THE SOVIET UNION TODAY
An Outline Study
SYLLABUS AND BIBLIOGRAPHY
The Staf of
.6 A EST 4'.0h STREET. NEV\. YORK, 19, N. Y.
NF',' > YORK. lc-I1
Copyright 1943 by
THE AMERICAN RUSSIAN INSTITUTE FOR CULTURAL
RELATIONS WITH THE SOVIET UNION, INC.
56 West 45th Street
New York, 19, N. Y.
Prepared by the Staff of The American Russian Institute:
BERNARD L. KOTEN
JAMES P. MITCHELL
HARRIET L. MOORE
ROSE N. RUBIN
Edited and Produced under union conditions; composed, printed and
bound by union labor.
M- P1' @ ABCO PRESS' INC.
BMU UOPWA 18 CIO
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FORE \ ORD .................----- ..-------- --- ---------.............--- (7)
Purpose, Division of Time, Study Kit, Readings, Suggested Methods of
Lthe (- .
CH'PTER I. The Land and the People .......................----.................-- (8-15)
Map of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, (8-9).
I. Area and Population of the Sixteen Republics (9).
II. The Peoples (10-12) ; Slavic (10), Turkic and Turco Tatar (11),
Transcaucasian (11), Iranian (11), Baltic (11), Finno-Ugrian (11),
Mongol (11), Armenian (11), Jewish (11), German (11), Molda-
vian (12), of the North (12).
III. Physical Geography and Climate (12-15); Range (12), Vegetation
(12), Economic Geography of European Russia (13), of the Urals
(13), of Siberia (13), of the Far East (13), of the Caucasus (14),
of Kazakhstan (14), of Central Asia (14), of the Arctic (15).
Discussion Questions (15).
CHAPTER II. The Historical Setting .....................---------------................... (16-23)
Study Suggestions (16).
I. Background for the Overthrow of Tsarism (16-17), the February
II. The Bolshevik (or October) Revolution (17-18), Soviet Power (17),
the Introduction of Socialism (17), the Peace of Brest-Litovsk (17),
the First Soviet Constitution of Russia (18).
III. Civil War and Intervention; War Communism: 1918-1920 (18), L,/
Military Problems (18), Economics (18), Communit Leadership (18).
IV. The New Economic Policy; t~7F-ormation of the U.S..SR. (19); NEP
(19), GOELRO (19), Trade Unions (19), Cooperatives (19), the
First Constitution of the Union (19).
V. The First Five-Year Plan; Industrialization and Collectivization
(19-20); Change from an Agricultural Country to One Predominantly
Industrial (19), Objectives (19), Difficulties (20), Results of the
First Five-Year Plan (20).
VI. The Second Five-Year Plan (1933-37); the New Constitution; the
Treason Trials (21-22); Objectives (21), Results (21), the New
Constitution (21), the Treason of the Trotskyites (21).
VII. The Third Five-Year Plan (1938-1942); Approach of War (22-23);
Objective of the Third Five-Year Plan (22), Changes Resulting from
the Approach of War (22).
Discussion Questions (23).
CHAPTER III. The Government under the 1936 Constitution...... (24-35)
Study Suggestions (24).
I. St.:,t:.;e of the Government (24-29); Federation (24), the Supreme
Soviet (24), the Soviet of the Union (24), the Soviet of Nationalities
(24), Powers (24), the Presidium (24), How Legislation is Originated
f25 '). Sutfrace ( 2). Unit of Legislative and Administrative Authority
i125 AIll-Union Commnis.ria.t (25), Union-Republic Commissariats
( 25). Republic Commissariars (25), General Principles Determined
bk the Supreme Soie-t (25). Court System (28), Republic and Local
_o\ernments (28). Territorial and Administrative Divisions (28),
Uni\er;.il Military Service (2)i. Diagrams of the Structure of the
Supreme Sonet ( 6),. and of the Electoral System of the U.S.S.R. (27).
II D:,;it..:;.i'.7 .;,:.i De,-..cral (20. : 5) : Communist Theory of the State
(29'), the Communist Part' ( 0). De-mocratic Processes (30), Elections
( 0'). Respon-ibility of Representatives (.l0), Rec.ill(30), Reports to
the Electorate (30). Nominations (31), Government of Collective
Farms (31), Elections in the Communist Party (31) ./.
tiir.ition (31), Civil Rights (31-34), Changes during the r \ in
-D;iiocr7'i-c Process (34), the State Defense Council (34), Martial
Law (34), Conscription of Workers (34), Legislation (34), Postpone-
ment of the Meetings of the Supreme Soviet (34), Postponement of
Elections (34), Increased Participation in Government by the People
Discussion Questions (35).
CHAPTER IV. National Economy ....- ....-.......................--------(36-49)
Study Suggestions (36).
I. Legal System (36-37); State Property (36), Cooperative Property
(36), Private Property (36), Planning Economy (37), Moral Basis
II. Methods of Planning (37-38), Gosplan (37), Planning by Other
Organs of Government (37), Continuity (38).
III. Industry (38-42); Resources (38), Objectives of Industrialization
(38-40), to Increase Public Wealth and Advance Social Welfare (38),
to Advance Peoples of the Former Colonial Areas (38-39), to Ensure
Economic Independence of the U.S.S.R. (39), to Strengthen Defense
(39), to Develop and to Distribute Industry Rationally (39-40), to
Modernize and Collectivize Agriculture (40), Management (40-41),
Labor (41), Number of Workers (41), Trade Unions (41), Wage
System (42), Working Conditions (42), Productivity of Labor (42).
IV. Agriculture (42-45); Collective Farms (42-44), Their Organization
(43), Their Results (44), State Farms (44), Individual Farms (44),
Wartime Changes (44).
V. Transport (45-46); General (45), Railroads (45), Rivers and Seas
(45), Roads (45), Aviation (45).
VI. Finances (46-48); General (46), Money (46), Capital Accumulation
(46-47), Taxation (46-47), Financial Appropriation (47-48), Banks
VII. Distribution (48-49), Wholesale (48), Retail (48), Prices (48),
Consumers' Choice (48), Advertising (49), Wartime Rationing (49).
Discussion Questions (49).
CHAPTER V Social Services ---.................. ........--- .................. ......------(50-58)
I. Education (50-55); Basic Principles (50), Teaching Methods (50-51),
Preschool Education (51), Creches (51), Kindergartens (51), the Ten
Year School (51-52), Content (52), Wartime Changes (52), Co-
education (52-53), Middle Education (53), Tekhnikums (53), Special
Schools (53), Higher Education (53-54), Tuition (54), Special and
Adult Education (54-55).
