The higher the status of a person, the more lavish funeral he is entitled to. And in China, together with the Emperor Qin Shi Huang, they buried a whole thousand-strong terracotta army.
Today, the funerals of prominent politicians are becoming events of a truly nationwide scale. This action is broadcast on television, and thousands of people from different parts of the country come to say goodbye to the leaders. The funeral of Ayatollah Khomeini is considered the most massive in history; about 10 million people came to say goodbye to the Iranian leader.
But the largest television audience was gathered by the funeral ceremony of farewell to the English princess Diana. Where is there before her World Cup final! The recent funeral of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il with 11 days of national mourning has resulted in truly popular grief.
However, such events of no less scale have happened in history more than once. It is interesting that the leaders of authoritarian regimes were buried with the greatest fanfare. The largest funeral in history will be discussed below.
Vladimir Lenin (April 22, 1870 - January 21, 1924). This man stood at the origins of the creation of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (Bolsheviks), after the Revolution of 1917 he headed the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR. In fact, it was Lenin who became the full-fledged head of the young Soviet state. Vladimir Ilyich was actively involved in politics at the age of 17, in March 1898 he became one of the organizers of the First Congress of the RSDLP in Minsk. It is believed that it was Lenin who stood at the origins of the October Revolution of 1917, leading it after returning from abroad. Hard work and the consequences of the attempt on the leader in 1918 undermined his health. Since May 1922, Lenin has been seriously ill. Since March 1923, he has been in the Gorki near Moscow, from where he is trying to rule the young country. Lenin dictates notes, letters, meets with associates. In January 1924, a sharp deterioration in the patient's condition sets in, and on January 21 at 18.50, Vladimir Ilyich dies from a cerebral hemorrhage. The body of the leader was exhibited for 5 days in the Column Hall of the House of Unions, where up to half a million people came to say goodbye to him, despite the severe frosts. Over time, the body of the leader was placed in the Mausoleum, since 1930 this structure has become permanent. The flow of those wishing to say goodbye to Lenin did not diminish; in the first month and a half alone, about 100 thousand people came to him.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (March 12, 1881 - November 10, 1938). Ataturk went down in history as the founder and first leader of the People's Party of Turkey, he also became the first president of the young republic. At the age of 12, Ataturk entered a military school, becoming a career employee. He even took part in the First World War. On April 23, 1920, this figure convened the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, where he was elected both Chairman of the Parliament and Chairman of the Council of Ministers. The young country, with the support of the USSR, managed to withstand the Armenian-Turkish and Greek-Turkish wars in the early 1920s. On October 29, 1923, the Republic of Turkey was proclaimed with Ataturk at its head. Kemal was forced to carry out a series of reforms - the former empire was to turn into a secular state with a developed industry and banking system. The authorities needed to solve the land issue and introduce a new education system. It was Kemal who laid the foundations for Turkey's future prosperity. In 1934 he was given the surname Atatürk (“father of the nation”). The first health problems of the politician appeared in 1937, and soon he was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. The cause was chronic alcoholism. However, the politician continued to fulfill his duties until the last. He died on November 10, 1938. The death of Ataturk became a real national mourning. Numerous diplomatic delegations and even foreign military units took part in the farewell ceremony. The Soviet Union even sent the destroyer Moskva, the team with rifles in their hands participated in the mourning events.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 - April 12, 1945). Among all American Presidents, it was Roosevelt who was elected for a fourth term. He was the 32nd leader of the country who had to lead her through the Great Depression. Roosevelt entered politics at the age of 28, as a member of the Democratic Party. He served as a Senator, Assistant Secretary of the Navy and two terms as Governor of New York State. In 1932, Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in the presidential elections, retaining his post in 1936, 1940 and 1944. The politician is known for his important economic reforms that allowed the country to recover from the global economic crisis. During World War II, Roosevelt was one of the leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition, initiating the creation of the UN. The politician's health was unimportant for a long time - since 1921, complications from poliomyelitis interfered. As a result, this disease confined Roosevelt to a wheelchair. The President's death occurred on April 12, 1945 from a cerebral hemorrhage. The funeral ceremony was organized in an unusual way - no bodies were displayed for parting. The closed coffin was transported from the politician's name to Warm Springs, Georgia to Hyde Park, New York. Thousands of residents met him along the entire route of the convoy. Only in Washington, 300-400 thousand people came to say goodbye to the president. Warplanes patrolled the funeral procession. After the family and diplomats said goodbye to the body, the coffin on a gun carriage was sent to Hyde Park on a special train.
