Stalin overshadows Lenin in this poster, and exhorts the nations of the Soviet Union to be thankful.
According to historians, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was the world’s largest and longest-lived socialist state to date. From 1922 to 1991, the Soviet Union went through many changes, which included variations in border limits, territorial annexations, and political control. At the time of its creation in 1922, the Soviet Union was a single unit that included Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, along with the Transcaucasia Republics, which included Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. The peoples in this poster represent those incorporated republics.
Additional changes were made to the Soviet Union group throughout the years, until the final group was announced in 1956(see map below). By then, 15 countries had become part of the Soviet Union: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The nation of Russia itself was the most powerful of all the republics, and the one maintaining control over the territory and the main political decisions.
See the documentary, Stalin Declassified
In this poster, the people appear to be very happy with their place in the USSR, and historians agree that there was a certain euphoria to the great socialist undertaking, but it is also known that during the establishment of Collectivism in Ukraine and other republics taken over by Stalin, it is estimated that somewhere between 2 and 10 million people died of starvation, and an additional estimated 700,000 people during the years from 1932—1940 were shot. According to Wikipedia’s account of Stalinism:
“There were show trials in every republic of the USSR. State prime ministers, Party secretaries, officials academics, lawyers were all purged. Exiles from Poland, Germany and elsewhere were imprisoned or shot, including Bela Kun, the leader of the Hungarian revolution in 1919, who was shot in 1936. During this period 1 in 18 of the population were arrested.
The terror extended to every aspect of society. It was coupled to the coercion of the peasants. It would be all the more effective if it could be coupled to ideological goals, such as increased production, and tied in with traditional scapegoats, such as “wreckers” and kulaks. When in August 1935 a miner, Aleksei Stakhanov, was alleged to have hewed 12 tons of coal in six hours, Stalin created the cult of Stakhanovism, and used it to “encourage” managers to make attempts on records.”(Copyright © Blacksacademy – July 2005)
See the original newsreel: Year of the Stakhanovite (I can’t embed this one).
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