We will bury you

"We will bury you!" (Russian: «Мы вас похороним!», romanized"My vas pokhoronim!") is a phrase that was used by Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev while addressing Western ambassadors at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow on November 18, 1956.[1][2][3] The phrase was originally translated into English by Khrushchev's personal interpreter Viktor Sukhodrev.[4]

Nikita Khrusjtsjov
Nikita Khrushchev (1961)


While addressing Westerners at the embassy on November 18, 1956, in the presence of Polish Communist statesman Władysław Gomułka, First Secretary Khrushchev said: "About the capitalist states, it doesn't depend on you whether or not we exist. If you don't like us, don't accept our invitations, and don't invite us to come to see you. Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you!"[5] The speech prompted the envoys from twelve NATO nations and Israel to leave the room.[5]

During Khrushchev's visit to the United States in 1959, the Los Angeles mayor Norris Poulson in his address to Khrushchev stated: "We do not agree with your widely quoted phrase 'We shall bury you.' You shall not bury us and we shall not bury you. We are happy with our way of life. We recognize its shortcomings and are always trying to improve it. But if challenged, we shall fight to the death to preserve it".[6] Many Americans meanwhile interpreted Khrushchev's quote as a nuclear threat.[7]

In another public speech Khrushchev declared: "[...] We must take a shovel and dig a deep grave, and bury colonialism as deep as we can".[8] In a 1961 speech at the Institute of Marxism–Leninism in Moscow, Khrushchev said that "peaceful coexistence" for the Soviet Union means "intense, economic, political and ideological struggle between the proletariat and the aggressive forces of imperialism in the world arena".[9] Later, on August 24, 1963, Khrushchev remarked in his speech in Yugoslavia, "I once said, 'We will bury you,' and I got into trouble with it. Of course we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you,"[10] a reference to the Marxist saying, "The proletariat is the undertaker of capitalism", based on the concluding statement in Chapter 1 of the Communist Manifesto: "What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable". In his memoirs, Khrushchev stated that "enemy propaganda picked up the slogan and blew it all out of proportion".[11]

Some authors suggest that an alternative translation is "We shall be present at your funeral" or "We shall outlive you".[12][13][14] Authors have suggested the phrase, in conjunction with Khrushchev's overhead hand clasp gesture meant that Russia would take care of the funeral arrangements for capitalism after its demise.[15] In an article in The New York Times in 2018, translator Mark Polizzotti suggested that the phrase was mistranslated at the time and should properly have been translated as "We will outlast you," which gives an entirely different sense to Khrushchev's statement.[16]

First Secretary Khrushchev was known for his emotional public image. His daughter admitted that "he was known for strong language, interrupting speakers, banging his fists on the table in protest, pounding his feet, even whistling".[9] She called such behavior a "manner, which suited his goal... to be different from the hypocrites of the West, with their appropriate words but calculated deeds".[9] Mikhail Gorbachev suggested in his book Perestroika and New Thinking for our Country and the World that the image used by Khrushchev was inspired by the acute discussions among Soviet agrarian scientists in the 1930s, nicknamed "who will bury whom", the bitterness of which must be understood in the political context of the times.

In popular culture

  • Khrushchev's phrase was used as the title of Jan Šejna's book on communist Cold War strategies and of a comic book.
  • The phrase also appears in Sting's song "Russians".
  • It provided the title to a 1962 documentary We'll Bury You released by Columbia Pictures.
  • The quote, paraphrased as "We will bury them!", is used as a taunt in the video game Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2,[17] in which the Soviet Union wages World War III against the Western Allies.
  • This event inspired a card[18] in favor of the U.S.S.R. in the Cold War themed boardgame Twilight Struggle.
  • In issue #12 of Brian K. Vaughan's "Y: The Last Man," a Russian character shouts the phrase when she believes she's being attacked by enemies.
  • This is also referenced by a worm in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode entitled "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve"
  • In the 2017 film The Death of Stalin, Khrushchev shortly after Beria's execution delivers a similar statement to the later speech by telling his corpse that he'll bury Beria in history.