II. Public Health (55-56) ; Principles (55), Organization (55), Resources
for Health Care (55), Care of Mother and Child (56), General
Medical Care (56), Public Health Services (56), Medical Services of
the Armed Forces (56).
III. Social Insurance (57), Administration (57), General (57), through
Unions (57), Group Insurance (57), State Insurance (57).
Discussion Questions (58).
C HAPTER V I. Culture -...................................................................------(59-70)
I. The Arts (59-64); Importance of the Arts (59), Organization and
Administration (59), Status of Cultural Workers (60), National Cul-
tures (60), Soviet Aesthetics (60), the Arts at War (61), Charac-
teristics of the Soviet Arts (61-64), Drawing, Painting and Sculpture
(61-62), Music (62), Theatre (62), Opera and Dance (62-63),
Literature (63), Cinema (63), Architecture (63-64), Museums (64).
II. Press and Publishing (64-67); Newspapers (64-65), Periodicals (66),
Books (66-67), Book Publishing (66), Cen.!rship (66), Distribution
(67), Libraries (67).
III. Radio (67); Stations (67), Programs (67), Listening (67).
IV. Science and Technology (68-70) ; the Academy (68), Research Institutes
(68), Inventions (68), Science and the War (69), Achievements (69).
Discussion Questions (70).
CHAPTER VII. Soviet Foreign Policy ..............................................(71-87)
I. Review of Soviet Foreign Relations (71-82); Peace in 1917 (71),
Versailles (71), Intervention (71), Rapallo (71), 1922-34 (72), the
Far East (72), the Struggle for Collective Security (72), Munich
(72-73), Final Attempts to Prevent War (73), The Soviet-German
Non-Aggression Pact (73-74), Period from September 1939 to June
1941 (75-76), Occupation of Eastern Poland (75), Soviet-Finnish
War (75), Baltic States (76), Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina (76),
the Balkans (76), Neutrality Pact with Japan (76), Nazi Invasion
of U.S.S.R. (76), Relations with Britain and America on the Out-
break of the War (76-77), with Other Countries (76-79), Neutrality
in the Pacific (78-79), the Soviet Union as a Member of the United
Nations (79-82), the Moscow Conference (81).
II. The Soviet Union in the Post-War World (82-87); Post-War Coop-
eration (82), Self Determination (82-83), Attitude toward Germany
(83-85-), Attitude toward Italy and other sattelites (85), Non-Inter-
ference in the Internal Affairs of other Nations (85), Collective Security
(85-86), International Economic Cooperation and Trade (86-87).
Discussion Questions (87).
CHAPTER VIII. The U.S.S.R. at War ...........................................-(88-102)
I. Resources on the Eve (88-89); Industry (88), Agriculture (88), Man-
power (88-89), Military Power (89).
II. The People in Arms (89-90); Standing Army (89-90), First Mobiliza-
tion (90), Citizens' Volunteer Armies (90), Martial Law (90).
III. Economic Mobilization (91); Problems and Handicaps (91), How
They Were Overcome (91-93), Economic Measures (91-92), Evacua-
tion (92), New Enterprises (92), Changes in Agriculture (92), Legal
Measures (92-93), Popular Initiative (93), Economic Achievements
(93-95), Industrial Increases (93-94), Substitute Materials (94),
Reorganization (94), Agriculture (94), Transport (94-95), the Soviet
System as a Factor in Successful Economic Mobilization (95-96).
IV. Social Mobilization (96-98) ; Civilian Defense (96), War Relief (96),
War Bonds (96), Minority Groups (96-97), the Church (97),
Children (97), Cultural Activities (98).
V. The Course of the War (98-102); German Offensive, Summer 1941
(98), Soviet Winter Offensive, 1942-43 (100-101), German Offensive
and Soviet Counter-Offensive, Summer 1943 (101-102).
Discussion Questions (102).
I. General Bo ks ........................................ .. .....103-1 4
l H i lry . ...... ... .. ............... I : I
III. The LjnJ in.] ihe Pc.'r l. . .. .. ............ .... li ..
I V G .... crn m en t ............. ........ .... .. .. ... ... ......... .. . . . . .. 10 i
V'. E i.onom ji : .............. ..... .. ......... ........ ............ ..... .. 0.
VI E.,du ...n ...... ... .. ......... I .i
VIll. bl;.: i- i .:ll .... .. ... .. ....
il X .. A in i c.. ....... .. ..... .... .......
.XI F re ,n R .......... ....... ....... .... ... ... .... ..... ... ..... .... . . .
Xil TFure':n RS ii '.r .............. ... .... ....... ... ........ I
i The Soy. ic )[ %Y.~ r .............. ......... ................ ..... .. .. ... . 110 11
Thi; s}llibu4 is intended as a guide for discussion on the Soviet Union, in
order to L'Ie a -urley of present organization and life in the U.S.S.R.
Di vision of Time: As various groups will have different time schedules
for their courses, the syllabus is divided into time units, indicating the relative
length of time that should be spent on the various topics. There are ten units in
Study Kit: With the syllabus, it is recommended that each group obtain a
study kit, as basic reference material for the course. The following titles make a
well-rounded and inexpensive kit.
The Russians, the Land, the People and Why They Fight, Albert Rhys Wil-
liams, Harcourt, Brace & Co. $2.00
We're in This with Russia, Wallace Carroll, Houghton Mifflin Co. $2.00
The War of National Liberation, Joseph Stalin, New York, International
Publishers, 1943 15c
Land of the Soviets, Nikolas Mikhailov, Lee Furman, Inc. $2.50
U.S.S.R. at War, 50 Questions and Answers, American Russian Institute. 10c
For World Peace and Freedom: A Survey of 25. Years of Soviet International
Policy, Alexander Troyanovsky, National Council of American-Soviet Friend-
Atlas of the U.S.S.R., Oxford University Press. 10c
Alap of the U.S.S.R. (Wall Map), American Russian Institute. 50c
Constitution of the U.S.S.R., American Russian Institute. 10c
Readings: At the end of each main section there is a general reading list on
the topic. Under some of the sub-headings are given supplementary readings for
those interested in more detailed information.
