First museum honoring Stalin in 50 years

Feb. 25, 2006 at 9:01 PM

VOLGOGRAD, Russia, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Even though he was responsible for killing millions, many Russians view Joseph Stalin in a positive light and look forward to a new museum in his honor.

Polls show almost 50 percent of Russians view the former dictator in a positive or very positive light, while 18 percent believe he was Russia's best leader since 1917, the Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

In May, the first major museum dedicated to Stalin in 50 years is scheduled to open in Volgograd, formerly named Stalingrad. It is expected to contain telegrams from Stalin to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, a model of the train he lived in after the 1917 revolution and his familiar cap.

"He was a great man with a great personality," said Valentina Klyushina, the deputy curator of Volgograd's statue to Mother Russia -- an enthusiast about the museum even though her mother was jailed for seven years during Stalin's rule.

"Even his enemies, even Churchill, acknowledged that he took a backward country with an illiterate population and turned it into a global powerhouse with a nuclear bomb."

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