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Soviet Children of War


1

From time to time photos of child soldiers in Africa holding AK-47s or some other kind of weapon appear here and there provoking outrage and compassion from the Western public. But just a few decades ago, during World War II, there were often occasions of Russian kids fighting in the regular army against the Nazis.

Generally speaking, children were not allowed to join the combat army—but many exceptions were made. Many kids tried to run away from their homes “to the War” but most such cases were eventually captured by military police and returned back to their homes.  While some did succeed in joining the army, it was often the case for these runaways to get lost in the woods or shot along their journey.

Also, from time to time, soldiers found children in the devastated and burnt down villages of the Soviet Union. While there was a directive for them to send such children to established orphanages, still sometimes such boys were simply incorporated into the active combat units.  Specially sized uniforms were tailored for them and they were entrusted with guns. Some of those boys joined the army at nine or eleven, and stayed with their regiment through all the war front, from Russia to Germany, until the war ended and they were discharged at fourteen or sixteen, often with medals of honor.

20 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

 

via Children of War | English Russia.

via Soviet Children of War.

Revolutionary Posters of the Soviet Union 3


Soldier, Liberate Your Belorussia!
Viktor Koretsky, 1943

pg121

It can be imagined how powerful this poster might have been for Russian soldiers, a large part of whose country had already been invaded, occupied, and ruined by Nazi soldiers. Imagery as simple and moving as this could draw even peaceful men to war.

 

All Hope Lies With You, Red Soldier
Viktor Ivanov and Olga Burova, 1943

 

pg122

As with numbers 5 and 6, you need to look no further if you want to understand why many people go to fight in wars. For the ordinary soldier, the war was not so much about ideological allegiance as it was about protecting the ones they loved. The frightening images here weren’t designed to show what could hypothetically happen, if the war was lost; they showed what had already happened

 

Red Army Warriors, Save Us!
Viktor Koretsky, 1943

pg123

The imagery in the WWII posters is generally far simpler than those of the propaganda campaigns of the 20s and 30s. The propaganda posters were indoctrination campaigns, targeted at certain groups of people, aiming to convince them of certain things that they might not otherwise believe.

But images like this one did not need to be complicated in order to have the desired effect. Koretsky, the artist who created this poster, received letters from soldiers on the front: they “kept his poster folded in the left-hand top pocket of their uniform, next to their heart, just as icons had been kept by their fathers before them.”

Thunderbolt
The Kukriniksy, Wartime

pg124

Many of these hand-painted posters were pasted over windows for propaganda purposes. Despite initial and unexpected friendship with the Axis powers during the war, Hitler’s surprise invasion of Russia had resulted in a strong alliance with the U.S. and Britain.

KPSS – Glory!
Boris Berezovsky, 1962

pg144

KPSS stands for “Kommunisticheskaya partiya Sovetskogo Soyuza” – the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. This poster celebrates a series of feats, which intensified the space race and redefined the whole Cold War. On the left is Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. To his right is Gherman Titov, the first person to spend a whole day in space. They are pictured alongside two other cosmonauts who made it to space. The achievements of these men both shocked and excited people in the U.S., and played a major role in Kennedy’s decision to prioritize sending a man to the moon.

http://listverse.com/2012/12/08/15-revolutionary-posters-of-the-soviet-union/

Revolutionary Posters of the Soviet Union 2


Long Live Our Happy Socialist Land!
Gustav Klusis, 1935

pg105

“Long Live Our Beloved Leader, The Great Stalin!”

Five years later, during the war, Stalin’s face wouldn’t be featured on so many posters. The Russian people couldn’t forget the sinister policies, the sweeping purges, and the brutal coercion he had imposed upon them between 1935 and 1940 – which were hardly masked by images of utopia such as this.

We Will Eradicate the Agents of Fascism
Sergei Igumnov, 1937

pg111

We Will Eradicate the Spies and Saboteurs, the Trotskyist-Bukharinist Agents of Fascism.”