The full references for the titles listed in the reading suggestions are given in
the bibliography, along with certain other supplementary reading in the general
Use of the Syllabus: It is suggested that the course should be planned in
such ia 3'.i .s- to :over the entire syllabus, rather than to specialize on any one
section Ncither the discussion outline nor the suggested reading has been organ-
ized xtl, a %ne to exhaasti.e treatment on single subjects.
The group .li:Jui;onr can be built around the discussion questions provided at
the end of each ectrion. The syllabus should be read and studied before each meet-
ing, and reading should be assigned in preparation for the discussion.
Often in study groups composed of busy people not all can do any large
amount of assigned readings; in such cases students may volunteer to read and
report on specific sub-topics.
THE LAND AND THE PEOPLE
I. AREA AND POPULATION AS OF JUNE, 1941
(Note: In discussing population, it must be borne in mind that the Nazis oc-
cupied about one-tenth of the territory, normally inhabited by some 60 to 70 mil-
lions. In view of mobilization and evacuation, it is estimated that no more than 40
million remained. At the point of farthest Nazi advance, five republics were com-
pletely occupied and parts of two others.
580,000 square miles were occupied at the height of the German advance in
September, 1942. Of this territory, 300,000 square miles had been regained by the
Red Army by the end of September, 1943.)
Area (est. June 22,
(Sq. Miles) 1941)
Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR)....6,375,000........109,278,600
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic........................ 202,540....... 38,960,000
Belorussian SSR ....... ......................................... 89,300........ 10,400,000
Azerbaidzhan SSR ........----.......... -............ .............. 33,200........ 3,209,727
Georgian SSR ...................... -......... .. .... .... 26,875........ 3,542,289
Armenian SSR .-.... .................--.....---- .... 11,580...-... 1,281,599
Turkmen SSR ............................ ....-.. ............. 171,250........ 1,253,985
Uzbek SSR ......-........-.....-. ...-............. 146,000........ 6,282,446
Tadzhik SSR .................................................. 55,545........ 1,485,091
Kazakh SSR ....--.. .. ........----.......------- 1,059,700........ 6,145,937
Kirgiz SSR ...................... ------...... ----- --- ... 75,950........ 1,459,301
Karelo-Finnish SSR ........................... .......... 64,220 ...... 869,000
Lithuanian SSR .................... -..... ............. 22,800........ 3,000,000
Latvian SSR .......... ........... ................ 24,700........ 1,950,000
Estonian SSR --................ ..................... 18,050........ 1,120,000
Moldavian SSR .........-................ ............ 13,680........ 2,200,000
II. THE PEOPLES
The Soviet Union is a multinational state with some 50 major nationalities in
its family of nations. Each of the above Republics represents one large nation,
having within its borders a majority of the nationality represented in its name.
Smaller national groups are organized in autonomous republics and regions within
the Union Republics. In all, there are 175 distinct nations and peoples, large
and small. 49 Nationalities comprise 99.5% of the population.
A. The Slavic peoples
The most important Slavs in the U.S.S.R. are the Russians, Belorussians
and Ukrainians. They are related in language and ethnic origin to the
Poles, Slovaks, Czechs, Ruthenians, Croats, Slovenians, Serbs, Bulgarians,
Macedonians. Slavic people form about 72 per cent of-the Soviet popula-
tion. The Russian Orthodox Religion predominates.
B. The Turkic and Turco-Tatar peoples
These include the Azerbaidzhanians, the Uzbeks, the Turkmenians, the
Yakuts, the Uigurs (most of whom live in Sinkiang, China), the Kazakhs
and the Kirgiz (many of whom live in Sinkiang, China), and the Oirots
(whom anthropologists claim are probably very closely related to the
American Indian). These peoples are Mohammedan, except for the Yakuts
who are Russian Orthodox.
C. The Transcaucasian peoples
The Japhetic peoples of the Transcaucasus (whom philologists have found
close in language to the Basques of Spain and France) are the Georgians,
the Abkhazians, the Mingrelians. Some are Russian Orthodox, others
D. The Iranian peoples
The Iranian Tadzhiks, Osetins, Tats are close in language and culture to
the people of Iran and Afghanistan. They are Mohammedan in religion.
E. The Baltic peoples
The Baltic Latvians and Lithuanians whose language is close to Old San-
skrit. Latvians are Protestant and Catholic, Lithuanians are Catholic.
F. The Finno-Ugrians
The Finno-Ugrian Karelians are Russian Orthodox; the Finns are Protes-
tant; the Estonians are Protestant; the Mariis, Mordvinians, Komi are
Russian Orthodox. All are related to the people of Finland, Hungary and
Turkey both linguistically and ethnically.
G. The Mongols
The Mongol Kalmyks and Buriat-Mongolians are close relations of the
Mongols of the Tanu Tuvan and Mongolian People's Republics and of the
people of Inner Mongolia. They are Buddhist and Shamanist.
H. The Armenians
The Armenians have one of the oldest cultures of the world. Great numbers
of them live not only in neighboring Turkey but throughout the rest of
the world. Their church is the Armenian Christian.
I. The Jews
The Jews live in great numbers in the U.S.S.R. mainly in the western, but
also in the eastern republics. Over a million Jews have been evacuated from
the war zones to Uzbekistan, where there already was a considerable num-
ber of Jews who had lived there for centuries and spoke the Tadzik-
Jewish language. Aside from the Yiddish-speaking East European Jews
there are in the Soviet Union the Crimean Jews (Krymchags) and the
Karaim of the Crimea who speak a Tartar language; the Georgian Jews
of Georgia who speak Georgian and Hebrew; the Mountain Jews who live
in Dagestan and Azerbaidzhan and speak an Iranian language (the Tat)
Smith a Hebrew admixture.
J. The Germans
1.-100,000 Germans live in the Soviet Union. About one-third of them,
brought to Russia at the times of Peter I and Catherine I, formerly lived
on the Volga but were relocated in Siberia because of the Fifth-Column
danger when the Nazi armies attacked. Their religion is Lutheran.
K. The Moldavians
The Moldavians are related in language and culture to their neighbors, the
Roumanians. They are Russian Orthodox.
L. Peoples of the North
There are 26 small peoples in the northern regions of the U.S.S.R. Among
them are Finno-Ugrian, Nenets, Tungus, Mongol, Turkic, Manchurian,
Paleoasiatic, and Eskimo. They are Shamanist and Animist in religious
Readings: The Russians, Williams, pp. 12-35.
The Soviets, Williams, pp. 8-38.
Land of the Soviets, Mikhailov, passim.
