How Lenin and Stalin Killed God
An Uzbek fairy tale
This is the first installment of the Russian Propaganda series, in which I plan to publish illustrated translations of literary and historical documents from Russia.
The fairy tale you’re about to read was first published in the 1936 in the collection of Anti-Religious Fairy Tales of the Peoples of the USSR under the title The Death of God. The story is attributed to one Vabkend Karim Achilev, a villager from the Old Bukhara region of Uzbekistan; but of course, there is no way of telling if Vabkend ever existed. In some ways, it doesn’t matter if he did.
The events described here do mirror what happened in the consensus reality. The Judeo-Christian God lost Eurasia to the Bolsheviks and had to bear their rule for the bigger part of the century.
Perhaps a new fairy tale needs to be written to describe the power struggle that ensued in the spiritual dimension after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
As I wrote in The Tsar Monk and the Psychedelic GULAG, there is a new syncretic religion—one part Soviet ideology, one part Christian Orthodoxy, and one part Russian Monarchism—emerging in Russia today. But the relationship between these three parts is not without tension.
For example, there was a bit of a dustup between Stalin and God last year, when the new Cathedral of Russian Armed Forces was unveiled to the public. The Red Tsar that once pushed God off a cloud appeared in one of the church’s mosaics. This caused a scandal, and, after some pushing and pulling, Stalin’s image was removed from the temple.
The same happened to the image of Putin and his coworkers, shown in a different mosaic, devoted to the 2014 annexation of Crimea. According to his spokesperson, when Putin learned that his face was put on the temple wall, he smiled and said: “One day, our grateful descendants will give us credit for what we’ve achieved, but it is too early for that today.”
The fairy tale was translated by Lera Bezrodnaya and illustrated by Jason Novak. The cover is by Giorgos Terzakis. Creative direction, editing, and lettering are mine.