1937 -- Stalin's Russia

"В действительности утверждение Буша соответствует действительности: между гитлеровской Германией и сталинской России нет особой разницы. Когда в сентябре 1939 года началась Вторая мировая война, нацистская Германия и Советский Союз были союзниками: собственно, Сталин и Гитлер развязали войну вместе. ..." [ Лаар, бывший премьер-министр Эстонии, основатель Фонда расследования преступлений коммунистического режима ] InoPressa-WSJ 8.5.3008


1930s [sum]

Welcome to USSR posters of the thirties

The 1930s-era famine that killed millions of peasants, mainly in Soviet Ukraine, should not be considered genocide and should not be used as a political tool, Russia`s lawmakers said in a resolution passed Wednesday, according to AP.

Inside Stalin's Russia: The Diaries of Reader Bullard 1930-1934


"Contempt for death must spread among the masses, and thus shall ensure victory. The ruthless extermination of the enemy will be their task." Lenin Stalin is reputed to have personally signed 40,000 death warrants of suspected political opponents.


1924 : Lydia

1925 : Georgi

The first major secret Soviet combat military engagements abroad were the participation in the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939 (3,000 servicemen were deployed, 158 were lost in action) and in China against Japanese forces from 1937 to 1939 (3,665 deployed, 195 lost). Russian military involvement in these conflicts had been disclosed in Soviet times, but only long after the events. Russian generals and other officers assumed Spanish and Chinese names; they were issued local military uniforms and ordered to avoid capture at all costs, including suicide...

* 26 ноября 1939 года по приказу Сталина войска Ленинградского военного округа обстреляли собственные территории в районе селения Майнила, расположенного в нескольких километрах от финской границы, обвинив в этом финнов. Провокация требовалась для того, чтобы заставить Финляндию пойти на уступки: отодвинуть границу от Ленинграда, которая проходила в 32 километрах от города; обезопасить Мурманскую железную дорогу; предоставить финские острова в Балтийском море для размещения советских военно-воздушных баз. Финляндия отклонила требования советской стороны. Тогда Сталин начал войну, в которой СССР потерял почти 130 тысяч человек убитыми и 300 тысяч ранеными...

Suvorov: Советский Союз - участник Второй мировой войны с 1939 года, с самого ее первого дня. Коммунисты сочинили легенду о том, что на нас напали и с того самого момента началась "великая отечественная война". (Icebreaker)

In 1938 some 1,513,400 men were serving in the Red Army. This was about one percent of the Soviet population, which is generally considered the normal, economically sustainable, maximum ratio of men under arms to total population. As part of their two-year mobilization program, Stalin-Shaposhnikov more than doubled the number of men under arms -- to more than five million.

Stalin's purges began in December 1934, when Sergey Kirov, a popular Leningrad party chief who advocated a moderate policy toward the peasants, was assassinated. Although details remain murky, many Western historians believe that Stalin instigated the murder to rid himself of a potential opponent. In any event, in the resultant mass purge of the local Leningrad party, thousands were deported to camps in Siberia. Zinov'yev and Kamenev, Stalin's former political partners, received prison sentences for their alleged role in Kirov's murder. At the same time, the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (Narodnyy komissariat vnutrennikh del--NKVD), the secret police agency that was heir to the Cheka of the early 1920s, stepped up surveillance through its agents and informers and claimed to uncover anti-Soviet conspiracies among prominent long-term party members. At three publicized show trials held in Moscow between 1936 and 1938, dozens of these Old Bolsheviks, including Zinov'yev, Kamenev, and Bukharin, confessed to improbable crimes against the Soviet state. Their confessions were quickly followed by execution. (The last of Stalin's old enemies, Trotsky, who supposedly had masterminded the conspiracies against Stalin from abroad, was murdered in Mexico in 1940, presumably by the NKVD.) Coincident with the show trials of the original leadership of the party, unpublicized purges swept through the ranks of younger leaders in party, government, industrial management, and cultural affairs. Party purges in the non-Russian republics were particularly severe. The Yezhovshchina ("era of Yezhov," named for NKVD chief Nikolay Yezhov) ravaged the military as well, leading to the execution or incarceration of about half the officer corps. The secret police also terrorized the general populace, with untold numbers of common people punished after spurious accusations. By the time the purges subsided in 1938, millions of Soviet leaders, officials, and other citizens had been executed, imprisoned, or exiled.

