The path of our country is bright and great, heroic… everything is full of a hurricane of creativity… Our happiness of living was created by STALIN – he made [our happiness] the law… Young geniuses are born… and elderly look at them with pride.
The fascist’s path is full of dark clouds, their air is poisonous… Everybody who wears swastika looses human face and acquires the look of a beast… fascism… provides rest at prisons only, they throw their cultural heritage into fire, the youth is to get dum and the elderly have only one way to escape from suffering – to die…. but the proletariat will crush the fascism!
Demyan Bedny is a pseudonym for Yefim Pridvorov. It means “Damian the Poor”. Bedny was an ardent supporter of Communism and much of his work lauds the Communist state. Understandably, his poetry has not been widely translated.
Some historians and the journals of Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya give another perspective on the people’s views of the time. Ultimately, the Soviets, with all their ambitious industrialization projects and tight control, did repel the German advance on the Soviet Union and helped to weaken the German efforts toward the end of WWII.
ABOVE: The girl in the photograph in the woods outside Butovo is remembering those who died in the NKVD firing range of Butovo during the Great Purges. Butovo was a processing center for “enemies of the state” during several years. It has been documented that on some days, more than 500 prisoners were shot in a single day. There, trains also loaded boxcars full of prisoners en route to Siberia from the Moscow area.
Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya’s journal page titled,“Village that Became a Cemetery” depicts the effect of Stalin’s Great Purges one village.
Photos of a few of those arrested and never found after the Great Purges. These photos are on display at a shrine honoring victims of the Great Purges of 1936-7. It opened in Butovo, Russia in 2007.
Suggested retail price: $950USD
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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”.
Original lithographs are sold out. Highest quality reproductions can be produced upon request.