (1979, Angola), president of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana – Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham (1985, Georgetown, Guyana), Kim Ir Sen (1995, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea). But not all of them remained till today.

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21 Responses to “Lenins Mausoleum: How It Came to the World”

  1. (r)evolutionist says:

    Thanks for the info, but I’d rather honor people by reading their writings instead of staring dumbly at a mass of frozen protoplasm. By the way, on one of the final photos on the Mausoleum are the criminals Stalin, Molotov, Beria, Kaganovich, Mikoyan, Malenkov, and Voroshilov (don’t see Khrushchev?). Lenin wished to be cremated but his corpse was “confiscated” by J.St. to create the Lenin cult. And now all misinformed Westerners equate Stalinism to Bolshevism/Communism.

    • Fred says:

      Reading Lenin’s words is worthwhile. It’s even better to combine that with a study of the history of the processes of revolution in the Russian empire, what Lenin did, and a study of the development of political thought in the 19th century.

      If you do that, you’ll discover Boshevism was never communism, and Stalin’s policies were just an unimaginative and paranoid development of the brutal and dishonest methods that Lenin initiated for the purposes of grabbing power and keeping it by suppressing opposition.

      Stalin’s biggest mistake, after his overall paranoid thuggishness, was probably his suppression of almost everyone with any intelligence, talent, or initiative. Under Stalin, the USSR was bound to go wrong.

      • CZenda says:

        It is clear that Marx loved to make love with his Jenny. If Lenin had to have an intercourse with Krupskaya, it just HAD to result in “Materialism and Empiriocriticism” :D Said one of the heroes of Foucault´s Pendulum.

      • (r)evolutionist says:

        You’re right. Bolshevism was never communism. Lenin suffered from a laser-focus vision of communism (but remember his life experience-seeing his older brother hanged, living constantly on the run) and therefore refused to let other ideas (for the most part) into his views. You have a lot of good points.

  2. Mike says:

    This has to be one of ther most ridiculous things in Russia today. With no communist party in control, with Putin and Medvedev in Orthodox churches crossing themselves, with capitilism in many ways exisitng in Russia, how can Russian people “honor” Lenin?? They have turned Russia into somthing Lenin never could have wished Russia to be. Lenin was a big mistake for Russia

    • vla says:

      Its part of Russian and world history. Mistake or not , russians just dont want to “rewrite” history.
      You can’t see that kind of philosophy in western civilization, where nations try to brake up with their past over the one night.

      • too much vodka says:

        Funny, the whole Soviet historiography was doing nothing else than constantly rewriting history. Even their sources had to be adapted to the constantly changing views on history, look at the pictures they altered to eliminate people on these pictures which were already physically eliminated. In the Soviet Union, one could be sure about the future, but never about the past. And when the Soviet Union was gone, people couldn’t be quick enough in rewriting history by removing all inds of statues and symbols. Of coures, a decade later, when Putin came to power, history had to change again, adapting schoolbooks to the ideas of the new people in power. It is not the West which is constantly rewriting it’s history, it is Russia£.

      • vorontsevich (f/k/a ayaa) says:

        Oops. Looks like you managed to piss off our resident historian, vla. Lol.

  3. CZenda says:

    Gottwald´s carcass rotted and was handed over to his family for normal civilized burial. The drunkard caught fatal pneumonia while attending Stalin´s funeral.

  4. too much vodka says:

    Soviet leaders are a kind of pharao’s who needed pyramids, embalming and lots of slaves.

  5. Daniel says:

    However some people feel about Lenin, you can’t erase a countries’ history. Whatever Russia is today, good and bad, is at least partly Lenin’s work.

  6. Fred Johnson says:

    I find the idea of preserving a body, any body, like this, to be disturbing. Like you’re going to come back and get it or something? Maybe use it later? At some point, we’re gonna run out of places to bury all these bodies. Just kinda creepy.

  7. the man says:

    How many Russians were killed, mutilated and deprived from their simplest human rights because of this gang ?

  8. petrohof says:

    also remember that having soviet union as enemy in cold war helped make US what it is today. this could not have happened without stalin and stalin would not have happened without lenin.

  9. Tommo says:

    I’ve seen Ho Chi Minh’s body in Hanoi. It’s a freaky experience. Hundreds of people queue in the square at 6am with white uniformed communists telling everyone to be quiet. Some Korean tourists really got chewed out. Then you file into the mausoleum, up some stairs and file into this dimly lit cavenous room with a giant hammer and sickle on the wall and there’s Uncle Ho in the middle of the room on a raised platform surrounded by men with bayonets, while you walk by on a platform that goes round it all. A man stopped and offered a prayer and one of the white uniform guys grabbed him and shoved him out of the way. When we got out, we were instantly confronted by dozens of hawkers selling Uncle Ho badges (I did buy some hah), postcards, busts and other assorted crap. Even ice cream. My girlfriend wasn’t impressed at all with the whole experience,

  10. How can Russians still honor Lenin? He had thousands killed(including the czar and all his family). Surely, now , 20 years after communism ended there, they should know how truly evil he was.

    • vorontsevich (f/k/a ayaa) says:

      Or maybe, they prefer to honor their own history, rather than be ashamed of it like Japan or Germany.

      • ptc says:

        Thats why never been freedom in Russia. When they get rid of a one dictator, they happily vote for another. Nothing to be proud, of course.

        • vorontsevich (f/k/a ayaa) says:

          Oh sure. As long as someone does what the west tells them to do they’re not dictators, like Saudi Arabia for example. But if someone doesn’t follow orders, they’re would be a dictatorship in that country, horrible human rights abuses, and maybe even a nuclear weapons program or WMD’s. So don’t talk about freedom and dictatorships. You don’t have it.

          “Nothing to be proud”. BS. Our own history is something we are proud of, no matter what you civilized, developed and ‘democratic’ westerners may have to say in the matter. Oh wait, its OUR history, so you don’t get a say in the matter.

    • Maxim Ч. says:

      The Tsar was an asshole who persecuted people even more than the Bolsheviks. My ancestors (Doukhobors) had to leave the Russian Empire because they were tired of being arrested/beaten/jailed for trying to live peacefully in a pacifist manner. They should have killed him sooner.

  11. skopeil says:

    Lenin corp look so creepy…

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