Soviet Posters (1917-1941)1917,1941
It was a great and contradictory time... Accession of Alexander III who did not support liberal partialities of his father became a result of the tragic death of Alexander II the Deliverer at the hands of the members of the People’s Will. Russian society being tormented by contradictions of Prussian path of development of capitalism was tossing from wild chauvinism of the black hundred to extreme liberalism and revolutionary character. It was the time of „savage“ capitalism with a 18-hour working day and child labour... Time of faith into the „good“ tsar and hopes of progressive intelligentsia for bright future. Accession to the throne of Nikolay II would trigger a countdown of the Russian Empire’s existence. And so far everyone is arguing about the future of Russia and its historical mission.
Formation of imperialism in Russia is being accompanied by grandiose tragic and great events. The execution „of faith into the good tsar“ by shooting in the Bloody resurrection turns the first Russian revolution of 1905-1907 which will be crowned by a convocation of the State Duma – the Russian parliament. Stolypin’s reform will take out the country to the first places in the world by export of wheat, launch economic growth, stimulate industrial development. And it will also establish in the whole country the „stolypin’s gallows ties“ on which the drumhead court-martials will hang all those who were suspected to participate in revolutionary movement. Unfortunately all the economic achievements will burn in a fire of the First World War and Stolypin – a monarchist reformer – will be betrayed by the tsar and killed by revolutionaries.
The First World War aggravated in any case painful contradictions in the country and the Russian Empire ceased to exist in the fire of tragic and brutal Civil War. Who are they, the notorious bolsheviks who established power of the Soviets? Great thinkers or criminal charlatans? An unambiguous answer is not found yet. One thing is quite obvious: Inability for decisive action of the tsarist and then even Temporary government drives a country with multi-million population to the unprecedented experiment the results of which we are still observing.
Time of great hopes and great exploits! NEP and then the industrialization lead the new USSR country out of outsiders of world politics and force countries of West to take into consideration a standpoint of a new industrial power. People’s exploit did the impossible: Of the agrarian country destroyed by a multi-year war, the USSR turned into an industrial monster! But industrialized Russia did not pass round a real tragedy: Exactly in this period Russian peasantry was completely destroyed as a class. Peasants were replaced by collective farmers who were not owners of land and benefits it produced. Collectivization and still dekulakization are evaluated quite ambiguously by historians. Some supposed it enhanced construction of a great country, others a crime against their own people, and its robbery.
Tragic and great time. Time of Exploit of all the Soviet people which hit fascism with its single fist. The Moscow battle which emerged as the first (!!!) defeat of German armies, as well as other, not less impressive battles, for example, near Stalingrad. Guerrilla movement which caused not less harm to fascists, than military battles. An underground... The feats were being accomplished on not only the battlefield, but also in the rear. Who is more heroic – a soldier who destroyed the enemies’ tank at the price of his life, or the mother who lost all her children in the war-time? The victory was given at a high price. At the price to which every Soviet person made his contribution.