Mahatma Gandhi (October 2, 1869 - January 30, 1948). This man managed to become one of the main inspirers of the movement for the independence of India from the British Empire. Gandhi created a whole philosophy of nonviolent resistance. He took up politics in 1919, and two years later he headed the Indian National Congress. In 1934, Gandhi resigned from his post, as ideological differences with his associates became quite principled. The Indian leader openly opposed caste inequality in an effort to end discrimination against the untouchables. In 1947, British India was divided into two irreconcilable and warring countries - Pakistan and India. The protracted state-religious confrontation ended thanks to a hunger strike declared by Gandhi, which led to a truce between the leaders of the two states. The first attempt on the politician took place on January 20, 1948, then the bomb exploded without sacrifice. But 10 days later, Gandhi was shot dead during his prayer evenings on the lawn in front of his house. According to Indian traditions, the body of the country's spiritual leader was burned at a funeral pyre. But before that, a lot of people came to say goodbye to him - from one and a half to six million people.
Joseph Stalin (December 21, 1879 - March 5, 1953). From 1924 to 1953, Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union, holding the posts of Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars and the Council of Ministers. Stalin is an old party member, having been involved in politics since 1895. In 1917, he was one of the members of the Central Committee of the RSDLP, occupying a position far from being strategic. But after Lenin's death, Stalin was able to take the reins of power into his own hands, eliminating political competitors. The country's leader became the main ideologue of industrialization and collectivization, which changed the face of the young power. But the people paid for their industrial achievements with massive repression. During the Great Patriotic War, Stalin assumed the sole leadership of the country. He was the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, headed the State Defense Committee, was the People's Commissar of Defense. After the war, Stalin initiated the creation of nuclear weapons in the USSR and the formation of communist states in Eastern Europe. Until the last days, his power remained absolute. On March 2, 1953, Stalin suffered paralysis, and, according to official figures, he died from a cerebral hemorrhage on March 5 at 21.50. The very next day, the body of the leader was exhibited in the Column Hall of the House of Unions for a three-day farewell. More than two million people took part in it. These days on Trubnaya Square there was such a crush of people wishing to say goodbye that up to two thousand people died in it. On March 9, Stalin was buried in the Mausoleum, although in 1961 the body of the controversial leader was taken from there and buried at the Kremlin wall.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 - November 22, 1963). The 35th American President became the first Catholic to hold this office. It was nominated by the Democratic Party. Kennedy managed to fight on the fields of World War II, receiving two medals "For Courage". The future politician at that time was in charge of the torpedo boat. Since 1947, Kennedy entered politics, and managed to become the head of the country in 1960. Even the short rule of this President turned out to be very significant. He carried out extensive economic reforms and began a movement to equalize the rights of the black population. Under Kennedy, the Cuban Missile Crisis erupted, putting the world on the brink of nuclear war. It was under him that American regular troops were introduced to South Vietnam. And the death of a popular politician in the country came from a wound in the stomach in Dallas during an assassination attempt. At that time, the presidential cortege was driving through the streets of the city, this was part of the election campaign. Kennedy's death came right in front of his wife's eyes. The killer was found very quickly, it turned out to be Lee Harvey Oswald. A couple of days later he was killed while being taken out of the police station. The presidential funeral was held on November 25 in Washington. Farewell to him took place in the Capitol building, and this ceremony was attended by more than 200 thousand people. From there, on a carriage, the coffin was taken to the Cathedral of St. Matthew, where a mourning Mass was celebrated. And Kennedy was buried at the Arlington Memorial Cemetery.
Charles de Gaulle (November 22, 1890 - November 9, 1970). This general of the French army founded and led the resistance movement "Fighting France" during the Second World War. Already in peacetime, de Gaulle stood at the founding of the Fifth Republic, becoming its first President. The general managed to take part in both world wars. His appeal to all the French on June 18, 1940 went down in history. De Gaulle called for the fight against the fascist occupation, which marked the beginning of the work of the Free France organization, later renamed Fighting France. At the end of the war, the general headed the interim government for a year and a half, resigning due to a series of political scandals. Until 1958, de Gaulle was in opposition to the current government. On December 21, 1958, the first general elections were held since the adoption of the new constitution. The Fifth Republic was proclaimed, and de Gaulle became its President. The general resigned on April 27, 1969. On November 9, 1970, Charles de Gaulle died suddenly at his estate Colombey de lès Eglise, the cause of death was aortic rupture. The funeral service for the popular hero took place in Notre Dame Cathedral - the main Catholic church in the country. There, thousands of inconsolable French could say goodbye to him. And de Gaulle was buried in the village cemetery in Colombey in the presence of his closest relatives and friends in the Resistance.