This poster was published on behalf of the NKVD – the Soviet Secret Police – during the infamous Show Trials in Moscow. Stalin went on to personally direct what became know as the Great Purge, and later as the Great Terror. According to the propaganda of the time, the purge was a cleansing of the rotten elements in his government. But in reality, he meant to systematically suppress the voices of anybody he perceived as a threat to his own power. It’s a scary thought: propaganda posters such as this one could be used very effectively to keep the tide of opinion in his favour, despite the bloodshed.

Them… Us
Viktor Koretsky, 1941

pg115

Just before WWII, the end of the Spanish Civil War had seen a Nazi-backed Fascist government come to power, after the irresponsible western powers, Britain and France, refused to offer military assistance to the Spanish Republicans. Many left-leaning writers and artists from the west, most famously George Orwell and Ernest Hemingway, had volunteered to fight for the Republican cause. The collapse of the socialist Spanish Republic, and the suffering endured by its citizens during the war, was an emotional subject for many Russians.

By 1941, not only Spain but also France, Belgium and the Netherlands had fallen under Fascist rule. This double-imaged poster contrasts the tragic fate of these western countries with the strong, stable and prosperous society established in Soviet Russia under Stalin.

For the Motherland!
A. Polyansky, 1941

pg117

To the Russians, WWII was known as the Great Patriotic War. Less than six months after the poster above this one was published, Germany had abandoned its former understanding with Russia, and invaded. Much of Germany’s eastern-front fighting over the next three years took place on Soviet soil…

My Son! You See My Plight…

Fyodor Antonov, 1942

pg120

 

Red Army soldiers knew that they had everything to lose in the war with Germany. Behind this old woman are the smoldering remains of the family home; she implores her son to save the country.

http://listverse.com/2012/12/08/15-revolutionary-posters-of-the-soviet-union/

Revolutionary Posters of the Soviet Union 1


Capitalists of the World, Unite!

Victor Deni, 1920
pg23
This poster was created two years after the close of the First World War, which had seen the formation of the disastrous Treaty of Versailles at the Paris Peace Conference. Neither Germany nor the new communist government of Russia had been invited to attend. The Paris Peace Conference also gave rise to the League of Nations, savagely attacked by Victor Deni in this memorable poster.

Capital
Victor Deni, 1919

pg25

According to the red text at the bottom of this famous anti-Capitalist poster – also by Viktor Deni – “Anyone who tears down this poster or covers it up is performing a counter-revolutionary act.”

Every Woman Should Know How to Raise a Child Properly
Alexei Komarov, 1925

pg63

Contrasted here are two different ways of rearing children: the left column follows the life of a child raised in poor conditions, while the column on the right demonstrates the proper way. Although serfdom had been abolished by Tsar Alexander II in 1861, Russia in 1925 still boasted a largely rural – and relatively uneducated – population of “muzhiks”, or peasants. A large part of Soviet propaganda was therefore devoted to educational initiatives, especially in the crucial area of healthcare. The revolutionary babies at the bottom of the right column are testament to the advantages of modern medicine.

Tatar Women! Join the Ranks…
Artist Unknown, 1920s

pg67

“… Arm-in-Arm with the Proletarian Women of Russia, You will Finally Break off the Last Shackles.”

The ethnic groups whose home lay on the periphery of Russia, such as the famous Cossacks, had always played a large part in its military defense. Tatarstan actually lies quite close to the cultural heart of Russia, but managed to retain for centuries its own Islamic culture and Turkic language.

This poster, which features Tartar script as well as Russian, encourages Tartar women to abandon the “shackles” of tradition in favour of the factories and furnaces of modernity. Part of the Soviet drive to assimilate the Tartars involved discouraging the traditionally subservient role of women. Gender equality thrived in many aspects of Soviet life (though women were notably absent from high state politics.)

Get a Tractor!
Artist Unknown, c. 1930

pg83

“The Machine-tractor Station is the Linchpin of Collectivisation. Get a Tractor! Let’s Double and Triple the MTS.”

Machine-Tractor Stations (MTS) were part of Stalin’s efforts to collectivise farms across Russia. Rich peasants – who by the sweat on their brows had accumulated more land than was acceptable – were attacked by Communist policy and propaganda alike, as friends of the capitalists and enemies of true peasants.

