Hirsute pursuit

The Popular Front’s Patent Baldness Remedy.

That socialism could be too much of a good thing became apparent after the Stalinist coup in Barcelona in 1937. The old god had been abolished, and those who had inherited the kingdom of heavies decided they’d show who was boss by hanging a huge triptych of the three messiahs of the new national religion on the façade of the Hotel Colón on Plaça Catalunya/Plaza Cataluña. Reading from left to right, baldie Lenin was succeeded by an elegantly coiffed Stalin and hairy, scary Marx, leading some to wonder quietly whether the three portraits were all of the same man, before, during, and after his baldness cure.

My source for this story is José M Fontana’s Los catalanes en la guerra de España (1951). In this photo Karl seems to have wandered off to the barber’s, and other accounts that have only Stalin hanging in there, so it may well be just another civil war myth.

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