[I. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
Within the U.S.S.R. there are all kinds of climate, except tropical, and all
ranges of topography. The country is two and a half times as big as the
United States, with its main centers further north than ours. Generally, it has
a cold climate, determined not primarily by latitude but by its continental
position, away from oceans.
All seas and rivers are frozen part of the year. The great rivers flow to
"locked" seas, including the ice-bound Arctic. The only ice-free ocean
ports are in far north-Murmansk and Petropavlovsk on Kamchatka. Vladi-
vostok on the Sea of Japan is kept open the year round by icebreakers.
B. Vegetation and soil from North to South may be described
1. The Tundra is a mossy, treeless steppe of the Far North.
2. The Taiga is a forest region south of the Tundra.
3. The forest steppe includes settled areas of northern European Russia
and Siberia and the major cities of Leningrad, Moscow, Gorki, the
Ural, Kuzbass, etc.
4. The Steppes are treeless plains of the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Siberia,
south of the main Trans-Siberian railroad.
5. Deserts extend east and west of the Caspian Sea and eastward to the
Aral and Balkhash Seas.
6. Oases are found in central Asia north of the mountains whose rivers
7. Mountains line the southern border from the Caucasus through the
Pamir (the western extension of the Himalayas), Tien-Shan and Altai
ranges to the Far East. The only north-south mountain chains are the
Urals (an old, low range, north of the Caspian Sea, dividing Europe
from Siberia) and those covering most of Far Eastern area, east of
Readings: Mikhailov, pp. 3-26.
Pratt, pp. 6-16.
C. Economic geography by regions
1 r.::.rca.r .;v,,' C"'.:r.l R.- .z: Flat plains predominate, with steppe in
the south. fiorcst in the north. low rolling hills in the central portion,
and plateau in the acit Uilk:rain The black soils of the south are among
the richest in the world d The climate is temperate near the seas, but
cold inland. Iron ore, coal, manganese are found in the Ukraine, and
coal south of Moscow. There is an immense undeveloped iron ore
deposit near Kursk. Water power has been developed on the Volkhov
River near Leningrad, on the Volga north of Moscow, at Kuibyshev
(the largest hydro-electric plant in the world is in construction there)
and on the Dnieper near Zaporozhe (the plant was blown up at the
end of 1941). Grain, flax, sugar beets, livestock, dairy, lumbering, are
the main agricultural products. The oldest and largest industrial centers
are in this region. (Those of the Ukraine are now evacuated or
Readings: Mikhailov, Chap. 3, 4, 5, pp. 77-148; 210-235.
2. Urals: The mountains are a low, eroded chain much like the Appala-
chians. Winters are long and cold, summers short and hot. The area is
particularly rich in iron and non-ferrous metals. It has coal, though not
sufficient for all its industries. Oil is found at the "second Baku" in
the southern Urals and on the western slopes. There is a big chemical
industry. It is the most important center of new and evacuated Soviet
industries. The development has been greatly accelerated during the
war. Added manpower is provided by workers evacuated from the
Ukraine. It also has highly developed grain, dairy, and livestock farming.
Readings: Mikhailov, pp. 149-150.
Soviet Asia, Davies & Steiger, pp. 57-77.
3. Siberia is bounded by the Urals on west, Lake Baikal on the east, the
Trans-Siberian Railway and Kazakhstan on the south. Most of the terri-
tory is flat forest steppe, with heavy virgin forest of the taiga to the
north. There is some open steppe to the south. The Altai mountains are
on the south-west. The climate is continental. The Kuzbass (Kuznetsk
Basin or valley) in west Siberia has vast coal deposits with the thickest
eaims in the world. Many other minerals are found there. The steppes
jre a source of grain equal to the Ukraine in peace-time. With Kazakh-
sun it 'i now the most important bread-basket. Dairy and livestock in-
dustries are well developed. Its great rivers all flow northward. It has
jn "important timber industry.
Readings Mlikhailov, pp. 161-171.
Davies & Steiger, pp. 78-104.
7',' Fr.r- East reaches from Lake Baikal to the Pacific, from the Amur
Ri\er and the border of the Mongolian people's Republic to the Arctic.
It includeii the coldest spots on earth and the humid Ussuri forests,
inland from Vladivostok. There are numerous mountain ranges which
average '. 000 feet, running north-east paralleling the coast. Much of
the :iib-soil is permanently frozen. Its very small population is con-
centrated along the railroad and the Amur River. There is good farm-
in. and livestock raising around Lake Baikal. Lumber and fishing are
important industries. There are rich gold areas near Chita, along the
Aldan tributary of the Lena, and in the Kolyma valley. Other vital non-
ferrous metals and rare metals found there are tungsten, molybdenum,
tin, lead, coal (Lake Baikal, Birobidzhan, Vladivostok, and Sakhalin),
oil on Sakhalin Island, iron ore (near Lake Baikal, Vladivostok, and
the lower reaches of the Amur). The port of Petropavlovsk-on-
Kamchatka is nearer Seattle than New York is to London. Two great
rivers serve as important transport arteries: the Lena to the vast north,
and the Amur for the main developed areas.
Readings: Mikhailov, pp. 193-210.
Davies & Steiger, pp. 270-301, 241-256.
The Soviet Far East, William Mandel, IPR.
"The Pacific Seaboard," Russia at War, No. 25.
Buriat Mongolia, V. I. Pomus.
5. The Caucasus is bounded on the north by the Don River and the Cas-
pian Sea, on the east by the Black Sea, on the west by Turkey, Iran on
the south. It has the highest mountains in Europe (to 18,000 feet).
There are rich alluvial plains on both sides of the mountains. Weather
on the north slope is continental and cold. On the sheltered Black Sea
coast and the south Caspian shore the climate is sub-tropical. There is
resort country in the mountains and near the sea. In the Trans-Caucasian
valleys the climate is temperate. On the north slope there are alluvial
plains between the Kuban and Don Rivers, the richest non-irrigated
farmland in the U.S.S.R. Grain, fruits, livestock, rice, cotton, rubber
plants abound, and in the sub-tropical Black Sea and Caspian seacoasts
there are tea, citrus fruits, wine grapes, and silk. There is oil at Baku,
Grozny, and Maikop and the world's finest manganese on the south
slope at Chiatury.
Readings: Mikhailov, pp. 139-145, 236-279.
Prometheus and the Bolsheviks, John Lehmann.
