Between 1924 and the fall of Communism in 1991, many millions of visitors paid their respects to the embalmed remains of Vladimir Ilich Lenin. The author of this astonishing memoir is the son of Boris Zbarsky, who at Stalin's instigation mummified Lenin two months after his death. In an eyewitness account, enhanced by previously unpublished photographs, Ilya Zbarsky tells the adventure of his family and their closeness over seven decades to the Soviet hierarchy, and of all those who worked in the laboratory of the Red Square mausoleum, dedicated not only to maintaining in perpetuity the body of the founder of the Soviet Union, but also to preserving leaders from elsewhere in the Communist bloc with a solution that they devised, which is known as "balsam".
Abandoned by the State since 1991, the mausoleum survives today only by embalming the dead of the Russian nouveaux riches and the Mafia. In the wake of the Soviet system, Zbarsky also dares to ask whether it is not now time to inter these once glorious remains. Is it indeed scientifically possible to continue to preserve them?