45 thoughts on “USSR. Living in the Fifties.”

  1. Yes well done, Firsak. A genuinely good post. The nurse with all those babies may have wondered the kind of world they would grow up to. So many changes she could hardly imagine. I love to see pictures like these. More always welcome.

  2. What a wonderful window back in time. Even though they are clearly propaganda based, one can learn so much by looking at these pictures. Thanks English Russia!

        • This is not socialism. Socialism is what you have in Sweden i.e. This is communism. Under Stalin, being suspected of ‘socialist’ activities was enough to be send to the gulags.

        • You that the truth think, what people in the USSR never smiled? It now, at долбаных capitalists, to people is improbably heavy to live. For the majority of the population times of the USSR were the best in their life. For me too.

        • Comment by zafarad
          2007-08-21 10:38:58
          i love socialist dicipline.every one looking in eyes of camera.every one act like robot .but i still love socialism

          zafarad is Russian clown-gay-star

  3. Yeah they would have still been rebuilding the entire western front, no to mention the complete devastation of Poland and Ukraine,

    • Ukraine was the part of CCCP.like other CCPs,ukraine also benefited rebuilding plan.poland was aggressor at near past at tsarist russia.but soviets help Poland with export of `socialism`.

  4. soviets borrows this propaganda technique from Germany.but what now we say is not worthy .asked some elder of that time,they would say,that at time huge and massive rebuilding projects looking every where.every day new apartment block is finished.Germans totally destroy inch by inch infrastructure of eastern front but due to hard working of soviet people they rebuild everything very soon.other hand western Europe has huge advantage of American `Marshall plan`.but soviets did everything himself.Belaruss destroy 99%but after just few years they were back in business.i love old soviet days.

    • I must give Soviet Union its dues. It recoverd exceptionally well and much faster then the rest of Europe after the war. Earlly 50’s in Britain were full of poverty and destruction. Wereas poverty was mostly unherd of by the mid 50’s in SU. Communism indeed had very few positive sides, but the willingness of people to work for the common good of the State, is one of them i guess..

      • willingness of people to work for the common good of the state,was common at all socialist states.today we see the vicious circle of carrot and stick.some time carrot is vanish but stick is deep penetrating in our asses.these fruits are common in free market economy.free from any ethical responsibility.free from any moral duty.they demands what you offer to him,if you are fit to work you ok.but other than you are fired.who knows how long this rat race will continue! ! ! ! !



          You have two cows.
          Your lord takes some of the milk.


          You have two cows.
          The government takes both, hires you to take care of
          them and sells you the milk.


          You have two cows.
          You must take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.


          You have two cows.
          You sell one and buy a bull.
          Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
          You sell them and retire on the income.

          Communism is the carrot-and-stick thing. Nomenklatura living the good live at the expense of the common man. No-one liked not reaping the benefits of hard work. It kills the motivation. People don’t like to work for an abstract idea like ‘the state’ in the end. History has proved this over and over again.

          Today in Russia military draft still exists. Most countries nowadays have a professional army. Russian politicians defend their point of view by stating that you can never rely on ‘mercenaries’ or trust them.

          No ! One should rely on motivated people who fight because of nationalist pride and are motivated by that ! The grim reality is that in general everybody is doing his best to evade the military draft, resulting in young boys being stopped on the street all the time, their papers are checked and if they cannot prove right there that they are legally exempt from the military draft they will be arrested, taken to the closest drafting station, shaved bald and are put on the train. They’re not allowed to go home and say goodbye to their relatives – they might run away…

  5. A couple of corrections are needed.

    While it’s true that the old `Communist’ way of doing things was to tax the population as much as possible, the same is also true of so-called democracies. But in a state where the population has the power to elect a different type of government, the government cannot tax the bulk of the population too hard or they’ll be voted out of office.

    Also: you say that `In Scotland, public hospitals personnel was forbidden to eat sandwiches in job during Muslim ramadan because it may hurt feelings of Muslim personnel.’

    That is not true. They were instructed not to eat in front of the public: eating in staff-only rooms remained permitted. One might argue that this is unnecessary, but it’s not a particularly big problem for the staff.

    British troops serving in Muslim countries have similar restrictions placed on them, and they are also instructed not to smoke in public during Ramadan.

    And I think it’s worth pointing out that none of the nations claiming to be `Communist’ were anything of the sort, any more than (for example) the GDR/DDR was in any way democratic. A better name for the system might be `bureaucratic state capitalism’ – which hints at just how bad an idea it is.