6. The Kazakhstan Republic stretches its dry plains between the Volga
near Stalingrad on the west and China on the east, from the Trans-
Siberian on the north to the Central Asian oases on the south. One-third
as large as the United States, it had only six million inhabitants before
the war, half of whom were Central Asian peoples. Now there are many
more due to the influx of refugees and evacuees. It is the main livestock
region of the U.S.S.R. and is rapidly expanding its dry farming (two
million acres of virgin soil were ploughed in 1942). Irrigation is being
extended. Kazakhstan also has important industry: Karaganda is the
third largest coal center of the country; the largest copper development
and other non-ferrous metals are near Lake Balkhash. There is an im-
portant new oil field at Emba at northern tip of the Caspian Sea.
Readings: Mikhailov, pp. 280-289.
Davies & Steiger, pp. 105-132.
7. Central Asia is a fabulous oasis country surrounded by desert, bounded
on the south by the Pamirs, highest mountains in the U.S.S.R. (to
25.,000 feet). Winter is mild and summer very hot. The region is
watered by mountain rivers which disappear into the desert, except for
the Amu-Darya and the Syr-Darya which flow into the Aral Sea. It is
separated from India by a nine-mile-wide tongue of Afghan mountain
territory. Its Ferghana Valley is the richest irrigated farm land in the
U.S.S.R. Cotton is the main crop and yields are very high. 1.5 million
new acres of grain were planted in Uzbekistan in 1942 to feed the
local population in wartime. There are fruits of all kinds. It is the
Imperial Valley of the U.S.S.R. Many industries are developing, includ-
ing the evacuated industries, centered in Tashkent.
Readings: Mikhailov, pp. 289-328.
The Soviet Far East and Central Asia, William Mandel, IPR.
Davies & Steiger, pp. 133-170.
Dawn Over Samarkand, Kunitz.
8. Arctic: The climate is little colder than most of the country, and its
summers are quite warm. Except for the rich Kola peninsula, with its
ice-free port of Murmansk, the Arctic is the least developed section of
the country. It is being opened by the Soviets because it has the shortest
sea-route from east to west and because the tremendous rivers draining
important sections of the country flow into the Arctic Sea. It has great
potentialities in mineral resources, lumber, etc. Coal and oil are found
near the coast to fuel ships on the Northern Sea Route, open three
months of the year. Farming is moving north.
Readings: Mikhailov, pp. 172-192.
Forty Thousand Against the Arctic, Smolka.
I Went to the Soviet Arctic, Gruber.
Davies & Steiger, pp. 171-217.
Conquest of the Arctic, Schmidt (W.F.P.).
General Readings on The Land and the People
Land of the Soviets, Mikhailov.
Soviet Asia, Davies and Steiger.
The Soviets, Williams, pp. 115-133.
The Russians, Williams, Chap. 2.
Soviet Russia in Maps, George Goodall, ed.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS ON THE LAND
AND THE PEOPLE
1. What are the major nations and national groups in the U.S.S.R.? What are
the major religions? Relate them to peoples living outside the U.S.S.R.
2. What are the main geographic divisions of the U.S.S.R.? What are the chief
natural arteries of transportation? Why is the Arctic being developed?
3. Locate the sixteen Union Republics. Give their ethnic and geographic char-
4. What are the main resources of the U.S.S.R.? How are they distributed geo-
5. Where are the principal old centers of industry? Where are the principal new
centers of development?
; Where are the principal centers of agricultural production: grain, sugar, cot-
THE HISTORICAL SETTING
Study suggestion: This section is included only for the purpose of ':.' :,:I
the chief stages in Soviet history as a setting for discussion of the Union -.,' S.'.::!
Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) of today, to which this syllabus is devoted I.. ,c.:-
sequence it is recommended that, in order to confine this section to a s;'. ", ,..
of the course, one member of the group, preferably the group leader or scr'.. :'I ,
competent speaker, be asked to give a lecture planned according to the :.:r. : .::
this outline. This procedure is suggested only for this first section of the I/'.:...,
Group participation in presenting the material, and discussing it, is advis,.l t.; .:!!
I. THE OVERTHROW OF THE MONARCHY
Tsarism was an autocratic monarchy based on a landholding nobility. The
existing industry was concentrated in a few cities in western European
Russia. The vast areas of the Empire inhabited by non-Russian peoples
were treated as backward colonial areas, and a policy of "Russification" was
applied. The Russian Empire was internally the weakest of the great powers
in the World War. After two years of war in which the Russian armies
nade some great advances, constituting a tremendous contribution -o tie
Allied cause in diverting German forces from the Western front, the eco-
nomic backwardness of the country led to military defeats. The pelarint
soldiers deserted to return to their farms and help their starving fjmilic
The Central Asian minority peoples revolted in 1916 against the atten-ipt
to conscript them for labor service. The labor movement, which had been
socialist-minded since the Revolution of 1905, led strikes against the hard-
ships of war and against the Tsarist regime. Industrial and commercial
interests, desiring greater freedom of development, opposed the land.
owning nobility which controlled the Empire and sought as a compromise
the abdication of Tsar Nicholas in favor of his brother Michael.
Readings: From Tsarist Empire to Socialism, Pratt, pp. 17-94.
A Short History of the U.S.S.R., Shestakov, pp. 9-171.
Russia, Pares, pp. 39-100.
B. The Revolution of March 12, 1917 (Known as the February
The troops supported the striking workers, and together lth-e fo:r:ed the
abdication of the Tsar. The opposition to the whole T'.arit sstem pre-
vented the succession of Michael, and a Provisional G.. ,r::' .: n i-s
formed as the cabinet of the Duma (March 15th). This Eo'ernment ".is
republican in form, but its existence was dependent on the sup..ort of the
councils (so-called Soviets) of workers, soldiers and reasjnt ,hii..:lh had
been spontaneously formed as an expression of the popular will. The
Petrograd Soviet had been elected on March 10th, before the abdication
arnd the formation of the new government. Thus, the Provisional Govern-
ment -' which headed the formal state apparatus could function only so long
ait t is supported by the extra-legal soviets.
II. BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION: November 7, 1917
(Known as the October Revolution)
A. The Soviets come to power
The Provisional Government, at first composed of representatives of capital
and the land-owners and later of the wealthier peasantry and some labor
leaders, wanted to continue the war, and failed to undertake any radical
reforms to help the starving population. The city workers, faced with un-
employment and a food shortage caused by speculative hoarding were won
increasingly to the idea of public ownership and socialism. The peasantry
wanted to end the oppressive rents and to get the land for themselves.
