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62 Seeing Soviet Russia

Seeing Soviet Russia

Posted on September 18, 2007 by


more of Soviet promotional posters 1

We’ve also told about Soviet promotional posters intended for the foreign tourists and visitors. Here are more of them. The author of this collection, David Levine, says that “Russia in the period before the mid 1930s employed some brilliant graphic design in its arts, propaganda and newspapers and magazines”. Is that true? Just look at these travel brochures, booklets and luggage labels.

more of Soviet promotional posters 2

more of Soviet promotional posters 3


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62 Responses to “Seeing Soviet Russia”

  1. Boris Abramov says:

    Another great collection, thanks.

  2. John from Kansas says:

    Some more great graphic art. No. 52 is sensational.

  3. elisei_zorine says:

    do _you_ salute to hitler when you ask you wife for anal sex? ;

  4. Someguy says:

    except ussr didnt ban a whole ethnic group or believed in a superior race as far as i know

    • pld says:

      Nah, they just slaughtered millions indiscriminately. You really believe Soviet Union was somehow “less evil” than the Third Reich? Don’t make me laugh. But of course, the victors write the history.

      • John from Kansas says:

        Yes, the Soviets were less evil than the Nazis. Laugh until you puke.

        • orknexus says:

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          And how much “less evil” is enough for you?

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        • Darek from Poland says:

          John, I must say you should learn a much, son.

          • John from Kansas says:

            I am always learning Darek.

            • Piotrek says:

              To John from Kansas: you claim that USSR was “less evil” than the III Reich – this is your subjective opinion and as such you have right to keep this view. Only that is beyond inaccurate – in terms of number of victims, Nazist Germany is far behind USSR in the Stalinist era alone. Except for gas chambers Soviets used all of mass murder means Nazis did. Perhaps exchanging views with some East-European Americans or some reading could be helpfull here with regard to your ongoing learning and views.
              greetings

              • John from Kansas says:

                Piotrek, I am not trying to justify the atrocities committed by any country. I am not disputing Stalin’s brutality. Russia certainly took the opportunity to grab territory and create a buffer to the west when given the chance. Many indigenous peoples in Eastern Europe paid dearly for this. Those who point to Soviet intentions of a “World Socialist Soviet Republic” do not take into account that by the end of the 1920s Stalin knew that there was no possibility of this becomming a reality and thus turned inward. The Soviet attempts to exert influence around the world was primarily to counter the fascist threat and later the U.S.
                But the aims of the Axis powers was global expansion and domination by an Aryan minority. It was for this reason that when war came to America in 1941, Roosevelt chose to confront Hitler first rather than Japan even though Germany had not attacked the U.S. The Soviet Union was considered an ally in the face of a greater threat to humanity. Counting victims is one measure of assessing evil, but there are other considerations as well.

                • orknexus says:

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                  Allright!

                  Not going into details of your comment, we can sum it all up to the following:

                  “Soviets had their reasons for doing what they did, so it is OK!”

                  Short, loud and clear.

                  No need to spend time arguing.

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                • orknexus says:

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                  Just one note, I like this:

                  “Counting victims is one measure of assessing evil, but there are other considerations as well” – I guess the Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot most succeeded in implementing this principle.

                  ;)

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                • Piotrek says:

                  John from Texas: with respect to your “The Soviet attempts to exert influence around the world was primarily to counter the fascist threat and later the U.S” statement. Do you know that in September ’39 Hitler and Stalin hand in hand together grabbed parts of Poland, one invading from the West another from East? This was according to the classified parts of the Ribbentropp – Molotov treatise. And actually this was exactly how WW II broke out. And both gentlemen with moustache were cordial partners till June ’41 when the former invaded the latter. There is much of an equation between both systems as it is shown in this discussion

                  • John from Kansas says:

                    Piotrek,
                    I am happy to exchange views with you. Perhaps you can recomend some reading that can lend to my further understanding. It seems as though some people want to paint anyone who does not condemn Russia as sympathizer to Stalin’s butality. I say again, there is no justification for the murder of a single human. There is no justijfication for tyranny over any human being. Yes I am aware of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and it’s results. And I am aware that Stalin held back the Red Army at the Vistula and allowed the nazis to massacre the Polish Home Army in Warsaw. Hitler was murderer. Stalin was a murderer. There is no justification for such actions by anyone. Churchill and Roosevelt both knew that Stalin was murdering and deporting thousands of people in the 1930s while Hitler was still sweet-talking everyone. Why then did the western Allies side with the Soviet Union rather than Hitler?

