History on the Pedestal

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Moscow’s mayor sparks a passionate debate over the statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the father of the KGB. Dzerzhinsky, as one of the architects of the October Revolution was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

The statue stood in front of the infamous Lubyanka prison as a reminder that big brother is watching. Then in 1991, thousands celebrated as “Iron Felix” was toppled, the naked pedestal left to remind that communism didn’t prevail.

But in a country now under the leadership of a KGB colonel, the debate over Dzerzhinsky is a measure of how far they have left to go.


Svetlana Boym, Professor of Slavic Languages and comparative literature at Harvard University. Author of “The Future of Nostalgia”

Boris Kagarlitsky, senior researcher fellow at the Institute for Comparative Political Studies, Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Fred Weir, Christian Science monitor correspondent in Moscow.