Haute Vitrine

PHOTOGRAPHS by LESLIE HOSSACK

Tag: Khrushchev

15 Moscow Landmarks – Part 3

Saint Basil's Cathedral, Moscow 2012 by Leslie Hossack

Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow 2012

Lenin's Tomb, Moscow 2012 by Leslie Hossack

Lenin’s Tomb, Moscow 2012

© Leslie Hossack

Saint Basil’s Cathedral and Lenin’s Tomb are located in Moscow’s Red Square.

Red Square was famous for its massive military parades. Joseph Stalin wanted Saint Basil’s torn down so that troops could march out of the square en mass, rather than going around the church. Luckily, the cathedral built by Ivan the Terrible in 1555-1560 survived.

Parades in Red Square were reviewed by Soviet dignitaries from the balcony of Lenin’s Tomb. Lenin died in 1924 and his embalmed body still lies in the mausoleum. In 1953 Stalin was buried there too. Later, he was denounced by Khrushchev and his body was moved to the cemetery behind the tomb near the Kremlin Wall and its Senate Tower.

The Moscow Photographs, a collection of limited edition fine art prints by Leslie Hossack, examine Joseph Stalin’s architectural legacy in Russia’s capital. The structures are linked to Stalin by era, architect and anecdote. Hossack painstakingly deconstructs these historic landmarks, revealing them as they appeared when the architects first put their designs on paper.

The Moscow Photographs include: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow’s 1980 Olympic Stadium; the Small Arena and Swimming Stadium also located at the Luzhniki Olympic Sports Complex; Lenin’s Tomb and Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square; Bolshoi Theatre and Red Army Theatre; Moscow City Hall and Dinamo Metro Station; Gorky Park and Ukraine Pavilion; Lubyanka Building and Moskva Hotel; Russian White House and Kotelnicheskaya Apartment Building, one of Stalin’s high-rises known as the Seven Sisters.

These images are part of Leslie Hossack’s larger body of work that explores Nazi architecture in Berlin, sacred sites in Jerusalem and a Cold War bunker in Ottawa. To view more images, please visit her website.  lesliehossack.com

Nikita Khrushchev: we will bury you

Cabinet Secretariat, Level 300, The Diefenbunker, Ottawa 2010

© Leslie Hossack

During the Cold War, political rhetoric was designed to intimidate enemy governments and their individual citizens. In 1956, Nikita Khrushchev told western diplomats: “Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you.” Desperate times called for desperate measures.

In December 1961, Canada’s Central Emergency Government Headquarters, aka the Diefenbunker, became operational. During the Cold War, in the event of a nuclear attack, designated government officials would report to Canada’s flagship bunker in Carp. It contained over 300 rooms and was designed to shelter 535 individuals. Built secretly between 1959 and 1961 just outside of Ottawa, the Diefenbunker was nicknamed after Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker.

The photograph above shows the Cabinet Secretariat. It is located on Level 300 of the bunker, adjacent to the War Cabinet Room. This would have been the office for almost two dozen staff from the Privy Council Secretariat, the Treasury Board Secretariat, and the Prime Minister’s Office. During a nuclear attack, the individuals working here would provide briefings and support to the government representatives assembled in the massive underground bunker. The Secretariat would also coordinate the flow of information between the War Cabinet and various government departments.

The Diefenbunker was shut down in 1994, after 33 years of operation. It is now Canada’s Cold War Museum and a National Historic Site. For more information, please visit Canada’s Cold War Museum and Parks Canada.

he was perfectly capable of taking the world to the brink of thermonuclear destruction

Radio Room, Level 400, The Diefenbunker, Ottawa 2010

© Leslie Hossack

Communication is always critical, but especially during a national emergency. The Radio Room on Level 400 of the Diefenbunker is one of the many communication systems installed in the massive underground bunker. The Diefenbunker was designed to be the main site for Canadian government operations in the event of a nuclear attack. It was also a key national military telecommunications site.

Exactly 50 years ago, in December 1961, Canada’s Central Emergency Government Headquarters, aka the Diefenbunker, became operational. During the Cold War, in the event of a nuclear attack, designated government officials would report to Canada’s flagship bunker in Carp. It contained over 300 rooms and was designed to shelter 535 individuals. Built secretly between 1959 and 1961 just outside of Ottawa, the Diefenbunker was nicknamed after Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker.

It was the time of Khrushchev and Kennedy, atomic testing and primal fear. Looking back on the Cold War, Diefenbaker said in his memoirs: “I knew that President Kennedy… thought he had something to prove in his personal dealings with Khrushchev after their unpleasant Vienna meeting…. I considered that he was perfectly capable of taking the world to the brink of thermonuclear destruction to prove himself the man for our times, a courageous champion of Western democracy.”

After more than 30 years of operation, the Diefenbunker was closed by the Department of National Defence in 1994. The complex is now home to Canada’s Cold War Museum. For more information visit www.diefenbunker.ca

The survivors would envy the dead.

War Cabinet Room, Level 300, The Diefenbunker, Ottawa 2010

© Leslie Hossack

The War Cabinet Room in the Diefenbunker was located just down the corridor from the Prime Minister’s Suite, which was featured in yesterday’s post. In the event of a nuclear attack during the Cold War, Canada would have been governed from the room pictured above. The War Cabinet consisted of the Governor General, the Prime Minister, and a minimum of three other ministers of the Crown.

In the 1960s, preparations for this scenario were carried out under the threat of global annihilation. In July 1963, Soviet Chairman Nikita Khrushchev was quoted in Pravda as saying that, in the event of nuclear war, “The survivors would envy the dead.” President John F. Kennedy responded: “A full scale nuclear exchange, lasting less than 60 minutes…could wipe out more than 300 million Americans, Europeans, and Russians, as well as untold numbers elsewhere. And the survivors – as Chairman Khrushchev warned the Communist Chinese, ‘the survivors would envy the dead.’ For they would inherit a world so devastated by explosions and poison and fire that today we cannot conceive of its horrors.”

Exactly 50 years ago, in December 1961, Canada’s Central Emergency Government Headquarters, aka the Diefenbunker, became operational. During the Cold War, in the event of a nuclear attack, designated government officials would report to Canada’s flagship bunker in Carp. It contained over 300 rooms and was designed to shelter 535 individuals. Built secretly between 1959 and 1961 just outside of Ottawa, the Diefenbunker was nicknamed after Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker.

The Diefenbunker is now Canada’s Cold War Museum. For more information please visit www.diefenbunker.ca