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Lenin Poisoned? Historian Blames Stalin

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Published on May 7, 2012

Transcript by Newsy: http://www.youtube.com/user/NewsyWorl...

(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

BY STACEY WELSH

Was Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin poisoned? Russian historian Lev Lurie came up with that conspiracy theory after he reviewed Lenin's autopsy records. KSPR explains.

"He died in 1924. ... after several strokes, though the doctor says Lenin didn't have any risk factors for stroke."

It's widely accepted that Lenin died of complications from syphilis, but the International Business Times reports Lurie and a UCLA historian...

"...found that syphilis, though it can lead to strokes, isn't likely to have resulted in such a sudden demise for a man who was generally healthy for his age."

This led to the juicy conclusion former communist leader and Soviet Union Premier Joseph Stalin could have poisoned Lenin. Medical Daily reports it's possible Stalin wanted revenge.

"Lenin had criticized Stalin's rude manners and ambitious nature, and he even suggested that the General Secretary of the Communist Party be taken from Stalin, according to notes Lenin had written shortly before his death."

This isn't the first time the theory has been up for discussion. Former Soviet politician Leon Trotsky wrote an article on the subject in 1940. But a neurologist tells MSNBC extreme stress and an ominous family medical history were more likely causes of Lenin's demise.

"Genetic predisposition to a hardening of the arteries was more likely to have played a role in Lenin's decline."

MSNBC also points out, poisoned or not, stroke complications or heart disease wouldn't have given Lenin much more time. The Daily Mail quotes Lurie's plans to find out for sure:

"The funny thing is that the brain of Lenin still is preserved in Moscow, so we can investigate."

The New York Times reports a 2003 study concluded Stalin also could have been poisoned to death.

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