After the Cold War it allowed a whole new generation of Russians has grown up. These young adults of Russia in 1968 are not like their western culture counter parts of the United States and France. They were not involved with Vietnam, involved in the new sexual revolution, and lastly experimenting with illegal drugs (Geldern). Instead the Russian youth were calm and focusing their energy on “healthy activities prescribed by the Komsomol, or other relatively harmless occupations (Geldern).” This was a different type of Russian generation or could be considered a less stress generation because “Soviet children were no longer subject to the depredations suffered by their parents, and the displacements caused by collectivization or war (Geldern).” Different things became important to this generation such as leisure activates and were able to spend their income more freely. One of the most bickering topics during this time period was not war, but about new fashion fads and music that these young Russians had. The music that started to rise in western cultures was rock-n-roll. Many records of this new form of music tended to be smuggled in the country. These new styles of clothing and music brought on what is known as the second economy. This second economy had an illegal part (black market) and legal part. “The second economy of the USSR included economic activities that supplemented the command, or first, economy.” This was huge change in the way of life for Russian people. The younger generation was allowed to grow up in environment that contained no war and less stressful hardships. The 1960s brought a generation gap to Russia which could be considered as a good thing!
Vladimir Vysotsky a very famous Russian “bard”, actor, singer-songwriter
Information From: Seventeen Moments in Soviet History: http://www.soviethistory.org/index.php?page=subject&SubjectID=1968generation&Year=1968&navi=byYear
Picture from: http://en.ria.ru/analysis/20100723/159926157.html
During the Stalin era from the 1930s to the 1950s there were Soviet forced labor camps. These labor camps held a wide range of prisoners from petty criminals to political prisoners. Political prisoners were considered to be enemies of the Soviet government. Even some prisoners those “convicted of economic and military crimes regardless of their terms of imprisonment, women with children under 10 years of age or who were pregnant, juveniles up to age 18, men over 55 years of age and women over 50 years of age, and convicts suffering from incurable diseases (Geldom).” Unfortunately, most of the prisoners who were sent to Gulag prison camps were innocent and was not even given a trail. The first movement of post-Stalin act was issued by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on March 27, 1953 (Geldom). This idea of having labor/prison camps was considered to be an old tradition used under Vladimir Lenin. On that day in March of 1953 over a million people were released from these camps. These Russian citizens were used and abused by being put in these labor camps. The camps were used because they made significant contributions to the Soviet economy during the Stalin period because they served as a source of free labor to the economic projects. After these, all the prisoners within a three month period were released they were never really allowed to join the normal Russian society again. Some prisoners were able to live better lives after they were released because of the secret speech of Khrushchev in February 1956 to the 20th Party of Congress. Only after this speech these prisoners were able to get rehabilitation help. Much came out of this incident including music, book, and art. One of the most famous books from this awful situation was called The Gulag Archipelago,written by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This book ended up winning a Noble prize.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn photo from (Photo from http://federacia.ru/)
Information from: http://www.soviethistory.org/index.php?page=subject&show=images&SubjectID=1954gulag&Year=1954&navi=byYear
Author: James von Geldern