International Lenin Peace Prize History and Information

About the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Peoples a major award from the Soviet Union or Russia, history and information.

International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Peoples

Who: Established on June 23, 1925. Originally named after Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov, whose pseudonym was N. Lenin (the N. stood for no name, was merely an initial), leader of the Russian Revolution in 1917, and ruler of Russia until his death in 1924. From 1935 to 1956 the award was called the Stalin Peace Prize, after Lenin's successor, Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, who went by the name of Joseph Stalin. After Stalin's death in March, 1953, his successor, Nikita Khrushchev, began the process of de-Stalinization. Stalin's name was removed from the gold medal. And once more the peace award was named after Lenin.

What: There are 2 sets of Lenin Prizes. One set is domestic and includes 50 awards which are given to Soviet citizens for achievements in art, literature, science, and engineering. For example, Galina Ulanova, the Soviet ballerina, has won one of these $50,000 internal awards 4 times. On the other hand the Lenin Peace Prize honors citizens of any nation in the world who have made contributions in "promotion of peace among nations."

When: The prizes are usually announced on April 22, Lenin's birthday. The award is supposed to be made annually, but lately it has been given every 2nd or 3rd year for peace efforts made in the previous year.

Where: Headquarters: Moscow, U.S.S.R.

Prize: A Soviet encyclopedia says, "The award consists of 100,000 rubles, a diploma, and a gold medal engraved with Lenin's bust." In fact, the cash prize is much less, and the amount given varies from award to award. In 1963, each winner received 10,000 rubles or $11,000. In 1967, each winner received 25,000 rubles or $27,750. Recipients of the award are invited to attend a ceremony in Moscow and give an address.

Eligible: Anyone, anywhere, who has contributed to the Soviet version of peace. In theory, Russian citizens are also eligible but they are rarely given this award. Winners are usually communists, those sympathetic to communism or to Russia, or simply leftists more tuned in to the aims of the U.S.S.R. than to those of capitalist countries. There are supposed to be 10 recipients annually, but since 1960 the Lenin Peace Prize has been bestowed on no more than 7 persons in a single year.

Judges: There is a special award committee controlled by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R.

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