1931: Towards the end of a visit to the Soviet Union, George Bernard Shaw met Joseph Stalin. Shaw told Stalin that, as a Marxist, he had found nothing to criticize during his visit, but as a man in his seventies he had found the banquets too long and the church pews too short.
“We have no pews in Russian churches,” said Stalin. Orthodox Russians kneel on the bare floor, he explained.
Shaw was adamant that the previous evening, in a dimly lit church, he had sat on a seat, not on the floor.
“Mr. Shaw, you mistook a kneeling Russian for a seat,” Stalin said sternly. “Don’t make this mistake again. I don’t like my people sat on, not by a foreigner at any rate.”
Source: The American Mercury, February 1945, May 1945