Week 7 Posts

The Only Way is to Subway

During the 1930′s Russia’s population as a whole grew significantly and cities began to swell with people. Specifically the city of Moscow grew to hold approximately 7 million people by the year 1930. Two engineers, P.I. Balinsky and E.K.Knorre, back in 1902 saw that Russia was going through a massive industrialization change and pitched the […]

Moscow Metro

The Moscow metro signified one of the first and greatest public work projects undertaken by the Stalin in Soviet Russia, completed in 1935. Currently the Metro has 12 lines, 195 stations and services over 6 million riders a day. The metro began operation on May 15th, 1935 and opened as a monument to Soviet working […]

Life Under Stalin: Childhood or Cult?

“The slogan “Thanks to Comrade Stalin for our happy childhood” rang without irony for children who were cared for, believed in the society that cared for them, and accepted its structures of authority.” (Childhood Under Stalin)  Stalin worked hard to create the impression that he was a benevolent and caring ruler both domestically and abroad. […]

Soviet Physical Culture

    “Work, build, and don’t complain! We’ve been shown our path in life. You might or might not be an athlete, But you’re obliged to be a physical culturalist.” This slogan on a 1933 piece of propaganda truly illustrates the Soviet Union’s desire to raise a healthy and able-bodied population. Massive parades, athletic competitions, […]

Socialist Realism

Socialist Realism was the name of the game in Soviet Russia. It was art with a purpose. The goal of this state-sponsored art form, according to Lenin, was to create an entirely new type of human being: The New Soviet … Continue reading

Chapaev: revolutionary leader turned cinema icon

When it comes to Soviet cinema, few films eclipse Chapaev in both popularity and quality for its time. Upon release in 1934, Chapaev became an instant classic. Such widespread appeal across Russian society was due to the sheer patriotism and pride in the revolution elicited from the characters and scenes. To give a brief synopsis without spoiling […]

Russia’s “Reign of Terror”: The Great Purges of 1936-38

  The great purges of 1936 through 1938 mark one of the darkest times in Soviet history.  What originated as simple rumors of counter-revolutionary factions in government turned into a society-wide purge of whoever was labelled as a dissident.  Reminiscent of the “reign of terror” during the French Revolution, this period was one of mistrust, […]