Note the dutiful workers reading a newspaper together during their break: self-taught literacy was often encouraged in this manner, especially among the labouring class. Of course, literacy didn’t necessarily entail freedom for the workers to read whatever they liked.

http://listverse.com/2012/12/08/15-revolutionary-posters-of-the-soviet-union/

Soviet Union – Stalin like you have never seen him Before


The image of Stalin is similar for almost everyone. Today we want to show you the leader as a person who also had childhood and youth. This is how he was depicted by Georgian artists on their pictures.

stalinunknown001-38

“Childhood of Soso”. (real name of Stalin was Soso Dzugashvili).

stalinunknown001-39

“Soso Dzhugashvili – tender years”.

stalinunknown001-40

“Expulsion of Stalin from the Seminary”.

stalinunknown001-41 (1)

“Stalin – juvenile years”.

stalinunknown001-42

“Stalin and Hashim”.

stalinunknown001-43

“Stalin talking to peasants from Adjara”.

stalinunknown001-44

“Stalin’s demostration in Batum in 1902″.

stalinunknown001-45

“Worker’s coterie under the leadership of Stalin”.

stalinunknown001-46

Stalin is delivering a speech.

stalinunknown001-47

“The ardent Colchian, being exiled, is reading a letter from Lenin”.

stalinunknown001-48

“Escaping from Siberia (1904)”.

Part 2 To follow

Soviet Propaganda Art- Part 3


Stalinist Posters & Political Art (1930-1953)

Gorky2Stalin49

A. M. Yar-Kravchenko, Gorky Reading his Tale “Death and the Maiden” to Stalin, Voroshilov & Molotov (1949, oil on canvas, 94 x 220 cm)

stalin-post49

B. N. Karpov et al, I. V. Stalin (1949)

glory2stalin50

Yu. P. Kugach et al., To Great Stalin — Glory! (1948)

Soviet Propaganda Art- Part 2


Examples of Stalinist Posters & Political Art (1930-1953)

luppov-games27

S. M. Luppov, Sports Games at a Stadium (1927)

youth-flight34

Youth Must Fly (1934)

constrction-workers2stalin

V. N. Yakovlev, Construction Workers Writing a Letter to Stalin (1937)

deineka-seb42

A. A. Deineka, Defending Sebastopol (1942)

kukryn-novgorod44-46

Kukryniksy, The Fascists Leaving Novgorod (1944)

Lakt-Letter48

I. A. Laktionov, Letter from the Front (1948)

Soviet Propaganda Art- Part 1


Examples of Stalinist Posters & Political Art (1930-1953)

N. Kh. Rurkovsky. Stalin at Kirov’s Bier. 1934

F. P. Reshetnikov. Stalin’s Great Oath (at the All-Union Congress of Soviets, 1/24/1924). 1949.

V.V. Kuptsov, ANT-20 (Maxim Gorky). 1934

Soviet Pavilion at the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris (Mukhina’s Worker & Peasant Woman st the Top)

I.I. Brodsky, Stalin (1937)

G.M. Shegal’, Leader, Teacher, Friend(1937)

via Propaganda Art.

via Propaganda Art.

Soviet Union Propaganda Posters- Post WW2


Soviet Propaganda Posters Post WW2

Five-Year plan in four years - (we) will complete!

Five-Year plan in four years – (we) will complete!

Comrades loggers! Let’s keep promise given to Comrade Stalin!

Comrades loggers! Let’s keep promise given to Comrade Stalin!

Develop virgin lands!

Develop virgin lands!

Glory to Soviet Country! 1917 1953

Glory to Soviet Country! 1917 1953

(You) will be a master!

(You) will be a master!

If to work good, the bread will grow

If to work good, the bread will grow

New five-year plan - the five year plan of the Great construction

New five-year plan – the five year plan of the Great construction

Young builders of Communism!

Young builders of Communism!

Let's raise the generation utterly devoted to the cause of communism!

Let’s raise the generation utterly devoted to the cause of communism!

