China's Inability to Control Coronavirus Proves Yet Again That Authoritarianism Is Not More Efficient
One of the strangest monuments to Communist oppression was a luxury hotel built almost right next door to Moscow's Red Square during the height of Joseph Stalin's terror. The Hotel Moskva was notable, maybe even notorious, for having two different facades on the two wings of its main building. One wing had lavish windows and an ornate facade, while the other wing was much simpler in its design with much smaller windows.
Russian architect Alexei Shchusev was in charge of designing what would become the Soviet Union's swankiest hotel. Completed in 1938, the Moskva featured mosaics from the country's best artists, access to the Moscow metro subway, and nearly 200 luxury rooms. Before construction began, Shchusev had proposed two different designs for the facade, expecting Stalin to sign off on his preference. So Shchusev drew up a single plan, which showed each wing featuring a different facade for Stalin to choose from.
Irish-born British foreign correspondent Patrick Cockburn describes what happened next: