Josef Stalin, that Georgian-turned-Russian Nationalist, so wanted to be that nation's one-and-only "messiah" that he literally erased his opponents from history. Trotsky standing behind Lenin in that photo? No problem! Replace him with a wooden staircase!

A rather amateur job was done of it; anyone today with the appropriate software could do better. The ghostly visage or the detached elbow of a discredited leader could be seen in many cases - perhaps deliberately, as a reminder to all those who would dare challenge Stalin?