Remembering March 5, 1953

I should have posted this two days ago, on March 5. Better late than never: March 5 is the day Stalin died in 1953, the so-called Cheyne-Stokes Day. In 2016, I wrote two more posts about that day of deliverance: “Stalin’s last victims” and “‘What if it gets worse?‘”

To quote, once again, the composer Grigory Frid (1915-2012):

And like all members of the intelligentsia, I had the most dreadful expectations: what if it gets worse?.. Besides, naive as it sounds today, Stalin’s death was not the most important event in my life at that moment. Because [that was when] Sergey Sergeyevich Prokofiev died; I knew him, not closely but I did know him. That was a major tragedy…

Although disappointments may accumulate and hopes wither, the time will come when Russia’s current dictator draws his last breath. Ideally, his breathing should be cut short by the noose of justice but that’s too much to realistically wish for. Eventually, however, survivors will be able to freely spit and dance on his grave. Some sort of posthumous denigration would be necessary as a healing ritual for the nation.

The dictator’s numerous clients and acolytes would then claim that they had always opposed him clandestinely and that things would have been much worse without their courageous but imperceptible opposition.

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