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World's biggest Stalin monument would have
turned 50 on May Day

MOST POPULAR

03-05-2005 15:39 | Dita Asiedu

14-08-2015 14:16 |
Jan Velinger

It's a beautiful sunny day here in Prague and I'm standing on Prague's
Letna Hill
overlooking the Vltava River and the Old Town. Tourists come
here today, not
only for the breathtaking view but to see the large
ticking metronome, which
was erected here in 1991. But for the local
residents this spot holds a darker
memory - little do the tourists around
me know that exactly fifty years ago, at
this very site, some six hundred
men and women were working around the clock
to create the world's biggest
monument ever to honour the Soviet Communist
party chief Josef Stalin.

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The 50-metre high massive statue of the finest marble was
proudly unveiled
by Czechoslovakia's Communist regime on
May 1, 1955. For seven years the
residents of Prague had the
Soviet leader follow their every move from the
hill above. The
17,000 tonne statue - Stalin's jacket button alone,
decorated
with a hammer and sickle, of course, was half a metre wide
featured the Soviet leader in front of a line of workers jokingly called
the "Fronta na maso" or "meat queue" by
Prague
residents, as this was a time when they were a daily
part of life in the
city.

There are some dark legends associated with the statue. Its
creator,
Otakar Svec committed suicide a day before the
unveiling. The man who
posed for him as Stalin - an
electrician from the Barrandov film studios,
failed to shake off
his nickname "Stalin", took to drink, and
died three years
later. And, the vast statue's glory days were
short-lived.
Stalin's reign was denounced by the new Soviet leader, Nikita

Khrushchev, and the statue was destroyed just seven years
later, on
Moscow's orders in 1962.

Too heavy to be displaced, it was blown to pieces with 800 kg of
explosives and 1,650
detonators. Some witnesses claim the party chief was
decapitated immediately after the first
explosion, his head rolling into
the river waters below.

Before the remnants of the monument were stored, they were loaded on a
truck and
paraded in front of cheering crowds that gathered to celebrate
the event in the streets of
Prague's Old Town. Was it just a coincidence
or a bad omen that less than a year later, the
driver of the truck died in
an accident?
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http://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/worlds-biggest-stalin-monument-would-have-turned-50-on-may-day[26-08-2015 18:27:33]

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..Radio Prague .....radio.....  Prelate’s reaction to church hosting of Pride.cz/en/section/curraffrs/worlds-biggest-stalin-monument-would-have-turned-50-on-may-day[26-08-2015 18:27:33] .  Czech spiders specialist raises alarm over..World's biggest Stalin monument would have turned 50 on May Day More SECTION ARCHIVE 26-08-2015 15:12 | Zeman to attend military parade on second visit to China in year  26-08-2015 13:47 | Power battle at Prague city hall reflects poorly on ANO  25-08-2015 15:31 | Charles University opens doors to asylum seekers  25-08-2015 15:31 | Czech prime minister calling for joint protection of EU’s outer borders  More LATEST PROGRAMME IN ENGLISH AAC: 64kbps Archive  RSS and Podcasting Take your pick from our new RSS channels Facebook Become a fan of Radio Prague Twitter Follow us on Twitter More from Radio Prague Greasing machine makes many friends in.  Unrest at asylum facility sparks fresh concerns.  Prague was never considered bikefriendly.  Topics Domestic affairs Foreign policy Business Army | Citizen | Political parties | Politics | Czech-American relations | Czech-British relations Agriculture | Business | Employment | Finance | Regional politics | Diplomacy | NATO Industry | Transport European Union Culture Science and technology Euro | European Commission | European Union | Architecture | Arts | Dance | Film | Folklore | Information technologies | Science | Technology | Schengen Literature | Media | Museums | Music | Radio Universe Prague | Theatre Nature Sport History Ecology | Flora and fauna | Nature | Weather Athletics | Football | Ice-hockey | Tennis | The 1968 | Archeology | Communism | Czech-German history of sports | Winter sports relations | Czech Radio history | First republic | Second World War Travel Czechs abroad Society Castles | Monuments | Prague | Tourism | Towns Czechs abroad | Czechs in the USA Crime | Education | Family | Health | Hobbies | and municipalities | Travel | Travelers Czech language Human rights | Lifestyle | Minorities | Religion Foreigners and the Czech Republic http://www..  Government moves to tighten rules on party.

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