See also


  1. ^ "We Will Bury You!", Time Magazine, November 26, 1956
  2. ^ "Khrushchev Tirade Again Irks Envoys", The New York Times, November 19, 1956, p. 1.
  3. ^ The quote, cited on Bartleby.com and QuotationsPage.com.
  4. ^ Умер личный переводчик Хрущева и Брежнева Виктор Суходрев (in Russian). Komsomolskaya Pravda. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Envoys Stalk Again As Nikita Rants". The Milwaukee Sentinel. November 19, 1956. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  6. ^ "Founding and history". Los Angeles World Affairs Council. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  7. ^ James Stuart Olson, Historical dictionary of the 1950s, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000, p. 157
  8. ^ Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev, Sergeĭ Khrushchev, George Shriver, Stephen Shenfield. Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev: Statesman, 1953–1964, Penn State Press, 2007, p. 893
  9. ^ a b c Dr. Stuart J. Birkby. "'We will bury you' How Mistranslation Heightened Cold War Tensions" (PDF). Galaxy. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  10. ^ Nikita Khrushchev on QuotationsPage.com
  11. ^ Arnold Beichman. The Long Pretense: Soviet Treaty Diplomacy from Lenin to Gorbachev. Transaction Publishers. p. 96. ISBN 1412837685.
  12. ^ Moshe Lewin, The Soviet Century
  13. ^ Bill Swainson, The Encarta Book of Quotations
  14. ^ Robert Legvold, Russian Foreign Policy in the Twenty-first Century and the Shadow of the Past
  15. ^ Morton Deutsch, Peter T. Coleman, Eric C. Marcus, eds. (2011), "Culture and Conflict", The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice, Wiley, p. 630, ISBN 9781118046906CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Why Mistranslation Matters; Would history have been different if Khrushchev had used a better interpreter? by Mark Polizzotti, New York Times, July 28, 2018
  17. ^ "Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 – Yuri's Revenge". GameFAQs. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  18. ^ "We Will Bury You".
1956 in the Soviet Union

The following lists events that happened during 1956 in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

ASEAN Declaration

The ASEAN Declaration or Bangkok Declaration is the founding document of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It was signed in Bangkok on 8 August 1967 by the five ASEAN founding members, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as a display of solidarity against communist expansion in Vietnam and communist insurgency within their own borders. It states the basic principles of ASEAN: co-operation, amity, and non-interference. The date is now celebrated as ASEAN Day.

Asian Relations Conference

The Asian Relations Conference took place in New Delhi in March-April 1947. It was hosted by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who then headed a provisional government that was preparing for India's Independence, which came on 15 August 1947. The Asian Relations Conference brought together many leaders of the independence movements in Asia, and represented a first attempt to assert Asian unity. The objectives of the conference were "to bring together the leading men and women of Asia on a common platform to study the problems of common concern to the people of the continent, to focus attention on social, economic and cultural problems of the different countries of Asia, and to foster mutual contact and understanding."

In his writings and speeches, Nehru had laid great emphasis on the manner in which post-colonial India would rebuild its Asia connections. At this conference Nehru declared: "... Asia is again finding herself ... one of the notable consequences of the European domination of Asia has been the isolation of the countries of Asia from one another. ... Today this isolation is breaking down because of many reasons, political and otherwise ... This Conference is significant as an expression of that deeper urge of the mind and spirit of Asia which has persisted ... In this Conference and in this work there are no leaders and no followers. All countries of Asia have to meet together in a common task ..."

Bags (Los Angeles band)

The Bags were an American punk rock band formed in 1977, one of the first generation of punk rock bands to emerge from Los Angeles, California.

Brea Grant

Brea Colleen Grant (born October 16, 1981) is an American actress and writer who is best known for playing Daphne Millbrook in the NBC television series Heroes.

Embassy of Poland in Moscow

The Embassy of Poland in Moscow is the diplomatic mission of the Republic of Poland to the Russian Federation. The chancery is located at Klimashkina Street 4, Moscow.

The Polish embassy occupies a purpose-built building of modernist design, incorporating Polish national motifs which is sited on a special diplomatic compound just outside Moscow's 'Garden Ring'. The compound is, in accordance with diplomatic protocol, considered part of the territory of the Polish Republic; for this reason the ambassador's residence as well as apartments for a number of other diplomatic staff are located there, alongside the chancery and consular buildings.

