Stalin inscription angers survivors

Sept. 25, 2009 at 2:50 PM
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MOSCOW, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The inscription above the refurbished entrance hall of Moscow's Kuskaya Metro Station is not popular with people who remember Joseph Stalin, they say.

Yuri Fidelgoldsh, 82, said the inscription, "Stalin reared us on loyalty to the people. He inspired us to labor and to heroism," angers people who were imprisoned, punished and whose parents were killed.

Kremlin critics claim putting the motto back on the station wall is an attempt to rehabilitate the Soviet dictator's image.

"I have no positive emotions towards Stalin," Fidelgoldsh said. "He's a college dropout who went into politics and became a leader of a party which fit his needs. He didn't exactly impress me with his 'great' mind."

The entrance hall to the station was renovated with new columns and polished marble floors. The phrase came from the original Soviet national anthem, written in 1944 by Sergey Mikhalkov. It was removed under Nikita Khrushchev after Stalin's death in 1953.

Tens of thousands of commuters pass through the station, which is on the main metro line serving the Moscow city center, each day.

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