Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov, later known as Lenin, was born in Russia on April 22, 1870. As the leader of Russia in the Bolshevik regime, he tried to install a socialist economic policy and develop the New Economic Policy. Lenin was known for his harsh treatment of those who opposed him but also his intelligence in leading Russia.
Lenin was a reader and believer of Karl Marx and the idea of communism. He believed that everyone was equal and, as such, the poor needed a voice in the government. Therefore, he and the group of intellectuals that he created were the voice for these poor who could not represent themselves and stand up for themselves against the elite/rich. In life, Lenin wanted to help the poor peasants. He wanted equality between the classes rather than having an elite over the peasantry. http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/vladmir_lenin.htm
Please watch this clip for more information on Vladimir Lenin.
His health had been declining for many years after an assassination attempt in 1918. After other health complications, he eventually died on January 24, 1924.
Despite his personal and his family’s wishes, his corpse was embalmed and placed in a mausoleum on Moscow’s Red Square where the public was able to freely view him. The mausoleum was placed outside of the Kremlin walls, which is symbolic because it shows that Lenin was for the lower class citizenry. He preferred to be with the common peoples (The High School Journal). Those who decided on this type of treatment of his corpse wished his body to remain an important symbol for the masses. Lenin died rather unexpectedly, despite his numerous illnesses, at the age of 54. Again, despite his and his family’s wishes, the people who worked on his funeral decided to have him embalmed and presented to the public so that the public could see him every day. The embalming and continual presentation of the body requires constant maintenanc and thus much time and money was put towards maintaining Lenin’s corpse.
Lenin’s corpse has been a powerful symbol for the Russians and remains revered by them despite the numerous people who were killed during his rule. His funeral procession was rather large due to the love his people had for him. He greatly helped the lower classes, and this can be seen in his placement of the body. Because it is outside of the Kremlin walls, nearer to the common people, Lenin is perceived as a commoner which he seemed to want in life as well. He believed in the communist idea of equality. His symbolic placement in death as well as his embalming and constant viewing show how important he was to his people and remains today.
This clip shows Lenin’s power both in life and death. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUkdZGeIsZU
After his death, which has been blamed on a few things including strokes, syphilis, and a brain hemorrhage, this city of Petrograd was renamed Leningrad in his honor. Joseph Stalin succeeded Vladimir Lenin.
In conclusion of this blog, we the authors would like to thank you for taking an interest in famous peoples across the world and how they have been treated in death. Throughout this blog, we have looked at different famous people, including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ted Williams, Walt Disney, Elvis Presley, King Tut, and how they were seen and represented in life and in death. We have described their funerals as well as how the corpse has been taken care of after the funeral. This treatment ranges across the board. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were both entombed; their graves are visited today in order to pay respect to their memories. Walt Disney, who was believed to have been cryogenically frozen, was in fact cremated. Ted Williams was cryogenically frozen. And King Tut, as many Egyptian pharaohs were, was mummified and placed in a tomb, though not grand pyramids like many other pharaohs. This different treatment of those figures in history who are important in the eyes of the public shows how cultural aspects influence how we perceive these figures in death.
Foust, Clifford. “Lenin.” High School Journal. 46.4 (1963): 135-141. Web. 26 Apr. 2012. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/40366280.pdf?acceptTC=true>.
Lenin Sleeps. YouTube.com, 2008. Film. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUkdZGeIsZU>.
“This Day in History: Vladimir Lenin Dies.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, LLC, 1996-2012. Web. 26 Apr 2012. <http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/vladimir-lenin-dies>.
“Vladimir Lenin.” BBC History. BBC, 2012. Web. 26 Apr 2012. <www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/lenin_vladimir.shtml>.
“Vladimir Lenin.” History Learning Site. History Learning Site, 2000-2012. Web. 26 Apr 2012. <http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/vladmir_lenin.htm>.
“1924: Death of Lenin.” Seventeen Moments in Soviet History. Seventeen Moments in Soviet History, 2012. Web. 26 Apr 2012. <http://www.soviethistory.org