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Hove, Arthur (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 61, Number 9 (Jan. 1960)

Nuzum, Ralph E.
On mad Russians and dumb Yankees,   pp. 24-27


Page 25


T HE RUSSIANS have an ancient say-
     ing that the Kremlin stands over
Moscow, and over the Kremlin there is
nothing but the stars. Then, facetiously
and paradoxically, they add that because
of Russia's amazing success in the last
forty years, it is plain that the gods are
on the side of the atheists!
   The Kremlin, which is built on high
ground, was once a forest fortress to
protect the Muscovites from barbarian
hordes. It covers sixty-seven acres in the
center of town, but today its nineteen
towers and thick masonry walls no
longer protect anything but the past. It
is now a show place of Russian great-
ness. The palaces where the Czars once
lived in splendor are now historical mu-
seums full of priceless treasures. They
are full of icons, murals, ceramics and
ancient manuscripts. The high-living
Marxist masters and top cops of the
party are also housed in the Kremlin.
It is from here that the inner clique of
the eight million card-carrying party
members dominate and enslave the two
hundred million people of the Soviet
Union.
   The onion-shaped    domes of the
Kremlin   cathedrals are pointed   like
chocolate buds, or scaled like a fish.
Thrones, jewels, dishes, silverware and
vestments stiff with precious stones are
on display. Even carriages, chariots,
saddles and harnesses are shown. People
patiently queue up in long lines to see
these royal and churchly treasures be-
cause the mu    n .     , the chorch-of
modern Russia. Muscovites are proud
that the priceless property of church and
state today belong to everyone.
  Almost on the very day of our ar-
rival in Moscow, we heard about the
gremlin in the Kremlin. This gremlin is
a kind of half beast and half goblin
that is friendly and good natured to
your face, but bad humored and ill-
mannered behind your back. The Rus-
sians claim that it is always nice and
kind, but we were told that this is the
very same gremlin that came crawling
home from Hungry on a Red Russian
morning completely covered with inno-
cent blood. It had been pretending for
all the world to be like an amiable, tail-
wagging lap dog, but was actually a
vicious killer! Today, they assure us it is
completely under control, but we are
riddled with doubts about it, and are
afraid that some day it may go on a kill-
ing foray against us too, without even a
Wisconsin Alumnus, January, 1960
warning hiss or snarl. The gremlin is
apt to do almost anything in times of
tension, when terror walks the streets.
   The Russians like to think of their
very vast nation as the Great Russian
Bear which may be a bit bumbling and
awkward, but is truly a living saint, if
there ever was one. Their current leader
is of course perfection itself, and all the
lesser lights Qf~the Kremlin~oyially~and
gladly support him. Anyone who doesn't
has got a hole in his head, or soon will
have. The peasants are constantly kept
in line by a few pointed remarks about
the cold swirling snows of Siberia.
   The Red Square is right in front of
the Kremlin. It is the center of social
and political life not only for Moscow
but for the entire country. Along the
Kremlin wall is the Lenin-Stalin Mauso-
leum. This is a severely simple black
stone structure made of diorite from the
Ural mountains. In it, under a blaze of
lights, lie the gruesome twosome, Lenin
with his domed forehead, sharp nose
and pointed chin, and Stalin, (Man of
Steel) short, squat, and paunchy, with
pock-marked face. They seem so life-
like you can almost see them breathe. It
is probable that Stalin, once a demigod
who glorified himself with colossal lies
and distortions, may not be allowed to
lie much longer along side of Lenin be-
cause at long last he has lost his reputa-
tion of being an inspired leader, and has
been debunked as a hopeless bungler.
T   HERE IS NOTHING dainty about
    Russian peasant women. Half of
Russia's working force is made up of
stout and stocky women. Some of the
hardest manual labor in the Soviet Un-
ion is done by gangs of them. Their
hands are gnarled and work-worn. Their
faces, are wooden and expressionless-
stolid slavic faces with high cheek bones.
Women are used in order to save wear
and tear on Russia's antiquated machin-
ery. The wheezing old elevators still in
operation there are usually manned by
women. When working outdoors,
women wear kerchiefs drawn tightly
under their chins. Their faces are leath-
ery and weather-beaten, and to make
them still more glamorless they are quite
likely to have a mouth full of steel teeth.
Russian peasant women are shapeless,
dumpy and dismally unattractive. Ac-
tually they are robust and husky, thick
set and muscular but they appear sallow,
tired, and older than their years.
  Here and there one of them may be
wearing a "Mother Heroine" medal for
raising a family of ten or more children.
Others may proudly wear the decoration
                                    25


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