"20% of his body is left": how did Lenin turn from the leader of the Bolsheviks into the communist powers

Vladimir Ilyich Lenincould not be in the mausoleum - the case and the tumultuous activities of the Soviet scientists Boris Zbarsky and Vladimir Vorobyov decided everything.
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Lenin's death
The disease struck the leader of the Bolsheviks in 1922 - a hyperactive politician and a tireless author turned into a disabled person. However, he soon returned to work, but only for a few months. At the end of the year, his condition worsened again, and from December until his death Lenin was practically bezvylazno in Gorki near Moscow.
There, he was looked after by his wife and associate Nadezhda Krupskaya, as well as a council of thirty Soviet and German doctors who were called upon to save the Soviet leader. But all efforts were in vain - on January 21, 1924, Lenin died, and the doctors called hemorrhage in the brain the cause of death.
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But what kind of illness tormented Vladimir Ilyich all this time remains a mystery.The “medical history diary” and unofficial records of his doctors are still classified. The official diagnosis after the autopsy is as follows: arteriosclerosis of the vessels. But experts have many questions - they say, the final part of the act does not correspond to the narrative.
Many experts believe that Lenin died of syphilis - the disease could cause brain hemorrhage, and this fully explains the secrecy of the diagnosis. Of course, syphilis is not always sexually transmitted, but the name of the disease sounds extremely unworthy of the Soviet leader.
“20% of his body is left”: how Lenin turned from the leader of the Bolsheviks into the communist power of Lenin, Sparrow, Lenin, Zbarsky, the time after death, Vorobyov, leader, returned, Krupskaya, Zbarsky, March, thousands, Moscow, to because Boris, doctors, tissue

However, not everyone agrees with this version. For example, Yuri Lopukhin, the author of the monograph “Illness, death and embalming V.I. Lenina: Truth and Myths ”, I am sure that serious changes in the Bolshevik’s body began after the assassination attempt on Fanny Kaplan in August 1918.
In general, there are many versions, but we will not guess and proceed to that moment, as Lenin found himself in the mausoleum in general.
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Farewell to the leader
Lenin died in a harsh frosty winter, and therefore, after a temporary embalming operation, he could not worry about the decomposition of his body for at least several weeks.
The coffin with the body of Lenin was brought from Gorki to Moscow and installed in the Hall of Columns of the House of Soviets. According to the records of contemporaries, from 7 pm on January 24 and until January 27, a continuous stream of people passed in two columns past the body of the Bolshevik. The queue at the House of Soviets was at least 50 thousand people.
“20% of his body is left”: how Lenin turned from the leader of the Bolsheviks into the communist power of Lenin, Sparrow, Lenin, Zbarsky, the time after death, Vorobyov, leader, returned, Krupskaya, Zbarsky, March, thousands, Moscow, to because Boris, doctors, tissue

Lenin is being taken from Gorki to Moscow
The whole country plunged into mourning, similar to how the people of the DPRK mourned the death of Kim Jong-il: adults cried, the Soviet people, who were not yet accustomed to atheism, prayed for the newly-reposed "servant of God Vladimir." The society was overwhelmed by a wave of hysterical grief, which was caused not only by the death of Lenin, but also by the general exhaustion of the nation by the Civil and First World War, hunger and epidemic.
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Queue at the farewell at the House of Councils
Lenin decided not to bury
The farewell was delayed, but temporary embalming and low temperature helped the body to survive well. But as time went on, it was necessary to decide: to bury Lenin or expose for all to see.
A supporter of the second idea was Joseph Stalin, who, after the death of the main Bolshevik, gathered more and more power in his hands. His main competitor, Lev Trotsky, at this time was delayed in treatment in Abkhazia and thereby helped Stalin to gain several political points.
“After a while you will see the pilgrimage of the representatives of millions of working people to the grave of Comrade Lenin,” wrote Stalin in 1924.
His wife Nadezhda Krupskaya was categorically against Lenin’s mummy.
“I have a big request to you, do not let your sorrow, according to Ilyich, go to the external veneration of his personality. Do not make him monuments, palaces of his name, magnificent celebrations in his memory, etc. - he gave all this so little importance during his life, so it was all this, ”wrote Krupskaya to the Politburo.
But Lenin no longer belonged to himself or to her — he was the personification of the ideas of socialism, which must be preserved. In the end, the authorities declared that “due to numerous requests from the working people” Lenin would not be buried, and they assigned this question to Felix Dzerzhinsky.
Fight against decomposition
Now the main question has appeared: how to stop the decomposition and make the leader's body eternal?
Leonid Krasin, a prominent Bolshevik leader, spoke out for freezing Lenin's body. He was sure that if you lower your body temperature and place it in a special double-glazed sarcophagus, it will be perfectly preserved.
“20% of his body is left”: how Lenin turned from the leader of the Bolsheviks into the communist power of Lenin, Sparrow, Lenin, Zbarsky, the time after death, Vorobyov, leader, returned, Krupskaya, Zbarsky, March, thousands, Moscow, to because Boris, doctors, tissue

Bolsheviks at the tomb of Lenin
In early February 1924 the project was approved by the commission. Professor Abrikosov (he was also involved in the temporary embalming of the leader) conducted a series of experiments with freezing corpses. But there was little time — Moscow grew warmer, and Lenin could begin to decompose at any moment.
The construction of a powerful refrigeration unit designed by Krasin was already underway, but suddenly a chemist Boris Zbarsky appeared with an alternative project.
Zbarsky and Sparrows
Boris Zbarsky, 39, was the deputy director of the Institute of Chemistry, and when he heard from Krasin (they were familiar) about freezing, he categorically did not like the idea. The chemist was confident that the decomposition would continue at low temperatures. Then Zbarsky decided to develop his plan for the preservation of Lenin.
He had a lot of energy, but he did not have the necessary skills to work with corpses - then Zbarsky remembered his acquaintance Vladimir Vorobev from Kharkov, one of the best anatomists of his time who dealt with long-term embalming.
“20% of his body is left”: how Lenin turned from the leader of the Bolsheviks into the communist power of Lenin, Sparrow, Lenin, Zbarsky, the time after death, Vorobyov, leader, returned, Krupskaya, Zbarsky, March, thousands, Moscow, to because Boris, doctors, tissue

The problem was that the 48-year-old Vorobyev did not want to participate in this matter. During the Civil War, he participated in the investigation of the shooting of white officers and signed a document confirming that they were shot by the Red Army without a trial.The authorities did not recall this, but Vorobyev was well aware that they could remember at any time. That is why the work in the commission under the authority of Dzerzhinsky seemed to him impossible.
But the case decided everything. In 1924, Vorobyov read an interview with Professor Abrikosov about the impossibility of long-term embalming and declared that Abrikosov was wrong and his department had human bodies in balsamic liquids for years. This was quickly learned where it should be, and Vorobyev was immediately sent to Moscow, where he stayed with his familiar chemist Zbarsky.
Can not be frozen, embalmed
On March 3, having examined the body of Lenin, Vorobyev declared that he would not undertake this business — too risky. Dark cadaveric spots appeared on the forehead and crown of the head, sun-sockets sunk. Vorobyev told Zbarsky that this was a hopeless cause and he would not go to him, because he did not want to be a laughing stock of scientists.
But the persuasions of Zbarsky and the excitement still forced Vorobyev to speak at a meeting of the commission for embalming, the scientist also criticized Krasin’s project with freezing.
Vorobyev’s idea was to remove all the liquid from the body, wash the blood vessels to remove blood from them, pour alcohols into the blood vessels, clean out internal organs.In this way, Lenin was transformed into a shell within which powerful embalming agents function.
“20% of his body is left”: how Lenin turned from the leader of the Bolsheviks into the communist power of Lenin, Sparrow, Lenin, Zbarsky, the time after death, Vorobyov, leader, returned, Krupskaya, Zbarsky, March, thousands, Moscow, to because Boris, doctors, tissue

