08 May 2014

Subbotnik, Lenin and the log

I dithered for a while, before deciding to translate the article Lenin and the Log. On one hand, a Western reader will hardly understand what it is all about without translation and some accompanying explanations. But then a miracle happened: I found the definition of Subbotnik in Wiki! So now it is simply a copy/paste job, as far as Subbotnik is concerned:

Subbotnik and voskresnik (from Russian: суббо́та, IPA: [sʊˈbotə] for Saturday and воскресе́нье, IPA: [vəskrʲɪˈsʲenʲjə] for Sunday) were days of volunteer work following the October Revolution. The tradition is continued in modern Russia and some other former Soviet Republics. Subbotniks are mostly organized for cleaning the streets of garbage, fixing public amenities, collecting recyclable material, and other community services.
Even more importantly for our subject matter:
The first all-Russian subbotnik was held on May 1, 1920, the one participated by Vladimir Lenin who took part in removing building rubble in the Moscow Kremlin, an episode portrayed in a famous painting by Vladimir Krikhatsky, Lenin at the First Subbotnik, of Lenin carrying a log. Lenin was excited by the idea of subbotniks, regarding them as seeds of free labour of communism.
Hm... "participated by Vladimir Lenin": obviously a Russian hand in this... but OK, you got the drift by now. So here are the pictures, with relevant captions (translated from the original article):

This is the original photograph. You can see Lenin straining to lift the log, held by other proletarians without visible effort.

Now a painting. Lenin is at the back end of the log, but an impression is created that he is carrying the log by himself.

In this painting Lenin miraculously migrated forward and carries the log with a strapping proletarian.

In this painting Lenin carries the log easily with one helper, although the log lost some weight.

Lenin, with some strain, but in the lead, carries a big log.

Lenin shleps the log by himself!

Lenin gives some field guidance (TM Kim Il Sung) to a proletarian that carries the log.

Lenin and a proletarian (or a farmer?) just buried the log and are resting.
And NOW: the truth, the whole truth and nothing but. Click "Read more"  only if your strained nerves allow, because for the first time you shall see how it was in reality!

Yep, this is the real true truth (TM Alex Jones)!

So there... you can rest at ease now.