In 2005, the embassy has been the location of at least one protest against the policies of the Polish government. The embassy served as the primary target for groups wishing to express their disagreement with the directives of the late president Lech Kaczyński.The current ambassador of Poland to Russia is Włodzimierz Marciniak. The previous ambassador, Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, presented her credentials to president Vladimir Putin at an official reception in the Moscow Kremlin on 19 November 2014.

Exercise Verity

Exercise Verity was the only major training exercise of the Western Union (WU). Undertaken in July 1949, it involved 60 warships from the British, French, Belgian and Dutch navies. A contemporary newsreel described this exercise as involving "the greatest assembly of warships since the Battle of Jutland."


In the Russian language the word Glasnost (; Russian: гла́сность, IPA: [ˈɡɫasnəsʲtʲ] (listen)) has several general and specific meanings. It has been used in Russian to mean "openness and transparency" since at least the end of the eighteenth century.In the Russian Empire of the late-19th century, the term was particularly associated with reforms of the judicial system, ensuring that the press and the public could attend court hearings and that the sentence was read out in public. In the mid-1980s, it was popularised by Mikhail Gorbachev as a political slogan for increased government transparency in the Soviet Union.

Guerrilla war in the Baltic states

The Guerrilla war in the Baltic states or the Forest Brothers resistance movement was the armed struggle against Soviet rule that spanned from 1940 to the mid-1950s. After the occupation of the Baltic territories by the Soviets in 1944, an insurgency started. According to some estimates, 10,000 partisans in Estonia, 10,000 partisans in Latvia and 30,000 partisans in Lithuania and many more supporters were involved. This war continued as an organised struggle until 1956 when the superiority of the Soviet military caused the native population to adopt other forms of resistance. While estimates related to the extent of partisan movement vary, but there seems to be a consensus among researchers that by international standards, the Baltic guerrilla movements were extensive. Proportionally, the partisan movement in the post-war Baltic states was of a similar size as the Viet Cong movement in South Vietnam.

Jamaican political conflict

The Jamaican political conflict is a long standing feud between right-wing and left-wing elements in the country, often exploding into violence. The Jamaican Labor Party and the People's National Party have fought for control of the island for years and the rivalry has encouraged urban warfare in Kingston. Each side believes the other to be controlled by foreign elements, the JLP is said to be backed by the American Central Intelligence Agency and the PNP is said to been backed by the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro.

Jan Šejna

Jan Šejna (Honza Šejna), also Sejna in English, (12 May 1927 in Radhostice, Czechoslovakia – 23 August 1997 in New York City) was, in the time of communist Czechoslovakia, a Major General of the Czechoslovak Army. After losing political power and influence at the beginning of the Prague Spring, he sought refuge in the US consulate in Trieste and defected to the United States. He is the second highest-ranked officer to ever defect to the West from the Eastern Bloc, behind Lieutenant General Ion Mihai Pacepa of the Romanian Securitate. Significant motive for escape were his economic crimes. Among others, he illegally supplied collective farms with clover seed, hence he got nickname The Seed General (Semínkový generál).

In 1974, he disclosed detailed Soviet plans of how to occupy Austria in case of an all-European war for speedy advances into Tito's Yugoslavia from the north west, across Italy's Friuli and the city of Trieste. The scenario, codenamed Polarka, foresaw a speedy occupation of Eastern Austria and Vienna much in the style of Czechoslovakia's occupation in August 1968, retaking Austria's post-war Soviet occupation zone from 1945 to 1955.

Johnson Doctrine

The Johnson Doctrine, enunciated by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson after the United States' intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965, declared that domestic revolution in the Western Hemisphere would no longer be a local matter when "the object is the establishment of a Communist dictatorship". It is an extension of the Eisenhower and Kennedy Doctrines.

Kuzma's mother

Kuzma's mother or Kuzka's mother (Russian: Кузькина мать; Kuzka is a diminutive of the given name Kuzma) is a part of the Russian idiomatic expression "to show Kuzka's mother to someone" (Russian: Показать кузькину мать (кому-либо)), an expression of an unspecified threat or punishment, such as "to teach someone a lesson" or "to punish someone in a brutal way". It entered the history of the foreign relations of the Soviet Union as part of the image of Nikita Khrushchev, along with the shoe-banging incident and the phrase "We will bury you".

