Nepreryvnaia Nedelia

During the early 1920s, the Kremlin leadership consisted of representatives, old and young, with radical and extreme views. There was a shift in goals and the government sought to increase restrictions on the Church. The authorities rallied the people and began attacking Church property in order to sabotage any extent of faith the people had. Churches were picked apart and turned into nothing more than sheds and warehouses, “ancient churches converted into warehouses, and sacred objects melted down for their metals. Church bells were the object of special attention, since the state claimed the metal for the great industrialization project” (Geldern).

The government then proposed the idea of a continuous workweek, also known as Nepreryvnaia Nedelia (Nepreryvka). “Its basic premise was that while workers required days off, machines did not. . . The solution was to arrange work schedules so that on any given day, only a small fraction of an enterprise’s work force would not be on the job” (Siegelbaum 212). The work week would be as follows: four days of work, followed by one day of rest. As a result of this workweek, workers would not be able to practice Sunday’s as days of rest, and especially, other religious holidays as well. There would be only five days off per year, referred to as ‘revolutionary holiday celebrations.’

It wasn’t just factories that shifted to this workweek schedule, businesses including educational institutions, shops, laundry shops, clubs, etc. were expected to follow this schedule. It turned out to be ineffective. At first, workers had a very hard time adjusting to this tedious work schedule. And while the factory machines could theoretically run 24/7, they frequently broke down due to overuse and had malfunctions. Businesses also found that they were going through materials much faster and had more frequent shortages. Over the years, the nepreryvka proved ineffective. By the early 1930s, the nepreryvka was discontinued due to its lack of success.

Russian Factory, early 1900s (


“Churches Closed,” James von Geldern (

Soviet State and Society Between Revolutions, 1918-1929, Lewis H. Siegelbaum (

2 thoughts on “Nepreryvnaia Nedelia

  1. The Nepreryvka seems like such a diabolical assault both on the traditional organization of the week around Sunday and on the problems of productivity. I can sure understand why people hated it so much! Nice research here – and it’s very cool that you’re citing the source of your images in the captions.

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