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Stalin Among Ikons

March 11, 2011

From a report by Naumko of the agitprop dept. of the Communist Party in Ukraine on the (poor) job raikoms (county-level party committees) were doing in the western oblasts: in the village Sovet in Slovatychi (Kivertsivs’kyi raion, Volyn’ oblast’) there was a portrait of Stalin hung among ikons on one of the walls. Third party secretary Shandrik “sat in this village for a few days and did not notice this at all.”

Yes, this is real.

Ikons are, of course, very important religious artifacts, usually paintings, in the Eastern Orthodox religion and Stalin is well, of course, Stalin. Sometimes the two overlap in an interesting way. Check out this ikon in a church outside Petersburg. This image is also quite creative (not real though).

I’ve got a funny feeling that Shandrik did notice the Stalin and ikon setup and did not particularly mind. Probably made for an awkward “talking-to” though: “What, you mean this Stalin portrait? Oh my, how’d that get there? I have no idea who put all these ikons up next to it. No idea. Must have happened when I was out at the kolkhoz doing some collectivizing. Boy, I’m blushing aren’t I? Let me go ahead and take those down. Would you like one? I don’t need them. Wait, of course, you don’t – you’re in agitprop in the communist party. Hmmm…am I in trouble?”

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