The text under the title "Drawing Back the Curtain" by Denis Healey begins with the description of Russia in the early years after the war. The author speaks about the changes in looks at the Soviet Union, about its generation which analyzed the nature of totalitarianism. Mr. Healey believes no power could destroy national traditions which were rooted in centuries of history. After Stalin's death the author says Soviet Communism carried the seeds of its own destruction, but it was no reason for laying beneath the surface.
The author shares his views saying he was fascinated by Russia being a schoolboy. Compared to their Western rivals Denis Healey admits that the great Soviet people seemed much superior, calling them film-makers of those days. The author says he was introduced with some examples of Russian Literature and Culture by his friend. But, he says, after the war his friend had disappeared, in all probability during the great purges. In the face of Mr. Healey it increased the bitter hostility for Soviet policies and made him feel animosity to the Soviet government which prevented the creation of genuine masterpieces in various cultural spheres.
The author goes on to describe his visits to Russia. The way he values the sightseeing deserves attention. He took the air in the Hermitage in Leningrad and the magnificent summer palace of Peter the Great overlooking the Gulf of Finland, its fountains sparkling in the autumn sun, its rococo buildings gleaming with white and gold.
As the say goes butter never spoils the porridge, so Mr. Healey found the Kremlin not as a grimly functional building where the Party housed. To his great surprise he found the heart of old Russia as the mediaeval splendour of its palaces and churches, scattered among copses of birch and lilac.
Mr. Healey continues to tell he got a kick out of personal contact with the sixth formers in Leningrad school. He also called some members...