Moshe the artist has been sent to the gulag for some minor indiscretion, where it appears he will be left to rot, until one day Stalin asks what became of him. Moshe is immediately brought back from Siberia, dressed in smart clothes, and taken to the Kremlin, where Stalin chides him: “Moshe, you haven’t been producing works of art lately. What’s the matter with you? Have you run out of ideas?”
“No, Comrade Stalin,” says Moshe. “I have an idea for a painting gestating now, and all I need is a studio and materials to bring it to fruition.”
“And what is the subject of this painting?” Stalin inquires.
“Lenin in Poland.”
“That’s a very fine subject,” says Stalin. “When the painting is complete you must invite me to the unveiling.”
So, a few weeks later, Stalin and members of the Politburo gathered at Moshe’s studio for the unveiling of his new painting, entitled Lenin in Poland. But when the curtains were drawn back, what confronted the visitors was a graphic picture of a man and a woman engaged in a sexual act. The man’s face was easily recognisable: it was Leon Trotsky, and the woman was unmistakably Lenin’s revered wife, Nadya Krupskaya. This outrageous image is met with stunned silence, until Stalin’s blurts out: “But where’s Lenin?”
Says Moshe: “In Poland.”