Folktales of the Jews - Vol. 2

By Dan Ben-Amos | Go to book overview

70
Stalin Tests His "Friends "

TOLD BY MORDECAI HILLEL KROSHNITZ
TO AYELET OETTINGER

Stalin, when he was alive, wanted to know which nation loved him the most—because there are many nations in Russia. Lots of them. So he summoned people from every nationality and questioned each one.

"Do you love me?" he asked. "Do you know who I am?"

"Yes. You are our leader, the father of all the nations, Stalin."

"Do you love me?"

"Certainly, Father Stalin!"

"Would you give your life for me?"

"Certainly, Father Stalin!"

So he takes the fellow over to the window—it was the fifth floor—and says, "Jump out!"

Everyone looks down and recoils. Nobody wants to jump. Until the Jew came. Stalin asks him all the same questions, and the Jew says, "Yes, Father Stalin. Yes, Father Stalin."

"Are you willing to be killed for me? To give your life for me?"

"Yes, Father Stalin."

He takes him to the window and says, "Jump!"

The Jew hardly stops to think and lifts his leg over the sill, ready to jump!

Stalin grabs hold of him and says, "No, no! I won't let you die. You are wonderful! Now I see that you truly love me. But please explain—what's going on? No one from any of the other nations wanted to jump—why are you the only one?"

He says (with tears), "I'll tell you the truth, Father Stalin. If life is like this, death is better. Death is better."

-483-

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