(Will) rebuild!

(Will) rebuild!

Glory to the Russian people - the bogatyr people, the creator people!

Glory to the Russian people – the bogatyr people, the creator people!

Nikita Sergeyevich Kruschev

Nikita Sergeyevich Kruschev

Long live to PEACE!

Long live to PEACE!

via Soviet poster.

via Soviet poster.

Soviet Union propaganda posters: Soviet collectivization and industrialization


Soviet collectivization and  industrialization

Brave labor of the fishermen is in country's respect. Have a nice catch, have a nice journey!

Brave labor of the fishermen is in country’s respect. Have a nice catch, have a nice journey!

Save work minute!

Save work minute!

Here we will live, work and study

Here we will live, work and study

The sun of the new harvest

The sun of the new harvest

Every day -  udarny (superproductive).

Every day – udarny (superproductive).

In the unity of the production and science - the power and future of the country!

In the unity of the production and science – the power and future of the country!

Give the Mainline of the century!

Give the Mainline of the century!

Five year plan - earlier than scheduled!

Five year plan – earlier than scheduled!

Do not lose!

Do not lose!

(We) Will pave the way to the future!

(We) Will pave the way to the future!

Bread - to the Homeland!

Bread – to the Homeland!

Glory to the mighty aviation of the country of the Socialism! 1939

Glory to the mighty aviation of the country of the Socialism! 1939

January 1st, 1939. Happy New Year!

January 1st, 1939. Happy New Year!

To work, to build and not to whine!

To work, to build and not to whine!

Long live Stalin's constitution!

Long live Stalin’s constitution!

The Soviet woman

The Soviet woman

via Soviet Union propaganda posters.

via Soviet Union propaganda posters.

Soviet Union propaganda posters-Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Russian Civil War


Russian Revolution of 1917 & the Russian Civil War

Red Army is a reliable guard of the Soviet country.

Red Army is a reliable guard of the Soviet country.

The stake of the interventionists is overbid!

The stake of the interventionists is overbid!

10 years (anniversary) of the october (revolution)

10 years (anniversary) of the october (revolution)

Long live the 5th anniversary of the Great October Proletarian Revolution!

Long live the 5th anniversary of the Great October Proletarian Revolution!

Long live KOMSOMOL

Long live KOMSOMOL

HELP

HELP

Think about those who are starving

Think about those who are starving

The victory of the Revolution is in cooperation of workers and peasants.

The victory of the Revolution is in cooperation of workers and peasants.

Workers

Workers

(I) Believe (we) will celebrate the hundredth anniversary

(I) Believe (we) will celebrate the hundredth anniversary

Citizens, save the historical monuments

Citizens, save the historical monuments

Long live the genius of the world-wide marvels - mighty creative labor.

Long live the genius of the world-wide marvels – mighty creative labor.

1st of May. All-Russian subbotnik.

1st of May. All-Russian subbotnik.

By a powerful strike of labor, we will destroy the shackles of devastation.

By a powerful strike of labor, we will destroy the shackles of devastation.

Bread spider

Bread spider

(That) What Bolshevism brings to nation

(That) What Bolshevism brings to nation

via Soviet Union propaganda posters.

via Soviet Union propaganda posters.

Soviet Union propaganda posters-The Great Purge and Stalin


Great Purge & Stalin

large_stalin_map

Under the leadership of the great Stalin – forward to Communism!

large_St_069

Glory to Stalin – to the great architect of communism!

large_St_060

Stalin and Klement Voroshilov

“Long live the workers’ and peasants’ Red Army – the true guard of the Soviet borders!” Gustav

large_St_054

Klutsis, 1935

Stalin in the Kremlin cares about each one of us!

large_St_051

Life’s Getting Better. Stalin 1934.

large_St_040

The captain of the country of Soviets, leads us from victory to victory! 1933

large_St_038

Stalin

large_St_037

GPU. counter-revolutionary saboteur.

large_1240356374ussr0401

 

Do not speak out!

via Soviet Union propaganda posters.

via Soviet Union propaganda posters.

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