David Pescovitz: Recently-uncovered documents in Moscow apparently reveal that Josef Stalin hoped to crossbreed humans and apes to create superwarriors. In 1926, animal breeding scientist Illya Ivanov was sent to Africa with $200,000 to begin the project while a laboratory was established in Georgia. After the project didn’t pan out, Ivanov was exiled to Kazakhstan. From The Scotsman:
According to Moscow newspapers, Stalin told the scientist: “I want a new invincible human being, insensitive to pain, resistant and indifferent about the quality of food they eat…”
Mr Ivanov’s experiments, unsurprisingly from what we now know, were a total failure. He returned to the Soviet Union, only to see experiments in Georgia to use monkey sperm in human volunteers similarly fail.
A final attempt to persuade a Cuban heiress to lend some of her monkeys for further experiments reached American ears, with the New York Times reporting on the story, and she dropped the idea amid the uproar.
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