Joseph Stalin was chairman of the USSR’s Politburo from 1924 until his death in 1953.
He ruled Russia and the Eastern Bloc with a rod of iron. Millions died in the terrors, gulags and famines he presided over.
Demand for Stalin’s autograph is huge.
Here are some thoughts on why.
Stalin was in command of the Soviet Union throughout its rise to global power.
He oversaw Russia’s transformation to an industrial economy...
Commanded its forces during the Second World War...
Faced off against the US and its allies during the Cold War...
You can’t discuss the history of the 20th century without placing Stalin at its centre.
That influence is a key driver behind demand.
Official documents bearing Stalin’s signature typically command the highest price – easily in excess of $10,000.
I’ve only ever seen a handful come to auction.
There’s an interesting reason for that.
Files from Stalin’s era remain tightly controlled.
Succeeding governments have destroyed many, particularly those relating to the gulags, in an attempt to censor history.
Letters are also hard to come by. Stalin's correspondence is well documented. Most of it is stored in permanent archives and museum collections.
Resurgent interest among Russians
Wealth has been steadily growing in Russia since perestroika in the late 1980s.
However, a majority of Russians miss the Soviet Union.
In recent years there has been a re-examination of Stalin. He’s become a nostalgic figure, celebrated in the mainstream for his clear eyed vision and tough leadership.
This has further increased the demand for his autograph at home.
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