‘After Stalin, I'll get down to the biography of Lenin’ - Edward Radzinsky
Radzinsky is known in Russia as the author of plays and screenplays, a TV presenter, consummate narrator and figure who popularized history. He is the author of the world’s best-selling biographies of Russian emperors Alexander II and Nicholas II, and of Grigory Rasputin - all of which have been translated into all European languages.
This time Edward Radzinsky turned to the topic of the Second World War and “the last mystery” of the leader of the Soviet people: the circumstances of his death in 1953.
The writer worked on the trilogy about Stalin for a total of 10 years. He admits that it is an extremely complex task to bring to light the strata of that time, to describe all that was connected with the former "master" of the USSR, as Stalin did not leave any diaries or memoirs. Even the personal library of the leader was dissolved.
For Russia, the topic of Stalin is still very painful. But Radzinsky is sure that every citizen should know the history of his country and the history of its “great torturers", as the writer calls them. A careful and cautious attitude in regards to the past and its interpretation has always been his distinguishing trait.
The revival of interest in the figure of Stalin, his personality, even a kind of "nostalgia" for Stalin, characteristic of nowadays, is not connected with love for the dictator, Edward Radzinsky says. He discussed this topic in an exclusive interview with the Voice of Russia:
"Those, who vote for Stalin, are like those, who fell in love with Nero after his death. There even appeared a pseudo-Nero and he was close to seizing power in Rome again. The fact is that those, who say that they love Stalin, very often do not love Stalin. They do not like the present lifestyle. When they are shown the amusements of our "heroes of capitalist labor", their yachts, their interest in purchasing Art Nouveau paintings, which they do not understand, their spending running into millions, they say, “Stalin would have taken care of you”.
Radzinsky has shared his plans for the future with the Voice of Russia. In particular, he admitted that after the book about Stalin he is sure to turn to the biography of his "teacher" - Vladimir Lenin. This topic, Radzinsky says, is no less grandiose:
“Lenin was not a mere despot. He was not a despot at all. He was a Russian radical, who commits a revolution so that workers could earn like Ministers, in order to cancel money, and in general in order to build socialism. And that's how he begins to create the most powerful state with the most powerful bureaucracy. He entrusts Stalin with making changes in the party. Why did it happen, and what is a Russian radical? This is an incredible topic! It not only obsesses me now, it does not let me live”.
Radzinsky has already recast a part of the trilogy about Stalin into a play "The Life and Death of Comrade K". It will soon be staged by the Helsinki Drama Theatre. The performance is produced by famous Russian director Roman Viktyuk.