38 Hard Life In Kolkhoz

Hard Life In Kolkhoz

Posted on December 23, 2010 by team

Collective farms (otherwise known as “kolkhoz”) started to appear in the USSR since 1918. On these pictures you can see its everyday life – hard work and some fun.

Installation of posts for electricity transmission lines in one of the Russian villages. 1925

On the plowed field. 1927

Tea drinking. 1928

At the fellow-villager’s place

The dispossessed by their house. Ukraine. 1929

A “red” cart. Delivery of grain to the government. 1929

First May demonstration. 1929

Jewish collective farmer

On a dairy farm. The beginning of the 1930’s

A schoolboy on the field – a good help to the collective farm. The beginning of the 1930s


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38 Responses to “Hard Life In Kolkhoz”

  1. Zack says:

    Now mass starvation in the early 1930’s?

  2. testicules says:

    Great pics. No body looks happy though. Must be the lack of freedom.

  3. wing says:

    Very interesting Soviet propaganda photos, which give no hint of what was really happening behind the scenes during those terrible years. Russians killed or imprisoned literally millions upon millions of their own people. Even though the records are now largely open and accessible, I presume that the years from Dzerzhinskiy to Stalin are still pretty much a taboo subject in Russia, as are much of the Nazi-era events in Germany today. I suppose most people just don’t want to dwell upon such horrendously depressing stories, but it should be noted that they remain an inalienable part of their culture.

    (BTW, I have tried several times to buy a winter hat from Kompaniya Splav, which has numerous branches in Russia. They don’t answer my emails. Does anyone know how to make such a purchase from the UK?)

  4. Left SR says:

    “Going up the Country.”

  5. Otis R. Needleman says:

    Collectivization of agriculture…Stalin’s man-made famine in the Ukraine, the kulaks, etc…..horrible.

  6. SovMarxist1924 says:

    Realistically, the kolkhozs were successful. The way they were started in Ukraine was wrong. The idea was correct. The collective farms succeeded in making the Soviet State an agricultural paradise. The hunger after the Second World War was caused by the devastation of war, not the failure of the system. Great ideas all have flaws but on the whole it was a successful program.

    • testicules says:

      So productive they had to buy wheat from America.

      • SovMarxist1924 says:

        Not until the 70s. The U.S. was a horrible place for farmers throughout much of it’s history, too. Remember from your history the Populist movement of the 1880s-90s? The depressed times of the 1920s? You have a thing called subsidies, right? Isn’t that Socialism?

        • testicules says:

          Just like the tribulations of the industrial revolution, the depression was universal and effected every country. No one did well then. However, the United States has been the breadbasket of the world for a long time. many of the subsidies you are talking about are to not produce and let fields lay fallow. This is done so the prices stay higher. we can not consume all we can produce.

    • Boris Badenov says:

      Listen just rename yourself “WRONG”. Because SovMarxist, you are so out of touch with historical reality that it’s down right amusing.

  7. George Johnson says:

    “collective”….. such a nice word. For something so terrible.

  8. asteroid no. 444 says:

    Watching a film outdoors.. Some on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller like, “Let’s All Grow Grain for the Motherland!” A “Must-See” film, 2 Hammer and sickles up!!

  9. Boritz says:

    Don’t forget that two types of agricultural enterprise were operating in Soviet time: Sovkhoz and kolkhoz. Many westerners are ignorant of or confuse the two. Western sterotypical perceptions of Soviet agriculture are usually regarding the Sovkhoz state-run system. The kolkhoz was more like western cooperative.

  10. CZenda says:


  11. L.S.Zlatopolsky says:

    A Jewish farmer?! Isn’t that a contradiction in terms? Like military intelligence??

  12. daniel thorkell says:

    marry christmas to you all and thank you for this great website, its been a pleasure.
    and a happy new year.

  13. Lee says:

    There were collective farms before USSR started.
    “the vast majority of Russian peasants held their land in communal ownership within a mir community, which acted as a village government and a cooperative.”
    So since Lenin switched everything to state-control in 1917, maybe Russia was more socialist (meaning land and factories owned and managed by those who work them) before the USSR.

  14. The west says:

    So did the worker show the collective farm girl a brighter future during soviet times??

  15. xx says:

    collective farms were a big pain for many people, who had to till their own nationalized land…

  16. Akskl says:

    Legacy of Soviet Russia

    Percentage of ethnic Kazakhs who perished during the Moscow-imposed collectivization in 1929-­1932: 34 percent.

    Number of the Kazakh intelligentsia members executed on Moscow’s orders in 1937: 30,000.

    Source: Rzeczpospolita (Warsaw), 21 December 2002.


  17. are you kidding says:

    How many more people will die because there is still so many that will not see that Socialism/Communism does not work .

    • American socialist says:

      Socialism must work or humanity will fail. Capitalism is a great failure and many people dont see it because the rich own the media

  18. T Horatio says:


  19. mikhil says:

    i think,not a single person in those photos is real.All seem to be actors.Those pictures were taken over a year by a permanently settled photographers team.
    everybody knows,Stalin killed millions of Ukrainian and Russian farmers.And soviet agriculture was failure from start 1918 to 1991.It never worked.

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  21. cia says:

    Thank God, both great granddads had the money to get the h3ll out of there, before this tragedy. The smiles in these propaganda photos are terrible lies.

  22. American socialist says:

    Thanks to you guys, its going to be allot harder to transition into a Socialist Government here in the US or other parts of the world. Please consider re-forming a REAL Socialist Government so you can show the world how its supposed to be done.

  23. Old pictures are great, its lovely to look back in time!

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