                    • Piotrek says:

                      Hi John from Texas. Try “Modern Tyrants” by Daniel Chirot. Why Allies sided with the Soviet Union is obvious, they were at war with the Axis. It is rather Soviets who sided thus than the other way round. Stalin needed American supplies to run his war machinery. How Soviets treated Western Allies soldiers, read “The inhuman land” by Jozef Czapski. Still it is no secret now that the British had talks with the Nazis during the war – Germany tried to pull Allies to their side and turn against Soviet Russia.

                    • John from Kansas says:

                      Thanks Piotrek, I will look for those titles. Yes, the U.S. supplied materials to the Soviet Union and many of the Allied nations. However, materials were supplied to the Soviet Union from June 22 1941 six months before the U.S. declared war on the Axis. It is clear that Roosevelt had allied with England and Russsia prior to the U.S declaration of war in December of 1941. Roosevelt considered Hitler to be a greater evil than Stalin despite the evidence of murders and deportations in Russia and it’s territories. It was for the same reason that the Allies declinded Germany’s overtures to turn against the Russians. This is just my opinion based on what I have read. I do want you to know that I respect your opinion.

                    • Piotrek says:

                      John from Kansas: true, FDR passed the land lease act in ’41 months before Pearl Harbor that allowed military supplies to Allies (the support was extended to include Russia afterwards however). US started to help Britain first, suppling it with some battle ships even before the land lease act. As you must know, in early 40. it wasn’t really obvious for Americans that they should join the war or even back up any side (eg. the America First Commitee, neutrality act a.s.o.). It’s true that FDR opposed aggressors, still didn’t count Stalin as one. Probably he would have, had the US Russian immigration in the 30. as strong as the German and German-Jewish one. However Stalin didn’t let his opponents flee as Hitler did, he “purged” them instead. I remember that you mind find some ideas on why America joined the war in Anthony Eden’s memoirs. Anyway FDR’s pact with Stalin resulted in the Jalta agreement and subduing large parts of Europe to Soviet regime. And while Hitler lost the war and the Western Europe was liberated, Stalin won in the Eastern Europe, grabbing it.

                    • John from Kansas says:

                      Hello Piotrek, You have a very detailed knowlege of history. You raise a very interesting point in regards to pre-war immigration. Could a sizeable and vocal Russian immigrant population have influenced U.S. policy towards Russia prior to the war? Perhaps. But Roosevelt had no illusions about the nature of Stalin’s regime. In a speech in February 1940 to the American Youth Congress, he asserted: “The Soviet Union, as everybody who has the courage to face the facts knows, is run by a dictatorship as absolute as any other dictatorship in the world. It has allied itself with another dictatorship [i.e., with Hitler's Germany], and it has invaded a neighbor. . .infinitesimally small”. Later, Roosevelt believed that he could influence Stalin in a positive way, and as you have said, the Tehran and Yalta conferences set the stage for postwar Europe.

                      I am still searching for the books you have suggested. Thank you for those recommendations.

                    • Piotrek says:

                      Hey John from Kansas:) it is a common view and perhaps a substantiated fact that FDR believed he could positively influence Stalin. On the other hand FDR was said to be under strong influence (or impression) from Stalin himself. Didn’t know the speach you mention, therefore I am more confused with FDR’s attitude to Stalin and Soviets. Had he read Trotsky’s Betrayed Revolution for instance, or any other book on the USSR which were numerously published in the late 30., he would have no doubt about the idea of influencing Stalin.
                      There’s an old joke on Stalin, FDR and Churchill meeting at a peace conference: Churchill took out his silver plated cigar case and showed it to others. The inscription read “To The Prime Minister – From Queen”. FDR showed his cigarette case, his was “To the President – From the People”. Stalin didn’t want to show his snuffbox, but the others insisted, so he did. The inscription read “From Czartoryski to Radziwill” (names of major Polish aristocratic families)…

                    • John from Kansas says:

                      That must have been embarassing for Stalin. Churchill and FDR were probably quite amused. Thanks for that story.

