The Ice Breaks
Stalin is dead. The Soviet people have suffered an irreparable loss. Stalin's name will be praised forever. He gave his life for liberating the workers and saving mankind from wars. His name stands alongside of Marx, Engels, and Lenin.
Thus Georgi Malenkov eulogized Stalin at his funeral. As a Communist, Malenkov could pay no higher respect to the deceased leader than to place him at the side of the apostles of Communism. Yet his speech sounded barren and cold to all those in whose ears still rang the superlatives of adulation that had hallowed Stalin's name. Malenkov, Beria, and Khrushchev appeared to be in haste to sink the dead man in his grave and pass over to the order of the day without a pause. The speakers were anxious to warn the enemies within and without not to entertain false hopes that Stalin's heritage would go to waste in discord among his heirs.
Nevertheless, people could not help remembering that the death of an autocrat in the past had usually set substantial changes in motion which had slowly developed another commanding personality.
The chill of Stalin's funeral affected at least one of his pro-consuls, Klement Gottwald of Czecho-Slovakia, who a few days after returning home died of pneumonia.
Of the satellite dictators, Rakosi of Hungary alone ignored the hint by Stalin's heirs to get back to business and