stalin poster of the week 116: unknown artist, six historical conditions of comrade stalin, undated

SAM_1029

Unknown artist, Six historical conditions of Comrade Stalin (шесть исторических условий Т. Сталина), undated

 

Stalin poster of the week is a weekly excursion into the fascinating world of propaganda posters of Iosif Stalin, leader of the USSR from 1929 until his death in 1953.

Here, Anita Pisch will showcase some of the most interesting Stalin posters, based on extensive research in the archives of the Russian State Library, and analyse what makes these images such successful propaganda.

Anita’s fully illustrated book, The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929 -1953, published by ANU Press, is available for free download here, and can also be purchased in hard copy from ANU Press.

Yet another ‘six conditions’ poster on cheap paper, this time unsigned and undated. As the speech by Stalin from which the six conditions are taken was delivered on June 23, 1931, the poster post-dates this speech.

 

Stalin

A dapper, slightly shifty-eyed Stalin appeals directly to the viewer

 

The poster appears to have been created in the early 1930s, as both the style and the Stalin portrait are of that time. The cameo format of the portrait places this poster within the tradition of informative and statistical posters of early Stalinism.

 

Tractor

Agricultural workers were often depicted as female. This woman is identified as a new Soviet woman because she is driving a tractor, is coloured red, and wears a red headscarf tied behind the neck in the Bolshevik fashion (in contrast to the old babushkas who tied their scarves under their chins)

 

The poster shows scenes of industrialisation at the top and agricultural collectivisation at the bottom. The use of red fill denotes the socialist nature of this progress.

Strong diagonals among the industrial construction lead the eye to the medallion photographic portrait of Stalin. Stalin gazes directly at the viewer, appealing to them to adopt his six conditions.

The text of the poster reads:

  1. Recruit manpower in an organised way, by means of contracts with the collective farms, and mechanise labour

  2. Put an end to labor mobility, do away with wage equalisation, organize the payment of wages properly, and improve the living conditions of workers

  3. Put an end to the lack of personal responsibility at work, improve the organisation of work, arrange the proper distribution of forces in our enterprises.

  4. See to it that the working class of the USSR has its own industrial and technical intelligentsia

  5. Change our attitudes towards the engineers and technicians of the old school, show them greater attention and solicitude, and enlist their cooperation in work more bravely

  6. Introduce and reinforce financial accountability and increase the accumulation of resources within industry

 

Anita Pischs book, The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929 – 1953, is now available for free download through ANU Press open access, or to purchase in hard copy for $83. This lavishly illustrated book, featuring reproductions of over 130 posters, examines the way in which Stalin’s image in posters, symbolising the Bolshevik Party, the USSR state, and Bolshevik values and ideology, was used to create legitimacy for the Bolshevik government, to mobilise the population to make great sacrifices in order to industrialise and collectivise rapidly, and later to win the war, and to foster the development of a new type of Soviet person in a new utopian world.

Visit Anita Pisch’s website at www.anitapisch.com

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stalin poster of the week 115: unknown artist, the path to victory – implementation of the six conditions of comrade stalin, 1932

SAM_1030

Unknown artist, The path to victory – implementation of the six conditions of Comrade Stalin (путь к победе – выполнение шести условий т. сталина), 1932

 

Stalin poster of the week is a weekly excursion into the fascinating world of propaganda posters of Iosif Stalin, leader of the USSR from 1929 until his death in 1953.

Here, Anita Pisch will showcase some of the most interesting Stalin posters, based on extensive research in the archives of the Russian State Library, and analyse what makes these images such successful propaganda.

Anita’s fully illustrated book, The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929 -1953, published by ANU Press, is available for free download here, and can also be purchased in hard copy from ANU Press.

 

This 1932 version of the six conditions poster by an unknown artist prioritises text over image. This sort of poster with simple design on cheap paper was often used as a way to publicise important messages from the leader.

 

Stalin

This standard approved image of Comrade Stalin is used across the ‘six conditions’ posters

 

The text reads:

The path to victory – implementation of the six conditions of Comrade Stalin.
1. Recruit manpower in an organised way, by means of contracts with the collective farms, and mechanise labour
2. Put an end to labour mobility, do away with wage equalisation, organise the payment of wages properly, and improve the living conditions of workers
3. Put an end to the lack of personal responsibility at work, improve the organisation of work, arrange the proper distribution of forces in our enterprises
4. See to it that the working class of the USSR has its own industrial and technical intelligentsia
5. Change our attitudes towards the engineers and technicians of the old school, show them greater attention and solicitude, and enlist their cooperation in work more bravely
6. Introduce and reinforce financial accountability and increase the accumulation of resources within industry.

 

Anita Pisch‘s book, The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929 – 1953, is now available for free download through ANU Press open access, or to purchase in hard copy for $83. This lavishly illustrated book, featuring reproductions of over 130 posters, examines the way in which Stalin’s image in posters, symbolising the Bolshevik Party, the USSR state, and Bolshevik values and ideology, was used to create legitimacy for the Bolshevik government, to mobilise the population to make great sacrifices in order to industrialise and collectivise rapidly, and later to win the war, and to foster the development of a new type of Soviet person in a new utopian world.

Visit Anita Pisch’s website at www.anitapisch.com

stalin poster of the week 114: ** SPECIAL NEW YEAR EDITION** nina vatolina, nikolai denisov, vladislav grigorevich pravdin, & zoia rykhlova-pravdina, thank you comrade stalin for our happy childhood!, 1938

Vatolina 1938

Nina Vatolina, Nikolai Denisov, Vladislav Grigorevich Pravdin, & Zoia Rykhlova-Pravdina (Ватолина, Н., Денисов, Н., Правдин, В. и Правдина, З.), Thank You Comrade Stalin for our Happy Childhood! (спасибо товарищу Сталину за счастливое детство!), 1938.

Stalin poster of the week is a weekly excursion into the fascinating world of propaganda posters of Iosif Stalin, leader of the USSR from 1929 until his death in 1953.

Here, Anita Pisch will showcase some of the most interesting Stalin posters, based on extensive research in the archives of the Russian State Library, and analyse what makes these images such successful propaganda.

Anita’s fully illustrated book, The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929 -1953, published by ANU Press, is available for free download here, and can also be purchased in hard copy from ANU Press.

Although the 1938 poster ‘Thank you Comrade Stalin for our happy childhood!’, by Nina Vatolina, Nikolai Denisov, Vladislav Pravdin and Zoia Rykhlova-Pravdina features a similar colour scheme and several of the same objects as the Viktor Govorkov poster of 1936, significantly, the action in this poster takes place in front of a New Year tree.

The New Year Tree had been banned in the Soviet Union since 1916, and was only reinstated in 1935. Pavel Postyshev, second secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine, wrote a letter to the newspaper Pravda (meaning Truth) in 1935 calling for the installation of the New Year tree in schools, homes, children’s clubs and at Pioneers’ meetings.

Much fuss was made over the re-institution of the New Year tree by the newspaper  Izvestiia (meaning News). On 1 January 1937, Izvestiia reported:

‘On New Year’s Eve nearly A QUARTER OF A MILLION HOLIDAY TREES were lit up in the capital alone. The spruce tree has come to symbolise our country’s happy youth, sparkling with joy on the holiday … The clinking of glasses filled with champagne. At the stroke of midnight, hundreds of thousands of hands raised them in a toast to the health of their happy motherland, giving tribute in the first toast of the year to the man whose name will go down through the ages as the creator of the great charter of socialism.’*

 

decorations

New Year tree decorations include red stars, parachutes and aircraft, all speaking to the promising futures awaiting these Soviet children

 

The tree in the 1938 poster is decorated with traditional candles and garlands, but also with small aircraft, parachutes and red stars.

The model aeroplane and ship are typical Soviet toys, inspiring boys to emulate Soviet heroes in aviation and exploration. Catriona Kelly notes that official New Year tree ceremonies, which in practice were open to a fairly limited elite group, ‘were in part a way of tutoring the offspring of the Soviet elite in new roles (hence the giving of telephones as gifts …)’**

By including these toys in the poster, oblique reference is also made to the great Soviet achievements in these fields. Stalin is not only providing a happy childhood, but also offers the children the potential for happy and fulfilling futures.

 

stalin

Stalin is a paternal, benevolent figure looking protectively over Soviet children

 

In the 1938 poster, Stalin is surrounded by fair-haired Russian children who are situated on the same level in the picture plane as he although, by virtue of his status as adult male, he looks down on the children protectively.

The scene is relaxed and informal, with four of the children gazing up at Stalin with affection while a fifth child has his back turned to Stalin and gazes directly at the viewer.

 

children

How joyous to be spending Christmas with Stalin whilst waving your red flag

 

The poster implies that a Soviet childhood is a time of sacred innocence, unbounded joy, and material abundance. The flowers in the bottom right-hand corner are a further indication of material wealth, fertility, and the blossoming of the Soviet Union.

As the slogan suggests, all of this bounty is provided by the dominating paternal presence of Stalin, who is the equivalent of a kind of secular Father Christmas.

This was not the first time that Stalin had been depicted in this role. On 30 December 1936 Stalin appeared on the cover of the newspaper Trud (meaning Labour) as Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost), making literal his role as mythical children’s benefactor.

*Translated in Thomas Lahusen, Véronique Garros, Natalia Korenevskaya, Intimacy and Terror: Soviet Diaries of the 1930s, p. 12.

**Catriona Kelly, Children’s World: Growing Up in Russia, 1890-1991, p. 112

Anita Pisch‘s book, The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929 – 1953, is now available for free download through ANU Press open access, or to purchase in hard copy for $83. This lavishly illustrated book, featuring reproductions of over 130 posters, examines the way in which Stalin’s image in posters, symbolising the Bolshevik Party, the USSR state, and Bolshevik values and ideology, was used to create legitimacy for the Bolshevik government, to mobilise the population to make great sacrifices in order to industrialise and collectivise rapidly, and later to win the war, and to foster the development of a new type of Soviet person in a new utopian world.

Visit Anita Pisch’s website at www.anitapisch.com

stalin poster of the week 113: viktor deni, six conditions for victory, 1931

Deni 6 conds

Viktor Deni (дени, B), Six Conditions for Victory (шесть условий победы), 1931

 

Stalin poster of the week is a weekly excursion into the fascinating world of propaganda posters of Iosif Stalin, leader of the USSR from 1929 until his death in 1953.

Here, Anita Pisch will showcase some of the most interesting Stalin posters, based on extensive research in the archives of the Russian State Library, and analyse what makes these images such successful propaganda.

Anita’s fully illustrated book, The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929 -1953, published by ANU Press, is available for free download here, and can also be purchased in hard copy from ANU Press.

This is one of the earliest of the ‘six conditions’ posters, published in 1931, the year in which Stalin delivered the speech New Conditions — New Tasks in Economic Construction at a conference of business executives on June 23.

Stalin

Viktor Deni’s distinctive style employed line drawing when many other artists were using photomontage

 

By notable graphic artist Viktor Deni, it features Deni’s usual sparse style and use of line drawing rather than the popular technique of photomontage so frequently used by Klutsis and others at the time.

The conditions on this poster are in a truncated and summarised form, making them easy to take in with a quick read. This is in contrast to most of the other six conditions posters, which have a lot more text and require prolonged engagement.

 

text

This is a punchy summary of Stalin’s six conditions

 

The text reads:

Six Conditions for Victory.
1. Recruit manpower in an organised way
2.Do away with wage equalisation
3. Put an end to the lack of personal responsibility at work
4. Create our own industrial and technical intelligentsia
5. Pay greater attention to the old specialists
6. Reinforce financial accountability

Anita Pisch‘s book, The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929 – 1953, is now available for free download through ANU Press open access, or to purchase in hard copy for $83. This lavishly illustrated book, featuring reproductions of over 130 posters, examines the way in which Stalin’s image in posters, symbolising the Bolshevik Party, the USSR state, and Bolshevik values and ideology, was used to create legitimacy for the Bolshevik government, to mobilise the population to make great sacrifices in order to industrialise and collectivise rapidly, and later to win the war, and to foster the development of a new type of Soviet person in a new utopian world.

Visit Anita Pisch’s website at www.anitapisch.com

stalin poster of the week 112: unknown artist, 6 conditions of stalin, 1938

6 conditions

Unknown artist, 6 conditions of Stalin (б условий сталина), 1938

Stalin poster of the week is a weekly excursion into the fascinating world of propaganda posters of Iosif Stalin, leader of the USSR from 1929 until his death in 1953.

Here, Anita Pisch will showcase some of the most interesting Stalin posters, based on extensive research in the archives of the Russian State Library, and analyse what makes these images such successful propaganda.

Anita’s fully illustrated book, The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929 -1953, published by ANU Press, is available for free download here, and can also be purchased in hard copy from ANU Press.

This 1938 poster by an unknown artist is one of the later of several posters outlining ‘Stalin’s six conditions’. Posters were published on this theme as early as 1931, the year in which Stalin gave the speech from which they are extracted, New Conditions — New Tasks in Economic Construction, delivered at a conference of business executives on June 23.

Each poster features a large body of text to spell out the six conditions:

A new way to work in a new direction.
… Recruit manpower in an organised way, by means of contracts with the collective farms, and mechanise labour…
… Put an end to labour mobility, do away with wage equalisation, organise the payment of wages properly, and improve the living conditions of workers …
… Put an end to the lack of personal responsibility at work, improve the organisation of work, arrange the proper distribution of forces in our enterprises.
… See to it that the working class of the USSR has its own industrial and technical intelligentsia …
… Change our attitudes towards the engineers and technicians of the old school, show them greater attention and solicitude, and enlist their cooperation in work more bravely …
… Introduce and reinforce financial accountability and increase the accumulation of resources within industry…

 

SAM_1028

Stalin is the centre and the solid rock behind Soviet innovation and progress

 

The poster shows Stalin as central to, and actually melded to, Soviet industrialisation and agriculture. He is surrounded by grain silos and scenes of construction. Industrial products are moving above his head, along with an aircraft and a dirigible.

 

tractors

Tatars ride tractors instead of horses and send their grain off to the state

 

Towers and a massive dam flank the text, while scenes of agriculture run across the bottom of the poster. The banner on the tractor reads ‘Bread to the state’. Collectivisation meant that tractors replaced horses and that produce became the property of the state.

 

school

Education is the key to further progress. It is no longer okay to kill people in traditionally bourgeois occupations.

 

The bottom left shows a scene of a teacher giving instruction to children at a board, while on the bottom right is a charming little country schoolhouse. Thus, all areas of Soviet achievement under Stalin are graphically represented and the need for an educated citizenry is highlighted.

In earlier times, the Bolsheviks had waged class war against the bourgeois and the wealthier farmers (kulaks). In his speech, Stalin now suggests that the intelligentsia, the educated and the highly skilled worker be embraced into the socialist fold as the new leaders in the push forward to catch up the western world.

The poster was published by the mid-Volga Regional Council, League (Union) of Militant Atheists.  The League of Militant Atheists was an atheistic and anti-religious group of workers and intelligentsia that formed in 1925. The league, which had a presence in work places, collective farms, educational institutions and youth organisations, aimed to extinguish religious belief in the Soviet populace and to replace it with an emphasis on science.

The League of Militant Atheists was disbanded in 1941 when Germany invaded the USSR and Stalin opened the churches, allowing believers to flock back to religion in their millions.

 

Anita Pisch‘s book, The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929 – 1953, is now available for free download through ANU Press open access, or to purchase in hard copy for $83. This lavishly illustrated book, featuring reproductions of over 130 posters, examines the way in which Stalin’s image in posters, symbolising the Bolshevik Party, the USSR state, and Bolshevik values and ideology, was used to create legitimacy for the Bolshevik government, to mobilise the population to make great sacrifices in order to industrialise and collectivise rapidly, and later to win the war, and to foster the development of a new type of Soviet person in a new utopian world.

Visit Anita Pisch’s website at www.anitapisch.com