Goodbye Lenin

May 8th, 2011

The question of what to do with Lenin’s body is still something that can arouse impassioned debate in contemporary Russia. One indication of the depth of feeling involved is that the dominant political party, the Putin/Medvedev-aligned United Russia, has no definite policy on the question.

Rather, in a strange combination of historical reckoning and modern political campaigning, they have sought to turn the question into a carefully-curated online debate (complete with instant polling, Twitter feeds and Facebook link-sharing buttons) at

There is an initial irony in the use of the title of a German film with an English name as the domain name for a website run by Russian nationalists about an ardently internationalist revolutionary. The site itself, however, keeps it simple. “Do you support the idea of burying the body of V.I. Lenin?” it asks, below the bear-and-flag logo of United Russia and a quote from party bigwig Vladimir Medina.¬†Once you submit your vote, you can take a look at the results to date. At the moment, by a roughly-two-to-one ratio, the internet wants Lenin to be buried. If you feel like it, you can add your vote, too.

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