Stalin or Bust at D-Day Memorial - NBC4 Washington

Stalin or Bust at D-Day Memorial



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    The National D-Day Memorial Foundation is moving ahead with plans to place a bust of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin at the Bedford, Va., memorial over protests from some veterans and volunteers.

    Foundation president William McIntosh said the bust should be in place by the end of the summer.

    The foundation already placed busts of Allied leaders such as presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman and British Prime
    Minister Winston Churchill because of their mutual opposition to Hitler's Germany.

    Still to be added are busts of Stalin; Clement Attlee, deputy prime minister under Churchill and his eventual successor; Chinese
    leader Chiang Kai-shek; and French general and leader of the Free French Forces Charles de Gaulle.

    McIntosh said the bust is not to honor Stalin, who is believed to have had roughly 700,000 citizens executed during late 1930s. He
    said it is mean to show the ``before-and-after context of D-Day,'' and is simply to identify what Stalin looks like.

    "I would describe him as a brutal monster,'' retired Army Lt. Col. Harvey Clarke of Bedford said of Stalin. ``Putting somebody on
    a pedestal is a place of honor. It's just not appropriate.''

    James Morrison, who volunteers at the memorial, said Stalin should not be a part of the memorial because he was ``a reviled
    dictator'' who ``bears some responsibility for deaths of American servicemen in the Cold War.''

    "A bust of Stalin on a pedestal would be offensive to many Americans and Allies and would be counterproductive to the memorial's purpose of honoring Allied forces of D-Day and to the future of the memorial,'' Morrison said.

    The memorial honors those who fought and died during the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II on June 6, 1944.

    A plaque accompanying the bust details how Stalin clawed his way to the top of the Soviet hierarchy, and the plaque's language
    concludes: "In memory of the tens of millions who died under Stalin's rule and in tribute to all whose valor, fidelity, and sacrifice denied him and his successors victory in the Cold War.''

    "The criticism was received with gratitude," McIntosh said.