Soviet youth in 1967, as photographed by Life photographer Bill Eppridge.
Photographs taken during the Nazi occupation of Minsk. 1941-1944.
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.
The Battle Against Moonshine!
Brewing moonshine uses about 200,000,000 tons of grain a year and costs 140,000,000 rubles.
Soviet propaganda dating from ca. 1919-1921.
Part of the Russian Empire since 1795, Lithuanians had long desired independence. Following the Russian Revolution, the possibility of breaking free began to look increasingly realistic. When Germany occupied Lithuania during World War I, they allowed a series of councils of independence-minded Lithuanians to take place, in hopes that a new state would maintain a close relationship with them.
On February 16, 1918, the Council of Lithuania declared
the restoration of the independent state of Lithuania, founded on democratic principles, with Vilnius as its capital, and declares the termination of all state ties which formerly bound this State to other nations.
Lithuania’s independence, of course, was not to last - in 1944 it was swallowed up by the Soviet Union and would not regain its independence until 1990. But because Lithuania considers the modern state to be a continuation of the original state that declared independence in 1918, the document never lost its legal standing.
Happy Independence Day, Lithuania!
The historic document that heralded the collapse of the Soviet Union has gone missing from an archive in Belarus, according to one of its signatories.
“It’s hard to believe the disappearance of a document at such a level, but this is a fact,” Stanislav Shushkevich, the former Belarusian leader, told the Associated Press. He said that he discovered the loss when doing research on his memoirs, and suspects it could have been stolen and sold by a Belarusian official.
The document, signed in December 1991, brought an end to the Soviet Union, which was the largest country on the planet, stretching from the Baltic to the Pacific, from the Arctic to the Pamirs. Mr Shushkevich was the first leader of independent Belarus but was defeated by current leader Alexander Lukashenko in 1994 elections.
The document was signed at a secret meeting hosted by Mr Shushkevich in the Belovezha Forest in Belarus. He was joined by Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Ukrainian Leonid Kravchuk, and the document declared “the USSR has ceased to exist as a subject of international law and geopolitical reality”.
This thwarted the plans of Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, who wanted to hold the Soviet Union together, and he resigned later in the month. There was confirmation from Belarus that it now possesses only copies of the document.