They wanted immediate peace. The Bolsheviks, the revolutionary labor
party that desired socialism, gradually gained a majority in the soviets by
putting forward the slogan of "Peace, bread and land." The Provisional
Government. fearing that it might lose control, prepared an armed putsch
for the e:rablishment of a military dictatorship under Kerensky. This was
forest.:ikJ by the October Revolution in which the Petrograd Soviet, led
b% the Bolheviks, seized power, on the eve of a nation-wide Congress of
Sovict4 The Soviets thus became the government. The first acts of the
Con.gre,.c of Soviets, November 8, 1917, were to calf for peace, to na-
rioriahle the land and divide the estates among the peasantry; to set up a
i.o.crnrment (its cabinet-called The Council of People's Commissars) with
LeTin ar it. head-Stalin was then Commissar of Nationalities.
Rei.ln T'brough the Russian Revolution, Williams.
B. Steps taken to introduce Socialism
The bank transportation system, foreign trade, and the large industries
V ere ,:..:ialized in the first months after the Revolution. (The banks were
n.itijoilizcd December 27, 1917; foreign trade on April 23, 1918; large
indu-try on June 28, 1918.) Small plants, which were very widespread in
Rusi-i. mnd the internal distribution system were left mainly in private
hand. 'With the estates divided up among the peasantry there were more
ndri..iduil Ilrms than before. The 8-hour day was introduced as of
No'. crber 12.
C. Peace of Brest-Litovsk
The Su- etr made repeated appeals to all the warring powers for a general
jrnmIti,;c I November 7, 27.) Beginning in December they started bilateral
nec:.itir.iorn with the Germans. After the Allies were unable to send enough
help to keep the Russian armies in the field and after the renewed advance
o t the German armies eastward, the Soviets finally accepted the Brest.
Lnot 4: Peace which deprived the country of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia,
the Ukr.lnic Poland, and Georgia in the Caucasus.
D. The First Soviet Constitution
The First Soviet Constitution was written in 1918 for the Russian Soviet
Federative Socialist Republic (the Russian part of the former Empire).
"Russia is declared a Republic of Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peas-
ants' Deputies. All authority, central and local, is vested in these Soviets.
The Russian Soviet Republic is established on the basis of the free union
of free nations, as a federation of Soviet national republics . setting as
its fundamental aim the abolition of all exploitation of man by man, the
complete elimination of the division of society into 'classes.' At the same
time, Soviet governments were forming in the non-Russian parts of the
Empire. The request of the non-Soviet Finnish Sejm for independence was
granted (Dec. 31, 1917) in accordance with the principle of the right to
self-determination of nations.
III. CIVIL WAR AND INTERVENTION; WAR
A. The military struggle
The Germans occupied large sections of the country. The Allies also in-
vaded Russia, seizing all ports not already in German hands. They took
control of the Trans-Siberian railroad and gave substantial help to the anti-
Soviet Russians (so-called Whites) who, on the basis of the help they
were receiving from abroad, were fighting to re-establish the monarchy or
the Provisional Government. The Soviets, declaring all these armies traitors
and tools of foreign powers, called upon the people to defend the nation.
The Red Army was founded in 1918 with a few thousand men and soon
grew to five millions. By 1920 the Soviets had gained control of virtually
the whole country, with the exception of Finland, Poland and the Baltic
states, whose non-Soviet governments had been recognized by the Soviets,
and sections of the Far East still occupied by the Japanese.
Readings: America's Siberian Adventure, Graves.
The White Armies of Russia, Stewart.
B. Soviet economy during the war
In order to mobilize the war-torn country for further fighting, it had been
necessary for the government to take over complete control of the econ-
omy; to ration all goods on the lowest subsistence level and therefore to
equalize pay; to seize all grain above the minimum needed by the peasant
families. This completely rationed and equalized economy was known as
C. Leadership of the Communist Party established
Although the first Soviet government was a coalition of various left-wing
parties, by the end of the Civil War and Intervention all the other parties
had gone over to the Whites and fought the Bolsheviks. The people "voted
with guns" and in the end the Bolsheviks won the Civil War and emerged
as the only legal party.
Re.idim:: Pratt, pp. 116-136
Shestakov, pp. 197-221
History of the CPSU, pp. 225-247
IV. THE NEW ECONOMIC POLICY;
THE FORMATION OF THE U.S.S.R.
A. Soviet economy after the war
After the Civil War was over, it was possible to relax the controls of War
Communism, and in order to stimulate a revival of industry, trade and
agriculture, the New Economic Policy (NEP) was instituted (1921). The
unlimited seizure of grain was replaced by a fixed tax in kind, and the
peasants were allowed to sell the surplus above the tax in the open market.
Private trading and manufacture were allowed, while the government re-
tained control of the banks, foreign trade, and the key large industries.
Planning was first undertaken in Lenin's initiation of Goelro, a nation-
wide project for electrification which was the forerunner of the Five-Year
1. The workers organized into trade unions in the large-scale state-con-
trolled industries. They were appealed to, to increase output in order to
make socialism possible.
2. Consumers' and producers' cooperatives were fostered, particularly in
rural areas to accustom the peasants to the collective idea.
B. First Constitution of the Union.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was formed in December, 1922 by
the Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian and Trans-Caucasian Soviet Republics.
Soviet governments had been established in these republics at various times
since 1917 and had previously been cooperating in the Civil War and
Intervention on the basis of treaty arrangements. The first Constitution for
the U.S.S.R. was adopted in 1924.
Reading: Duranty Reports Russia, Walter Duranty Chap. 1 "Russia
Life of Lenin, Kerzhentsev.
Life of Stalin, The Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.
V. THE FIRST FIVE-YEAR PLAN (1928-1932); IN-
DUSTRIALIZATION and COLLECTIVIZATION
In 10')2 the decision was taken to convert the economy of the country into
one Fredominantly industrial, rather than agricultural. It was felt necessary
both for reasons of national defense and in order to create the abundance
of coods necessary to a communist society under which distribution is "to
ea:h according to his need." By 1927, industry had recovered to its pre-war
le el of output, and in 1928 the first Five-Year Plan went into operation.
