The Commissar Vanishes Page Two of Five
Enemy of the People
Above left, participants of the 11th Congress, Moscow,
1922. Left of Stalin is Grigorii Petrovsky, and Sergo Ordjonikidze.
When this photo was taken Stalin had just been appointed General Secretary.
The retouched photo on the right was published in connection with Stalin's
60th birthday in 1939. There is no longer room for Petrovsky or Ordjonikidze.
Petrovsky was sacked from the Central Committee in 1928, accused of having
connections with "enemies of the people." Notice how Ordjonikidze
has moved closer to the Boss.
Four, Three, Two, One...
Original photo included from left to right: Anippov,
Stalin, Kirov, and Shvernik. Taken in Leningrad in 1926, celebrating
the defeat of Zinoviev's anti-Stalinist opposition. The photo of
three reveals the disappearance of Antipov [the chandelier has also been
eliminated]. Antipov had joined the Bolsheviks in 1912, chairman
of the Petrograd Cheka in 1918, and later prime minister Molotov's secretary.
Arrested and sent to prison where he was the last Stalinist cadre to be
shot in August, 1941. In the next picture, Shevernik was erased when
the photo was used in 1949 for a short biography of Stalin. Finally,
an oil painting by Brodsky based on the original photo. Stalin the executioner
Lenin Addresses the Crowds
Outside the Bolshoi Theater in May, 1920. On the
steps to the right we can see Trotsky, with Kamenev partly obscured behind
him. The falsification of this photograph is probably the first and
certainly the most famous example of Stalinist retouching. The original
photograph, achieved icon status, while Lenin was still alive and Trotsky
still had power. After Trotsky's downfall, the photograph was never
again shown in its entirety in the USSR. Even during the Gorbachev
period the photo was cropped to eliminate Trotsky and Kamenev.
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