Published: 20 December, 2012
• I’M NOT – necessarily – opposed to a plaque to Lenin, but I am disappointed that neither your reporter nor Camden mayor Heather Johnson nor Marchmont Street Association chair Ricci de Freitas, emphasised the crimes against humanity he committed (New Journal, December 6).
The one free-ish election following the October Revolution was ignored by Lenin’s Bolsheviks because they didn’t win. Thousands died in the red terror he instigated. The descriptions of Cheka terror are virtually beyond description: victims were slowly lowered into furnaces or boiling water, buried alive, or covered in water to become living ice statues in the cold.
There is considerable continuity between the system of terror established under Lenin and the later crimes of Stalin. Indeed perhaps the scale of Stalin’s crimes has overshadowed just how terrible Lenin was.
Of course, our sensitivity to historical figures decreases as they recede further into history. But there will no doubt be people in Camden whose parents and grandparents suffered terribly under Lenin and the dictatorship he established. There are now monuments to the red terror in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
I would rather the plaque had made some references to those tortured and killed under Lenin’s orders. I just ask: had Franco lived in Camden, would we be comfortable erecting a plaque to him?
CLLR ANDREW MARSHALL
Swiss Cottage ward