Thursday, July 23, 2009
USSR - Vladimir Ilych Lenin
Let us now talk a little bit about the Father of the Soviet Union – Vladimir Ilych Lenin. His birth, childhood, youth and the man he became are well chronicled in thousands of books written about him and the Soviet Union. So, bless us all, no more of that. But, what did amaze me, a visitor to that great land, was the total and unquestioned hero worship of a man long gone, with many dictators who followed him. Some benevolent and some not so. I wonder if there is any country capitalistic, socialist or downright dictatorial where there are so many statues of one man; where there are so many real or presumed quotations of one human being; where so much time and energy was spent in making flags and buntings, and of course giant sized posters, which adorned every building in every hamlet, town and city – all in honour of one man. The only colours being used appeared to be bright Red And Gold. It was of course the Celebration Year. 50 years of Communism, 50th Anniversary of the Great October Revolution. Even then, I felt that it was overdone. Not by just a bit, but by a great deal really. But, I forgot to mention, that, I do not think there is any human being in Philatelic History who has had so many postage stamps issued in his honour. You might think I am exaggerating, but check it out in any reliable catalogue, and you will find that VI Lenin beats them all by miles. Idi Amin and Saddam Hussein really missed the bus on this one. A few samples to delight (sic) you guys.