Re: Hear Lenin's, Stalin's voices on line
>I've found on line a small website that features a
>brief recording of Stalin speaking at an election
>meeting on 11 December 1937. His voice is higher
>pitched than I expected.
>First you hear the ovation and then the ringing of a
>little bell (which I think they used to bring the
>meeting to order, rather like the gavel used in some
>meetings in the US) then he brifely speaks on their
>leadership and their Soviet society. They have the
>text of his speech in English translation on that
>website too. The recording starts at the beginning of
>his speech and goes as far as:
>"not only over there, in the capitalist countries, but
>here too, in the Soviet country. (Laughter and
>One note on the very interesting speech. Stalin says
>that "Nikita Sergeevich" "dragged him to the meeting."
> That would be Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchyov, of whom
>no more need be said.
>Anyhow, it's interesting to hear his voice. His
>presentation also sounds very natural and simple to
>me, not pompous or dictatorial in tone - the way
>bourgeois writers would lead one to expect.
>I also recommend reading the text of the short "Speech
>delivered to a reception for education workers" by
>Stalin on the same web page. He stresses how science
>must serve the people and not be bound by traditions,
>and he discusses Lenin and Plekhanov as "scientists".
>They were, of course, yet unfortunately "Marxists"
>often seem to see themselves as in some other realm
>than science and therefore are unable to shed the
>burden of dogmatism.
>Then there's a website called "the Lenin Mausoleum"
>that features streaming audio recordings of Lenin's
>famous grammophone recordings, plus two or three more.
> This site (English version) is at:
>Unfortunately they don't have the English texts of
>those speeches there but again it's interesting to
>hear his voice. Unfortunately, I believe that in
>Lenin's time, recording technology was so inferior
>that he virtually had to stand in right in front of a
>recording machine and yell into it (the machine used a
>needle on a turntable to cut a wax record as he
>spoke). As a result, the sound quality on these may
>not be exactly reflective of how he really sounded.
>By Stalin's time in 1937, the recording technology
>would have been considerably advanced.
I'm given to understand that Thomas Edison was deaf,
though I don't know if that influenced his ability in
designing the grammophone. I was able to listen to
the Stalin recording, but my computer was not able
to operate the Lenin site due to inability to download
the Cyrillic text support programme. Typical of the
older systems! The tape recorder was invented in
1939 but probably was not available in the USSR for
several years after that. People generally sounded a
bit high-pitched and "tinny" in the old recordings.
I'm told that for the movie <Fiddler on the Roof>
the character Tevye was played by a Georgian, so if
Stalin had learned English, he might have sounded
a bit like Tevye. Having a Georgian play a Ukrainian
Jew. Typical Hollywood!