Courtesy Reuters

Official anniversaries are for the Soviets not merely occasions to celebrate and eulogize a famous man or event. They are also-if not mainly- occasions for that self-congratulation of which the Soviet régime has made such a rite, and against which the most uninhibited patriotic oratory on a similar occasion in the United States would appear a pallid understatement. In fact, the U.S.S.R. celebrates its thanksgiving several times a year. In speeches and editorials the pretext for the celebration is usually disposed of in the first few sentences and perhaps reverted to again at the very end.

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