Tribute to Stalin Nyet

Tribute to Stalin Nyet

I con­duct his­to­ry class­es at a small Sat­ur­day Russ­ian school in Edin­burgh, cov­er­ing the top­ic about rela­tion between the UK and the USSR. I have come across a ref­er­ence to Win­ston Churchill’s speech at the House of Com­mons on the 25th of Decem­ber 1959 ded­i­cat­ed to the 80th Josef Stal­in anniver­sary. Could you, please, kind­ly advise if it would be pos­si­ble to obtain the text of this speech for edu­ca­tion­al pur­pos­es, pro­vid­ing all nec­es­sary ref­er­enc­ing. —V.D., Edinburgh

Josef Stal­in 1878-1953

Churchill made no speech­es at all in the House of Com­mons after his retire­ment in 1955, accord­ing to Hansard, the offi­cial Par­lia­men­tary Debates. He did make a hand­ful of speech­es dur­ing the 1959 British gen­er­al elec­tion held on 8 Octo­ber 1959, but made no men­tion of Stal­in, and he cer­tain­ly made no speech­es after Octo­ber. In fact, the eight-vol­ume Com­plete Speech­es (Robert Rhodes James, edi­tor, New York: Bowk­er, 1974) con­tain no speech­es at all after brief remarks at the unveil­ing of his stat­ue in Wood­ford, Essex on Octo­ber 31st.

For years it has been stat­ed or implied that Churchill gave a trib­ute to Stal­in upon the latter’s death in 1953, or at some time there­after, but there is absolute­ly no truth to this. Churchill real­ized the truth about Stal­in well before 1953. (He did say lauda­to­ry things about Stal­in dur­ing the war, notably in 1942—but things were dif­fer­ent then.)

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