On March 12, Vorobiev returned to Kharkov, and Zbarsky at this time secured an audience with Dzerzhinsky and declared that he and his colleague were ready to take all the responsibility and embalm Lenin’s body so that it would be perfectly preserved, and the first signs of decomposition that appeared on the skin go away.
Dzerzhinsky agreed, and Vorobyev, having learned about Zbarsky's statement, was horrified. But there was nowhere to go - he gathered a team of Kharkov doctors and returned to Moscow.
Embalming
The embalming works began on March 26, two months after Lenin’s death.
Vorobyov’s plan consisted of three points:
1. To saturate the whole body with formalin - formaldehyde fixed the proteins in the body, turning them into polymers that prevent decay, and at the same time killed all unnecessary microorganisms.
2. To discolour brown spots that appeared on the skin with hydrogen peroxide.
3. Saturate the body with solutions of glycerin and potassium acetate so that the tissues retain moisture and are in equilibrium with the environment.
It seems that everything is clear, but in fact it was completely unclearhow to ensure an optimal ratio of substances inside the body so that the displacement does not begin, and how to provide all the tissues with embalming solutions.
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Work lasted four months, from March to July. Formaldehyde was injected through the arteries, into the tissue by injection, and then completely immersed the body in a bath with a solution. Scientists got rid of cadaveric spots, cutting the skin and injecting hydrogen peroxide, acetic acid and ammonia.
To better embalming substances penetrated, the corpse was incised, holes were drilled in the skull (holes were sewn up and masked). The face was fixed with seams, hidden under the beard and mustache, and eye prostheses were inserted into the orbit. From the edema of the tissues on the face and hands were disposed of with the help of spirit lotions.
Lenin's return
For the first time, the body of the leader was shown in June - delegates of the Comintern congress came to the "bride". Zbarsky went to Krupskaya to pick up clothes for Lenin. The woman was very upset and said that it would be better to bury him in due time, and not to try to embody some unrealizable hopes.
A wooden mausoleum was built for Lenin, they put it on and laid it in a sarcophagus.On June 18, delegates of the Congress and Krupskaya came to look at the body of the leader. Coming out of the mausoleum, she cried, but the delegates were very impressed.
“20% of his body is left”: how Lenin turned from the leader of the Bolsheviks into the communist power of Lenin, Sparrow, Lenin, Zbarsky, the time after death, Vorobyov, leader, returned, Krupskaya, Zbarsky, March, thousands, Moscow, to because Boris, doctors, tissue

Over the next month, Vorobyev carried out the last cosmetic work, and the authorities prepared the funeral hall of the mausoleum - members of the government saw Lenin in all its glory on July 26. Dzerzhinsky, Molotov, Yenukidze, Voroshilov and Krasin were delighted with the result - they generously awarded specialists.
Sparrows received 40 thousand gold royal rubles, Zbarsky - 30 thousand, assistants - 10 thousand each.
On August 1, 1924, the mausoleum was open to ordinary Soviet citizens, where Lenin greeted them as if they were alive.
“20% of his body is left”: how Lenin turned from the leader of the Bolsheviks into the communist power of Lenin, Sparrow, Lenin, Zbarsky, the time after death, Vorobyov, leader, returned, Krupskaya, Zbarsky, March, thousands, Moscow, to because Boris, doctors, tissue

P. S.
After the work was completed, Vladimir Vorobiev immediately returned to Kharkov, where he worked until his death. He died in 1937, but, unlike most people who died in that year, he died a natural death.
Boris Zbarsky stayed in Moscow and followed Lenin’s body all his life and oversaw all affairs related to the mausoleum. In 1952 he was arrested, but after Stalin’s death, he was rehabilitated. However, he did not live long and died just a year after this event.
See also: For a long memory.

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