2006-04-05 21:46:00

Russian scholar calls for removal of Lenin mausoleum from Red Square

Moscow, April 6, Interfax - The Institute of Russian History believes that modern Russia should rid itself of the symbols of its communist past.

"Modern Russia cannot advance along the road of democratic development successfully without intimidating nations and countries if it does not give up Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin as symbols of the communist utopia, red terror and export of socialist revolutions," says a letter signed by Vladimir Lavrov, acting director of the institute. The letter was obtained by Interfax.

"The government should not be spending taxpayers' money on the keep, examination and restoration of the body of the Communist Party leader," the letter says.

"The apolitical image of the Red Square the way it was at the end of the 19th century would correspond to the multi-party Russia of today," the letter says. "Besides, we should take into account the wish of Lenin's wife, sisters and brother, who were opposed to building even a temporary mausoleum," Lavrov indicates.

"Lenin and Stalin were personally responsible for the purges of millions of absolutely innocent people, for the policy of social and national genocide, for the creation of the GULAG," he says.

"They committed crimes against humanity that are timeless," Lavrov believes.

"Therefore, the Institute of Russian History suggests the removal of burial sites from Red Square," the letter says.