The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on July 22, 1953 · Page 3
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 3

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, July 22, 1953
Page 3
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WEDNESDAY, JULY 22, 1958 BLYTHEVILLE (ARK.)" COURIER NEWS Report from Moscow— Russian People Amazed When. Stalin Actually Died PACK THREE EDITOR'S NOTE — This Is the second In a series ot »torl«s by Eddy Gllmore, who spent 11 years In the Soviet Union ai » correspondent of the Associated Press. He is now enroute home to the United States. By EDDY GILMORE PARIS (AP) — It was early that March morning when the telephone rang, and the Russian voice said: "Mr. Gilmore, I should tell you that we will have a press release in a short while announcing the serious illness of the chairman of the Council of Ministers, Comrade Joseph Stalin: The telephone call was from Tass —the official Soviet news agency. I slipped my trousers over my pajamas, grabbed m'y fur hat and 'ran for the telegraph office—and the censor. Stalin — and the Stalin myth- were dying. Streets Crowded . I never saw so many people on the itreets, as came out during Stalin's illness. Knotted in little groupi around the wall newspapers'. Muttering to one another on the streets and in the subways. Then the death that came as no surprise. And still more people. They stood In lines all night long. Some showed what I suppose was natural grief. Only those were allowd to write about. The thousands upon thousands of the just plain curious We couldn't mention. Other thousands, never allowed near Stalin when he was alive, jostled one another, jammed the streets and squares for a. chance to walk through a hall and stare at the strange corpse of this man who'd controlled their living and their dying. People were injured by the hundreds. Some were smothered and some were knocked down and walked oven until the life went out of them. And all the time the long lines moved past the corpse to music played by perspiring musicians. The mobs got out of hand sometimes. In one side street I saw the mounted police charge them with batons. But they kept coming back, pushing and breathless to walk past the body. I almost forgot there was suqh it thing as sleep. We lay down on tables. On chairs. In the back of automobiles, and we wrote thousands of words some of which I would like to think were not useless. Rumors Thick Did death tome to Joseph Stalin as they said—from a collapse of the heart—with a squad of Russia's best doctors marshaled around his bed in the Kremlin, doing everything they could to save his life? Frankly, I don't know. I know only what I saw. Rumors ana stories flew around Moscow as thick as the droves of black, crows that cloud the Mus- covy skies in 'Wintertime. There were reports that he was murdered. Stories that this wasn't Stalin at all. Reports that he was already dead when the first news of his grave Illness was announced. Again, I just don't know. But from what I saw it seems reasonable that things happened about the way the official story was told. During the days they said the "man of steel"—a name he gave himself by the way, for he came into thia world with the good Georgian name of Djugashvili — was dying, I passed the Kremlin many, many times. I went by its closely guarded gates at midnight and high noon. At dawn. In the mornings and in the afternoons and in the late winter twilights. Much Traffic There was always a great coming and going of automobiles at the two traffic gates of the Kremlin—the one that leads into Bed Square and the one near the Moskva River, a few hundred yards from the ministry of defense. On numerous occasions there were ambulances among the cars rushing in and out of the gates. Several times I noticed small first- aid cars carrying what certainly looked to be oxygen tanks. And I saw solemn-faced men. Women dressed in white who looked to be nurses. I can't say the men were doctors, I don't know it. I saw Marshal Voroshilov on one occasion. My car was standing before a red traffic signal when his long, black Zis (literally, factory in the name of Stalin) rolled slowly past. He just looked like Voroshilov as I'd seen him so many times; there was no sign of emotion. On another occasion I recognized Lazar Kaganovich, highest .placed Jew in Russia. But I was more interested in the procession—and it was almost that—of ambulances and medical cars. They Stopped As long as they kept coming and going It was reasonable to suppose that Stalin was alive. Then one day I didn't see any of them. Early the following morning they announced the death of Stalin, the man of so many myths, the imperishable, the everasting, the per- 'etual. The leader and teacher. According to propaganda, the wisest genius of all time. His body