                    • Piotrek says:

                      That was a joke – I rather doubt that it was real

                    • talking beaver says:

                      And if it WAS real, the Stalin definitely was NOT embarrassed. He was not that type of a person.

                    • John from Kansas says:

                      I stand corrected.

    • John from Kansas says:

      The only difference? I don’t think so.

      • John from Kansas says:

        There are other countries that also fit into your comparison. The principal difference is that the Axis powers were engaged in a war of expansion that spanned several continents.

        • orknexus says:

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          This is ridiculous!

          Soviet Russia also was expanding constantly since the day it was born!

          Caucasus, Middle Asia, Eastern Europe immediately after the October Revolution.

          Poland 1939, Besarabia 1939, Finland 1939 (attempted, partial success), Latvia 1940, Lithuania 1940, Estonia 1940.

          De facto whole of the Eastern Europe after the WWII and till the fall of the Berlin Wall!

          Permanent involvement in Africa, Fas East, Latin America.

          Etc.

          And now you might want to say that Soviets were not expanding???

          They did! Even if they didn’t really have any reason to do this, they still did!

          Soviets did not have Lebensraum problem – there was and still is the vast and empty Siberia packed full of resources!

          You seem to forget the obsession of Soviets with that crazy World Revolution idea which they fanatically tried to implement till the death of Stalin!

          I just wonder what is wrong with you – you do not see or do not want to see obvious things!!! You are so naive that it almost becomes a crime!

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        • orknexus says:

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          Interesting animated history maps at BBC.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/russian/specials/europe/history/5.stm

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      • John from Kansas says:

        So did the Finns, Native Americans, an a number of other cultures.

        • orknexus says:

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          If that would have been me who had posted this argument, some crackpot like Boris Abramov would definitely come along and call me Fascist.

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      • John from Kansas says:

        Careful now, you don’t want to blow another 50 amp fuse.

      • orknexus says:

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        Actually, the difference was so small, that some even used to switch the teams easily. For example – Mussolini, the father of the Fascism, himself used to be a hardline Communist!

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    • orknexus says:

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      Heh!

      1)

      If you would have been a Jewish professor living in a country run over by Nazis or Soviets, you would be killed by Nazis for being Jew or killed by Bolsheviks for being a “bourgeois” professor.

      Do not see much difference. You would be dead any way.

      2)

      Soviets often implemented racist methods, only they were not boasting it the way Nazis did. There were many cases in USSR history when particular ethnic group was targeted. Only you were killed not for belonging to that ethnic group but for belonging to some imaginary group of enemies of the people, where the proof of you belonging to that group was your ethnicity.

      Whole nations/nationalities living in USSR were targeted. Like Crimean Tatars for example.

      3)

      Famous Soviet “internationalism” in practice was like this: first and above all you are Soviet, your nationality (unless you are Russian, see below) does not mean anything, it is even harmful; if you used to have your own nation state before being “liberated”, you shall forget it, and if mentioned, it shall be used only in derogatory sense; you shall communicate using “mean for inter-national communication” – e.g. Russian language; if Russian talks to you in Russian, you shall answer in Russian; even if you are in some of the “national republics”, like Latvia, and the Russian who talks to you has lived there for years or even was born there you shall not ask him to talk local language, because doing so would mean that you do not want to use Russian, which means that you are bourgeoisie nationalist and enemy of the Soviet order;
      though in theory in “national republics” all the signs and documents should be in both languages, it was usual and increasingly more common to have only Russian version, asking for local language version would again prove that you are bourgeois nationalist. Etc. “Greatness” of Russia, Russians, Russian language etc. was constantly emphasized and placed above all the other nationalities.

