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The Death of Stalin: Project 05/03/53

5 March 2013 

Source: (info)
"Many people who were alive at the time of Stalin's death and burial are still alive today. We have the opportunity to try to understand what happened to the country during those days." 

The Internet project 05/03/53 is dedicated to the period of 5-9 March 1953, the days encompassing the death and burial of the dictator Joseph Stalin. The main aim of the project's founders was to collect evidence from the people who lived through this period of events and try to reconstruct the public atmosphere of those days and the historical details which were not recorded in the official archives. 

The main idea behind the project seems clear enough, but at the same time it is difficult to formulate it concisely. The death of the leader of the Soviet state, a man responsible for the deaths of millions of people, was the end of an entire era of state terror, the reverberations of which can still be felt in Russian society today. 

However, the goal of the founders of the 05/03/53 project is not to take stock of Stalin's rule or to assess it — for them that has already been decided. 

The wide range of reactions to the death of the "immortal leader," joy and sorrow, hope and fear, shock and confusion, the differences in behaviour of "fathers" and "children" give us the opportunity to better understand how a totalitarian society is structured, and acts as a kind of magnifying glass, allowing us to study in greater detail the social and psychological make-up of the Soviet citizen. 

 is a volunteer project, created through the efforts of many people. Special thanks from the initiators for their help and support go to Andrei Babitsky, Aleksandr Borzenko, Natalya Grebenshchikova, Mikhail Kaluzhsky, Anna Krasinskaya, Natalya Malykhina, Natalya Petrova, Irina Prokhorova, the Moscow House of Photography and its staff members Anna Zaitseva and Elena Misalandi, as well as Arseny Roginsky and other employees of the Memorial Society

The founders of the 05/03/53 project have dedicated their work to the memory of those who died in the stampede of 6 March 1953, many of whom have never been identified.