In the debate over whether confederate memorials across America should stay or go, perhaps we're losing sight of a third option.

9NEWS reporter Anastasiya Bolton recalled an event, and a place, from her childhood:

Growing up in the Soviet Union, I was taught Lenin was a national hero.

But after the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 90s, the country's ugly history started seeping into the national conversation - the millions murdered, starved, betrayed, imprisoned, sacrificed – and the people responsible Down came the art that made the masterminds immortal, the busts and statues celebrating their achievements.

In Moscow, they were first dumped onto the grass near the iconic Gorky Park. But then, an outdoor museum took shape, with Lenin, Stalin, Brezhnev. Felix Dzerzhinsky, too. He was the founder of the deadly Soviet Secret Police that later became the KGB.

One statue of him used to be displayed in the square in front of the KGB in Moscow. In 1991, a crowd, with the help of heavy machinery, took him down. Back then, the country was changing, and he represented its ugly past.

Other examples of the Soviet propaganda machine were also brought to the outdoor museum.

To preserve it..

Not celebrate it.

Pieces of granite and marble and concrete -- History remembered, without the cult of reverence.

There, they became – less than heroes.


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