El comrad Stalin al menos no cometía la imprudencia de hacer pasar por comparables los estándares de vida del modelo capitalista y el socialista.
When the first American national exhibition opened in Moscow in Sokolniki Park in July 1959, several million Muscovites poured in to gaze at American artifacts and to taste Pepsi-Cola. Khrushchev laid out his intentions to the gdr leader, Walter Ulbricht: ‘‘The Americans believe that the Soviet people, looking at their achievements, will turn away from the Soviet government. But the Americans do not understand our people. We want to turn the exhibit against the Americans. We will tell our people: look, this is what the richest country of capitalism has achieved in one hundred years. Socialism will give us the opportunity to achieve this significantly faster.’’
Tan poco seriamente se tomaban los rusos a Kruschev, que no podría decirse que corrían a agradecerle la des-estalinización.
A popular saying, a pun on Khrushchev’s denunciation of ‘‘the personality cult’’ of Stalin, went: ‘‘There was a cult, but at least there was also a personality.
Los intelectuales soviéticos disfrutaban mucho más el cine y la música norteamericana que entraron luego de la muerte de Stalin que los discursos de su nuevo lider.
Their impact on Soviet audiences cannot be overestimated. As the Nobel Peace Prize–winning Russian poet Joseph Brodsky, who lived then in Leningrad, recalled, these films ‘‘held us in greater sway and thrall than all the subsequent output of the neorealists or the nouvelle vague. The Tarzan series alone, I daresay, did more for de-Stalinization than all Khrushchev’s speeches at the 20th party congress and after.’’ Writer Vasily Aksenov remembers: ‘‘There was a time when my peers and I conversed mostly with citations from those films. For us it was a window onto the outside world from the Stalinist stinking lair.’’