"Мы партия класса, идущего на завоевание мира." М.Фрунзе

In 1936, just as the Great Terror was intensifying, Stalin approved a new Soviet constitution to replace that of 1924. Hailed as "the most democratic constitution in the world," the 1936 document stipulated free and secret elections based on universal suffrage and guaranteed the citizenry a range of civil and economic rights. But in practice the freedoms implied by these rights were denied by provisions elsewhere in the constitution that indicated that the basic structure of Soviet society could not be changed and that the party retained all political power.

... Too bad I haven't started this directory while my father was alive. Now I won't be able to restore a lot of names and lives...

I will try my best. The Great Terror: A Reassessment The definitive work on Stalin's purges, Robert Conquest's The Great Terror was universally acclaimed when it first appeared in 1968. Edmund Wilson hailed it as "the only scrupulous, non-partisan, and adequate book on the subject." George F. Kennan, writing in The New York Times Book Review, noted that "one comes away filled with a sense of the relevance and immediacy of old questions." And Harrison Salisbury called it "brilliant...not only an odyssey of madness, tragedy, and sadism, but a work of scholarship and literary craftsmanship." And in recent years it has received equally high praise in the Soviet Union, where it is now considered the authority on the period, and has been serialized in Neva, one of their leading periodicals.

USSR - Germany 1930s

Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s by Sheila Fitzpatrick
Oxford University Press • 1999 • 288 pages • $27.50
Focusing entirely on the 1930s, the height of Stalin’s tyranny, Fitzpatrick reveals a horrifying world of misery and despair that was the everyday life of the average “Homo Sovieticus.” To chronicle this wholly impoverished existence, Fitzpatrick sets her book into topical chapters, each explaining a particular subject of Soviet life, such as economic hardship, family disorder, or the ubiquitous presence of the NKVD (the predecessor of the infamous KGB) and other government spies.

Начало Второй Мировой Войны. Разгром японской группировки на Халхин-Голе, 19 августа 1939 года.

13 апреля 1941 года Молотов подписывает пакт о нейтралитете с Японией.

... The Chudov Monastery and Voznesensky Convent were both closed after the Soviet government moved into the Kremlin in 1918. The buildings remained standing until 1929, when the authorities decided to raze them to make way for a military training facility. *

The Soviet authorities’ itch to rebuild everything reached even to the Great Kremlin Palace, the very heart of historical Moscow. At the beginning of the 1930s, they decided to build a huge hall for Party congresses inside the Great Kremlin Palace. In 1932, demolition work began in the Andrew and Alexander halls – two of the palace’s finest rooms. Within no time at all, the rich decoration of the main imperial throne room, dedicated to the Order of St. Andrew, had been destroyed. The Alexander Hall, dedicated to the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky, met the same fate. Builders knocked out the wall between the two halls and added a room for the congresses’ presidium. They also changed the shape of the windows looking out over the Moscow River. The demolition of what turned out to be a supporting wall sent cracks along the building’s southern faзade, which began to buckle. In an attempt to reinforce the structure, a huge and ridiculous balcony was built that reached right into the middle of the hall. The resulting hall, with its sad and monotonous, dark wood-panelled interior made an all the more miserable impression as it was surrounded by other palatial halls and chambers that remained intact.

But the greatest loss to the Kremlin in the 1930s was the destruction of its oldest church, the Church of the Savior on Bor, whose foundations were laid, according to the chronicles, by Prince Ivan Kalita in 1330. This was one of the first stone churches built in the Kremlin. It was built near the prince’s palace and, thanks to its location, became the most esteemed palace church in the Kremlin over many centuries. The church was razed on May 1, 1933.

The last upheaval for the Kremlin’s architecture took place in the late 1950s - early 1960s when Nikita Khrushchev commissioned the construction of a huge Kremlin Palace of Congresses. The enormous building clashes with the ancient architecture of the Kremlin. The Cavaliers’ Building and part of the old Armory were demolished to make way for the new building. (opens new window)

* Between the years of 1929 and 1939 the world saw one of the most devastating periods of hardship, poverty, and governmental instability. With the start of the Great Depression governments from around the world were thrown into almost ten years of turmoil. It also saw the rise of a third party platform in the form of Nazism that would lead Germany out of its Depression and throw Europe into a State of Panic.





