Workers of All Countries, Unite!
November 24, 2012 — 10:54

Author: | Category: Lithographs of Byev Yordansky | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Workers of All Countries, Unite!
This poster, commemorating industrial advances in 1936,  urges, “Workers of all countries, unite.”

Among its articles on Stalin, Wikipedia says of The Industrialization movement during the years from 1932—1942:

“Stalin’s “Five-Year Plans” called for a highly ambitious program of state-guided crash industrialization and the collectivization of agriculture.

With seed capital unavailable because of international reaction to Communist policies, little international trade, and virtually no modern infrastructure, Stalin’s government financed industrialization both by restraining consumption on the part of ordinary Soviet citizens to ensure that capital went for re-investment into industry, and by ruthless extraction of wealth from the kulak landowners.

“Common and political prisoners in labor camps were forced to do unpaid labor, and communists and Komsomolsk members were frequently “mobilized” for various construction projects.

“The Soviet Union used numerous foreign experts, to design new factories, supervise construction, instruct workers and improve manufacturing processes. 521 factories were built between 1930 and 1932. In spite of early breakdowns and failures, the first two Five-Year Plans achieved rapid industrialization from a very low economic base. While it is generally agreed that the Soviet Union achieved significant levels of economic growth under Stalin, these gains were accomplished at the cost of millions of lives.“

Historians agree that Five-Year Plans during these years substantially helped to modernize the previously backward Soviet economy. New products were developed, and the scale and efficiency of existing production greatly increased. Some innovations were based on indigenous technical developments, others on imported foreign technology.  Despite the great costs, the industrialization effort allowed the Soviet Union to fight, and ultimately win its WWII conflicts.”

journal page Siberian traintriacks

From Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya’s journal page Siberian train-track construction

ABOVE: An entry called,  “On the Railroad” from one of the 12 journals of Eufrosinia_Kersnovskaya. The journals describe her life during 1939—1952. She spent 12 years in Soviet prisons because she was the daughter of a Ukrainian landowner. She produced 680 drawings of her recollections.


A modern gulag

A modern gulag

Many labor camps, “Gulags”, like this one, although now somewhat more humane, are still in operation.  It is not uncommon for political and other prisoners to be housed in camps like this one. This camp is located near the Ural Mountains. You can see some of the prisoners standing on the walkway.

Visiting the gulag

Visiting the gulag

In this group picture, the girls you see in the second row of the lower photo and the men with longer hair are visitors.

BELOW: Compare the idyllic 1936 poster with Kersnovskaya’s entry, “Entering Labor Camp”.



Industrialization movement

The USSR 1936 – 1938 “The Great Purges

Black’s Academy Article on “The Great Purges”



the prision yard

In the prision yard


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Commemorating KOMSOMOL –the Young Communists Club
November 23, 2012 — 11:01

Author: | Category: Lithographs of Byev Yordansky | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off
Young Communists Club

Lithograph of activities of the Young Communists Club, Komsomol


By 1936 the Young Communists Club, Komsomol, was providing organized activities for young people, as this poster shows.

According to an Encyclopedia Britannica on the subject of Komsomol:

“Komsomol  was started in  1918 in order to band together various youth organizations that had previously been involved in the Russian Revolution. When the military phase ended, a new purpose was set in 1922—to engage the members in  sports, education, publishing activities, and various service and industrial projects. The Komsomol was an organization for young people aged 14 to 28 and its other purpose was to spread Communist teachings and preparing future members of the Communist Party.”

As interest declined over the years the Komsomol lost popularity and was officially ended by Gorbachev.

Closely associated with this organization were thePioneers (All-Union Lenin Pioneer Organization, established in 1922), for ages 9 to 14, and the Little Octobrists, for the very young. The Komsomol ceased activities under Gorbachev, but if you watch YOU-Tube shorts on the subject of Komsomol, you can see that the KOMSOMOL still has a place today and, like Communism,  the concept is regaining some popularity.


KOMSOMOL 90th Anniversary

Комсомол 90 лет. Komsomol 90 years October 24, 2008


Sisters Tolmachevy in concert in Red Square  November 23, 2007


a Komsomol lapel pin

A Komsomol lapel pin showing Lenin’s face.


BELOW: Eufrosinia’s Kersnovskaya’ journal page showing a  memory of her life during the years 1939-1952. There was a great contrast between life for the families of party members and that of people outside of the city.  Looking closely you can see that all the children are sharing one bed in their small house.

page from the journal of Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya

Kersnovskaya’s version of life in 1936


For more modern Russian history from a Russian perspective, go to:

Sean’s Russia Blog

Russia Today

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