March 6, 1953

DEATH OF STALIN: At about 3.30 a.m. today Greek time, Moscow radio issued an urgent bulletin announcing the death of Joseph Stalin. It said the Soviet leader’s death came at 9.50 p.m. yesterday Moscow time. Earlier, at 4 p.m. local time, Moscow radio had issued an historic announcement according to which Stalin was either a coma or else delirious, fighting death to the last. According to American correspondents in Moscow, crowds of people were flowing into Orthodox churches during the night (of March 5), as they were open 24 hours a day. Candles were being lit before the gilded icons in the city’s cathedral, in which Patriarch Alexios was officiating at a service for the Russian people to pray for Stalin’s recovery. Similar scenes were occurring in the Jewish synagogue. Early this morning there was a snowstorm, but later on the sun came out over the Soviet capital. Cinemas and all forms of public amusement were still open, and the television programs were still being broadcast. Radio stations were broadcasting works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Borodin and Chopin and popular songs with heroic themes. (…) In factories and schools, speakers and clerics of all religions were expounding on aspects of Stalin’s life. ZACHARIADIS: Belgrade, 5 – Jugopress, quoting reliable sources, reports that (Greek Communist leader) Nikos Zachariadis is under house arrest in Budapest.

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