Antohins: Generation 1 & 2

1930s: Family, Century -- The Soviets

Уже один факт заключения союза между Германией и Россией означал бы неизбежность будущей войны, исход которой заранее предрешен. Такая война могла бы означать только конец Германии.
Адольф Гитлер. "Майн кампф", глава XIV

Yes, WW2 was there, in the twenties. That was the century of WAR...

Это было, когда улыбался
Только мертвый, спокойствию рад.
И ненужным привеском качался
Возле тюрем своих Ленинград.
И когда, обезумев от муки,
Шли уже осужденных полки,
И короткую песню разлуки
Паровозные пели гудки,
Звезды смерти стояли над нами,
И безвинная корчилась Русь
Под кровавыми сапогами
И под шинами черных марусь.

Requiem. Akhmatova 1940

Russia: an unfinished job

Russians looked back in anger when perestroika revealed the full scale of Stalinist massacres and repression. But current difficulties have largely halted this reappraisal of the past.

"Concern about the future cannot be regarded as willingness to forget. Forgetting should never be thought of as a passport to social peace. Memory is part of civil peace."
Bronislaw Geremek, Polish historian and politician

Alexis Berelowitch, sociologist specializing in contemporary Russian society and teacher at Paris IV university

Family archive photos are mixed with some great photographs which represent the time (Russian Gallery "Russian Field" -- see appendix and/or reference pages).


Stalin * Great Soviet leader delivers the political report of the Central Committee at the Sixteenth Congress of the CPSU(b). 1930 June 27

Yes, I want to mix the Antohins' history with the story of the Soviet era.

No, I do not know how many of them perished in the 30s and 40s -- I didn't count. My grand-mother Malashka was happy that so many return from the WWII, not mentioning the her Moroz line of the family vanished in the 30s completely...

God bless her heart, she had a long list of the dead to recite every night (zaupokoy).

Geogry38 My father...

He grew up very fast, Georgy in 1938.

Great Soviet leader attends the memorial meeting at the Bolshoi Theatre to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the death of V. I. Lenin. He writes an answer to Aristov with reference to the letter "Some Questions Concerning the History of Bolshevism" sent to the editorial board of the magazine Proletarskaya Revolutsia. The reply was published in the magazine Bolshevik. 1932 January

Jet engine invented

Science :
Nuclear fission discovered by Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner and Fritz Strassmann
Pluto, the ninth planet from the Sun, is discovered by Clyde Tombaugh
British biologist Arthur Tansley coins term "ecosystem"

War, peace and politics :
Socialists proclaim The death of Capitalism
Rise to power of Adolf Hitler in Germany
Under Joseph Stalin, millions die in famines. The Great Purges eliminate all Old Bolsheviks from the Soviet government, except for Molotov and Stalin himself.
Almost all of Continental Europe moves to Authoritarianism or Totalitarianism
Japan invaded China as a precursor to Japanese invasions in Southeast Asia
The Spanish Civil War
Start of World War II in Asia and Europe

Economics : Worldwide Great Depression


Осип Мандельштам  

* * * 
Мы живем, под собою не чуя страны,
Наши речи за десять шагов не слышны,
А где хватит на полразговорца,
Там припомнят кремлёвского горца.
Его толстые пальцы, как черви, жирны,
А слова, как пудовые гири, верны,
Тараканьи смеются усища,
И сияют его голенища.

А вокруг него сброд тонкошеих вождей,
Он играет услугами полулюдей.
Кто свистит, кто мяучит, кто хнычет,
Он один лишь бабачит и тычет,
Как подкову, кует за указом указ:

Кому в пах, кому в лоб, кому в бровь, кому в глаз.
Что ни казнь у него - то малина
И широкая грудь осетина.

