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From Communism to Anti-Communism

 | 
Andre Liebich
, 
Svetlana Yakimovich

The Death of Stalin

Ot Tsentral’nogo komiteta, Pravda, 6 March 1953

Alexey Antoshin

Texte intégral

"Ot Tsentral’nogo komiteta", Pravda, 6 March 1953. The headings read in Russian : "5 марта в 9 часов 50 минут вечера после тяжелой болезни скончался Председатель Совета Министров Союза ССР и Секретарь Центрального Комитета Коммунистической партии Советского Союза Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин. Бессмертное имя Сталина всегда будет жить в сердцах советского народа и всего прогрессивного человечества " ; "От Центрального Комитета Коммунистической партии Советского Союза, Совета Министров Союза ССР и Президиума Верховного Совета СССР ко всем членам партии, ко всем трудящимся Советского Союза"; "Медицинское заключение о болезни и смерти И.В.Сталина" – ["On 5 March at 9:50 pm after a serious illness passed away the Chairman of the Union of SSR, the Head of the Council of Ministers and the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin. Immortal Stalin's name will always live in the hearts of the Soviet people and all progressive mankind "; "From the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR to all party members, to all the working people of the Soviet Union"; "Medical report on the illness and death of I.V.Stalin"].

1The communiqué of the senior party and government bodies - the Central Committee of the CPSU, the Council of Ministers and the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR – entitled "To all members of the Party, to all workers of the Soviet Union" was transmitted on 6 March 1953 at 6 AM by Moscow radio; on the same day it was printed in the newspaper Pravda. The communiqué read in part:

2“The heart of Lenin’s comrade-in-arms and the inspired continuer of Lenin’s cause, the wise leader and teacher of the Communist Party and the Soviet people—Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin—has stopped beating…

3Together with Lenin, Comrade Stalin was the inspirer and leader of the great October socialist revolution, founder of the world’s first socialist state. Continuing Lenin’s immortal cause, Comrade Stalin led the Soviet people to the world-historic triumph of socialism in our land. Comrade Stalin led our country to victory over fascism in the Second World War …

4The news of Comrade Stalin’s death will bring profound pain…Our task is to guard the unity of the Party as the apple of our eye, to educate Communists as active political fighters for carrying out the policy and decisions of the Party...

5The immortal name of Stalin will live forever in the hearts of the Soviet people and all progressive mankind.

6Long live the great and all-conquering teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin!

7Long live our mighty socialist motherland!

8Long live our heroic Soviet people!

9Long live the great Communist Party of Soviet Union!”

10The communiqué contained an official report on Stalin’s death and the statement of the "collective leadership" regarding its intention to continue the "Leninist-Stalinist" course. However, the document comprised new points as well. In particular, there was no mention of the need to develop heavy industry, an invariable reference under Stalin. Special attention was paid to the necessity of improving the material well-being of the Soviet people. The communiqué did not refer to the fight against the "imperialism", NATO and the United States. No document of the Stalin era could have been issued without such a phrase.

Bibliographie

Current Digest of the Soviet Press, vol.5, no.6 March 21, 1953 (quotations pp. 4-5, 24).

Roy Medvedev, All Stalin’s Men, Garden City: Doubleday, 1984.

Table des illustrations

Légende "Ot Tsentral’nogo komiteta", Pravda, 6 March 1953. The headings read in Russian : "5 марта в 9 часов 50 минут вечера после тяжелой болезни скончался Председатель Совета Министров Союза ССР и Секретарь Центрального Комитета Коммунистической партии Советского Союза Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин. Бессмертное имя Сталина всегда будет жить в сердцах советского народа и всего прогрессивного человечества " ; "От Центрального Комитета Коммунистической партии Советского Союза, Совета Министров Союза ССР и Президиума Верховного Совета СССР ко всем членам партии, ко всем трудящимся Советского Союза"; "Медицинское заключение о болезни и смерти И.В.Сталина" – ["On 5 March at 9:50 pm after a serious illness passed away the Chairman of the Union of SSR, the Head of the Council of Ministers and the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin. Immortal Stalin's name will always live in the hearts of the Soviet people and all progressive mankind "; "From the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR to all party members, to all the working people of the Soviet Union"; "Medical report on the illness and death of I.V.Stalin"].
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