Notes on the Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971) 


I have some short, biographical remarks about Nikita Khrushchev and his rise to power in the Soviet Union in my HIS 135, History of the Contemporary World course.


Well, like it or not, I am old enough to remember when Khrushchev died, and the relatively little commotion that it caused.  It was interesting, though, that my family (all of my aunts and uncles) jokingly claimed that we were related to Khrushchev, even though he came from a far part of Ukraine, while our family came from Belarus, or Lithuania/Belorussia, as it was called then. (Actually, who came from where was not well-defined back then; it was all just "Russia.").  Certainly, we weren't related, but it always seemed interesting to me that Khrushchev was perceived as being from the people.  As a former, poor factory worker, who had experienced hardship, he was assumed to be aware of the people's needs.  He always did remind me a bit of two of my uncles; from one the ability to bluster, from the other the open-hearted family man.

It is truly amazing how much useful, and interesting, information about Khrushchev has appeared on the web in the last five years:

The following two short pieces are definitely worth reading:  The case of Khrushchev's shoe - Nikita Khrushchev's shoe banging incident at United Nations (See also the comments by Stephen Pearl, the UN translator at the time--well, it would be great if someone could find these comments for me as the old URL has disappeared);  the article, Comrade Khrushchev and Farmer Garst:  East-West Encounters Foster Agricultural Exchange by Stephen J. Frese, Marshalltown High School, Marshalltown, Iowa.

Nina Khrushcheva has some very short remembrances, The Day Khrushchev Buried Stalin - Los Angeles Times.  See also, John Rettie, The Day Khrushchev Denounced Stalin (Former Reuters and BBC correspondent John Rettie reflects on how he broke the story.)

Some document collections:

Versions of the "Secret Speech" aka "Crimes of the Stalin Era" aka "On the Cult of Personality."  There is no complete version of the six-hour speech available on the web:

Finally, by all means, take a moment and check out this media website, featuring the actual tapes of Khrushchev dictating his memoirs (simply unbelievable):  The Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev, original dictation, a production of Brown University Library.

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Khrushchev's Grave in the cemetery at Novodevichy Monastery in Moscow

It is kind of weird, kind of ironic, that it was the sculptor (Ernst Neizvestny), with whom Khrushchev had the famous run-in at an art exhibit in 1962, that ended up doing the monument that now resides on Khrushchev's grave.  See these interesting remarks and websites:


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