A Russian soldier carries a statue head of Adolf Hitler. Berlin, circa May 1945
December 1956: A crowd of people surround the demolished head of a statue of Josef Stalin, including Daniel Sego, the man who cut off the head, during the Hungarian Revolt, Budapest, Hungary. Sego is spitting on the statue. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
As the Soviet Empire fractured, symbols of the Party were dismantled. Huge statues of Lenin and Stalin were toppled, alternately grieved or abused by onlookers, then trucked away to be abandoned in fields or other remote spots, where one could stroll among the enormous body parts of the former high priests of communism. Here a passerby appears to take an opportunity to gives Lenin a scolding while construction workers who helped dismantle the statue look on.
In Baghdad’s Qadhamiya neighbourhood on 9 April 2003, people drag the head of a statue of Saddam Hussein which is joyfully battered by bystanders.