Welcome to 20th Century Russia!

Without a Place, Dreaming of a Future

Youth in the Gun Sight of Psychological Warfare (1986) The image above depicts a bourgeois propaganda poster. The poster was designed to weaken the revolutionary enthusiasm growing within the Soviet youth culture. It was also designed “to inoculate young people with apolitical attitudes, indifference to the historical fate of socialism, and to blunt its class(…)

We Will, We Will Rock You

Music was very limited to traditional norms in the 60s and early 70s. Songs were centered around the Soviet motherland and culture in a very routine way. Departures from the norm would not gain recognition by those in power, and occasionally minor deviations from traditional composition were ignored if the message remained Soviet-based. For example,(…)

They Are Not Their Own Generation

America in the 1960s represented an entirely different form of the generation gap than the gap seen in Soviet culture in the late 60s. American youth was facing recreational drug use, the infiltration of sex into mainstream culture, and anti-war protests. These ideals did not span across all generations, but caused a rift between the(…)

The Perfect Housewife, Not the Perfect Soviet

In 1954 the illegality of abortions was repealed as seen in “On Repealing the Criminal Liability of Pregnant Women for Having Abortions.” According to the document, the decision to abort a child was no longer illegal, but those committing illegal abortions and those who coerced a woman to abort her child would be criminals under(…)

Katyn Massacre: A Forest of Despair

The USSR as one of the major military powers in terms of soldiers and equipment failed against the Nazi Army in the early 1940s. German victory over the Soviets was accomplished “[a]t the operational and tactical levels of…the German Wehrmacht,”  one of the best forces in the world (Freeze 376). Other factors linked to Soviet(…)

Motherhood: You Can’t Deprive Yourself

The emergence of the Bolsheviks and liberation of citizens in terms of divorce, abortion, and other cultural values met opposition in the 1930s. The “new Soviet” with values and morals altered by the government were now being curtailed, specifically for women when “[o]n May 26, 1936 the draft of a law ‘On the Protection of(…)

Redefining the “Soviet”

The Bolsheviks identified the need for political, economic and social reconstruction. According to the Freeze text, these changes must include “values, myths, norms, mores, aesthetics, popular images, and traditions” (Freeze 329). To redefine the Soviet Union, all changes had to include all parts of society in order to create a common collective state with a(…)

Youth of Russia

“Youth, according to Communist ideology, was destined to live under Communism”(Seventeen Moments). The Communists targeted the younger generation as the future of the Communist party, while the older generation were seen as tainted by capitalism. With an aim toward organizing youth, the Communists believed in establishing a youth organization. The organization, known as the Komsomol,(…)

An Unknown Priest and the “Little Father”

  In 1904, Georgii Gapon, an Orthodox priest, recruited members into his ‘Assembly of Russian Factory Workers’ (Freeze 250). Although the police funded and infiltrated the organization to diminish anti-autocratic sentiment, the organization exposed members to Western ideology. “When in December 1904, some workers at the giant Putilov factory, members of Gapon’s Assembly, were dismissed,(…)