[floatleft-nb]Lenin: the deity of earth, toil,
and light bulbs, the giver of
beets, vodka, and happiness.
A principal deity of the Soviet
People who worshiped his
mummy while believing he was
still alive. Lenin's birthday
is an important Marxist festival,
also known as Sacrificial Earth
Shoveling, or simply Earth Day.[/floatleft-nb]

True Facts About Dictators

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Despite being a grumpy little man, Stalin was also the man behind the most wicked practical joke ever played. Being a very private man he gave the order that no person should enter his bed chambers on pain of death. Later, while in his chambers he decided to test whether his guards had listened to this instruction. Pretending to scream in pain he called for the guards stationed outside the door. Fearing that their leader was in trouble the guards burst into the room. Stalin had them executed for failing to follow his standing orders. This little prank soon backfired, however, when Stalin suffered a seizure while alone in his bedroom. The guards were too afraid to enter, finding him hours later laid in a puddle of stale urine. He died three days later.

Fun Facts About Dictators

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While we are on the subject of death beds, I have a good one about Lenin:

Walking on his own

“The ghost of Vladimir Lenin was first seen at the Kremlin in the small hours of October 19, 1923. The incident took place about three months before the Bolshevist leader passed away. In fact, Lenin was gravely ill at the time, he stayed within the confines of Gorki, his residence outside Moscow,” says Alexander Gorbovski, a historian and writer. “A former courier of the Kremlin dispatch department told me the story. By accident he eavesdropped on a telephone conversation. That night he dropped by the guards' office for a cup of tea. He heard a duty officer asking somebody on the phone: ‘Can you tell me why Lenin has arrived in the Kremlin on his own? I've just checked the situation. There are no guards whatsoever. Okay then. I'll call Security in the Gorki residence.' Then the courier heard the officer making another call: ‘Security at Gorki just confirmed Lenin hadn't left the residence today. They say he's in Gorki. Yes, they're pretty certain',” adds Gorbovski.

The strange incident greatly puzzled members of Lenin's entourage. According to the doctrines of Marxism-Leninism, there is no such thing as ghosts. However, there were many eyewitnesses of the appearance of Lenin's “double” at Red Square. Those numerous eyewitnesses had no idea that Lenin had been actually in Gorki at the time. So the authorities had to make up an official report about Lenin's last visit to Moscow in October 1923.

Strange visit

“I've no doubts that people in the Kremlin really saw the ghost of Vladimir Lenin on that night,” says Gorbovski. “There are too many discrepancies in the memoirs by Nadezhda Krupskaya (Lenin's wife – ed. note) and those penned by Alexander Balmas, Lenin's personal bodyguard. The above persons allegedly escorted Lenin during his visit to Moscow. Krupskaya claims that Lenin spent a night in the Kremlin and got back to Gorki on early morning of October 19th. According to Balmas, Lenin spent the entire October 19th riding about the town. Balmas says Lenin also visited the Agricultural Exhibition on that day. As regards Krupskaya's account, I have a question.Why did Lenin make a trip to Moscow in the first place? Did he really arrive in the Kremlin for walking about its long corridors and taking a nap in his apartment? Balmas' version doesn't hold water at all. The witnesses saw Lenin walking on his own, without any guards in sight. How come he had no guards alongside of him during that visit? By and large, the visit seems completely purposeless,” says Gorbovski.

It's hard to keep a good man down, especially a good Communist...