was to lie in state- but not for long—in the Hall of Columns, in the House of the Trade Unions. Oddly, perhaps, in this building where the great purge trials were held. The American embassy at that time was located between the Kremlin and the Hall of Columns. The people there had a firsthand view of traffic along the streets— almost deserted by now, for the authorities had closed them to ordinary traffic and the i people and :he police were out by the thousands. An embassy friend saw me on the street. "They've carried the body over," he said. "We were amazed. It wasn't any huge and shiny Zis, or any super-plus hearse. Just an ordinary looking closed body truck. It was blue' "Are you sure?" "Of course," he said. "It came slowly up past the stables. (The old Czarist stables now used as a Kremlin garage), past the embassy, backed up to the Hall of j Columns and they took out the ' coffin." "Who's they?" "How would I know?" he said. "Seven or eight guys." Seven or eight guys. An ordinary truck. What was happening? The doors to the Hall of Columns were openea shortly after that to .n amazing spectacle. The Corpse The yellow corpse In the fawn- Thursday Morning Only Women's White & Straw Summer Purses Regular 2.98 Values colored semi-military jacket. His hands stretched out stiffly, parallel with the length of his body. The roughed cheeks. The enlarged nostrils of the dictator as you looked at him from the position of his feet. Those surprisingly delicate hands and tapered fingertips. The almost scornful look of this very tough man. A look taken Into death. His decorations lying on a the lower end The wilderness silk pillow the coffin, flowers, some real, some artificial. The ebb and flow of stringed music sawed out by sweating and slightly bewildered musicians. The Bearing, dazzling arc lights. The pinpoint spot lights. The high whine of movie carmuras. The slug, slug, slug of thousands of pairs of feet And hundreds upon hundreds of curious stare? from the Russian people who couldn't get near this man when he was alive. Now they could, providing they had the strength and courage to stand long hours in long lines. For the great leveler had come by. And they saw for themselves that Joseph Stalin died just as other mortals do. A man's life had ended, and an era had ended. TOMORROW: :The cold war and how it grew. The Metonic cycle In astronomy is a period of 19 years, after lapse of which the new and full moon returns to the same days of the passing by the bier. A tear or two. year. Suicide Attempt Averted by Police NEW YORK («•)—Mrs. Syd Shapiro talked earnestly yesterday with her jewelry salesman brother. Jack Geller, who telephoned to say he was going to throw himself under a subway train. Mrs. Shapiro's husband, meanwhile, called police, who had Gellor's call traced. Officers rushed to a Queens subway station and there, in a platform telephone booth, found Geller still talking to his sis ter. Police, who said they were unable to learn nr ea.son for the suicide threat, took Geller to n hospital for a mental examination. Justice Dougias' Wife Has Divorce BAKER, Ore. ffl — The wife of Associate Justice William O. Douglas of the U. S. Supreme Court won nn uncontested divorce here yesterday. Neither of the Douglases appeared at court for the half-hour proceeding, in which Mrs. Douglas Red Parliament To Meet Later MOSCOW (IP)— Tlie Soviet Union's parliament, the Supreme Soviet, now has been called to meet a week htter than previously announced, on Aug. 5 Instead of July 28. The postponement by the Soviet's Presidium was announced today. No rent-on was given for the delay. Though no agenda has been an- .nounced for the Soviet, a rubberstamp body, observers have assumed that It would approve the ousting of Lnvrenty p. Beria from the Soviet high command and also okay the nW government budget. Analysts of Russian affairs In New York speculated the meeting wns being postponed because the government heads are not yet ready with their program. charged desertion. The suit snid Douglas 'left the plaintiff abandoned and nlone whil cnsnged In his work and in travels to remote places in the world." The Douglases were married at La Grande, Ore., 30 years ago. They have n son and a daughter, both now grown. NEW! Kant fcumnifSiit "ASPIRIN AT ITS BE5I" 200 There Is a persistent, but untrue, rumor that you can tell the age of a rattlesnake by counting his rattles. Hibernal* for Heal Hibernating animals »r« (ho** warm - blooded anlmaU that find It difficult to product enough body heat to make up for that which la lost in extreme cold weather. Safety Motorlnr Hint After coming to a dead stop at a railroad crossing, the cautious motorist will proceed at low speed, not shifting into a higher gear until the tracks have been cleared. 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