Josef Stalin Museum, Gori, Georgia

I had very mixed feelings about visiting this place. The most popular museum in Georgia, opened by the Soviets in 1957, it gives at best a very partial view of his life and impact on the lives of tens of millions of people. Viewed at an aesthetic level it is an interesting place to visit, for the Soviet architecture (typically grand), approach to preserving his home for the first four years of his life (underneath a monumental structure), his railway carriage (he hated flying), and his death mask (one of a number that were made).

However having read a lot on the period, including half a dozen of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s books, Simon Sebag Montefiore‘s Young Stalin, Varlam Shalamov’s Kolyma Tales, and Anne Applebaum’s Gulag, I couldn’t help but come away feeling rather queasy at what was missing from the story of his life.

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Author: jontycrane

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