Googling around for pics for the blog I ran into this image. ”Stalin’s race car”. Sorry for my predilection for motor-head paraphernalia. I’m sure you get tired of it, but I like to think that I am at least consistent while also modeling that an interest in nearly anything, from cars to music to movies to fashion to trains, can be a really fun way to cleave into the past.
So; “Stalin’s race car”. Was he really seriously considering going up against the Ferraris, the Alfas, the Renaults and the Jaguars? Was the international sports car arena going to be another field of propaganda points like the Olympics and the space race? If so, what happened to it?
Well, for one thing of course Stalin died. If you really want to follow the course of the chapter you are really looking at the last years of Stalin’s life and most especially, the Peace Note. Kissinger dismisses the Note rather nonchalantly. I’m not so sure. Maybe it was a bona fide opportunity lost. Look at it in comparison to the disengagement scheme. Was it possibly our fear of worldwide communist domination that led to the Cold War as we know it. Did we take too literally the lesson of Hitler’s Mein Kampf and apply that to the Communist Manifesto and convince ourselves that anything resembling appeasement would tempt worldwide communist domination? I’m afraid we might have.
On a side note, Beria is executed in 1953. I can’t remember where I read it but somewhere I saw a first hand account, it might be in one of those old life magazines, of someone traveling the through the USSR shortly after his death. They made some casual inquiry about him, an old poster with his likeness had been left somewhere. The inquiry met a stony reception. Beria was an un-person. Not just a traitor, not another Benedict Arnold, but he not only no longer existed, he never did. Another source confirmed for me that an encyclopedia published in ’53 had an usually long entry under “Bergund” or some such name, noting t he editors had undoubtedly rushed to fill the space where Beria had been deleted.
You really have to read Orwell’s 1984.
Maybe our fears were well founded after all.