The origin of the expression is unclear.In his memoirs, Nikita Khrushchev mentions various "interesting and peculiar situations", including an occasion of him using this expression while mentioning that it was not the first time it confused the translators. The footnote in this volume to this item says that the 1999 Russian edition gave a mistaken "scientific etymology" of the expression derived from the folk name Kuzka the bug of the pest insect Anisoplia austriaca, which overwinters deep under the soil, so it is hard to uncover it. According to the editors, this was guesswork on the part of an annotator who was suffering from an illness.

Viktor Sukhodrev, a personal interpreter of Khrushchev and later Alexei Kosygin, said in an interview that Khrushchev first used this expression in public during the 1959 kitchen debate with Richard Nixon at the opening of the American National Exhibition in Sokolniki Park exposition centre, Moscow. During a discussion about communism versus capitalism Khrushchev boasted that the Soviet Union will "catch up with and surpass" (догонит и перегонит) the United States, and "we shall show you Kuzka's mother". The interpreter was stunned and said something literal about the mother of Kuzma.Phraseologic dictionaries from the 19th century record other versions of the saying about Kuzka's mother, such as "to let someone know Kuzka's mother's name" or "to learn Kuzka's mother's name".Because of the phrase's use in Cold War diplomacy, it became a code word for the atomic bomb. In particular, the Tsar Bomba 50 MT yield thermonuclear test device was nicknamed "Kuzka's mother" by its builders.

NDF Rebellion

The NDF Rebellion was an uprising in the Yemen Arab Republic by the National Democratic Front, under Yahya Shami, between 1978 and 1982.

Occupy Comics

Occupy Comics: Art & Stories Inspired by Occupy Wall Street is a currently-in-production, deluxe comic book anthology funded on Kickstarter and seeking to articulate themes of the Occupy Wall Street movement through comics as well as to fund-raise on behalf of the protesters.As Bleeding Cool described it:

Some of the biggest names in independent and mainstream comics have come together for a social-networking funded comic book anthology to tell the story of the Occupy Wall Street protest that sidesteps the 24-hour news media's desire for sensationalism.

The money raised will pay the creators for their work – and they will then donate all that money to the Occupy movement, especially through the coming winter months.

Wired explained the perceived relationship between Occupy Wall Street and art:

Pizzolo said the project makes sense because the Occupy Wall Street movement was launched by a piece of art.

"Adbusters created a really powerful image of a ballerina atop the Wall Street Bull with protesters in the background, and that was enough to set this off," he said. "Then Anonymous brought in the Guy Fawkes masks, and U.S. Day of Rage created more art challenging the relationship between Wall Street and Washington. So this is an art-inspired movement, and that's part of what makes it so viral. It's not intellectual, it doesn't need a manifesto. People are banding together around an idea, rather than an ideology."

Ulbricht Doctrine

The Ulbricht Doctrine, named after East German leader Walter Ulbricht, was the assertion that normal diplomatic relations between East Germany and West Germany could occur only if both states fully recognised each other's sovereignty. That contrasted with the Hallstein Doctrine, a West German policy which insisted that West Germany was the only legitimate German state.

East Germany gained acceptance of its view from fellow Communist states, such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria, which all agreed not to normalise relations with West Germany until it recognised East German sovereignty.

West Germany eventually abandoned its Hallstein Doctrine, instead adopting the policies of Ostpolitik. In December 1972, a Basic Treaty between East and West Germany was signed that reaffirmed two German states as separate entities. The treaty also allowed the exchange of diplomatic missions and the entry of both German states to the United Nations as full members.

We Will Bury You (comics)

We Will Bury You is a comic book miniseries written by brother–sister team Brea Grant and Zane Grant. The first issue was published in the United States on February 24, 2010. The fourth and final issue was published in June 2010.

We will bury you (disambiguation)

"We will bury you!" is Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschchev's utterance referring to the victory of Communism over Capitalism

We will bury you may also refer to:

We Will Bury You (comics)

Jan Šejna's book on communist Cold War strategies

A track in the 2010 album All Drones Go to Hell by Two Steps From Hell

Western Bloc

The Western Bloc during the Cold War refers to capitalist countries under the hegemony of the United States and NATO against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The latter were referred to as the Eastern Bloc. The governments and press of the Western Bloc were more inclined to refer to themselves as the "Free World" or the "Western world", whereas the Eastern Bloc was often called the "Communist world or Second world".

Frozen conflicts
Foreign policy
See also

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.