  6. Why every soviet photo is considered as “evil commie propaganda”? Why propaganda? Just because real life was quite different? Then Playboy is worst propaganda magazine ever.

    Relax. These are just nice artistic photos. Of course they are more beautiful than “real life”. Like any other art.

  7. Your comments are hard to read. Can you use capital letters and spaces ? Capital letters at the beginning of a sentence, that is.

  8. Does anyone know the source of the photos?

    My grandpa is in one of these photos (the photo with the soldiers getting off the train and waving). Pretty crazy!!!

  9. seriously. any country wanting to look nice would show off for the camera. these are lovely photographs. whatever they are they encapsulate something quite unique.

    At least Koba was probably dead by the time these pictures were taken. The people would most probably have been seriously relaxed, after Himself and the war.

    Oh yeah. For the record, communism is the projected utopian future that, if you are a Leninist, will of course follow the dictatorship of the proletariat. I was never able to figure out why Lenin, always a minutely practical thinker, an utter GENIUS in his ruthless razor-like logic- was able to make this quantam leap ideologically possible to himself and to his followers. Of course, it never happened. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But ostensibly getting the pre-industrial masses on side certainly helped the revolution to happen. Leninism, the founding principle of the USSR, is Marxist but not Marxism in itself. I think one would have to live through the period to understand what the reigning ideology was all about. Until then… my dears… we shall never quite know.

    Marxism is too complicated to understand all in one gobby gullety swallow- one flick through Das Kapital. I never studied political science outside of a library. But I suspect that it might be just as cranky as capitalism/Utilitarianism. Ugh, that dinosaur doctrine!

    I’m inclined to be friends with Marx. He’d be horrified if he knew what these people did to his ideals.

  10. Those were some of the best days. Life was as shown in the pictures – happy and exciting. This isn’t propaganda. If you were a law-obiding citizen, you loved everything about the USSR. You didn’t have everything, but you had just enough. You had enough to make a living for yourself and your family. You knew your kids would get higher education. You knew you had job stability.

  11. Dear zafarad, your sentences sound like kinda mockery to me: I frankly believe you are much smarter than some “hard headed” dumb commie you are impersonating. If I am right you’ve got me.
    No offense? No hard feelings? If you are not IGOR.

  12. Regarding photo:


    OK, that’s a vertical turret-lathe, with a dial indicator on the table. Is the younger worker operating a control that strikes the locking lever for the turret, or is he working on the locking lever with some sort of hand tool?

    That’s quite a versatile machine, but in operation the metal chips land on that round table (at the level of the 2 handwheels) as it turns. I see no shield to keep the oil and metal-chips somewhat contained. Neither of those 2 men in the photo RUNS that machine, or he would be dressed for it, I think.

  13. Does anyone (especially the individual who posted these pictures) know what the copy right on these images might be? I’m trying to put together a poster for a Russian history conference and I would *LOVE* to use the image of the parachuting woman.
    Any help at all would be much appreciated.

    Thank you,


  14. Interesting in one of the first pics you see a brick layer with a workers outfit, but looks brand new. Then you notice he has on a very large wrist watch that would be smashed in seconds of doing that work.

    A wrist watch as a pretty big luxury at that time for a brick layer, and he sure as hell would not have worn it at work!

    The fully stocked store is another prop.

    Pretty interesting, the pictures are more of a message as to how the Soviet Union wanted to portray itself/wanted to be, than what it really was.

  15. The nurse wearing a mask as protection for newborns is amazing to me!
    It’s not used even today in Western nurseries, go figure how advanced was that in the 50s!


  17. Pingback: Greseli si reusite ale socialismului de tip sovietic |
  18. Lots of photos of Moscow. The Kremlin, Bolshoi Theatre and Detskiy Mir (world’s largest toy store) the most noticeable of those shots. The Marx Statue is across the street from the Bolshoi. TsUM is there, which is now a luxury shopping mall with doormen. Pushkin Statue in Pushkin Square is there across from USSR’s first McDonald’s and another photo of the square shows the Rossiya Kino Teatr, which is still there but slightly gaudier.

    The metro interior is still exactly the same in some metro cars 51 years later.

  19. IT’S NOT PROPOGANDA. There were happy people in USSR, don’t you think so? My family is from USSR, so I know that for sure. There are a lot of pictures like that in my family album. Why don’t you just shut up and enjoy these lovely vintage photos?

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