POTD: Leaving Stalin

Leaving Stalin Budapest, Hungary 2011

This is a replica of a grandstand that once served as the pedestal for an 8-meter-tall bronze statue of Soviet party secretary, head of state and military general Stalin. The original grandstand was located in central Budapest along the route where parades were held on Communist holidays. Communist leaders would gather on the grandstand at Stalin’s feet, waving at marching crowds that were forced to cheer them and celebrate. On October 23, 1956, a crowd revolting against Soviet oppression cut the statue off at its knees and pulled it down. Stalin’s boots were left on the pedestal as a sarcastic reminder of the dictator. The communists, not able to take a hint, put down the revolution and remained in Hungary until 1989. The replica grandstand was built later in Memento Park where many of the old communist statues were moved, not to honor the communists but simply as documentation of that dark period. Originally I believed that while the grandstand was a replica, the boots were the actual ones from the original statue. But I later read that they too were a recreation.  ]]>