Francisco Franco (December 4, 1892 - November 20, 1975). This generalissimo usurped power in Spain from 1939 to 1975, and also headed the Council of Ministers. Franco entered the army at the age of 18. At first he served in the Spanish Foreign Legion, managing to become the youngest general in the country's history at 34. In July 1936, Franco took an active part in the military revolt against the Spanish Republic. As a result, he was able to become the new leader of the nationalists, receiving as a reward the title of leader - caudillo. On April 1, 1939, Franco announced his victory over the Republicans, since then his military dictatorship began. But during World War II he managed to maintain a neutral position, supporting the fascist countries only economically. At the initiative of Franco, over time, the Valley of the Fallen memorial was erected in Spain, which became a monument to all the victims of the Civil War in the country. In 1973, Franco was forced to resign as head of the cabinet - Parkinson's disease took its toll. However, the title of leader remained with him. On November 20, 1975, due to complications of an ulcer, Franco died. The widespread version says that the dictator was tried to undergo surgery, which only worsened his condition. Franco's funeral became a national event. Thousands of Spaniards escorted the mourning cortege all the way from the center of the capital to the Valley of the Fallen in the Last Journey.
Mao Zedong (December 26, 1893 - September 9, 1976). This great man went down in history as the founder of the People's Republic of China. Mao Zedong headed the Central Committee of the Communist Party of this country for a long time. The future leader began to be involved in politics in 1917. After 4 years, Mao joined the ranks of the newly formed Chinese Communist Party. In the mid-30s, he became one of the leaders of the communist movement in the country. Since 1949, virtually all power in China has been concentrated in the hands of Mao Zedong. It was he who became the main ideologist of the country's two major reforms. The Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward made it possible to solve internal political problems and raise the country's economy. Since 1971, Mao Zedong began to develop Parkinson's disease, the leader practically stopped appearing in public. On September 9, 1976, the death of the Chinese leader came, the third heart attack was his last. About a million people gathered for the funeral of the leader of the nation. A year later, after embalming, Mao's body was put on public display in a mausoleum on Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
Leonid Brezhnev (December 19, 1906 - November 10, 1982). At the time of his death, Brezhnev was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, headed the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. In fact, he ruled the country from 1964 to 1982. Leonid Ilyich's party career began in 1937. During the Great Patriotic War, Brezhnev was engaged in political work at various levels. In 1960, he became chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. In 1964, Brezhnev took an active part in the removal of his predecessor, Nikita Khrushchev. So he achieved the highest post in the country. In 1976, Brezhnev experienced clinical death, from the consequences of which he could not fully recover. This led to impaired speech and movement coordination. The last time the Soviet leader appeared in public was on November 7, 1982, hosting a parade on Red Square on the occasion of the anniversary of the October Revolution. After 3 days, Brezhnev's heart stopped. From November 12 to 15, the body of the secretary general was exhibited in the Column Hall of the House of Unions, several hundred thousand people came to say goodbye to the leader. The funeral of Brezhnev took place at the Kremlin wall, at that moment all enterprises and organizations of the country stopped their work for 5 minutes.
Ruhollah Mousavi Khomeini (17 May 1900 - 3 June 1989). Thanks to Khomeini, the Islamic revolution took place in Iran. He himself led the state from 1979 to 1989. And Khomeini took up politics in the mid-1920s. From the very beginning, he tried to implement the idea of creating a theocratic state in Iran. As a result, Khomeini was expelled from the country for 14 years. Upon returning to his homeland, the politician led the Islamic revolution, which overthrew the former ruler of the country, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. During his rule, Khomeini had to go to war with Iraq, it is he who is at the origins of a sharp deterioration in relations between Iran and America. The reason for this was the capture of the US embassy in 1979.Only 444 days later, 52 hostages were released. After a massive heart attack in 1980, Khomeini lived in the suburbs of the capital with his family. In 1989, he underwent surgery on the gastrointestinal tract, which led to a sharp deterioration in the politician's health. Khomeini passed away 10 years later. Without exaggeration, the entire people accompanied the leader of the nation to the last journey. From 10 to 17 million people came to say goodbye to the idol. Khomeini was buried in a mausoleum near the Beshikhte-Zahra cemetery, in the same place where the graves of the fighters who died during the Islamic revolution were located.