The fundamental objectives of the first plan were: (1) to introduce mod-
ern technology; (2) to transform the country from "an agrarian and weak
country, dependent upon the caprices of the capitalist countries, into an
industrial and powerful country"; (3) "to squeeze out utterly the capi-
talist elements"; (4) to build up socially-owned heavy industry, to provide
machinery for industry, transport and agriculture; (5) to collectivize agri-
culture, thereby introducing socialist economic relationships in the rural
districts and removing the danger of a restoration of capitalism inherent in
the continued existence of individual farms; (6) to increase the defense
capacity of the country.
This was a very difficult period, because, in the absence of foreign loans,
the industrialization had to be financed by profits from government-con-
trolled branches of the economy, and by "tightening the national belt" to
permit the export of foodstuffs and other consumers goods, which paid for
imports of machinery. The collectivization of agriculture was resisted by
the richer peasants kulakss) and they were consequently forcibly dispos-
sessed. Serious food shortages resulted in 1931-32. In 1928 2 to 3
percent of the peasants were on collective farms; by 1930 the figure was
50 percent and in 1934 75 percent.
Among the results of the first Five-Year Plan were:
1. The establishment of industries producing steel, tractors, automobiles,
engineering machinery, chemicals and airplanes. The Gorki and Moscow
automobile plants, and the Stalingrad and Kharkov tractor plants, are
outstanding examples of this construction. Industrial output as a whole
2. A tremendous expansion of electric power, including the building of
3. New industrial centers begun for the first time in the eastern part of
the country, especially the Magnitogorsk and Kuznetsk steel works.
4. Collectivization of farms. In 1928, 2 to 3% of the peasants were on
collective farms; by 1930 the figure was 50% and 1934 75%.
5. Introduction of universal free elementary education; elimination of il-
literacy in a large measure.
6. Great advances in transportation. The Turk-Sib Railway uniting Nbrth-
ern Siberia and Central Asia was built. Sea transport was opened in the
summer to the mouths of the Siberian rivers.
7. A comprehensive, free, public program of health protection established.
Readings: From the First to the Second Five-Year Plan.
Duranty Reports Russia-Chap. II "Stalinism"; Chap. III
Pratt, pp. 162-184.
Shestakov, pp. 231-237.
History of CPSU, pp. 280-330.
VI. THE SECOND FIVE-YEAR PLAN (1933-1937);
THE NEW CONSTITUTION;
THE TREASON TRIALS
A. Objectives of the Second Five-Year Plan
The Second Five-Year Plan aimed to eliminate all remnants of capitalist
economy and through a process of education to make the population "con-
scious, active builders of a classless, socialist society." Economically, while
industrial expansion continued, the emphasis was on assimilating and
mastering the operation of the new industries built under the first plan.
B. Results of the Plan
Results showed in the increasing output of industry, which was already
fully socialized (99.58%) at the beginning of the second Five-Year Plan.
By the end of the period, agriculture had become 93% collectivized. Private
producers-both handicraftsmen and peasants-decreased from 22.8% of
the population in 1934 to 5.6% in 1937. Labor productivity doubled as
compared with 1929.
Reading: Land of Socialism Today and Tomorrow. Chapters by Stalin and
C. The New Constitution-1936
The social, political and economic life of the country had changed mark-
edly since the adoption of the 1924 Constitution. Nine-tenths of the peas-
antry were in collective farms; unemployment had been eliminated and the
7-hour work day introduced; real wages had doubled from 1933 to 1937.
There were no groups, or classes, in the country with a "stake" in the re-
establishment of capitalism. It was felt that the restraints in the 1924 con-
stitution were no longer necessary. The 1936 Constitution recognized the
attainment of socialism under which the principle applies "from each
according to his ability, to each according to his work." It introduced the
secret ballot; gave equal representation to the peasant and abolished the
disfranchisment of certain groups on the basis of "social origin." It added
a Bill of Rights which is unique in that it adds to political guarantees
economic and social guarantees-the right to work, to rest and leisure, to
education, to social security in illness and old age. The Bill of Rights also
provided for freedom of religion and freedom of anti-religious propa-
ganda, both of which had been guaranteed in the previous Constitution.
It made racial discrimination a crime.
Readings: The Constitution of the U.S.S.R.
Pratt, pp. 185-198.
Shestakov, pp. 238-255.
History of CPSU, pp. 331-345.
Land of Socialism, pp. 19-35; 102-112.
D. The Treason Trials of 1935-1938
Trotsky and his followers had opposed certain major decisions of the
Bolsheviks. He had, for example, opposed the Brest-Litovsk Treaty, the
industrialization program, and collectivization. In his theory of "permanent
revolution" he held that "socialism in one country" was impossible, and
that it was necessary to foment or impose revolutions. Stalin, on the other
hand, held that the peoples of the U.S.S.R. were fully capable of building
a socialist society in their own country, and won majority support both for
this principle and for the measures by which it was applied. Unwilling
to accept fhe majority opinion of the Communist Party, and unable to gain
support among the populace, Trotsky and his followers turned traitor.
Trotsky, the leader, was expelled from the U.S.S.R. in 1929. The testimony
of the trials of 1935-38 revealed that those of his followers who remained,
some in high government posts, made use of their positions to sell state
secrets, to conduct large-scale sabotage on behalf of the Axis powers, to offer
the Ukraine and the Far East as the price for Axis support in placing them
at the head of a puppet government that was to be established as a result of
the war. The assassination of an important public figure, Sergei Kirov, led
to an investigation and a series of trials in the years 1935-1938, during
which the activities of these groups were exposed. This so-called purge
was later credited with having eliminated on the eve of war the potential
"Fifth-Column" in the Soviet Union.
Readings: Mission to Moscow, Davies, Chaps. III, IV.
Light on Moscow, D. N. Pritt.
History of the CPSU, pp. 346-352.
Verbatim Proceedings of the Trials.
VII. THE THIRD FIVE-YEAR PLAN (1938-1942);
APPROACH OF WAR
(For foreign relations in the pre-war period, see pp. 71 ff.)
The objective of the third plan was to start the expansion of production
of consumers' goods which would be necessary to the ultimate establish-
ment of Communism.
B. Changes in the Plan
The approach of war compelled some changes in the plan, with more
emphasis being laid on the expansion of war industries: e.g. the machine-
building industry expanded 76% from 1937 to 1940, while consumers
goods industries fell behind their planned schedules. Nevertheless there
was a 33% increase in the latter during the three years. The plan envisaged
the creation of regional economic autonomy, eliminating wherever pos-
sible long hauls by train and developing local resources to their utmost.
