Stakhanov was a miner worker whose extraordinary productivity became an evidence of success of the socialist system and symbol of soviet people. Across the country workers tried to follow his example and to exceed their normatives. The monument behind is unrealized project of more than 400 metres in height Palace of Soviets (the figure on the top is of course Lenin).
Overstepping all the established boundaries of scale had less to do with Hitler or Speer than with the spirit of the age and its ambition to go to the extreme, or beyond, not only intellectually but also technologically. Bruno Taut’s glass visions, Mies van der Rohe’s design for a high-rise building on Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse, Le Corbusier’s residential towns, and Boris M. Iofan’s Lenin Palace and his plans for Moscow all sprang from the same hubris, as did the competing skyscrapers of New York and Chicago.