Ноябрь 1933
Строфы века. Антология русской поэзии. 
Минск, Москва: Полифакт, 1995.
Socialist Realism

Literature and the arts came under direct party control during the 1930s, with mandatory membership in unions of writers, musicians, and other artists entailing adherence to established standards. After 1934 the party dictated that creative works had to express socialistic spirit through traditional forms. This officially sanctioned doctrine, called "socialist realism," applied to all fields of art. The state repressed works that were stylistically innovative or lacked appropriate content.


Education returned to traditional forms as the party discarded the experimental programs of Lunacharskiy after 1929. Admission procedures underwent modification: candidates for higher education now were selected on the basis of their academic records rather than their class origins. Religion suffered from a state policy of increased repression, starting with the closure of numerous churches in 1929. Persecution of clergy was particularly severe during the purges of the late 1930s, when many of the faithful went underground (see The Russian Orthodox Church, ch. 4).

http://www.country-studies.com/russia/transformation-and-terror.html Ну как их сравнивать, Американский и Советский ВЕК? Как?

Что делать, надо.

Империи распались, а желание всeмирного господства -- нет. Даже у итальянцев было. А потому на Гитлера все кивать, коммунисты сколько лет об интернационале кричали? Все хотели, кроме Америки. Они и теперь не хотят, а приходится. Кому еще? А почему? Богатство. Откуда? Экономика, дурак, экономика, сказал Бил Клинтон старшему Бушу.

Американцы строили дороги в депрессивном состоянии, Советские -- танки. Зачем им дороги, тракторам?


... Conversely, the Comintern ordered the Communist Party of Germany to aid the anti-Soviet National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party) in its bid for power, in the hopes that a Nazi regime would exacerbate social tensions and produce conditions that would lead to a communist revolution in Germany. In pursuing this policy, Stalin thus shared responsibility for Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933 and its tragic consequences for the Soviet Union and the rest of the world.

[ ]

1936 In 1934 the Soviet Union joined the League of Nations, where Maksim Litvinov, the Soviet commissar of foreign affairs, advocated disarmament and collective security against fascist aggression. In 1935 the Soviet Union formed defensive military alliances with France and Czechoslovakia, and from 1936 to 1939 it gave assistance to antifascists in the Spanish Civil War. The menace of fascist militarism to the Soviet Union increased when Germany and Japan (which already posed a substantial threat to the Soviet Far East) signed the Anti-Comintern Pact in 1936. But the West proved unwilling to counter German provocative behavior, and after France and Britain acceded to Hitler's demands for Czechoslovak territory at Munich in 1938, Stalin abandoned his efforts to forge a collective security agreement with the West.


Convinced now that the West would not fight Hitler, Stalin decided to come to an understanding with Germany. Signaling a shift in foreign policy, Vyacheslav Molotov, Stalin's loyal assistant, replaced Litvinov, who was Jewish, as commissar of foreign affairs in May 1939. Hitler, who had decided to attack Poland despite the guarantees of Britain and France to defend that country, soon responded to the changed Soviet stance. While Britain and France dilatorily attempted to induce the Soviet Union to join them in pledging to protect Poland, the Soviet Union and Germany engaged in intense negotiations. The product of the talks between the former ideological foes--the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact (also known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) of August 23, 1939--shocked the world. The open provisions of the agreement pledged absolute neutrality in the event one of the parties should become involved in war, while a secret protocol partitioned Poland between the parties and assigned Romanian territory as well as Estonia and Latvia (and later Lithuania) to the Soviet sphere of influence. With his eastern flank thus secured, Hitler began the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939; Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. World War II had begun. Postcards published by the Association of the Artists of the Revolution:


"Pushkin" -- A.G. Platunova. Delegates' Meeting. The 1930s.



А может и в правду в двадцатые произошла еще одна революция? И в тридцатые... и, тем более, в сороковые... И так каждое десятилетие.

А раньше поколения считали по 25 лет, по крайней мере. Но это когда не расстреливают.

Только что прочитал в воспоминаниях Юрия Лотмана, что Сталин растрелял перед войной высшее командование, хорошо, а то потерь было бы больше, такая бездарь была эти беграмотные командиры гражданской... Вот как, нет худа без добра.

Отец мать были детьми и не знали даже о существовании друг друга. Как обьяснить их встречу (после войны)? Только необходимостью моего рождения.

Russia XX

... "slideshow"