The full importance of Wyziemblo’s report on Marietta Shaginian’s discovery of Lenin’s geneology can be grasped only by one who has lived in the Soviet Union. Deified after his death, Lenin became for Soviet youth a “knight without fear and beyond reproach,” the greatest genius of world history who, coming from the depth of “the Russian soul,” had created a new state and a new ideology. After Stalin’s death, the Lenin myth became further magnified. Lenin remained the sole, absolute authority upon whom Soviet leaders could rely. Now that Soviet anti-Semitism officially termed anti-Zionism is increasing, the image of Lenin cannot be besmirched with such “shameful” details as having had a Jewish mother. Shaginian’s discovery seems convincing and authentic, but in all likelihood no longer verifiable through original documents. Wyziemblo’s reference to a high Soviet official’s disparaging remark about the disorder in the Soviet archives indicates that in all probability the archives have by now been completely purged of any documents that might reflect on the memory of the Soviet leader.—TRANSLATOR
In the late autumn of 1964...
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