Princess Diana (July 1, 1961 - August 31, 1997). Diana was the first wife of Prince Charles, heir to the English throne. Her charitable and peacekeeping activities have won the love of the whole country. Diana was a distant relative of Winston Churchill himself. The nee Miss Spencer married on July 29, 1982. Two years later, the princess had a son, William, and two years later another boy, Harry. In 1992, the marriage of Charles and Diana broke up, only 4 years later the divorce proceedings, initiated by Queen Elizabeth II, ended. On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana died in a car accident in Paris under very strange circumstances. Together with her in the limousine was Dodi Al-Fayed, the son of a billionaire from Egypt. According to the official version, the disaster happened due to a significant excess of the permissible level of alcohol in the blood of the driver of the crashed car. On September 6, 1997, the funeral of the popular favorite took place at the Spencer family estate. Earlier, a farewell ceremony was held in London, which took off from Buckingham Palace. The farewell ceremony for Lady Diana was attended by about a million people. Interest in funerals around the world was so great that about 2.5 billion people watched them on television.
John Paul II (May 18, 1920 - April 2, 2005). John Paul II managed to become the 264th Pope in a row. Moreover, he was the first representative of the Slavic peoples in this post. The duration of the pontiff's tenure was the third in history. In the world, the Pope's name was Karol Wojtyla, he was born in Poland. His ordination to the priesthood took place on November 1, 1946. In 1967, Karol became a cardinal, and in October 1978 he was elected Pope. The new pontiff went down in history as John Paul II. The activity of this man truly knew no boundaries. Over the 27 years of his tenure at such a high post, John Paul II made 104 visits abroad, and on May 13, 1981, he even survived an assassination attempt. For a long time the Soviet Union was suspected of this. It was this Pope who, on December 1, 1989, met for the first time in history at the Vatican with the leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev. Experts believe that since 1994 Pope John Paul II has suffered severely from progressive Parkinson's disease. After 2001, her form became especially severe. In the winter of 2005, the disease entered a critical phase. On March 27, the Pope wanted to make a speech to the believers, but he could not even do it. On April 2, John Paul II died of septic shock caused by a cardiovascular disease. His funeral took place on 8 April. The funeral liturgy attracted 300 thousand believers, and more than 4 million pilgrims from all over the planet came to see the pontiff on his last journey.
Kim Jong Il (February 16, 1942 - December 17, 2011). This man became the second head of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in history, he headed the Labor Party of his country, and was also the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. Kim Jong Il was the son of the "eternal" President Kim Il Sung. His political career began in 1961, when the young man joined the Labor Party of Korea. By the end of his life, Kim Jong Il was able to concentrate in his hands all the highest posts of the state. When Kim Il Sung passed away and passed three days of mourning, the leadership of Korea was inherited by the son of the leader. True, he formally became General Secretary of the Labor Party only in 1997, and the next year he took over as chairman of the DPRK Defense Committee, formally the highest position in the country. The achievement of Kim Jong Il can be called the successful tests of nuclear weapons in North Korea. For a long time, the leader of the country suffered from cardiovascular diseases. It was a heart attack that was named the official cause of Kim Jong Il's death. The country's leadership claims that the leader died during an inspection trip around the country in his armored train, although the intelligence of the southern neighbor believes that the death occurred in the leader's house. On December 20, the body of Kim Jong Il in a glass sarcophagus was put up for farewell in the Kumsusan mausoleum, where the body of Kim Il Sung is already lying. The funeral ceremony took place 8 days later. During this time, more than 5 million people came to say goodbye to the former ruler of the country. The authorities said that even birds and animals mourned in the country of Kim Jong Il.
Vaclav Havel (October 5, 1936 - December 18, 2011). This man became famous not only as a human rights activist, the last president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of the Czech Republic. Havel was a versatile figure, he was a renowned playwright and writer. His literary career began back in 1955. During the Prague Spring of 1968, Havel began to be active as a human rights defender. He became one of the authors of Charter-77. This policy document was created by the Czechoslovak dissidents. For his political activities, Havel was convicted three times, in 1977, 1979 and 1989. On December 29, 1989, at a meeting of the two chambers of the Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel was elected President of the country. When Czechoslovakia split into two independent states, on February 2, 1993, he was elected the first president of a new country - the Czech Republic. Havel's activities were quite bright, at one time he supported the entry of NATO troops into Yugoslavia, and in 2011 he spoke in favor of canceling the presentation of the Quadriga Prize to Vladimir Putin. For a long time, Vaclav Havel suffered from chronic inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. The former politician spent the last months of his life in his country house in Hradechka, where he died on December 18, 2011. Tens of thousands of people came to the capital to say goodbye to the country's first president, and the leaders of many European countries came to the mourning ceremony. But Russia did not send condolences. But in the very procedure of cremation, only about a hundred people took part - relatives and close friends.