      So in effect the famous “internationalism” was ongoing Russification. Being “internationalist” often coincided and in effect meant being Russian chauvinist.

      Again – difference of international-socialists from national-socialists was mainly in hiding the true essence and intentions behind catchy phrases and slogans about common good and better world for everyone.

      Soviet language was actually doublespeak and the mindset was rather twisted and paranoid (see Orwell: newspeak, oldspeak, doublethink).

      4)

      Actually, if you read George Orwell, you get rather good impression of what the Soviet Union was like. After all, he modeled his anti-utopia after the Stalin’s USSR.

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    • orknexus says:

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      “they only believed in a superior class – again, a category you are born into” – exactly! You were unlucky if you were born to Jewish or Polish parents in Nazi Germany. You as well were unlucky in “Strana sovetov” (Land of soviets) if you were born to parents who happened to be educated and successful – former economists, businessmen, civil servants, managers, some of intelligentsia, priests, property owners, skilled farmers etc.

      This usually prevented you from being successful in life in USSR – you were banned from certain positions, could not make a carrier, could not even study at the university, and at certain periods of Soviet history it could even cost you your life.

      The best and safest was to be uneducated, narrow-minded and poor.

      So many people were hiding their real “proishozhdenie” (origin).

      There is this old Soviet joke – A person fills in a form. The usual question – “Your origin?”. The guy writes in “Son of a peasant woman…”, thinks a little and, just to be sure, adds “…and two workers”.

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    • USAisDEATH says:

      Someone of you unfortunately forgets that USA has killed and still kills more and more people than Hitler and Stalin have even dreamed to kill. There are numbers that dimostrate this. USA is the biggest and most violent totalitarism that ever existed.

  5. FlyingNationalist says:

    Well I was gonna take the family to Disneyland for vacation but after seeing this I’m changing plans to visit the Ossetian Military Road instead.

    Great fun for all!!

    oh and: FIRST!!!!!!!

  6. maxD says:

    I love these typical screenprints with their typical colors.

    Don’t really reflect the grim grey everyday reality of the USSR though.

  7. orknexus says:

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    Just for information. On the right side of picture
    http://englishrussia.com/images/tours_to_the_ussr_posters/75.jpg
    the slogan on the wall says:

    “Long live party leader [*] – the best friend of ….[!]”

    * Would that be Der Fuhrer in German?

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  8. orknexus says:

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    Please pay attention to the western borders of the USSR on those maps. All of the maps except for, I guess, one (which should thus be newer) show the country border as it was before Soviets “saved” part of Poland in 1939 and “liberated” Baltic states from themselves in 1940. Parts of Romania and Finland “rightfully claimed” by USSR in 1939 are too small to notice.

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  9. Boris says:

    The graphics/quality seems to be better than during the late 80s.

  10. DU! says:

    thät ‘Reisen sie in die UdSSR’ adwert has äktschällie bin pruwen tu bie sehr wäri sukseßvoll!

  11. Ngern says:

    i hate Stalin but I love USSR :)

  12. A well researched site, I’ll link to it from my site thanks

  13. Demo says:

    Who made this post the week reuinion of right-winger with too much time on their hands?

    And if they hate Russia so much, why are they commenting on a Russian sites?

    Anyways, hundreds of millions died in capitalist countries. 100 million in capitalist India alone. Most from hungerm, preventable diseases, lack of water and medics, etc. Becaus ethey just coudn’t buy it.

    But when someone dies at the hands of capitalism t is a “terrible tragedy of human life”.
    However, if anyone ever dies under socialism it is “murder” on the lens of “western” capitalist media and it’s mindless recievers.
    Great distiction it is made, huh?
    I bet the dead do not care…

  14. Hello friend, was just searching through the internet and looking for some infos and came 2 your blog. Iam impressed by the infos that you have on your page. It shows how good you understand your subject. I have Bookmarked ya, will come back 4 more. You, my friend, Know what you do!!

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