Stalin's Lost Mountain

Nikita Khrushchev's de-Stalinization policies figuratively moved mountains by opening up a wave of criticism against Stalin. Of course, de-Stalinization didn't physically move a mountain, but... 

Ismail Samani Peak

Stalin Stal-out
A notoriously paranoid tyrant, Stalin had purged even the closest of allies for (in many cases) unfounded fears of betrayal. To talk badly of such a merciless killer was akin to suicide. Gaining power after Stalin's death was Nikita Khrushchev (himself not opposed to shedding blood to maintain "order"). Khrushchev eventually owned up to the fact that Stalin maybe wasn't as great as the Soviet propaganda machine claimed. He initiated de-Stalinization. Stalin's body was removed from Lenin's mausoleum, statues of Stalin were removed/destroyed, Stalingrad was renamed Volgograd, and Pik Stalin (Stalin Peak) was also renamed.

High Point
The Pamir mountain range contains some of the world's highest peaks. Amongst them is Ismail Samani Peak, Tajikistan's highest. That name is relatively new, however. Named Pik Stalin in 1933, the name was changed to Pik Kommunizma (Communist Peak) in 1962.

Try as we might, we do not control our legacy. Stalin was one of the most powerful men of his age and built an entire governmental apparatus of propaganda and fear to exert his influence. Yet mere years after his death that legacy began to crumble. In 1998, Pik Kommunizma's name was again changed, this time to Ismail Samani Peak. (Ismail Samani was an early leader of the Samanid dynasty) Just as Khrushchev tried to eradicate Stalin's name, the former Soviet republics tried to erase the bad memories of the USSR. Si Monumentum Requiris, Circumspice.

Thanks for reading.

Speaking of dictators, we previously published this article on the #thisflag protest movement that was a catalyst for the removal of Zimbabwe's dictator, Robert Mugabe. 

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