Josef Stalin Still Casting Long Shadow In Sochi

His summer retreat makes it possible to imagine the kind of life Stalin was living when he was there or anywhere else in the world during his dictatorship. He had a tiny twin bed that was only extending 6 feet and was covered by a pink blanket. The stairs were only half the size of the regular ones, made to his specifications and the ceiling of the dining room was vaulted so he could hear himself louder, considering the fact that Stalin was not a man with a very powerful voice.

The “little squirt”, a nickname President Harry S. Truman gave him, was only 5-foot-4 and he went to Sochi in the 1920s for the first time, to visit the mineral spas in the area, hoping that the water would cure his many problems with his joints and bones. Before the dictator first arrived there, Sochi was a provincial and unsettled region, reason why in the 1930s, a modernization initiative coming from the Soviet Union led to forced labour and starvation, while Stalin invested huge amounts of money into turning this city into a resort. This is how in 1936 he built the first of seven holiday homes he had spread across the country, called “dacha.”, the Post Gazette reports.

According to Galina, one of the tour guides, Stalin was most fond of this dacha. We might say it is true that Russian President Vladimir Putin had a huge contribution to the organization of the Sochi Winter Games, however, people must know that without Stalin’s interest, Sochi might not have been the place it is today when it hosts so many thousands of athletes and visitors from all over the world.

Galina insisted that the man was very bright and knew what he needed to do to properly develop his country and that he would have enjoyed watching the Games. The reason why we all believe that is because Stalin was a hunting lover and a sharp chess player, so the competition would have definitely appeal to him.

At his home, overlooking the Black Sea, he had a swimming pool, where he would swim by himself. Because he did not want to be seen outside his home, he never went swimming in the sea. He liked Sochi because it was quite, however, it was still not the place to make him feel safe and his paranoia carried on manifesting here as much as anywhere else. He camouflaged his house by painting it in green, had a huge sofa to protect his side and he had it filled with horse hair, which he believed would protect him in case he was being shot at.


Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE