Photographs by Lithuanian artist Romualdas Požerskis.  

(Source. <—- BTW, this is one of my favorite blogs. Check it out.)

The Struggle Against Religion is the Struggle For Socialism

This poster dates from just prior to the Soviet period, during the Russian Civil War. (~1920) I took a couple screenshots of the details - we can see the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus falling into some kind of industrial container, and the horrified figures are Jehovah (see the tallis and tefillin?), a rosy-faced God, and the Holy Spirit in the form of a squawking bird.

Below them, we can see illuminated letters telling us that they are in Tsarist Heaven. The banner flying out of the smokestacks wish “for the long life of continuous…” 

To be honest, I’m not sure what the final word should be. Anyone know what word beginning with “нед” should go on continuously?



HISTORY MEME | 2/10 moments: Baltic Way

The Baltic Way was a peaceful political demonstration that occurred on August 23, 1989. Approximately two million people joined their hands to form a human chain spanning over 600 kilometres (370 mi) across the three Baltic states – Estonian SSR, Latvian SSR, and Lithuanian SSR, republics of the Soviet Union.

The protest was designed to draw global attention by demonstrating a popular desire for independence for each of the entities. It also illustrated solidarity among the three nations. It has been described as an effective publicity campaign, and an emotionally captivating and visually stunning scene. The event presented an opportunity for the Baltic activists to publicise the illegal Soviet occupation and position the question of Baltic independence not as a political matter, but as a moral issue. The Soviet authorities in Moscow responded to the event with intense rhetoric, but failed to take any constructive actions that could bridge the widening gap between the Baltic states and the Soviet Union. Within seven months of the protest, Lithuania became the first of the Republics of the Soviet Union to declare independence.

( x ) ( x )

The day itself, I remember clearly, was a beautiful summer day. The sun was shining. The sky was very blue. It was a perfect late summer day. And, I remember walking to Parliament that day, for the special session. I lived very close to Parliament so I could walk there. And lots of people were heading up towards Parliament. It was unusual for the streets to be filled and it was just this movement of people, very calmly, very slowly in the direction of Parliament. That added to the feeling of anticipation. Something important is going to happen on this day. And that is the feeling I remember at the beginning of the day, this anticipation…

The counting of the vote, the announcing of the vote. When it became apparent, clear that it had been passed by a huge, huge majority, that feeling was something extraordinary again. It was this huge chamber full of members of Parliament, the diplomatic corps, the press, guests. Everyone just rose up on their feet for this huge standing ovation that went on and on. Gosh, I’m getting tearful just remembering it. Then somebody started singing the Ukrainian national anthem. And that was the first time it was sung in Parliament. Everybody just joined in. It was somebody from the democrats from the floor of the house, as everybody was standing clapping suddenly … Gosh, this is five years later, six years later and I can still remember that feeling that this is a moment in history.

These spaces — the city’s hidden topography of gay life — have recently been brought to light in the work of New York-based Russian photographer Yevgeniy Fiks. A self-proclaimed “post-Soviet artist”, Fiks sees it as his duty to react against the collective amnesia surrounding the Cold War period; previously he commemorated the overlooked history of communism in New York. At first glance, Fiks’s plainly titled new book, Moscow, could be just an ordinary photo album of public places in the Russian capital: we see parks, squares, boulevards, riverside embankments and public toilets. We admire the splendid architecture of the capital, its greenery and its striking constructivist-classicist constructions and we are impressed by the care taken by the Soviet authorities to make even toilets look beautiful. The pictures emanate a sense of peace and silence. But the way in which we see the locations depicted in these photographs is transformed when we learn that each and every one of them was a Soviet cruising ground.

Oh wow.

(So much more at the source. Go read it.)

Soviet youth in 1967, as photographed by Life photographer Bill Eppridge. 


Photographs taken during the Nazi occupation of Minsk. 1941-1944.


I remember how the Jewish Communists closed the Jewish synagogue in Berdichev in 1929 or 1930. There was a synagogue near the sewage works. There were many synagogues in Berdichev, more than 130. There was a tailor’s synagogue. Some old Jews used to go there; they prayed minkhe and mayrev. It was a small synagogue.

Some younger children and I were walking around there. Suddenly, we saw many young people marching in the street. They were playing musical instruments. It was a small band. For us children, it was a big deal at that time so we all followed them. They were lined up in columns. They were wearing beautiful clothes, some green and blue, white shirts. At that time, the komyugistn [Young Communist League members] used to wear uniforms. They were approaching the synagogue. They came to the synagogue, and they stopped and played. After playing, they set up a platform and a table, and we, all children, were there, because we loved the band. One of them took out a paper and read aloud that religion was not good, and that the synagogue is evil, too. “We, the members of the Young Communist League, voted that the synagogue disturbed our work and was harmful to youth so it had to be closed.” So, some people went into the synagogue and they kicked out the old Jews who were praying there. The old Jews went out; they said they were not able to fight with Jews. All the young men were Jewish. After that, the komyugistn took a board, a hammer and some nails, and shut the door and put a notice on the front of the synagogue that it was closed by resolution of the Communist Youth Organization of the clothing factory. That was it. From that moment on, the synagogue did not exist any more.

Happy March 8 - International Women’s Day!

All the ladies out there, continue being awesome.

All of these wonderful Soviet-era cards are from the fabulous Soviet Postcards tumblr.


Valentina Tereshkova turns another year older today. She became the first woman in space on 16 June 1963 aboard Vostok 6. Her call sign was чайка(chaika), seagull.