Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nassar, (and?) Prokofiev

Uncle Joe and his cohorts are probably at least half the reason that I exist.

A Dalkon Shield is actually 100% the reason I exist, but I’m a sucker for a good historical tale.

So, “Ioseb Besarionis dze Jugashvili” (nee J Stalin) was a bad, BAD dude. Killed multi-millions, dragged the Mother Land into the Industrial Age, and most likely kicked my Great-grandfather Pankratz out of Ukraine. I’ve been told that even my walk reminds people of GG Pankratz. I never knew any of my great-grandparents so I think it’s amazing that all four of my sons will remember that generation from both sides.

This book is a great entrĂ©e into Joe’s world. Easy read, mildly historical. Think of it as slightly-more-than-Mitchner for history seekers.

And this stanza is incredibly RUSSIAN (Soviet?).

Malenkov was a Stalin crony with aspirations. Once Uncle Joe stroked out and kicked the manure bucked, Georgy power-played with Molotov (yes, GASOLINE in a bottle), Khrushchev (yes, SHOE on a podium), and Beria (yes, FATHER of the KGB) to claim supreme Soviet power or something.

Molotov had a wife who was a ballet dancer, Beria got “ambushed” by Nikita, and Malenkov washed out due to the fact that the didn’t immediately kill or gulag all “political prisoners”.

G-MAL (he TOTALLY would’ve used that as a Twitter handle) spent the rest of his day without decent SSRIs and his daughter spent all the money on building Orthodox churches. So much for THAT opiate.

Gamal Abdel Nassar was the second President of Egypt (think John Adams and then put his face on the Sphinx).

My limited research leads me to believe that Nassar tried to be the Switzerland of the Middle East during the Cold War. So either the USA or the USSR killed him despite his “official” death by myocardial inFARCtion.

And back to the Russian stuff…

Prokofiev is widely know for his orchestral score for “Peter and the Wolf”. There’s a popular adaptation of the tale/score with narrator usually provided by local/regional celebrity. I KNOW that I attended a concert of such type as a child and that the narrator part was played by either Charlie Boone or Roger Erickson from WCCO-AM. But, my google-fu is weak and all I can link to is an awesome repository of WCCO-AM airchecks.

2 thoughts on “Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nassar, (and?) Prokofiev

  1. David Pankratz

    Matt, although Stalin and your GG Pankratz were near-contemporaries (GG born c. 1875, Stalin born 1878), GGG Benjamin Pankratz and family left the Ukraine c. 1892, when Russia was still czarist. They likely left due to increasing pressure from the Czar that exemption from military service was possibly going to be withdrawn in the future. Stalin did not assume any power until after WWI, when he began to rise through the government like a floating turd, in 1920.

  2. Pingback: Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez | BungoJungo

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