Besides raising industrial efficiency in general this program aimed at pre-
paring local areas to withstand a state of siege in war. The working day
was lengthened to eight hours and the working week to six days as an
answer to the war threat. Other measures were taken to tighten up the
economy for war. Despite the threat of war, general progress was sufficier
up to 1940 for the government to decide early in 1941 to initiate an over-
all fifteen-year plan, aimed at bringing the per capital productivity of Soviet
economy up to the 1929 level in the United States. The war prevented the
inauguration of this program.
Readings: We're in This with Russia, Carroll, pp. 212-224.
The Soviets Expected It, Strong.
Land of Socialism, pp. 101-172.
The Growing Prosperity of the Soviet Union, N. Voznesensky.
General Reading on the Historical Setting
From Tsarist Empire to Socialism, Helen Pratt.
A Short History of the U.S.S.R., A. V. Shestakov.
Russia, Sir Bernard Pares.
Soviet Power, Hewlett Johnson, pp. 66-78.
History of the CPSU.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS ON HISTORY
1. Describe the situation in Russia on the eve of the overthrow of the
Tsar; economic, social, political, military.
2. What were the forces behind the February Revolution and the new Pro-
3. What were the Soviets and what was their relation to'the Provisional
4. Why was the Provisional Government overthrown? What were the dif-
ferences in policy between the Provisional Government and the Bol-
5. What was the reaction of foreign governments and dispossessed classes
to the new Soviet Government?
6. When and why did the coalition Soviet Government set up after the
October Revolution fail?
7. What was "War Communism" and why was it necessary?
8. What was the Soviet Government's policy toward the non-Russian parts
of the former Tsarist Empire? By what process was the U.S.S.R. formed?
9. Why was the N.E.P. instituted and how far did it represent a return to
10. What were the economic objectives of the Soviet Government? What are
the Five-Year Plans? What was the relation of the development of in-
dustry to the development of agriculture?
11 How did the country differ socially, economically, and politically at the
time of the 1936 Constitution from the situation at the time of the 1924
Constitution? How were these differences reflected in the new Constitu-
12 Discuss the treason trials.
THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THE
Study Suggestion: This section should be discussed with constant direct refer-
ence to the text of the Soviet Constitution. In discussing many of the points, it
will be helpful to refer to the commentary on the new constitution, explaining the
innovations, by Stalin in his speech of Nov. 25, 1936 at the time of its adoption.
In discussion it will also be useful to have a copy of the American Constitution
for comparative purposes. It is recommended that the time spent on this section
be about evenly divided between Part I, giving an exposition of the governmental
structure, and Part II, dealing with the nature of "Soviet Democracy" and its
"Dictatorship of the Proletariat."
(Note: The words Soviet and Council are used interchangeably.)
I. THE GOVERNMENTAL STRUCTURE
A. Organization of State Power
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a federation, in contrast to the
Russian Empire which had a policy of "Russification" of all nationalities.
Originally established by a Treaty of Union among four previously inde-
pendent republics, it now has 16 Union Republics-some admitted from
outside, e.g. Bukhara and Khorezm on People's Republics (reorganized into
Uzbekistan and other Central Asian republics), Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia
-others promoted from within-e.g. Kazakhstan. Each republic retains the
legal right to secession. Republic boundaries cannot be changed without
their consent. Other smaller national groups are organized in Autonomous
Republics, Autonomous Regions, and National Areas, resulting in an elabo-
rate federal structure.
The Supreme Soviet or Supreme Council is the Parliament, has a 4-year
term and meets twice yearly. It has two chambers:
1. "The Soviet of The Union is elected by the citizens of the U.S.S.R.
according to electoral areas, on the basis of one deputy for every
300,000 of the population." (Art. 34.)
2. "The Soviet of Nationalities is elected by the citizens of the U.S.S.R.
according to Union and Autonomous Republics, Autonomous Regions,
and National Areas on the basis of 25 deputies from each Union Re-
public, 11 deputies from each Autonomous Republic, 5 deputies from
each Autonomous Region and one deputy from each National Area."
3. The two houses have equal powers and are dissolved for reelection if
they cannot reach agreement.
4. The two houses jointly elect a Presidium to carry on work between
sessions. The Presidium has 16 vice-Presidents, one from each Union
Republic, and 24 additional members.
5. Most legislation is initiated by the Council of People's Commissars. The
Supreme Soviet, however, has permanent standing committees on Legis-
lation, on the Budget, and on Foreign Affairs, which review proposed
legislation, and initiate legislation themselves.
Reading: "The Permanent Committees of the Supreme Soviet of the
U.S.S.R.", A. Vasiliev, American Review on the Soviet Union,
Suffrage is universal for all citizens 18 and over, "irrespective of race or
nationality, religion, standard of education, domicile, social origin, property
or past activities" (Art. 135). Men in the armed services vote. The new
Constitution marks a departure from earlier constitutions under which
representation favored workers, and certain categories of people were dis-
franchised. All who can vote can be elected to office.
C. Centralization of power
There is no division of powers. "... All power belongs to the working
people of town and country as represented by the Soviets of Working
People's Deputies" (Art. 3). The Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. controls
the executive and administrative bodies and the judiciary as well as legisla-
tive. It has power to amend the Constitution. (See Art. 30.) The federal
(All-Union) government has "enumerated powers." (See Art. 14.) Un-
enumerated powers remain with the Union Republics. In addition to the
usual powers over matters of defense, foreign affairs, finance, etc., the
federal government has control of industry of national importance (cf.
control over inter-state commerce in U. S.) transportation, and the general
formulation of the national plan for the economy. Republic governments
retain control over local industry, justice, education, public health, social
services. The language of each republic is its official language.
Executive and Administrative authority is vested in the Council "or Sotiet)
of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom), similar to the cabinet in Engknl .
It is responsible to and elected by the Supreme Council.
1. All-Union Commissariats have their own representatives sitting in the
Councils of People's Commissars of the Union Republics.
2. Union-Republic Commissariats work through similarly named 'com-
missariats in the Councils of People's Commissars of the Union Re-
3. The Republics have commissariats corresponding to the Union-Republic
Commissariats of the federal government, and also commissariats deal-
ing with matters mainly within the competence of republic government
-usually the following:
Education Automobile Transport
Local Industry Social Maintenance
The federal government lays down general principles in regard to educa-
tion (e.g. universal compulsory 7-year education), public health, labor
STRUCTURE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE USSR'
COUNCIL OF PEOPLE'S COMMISSARS
Paper and Cellulose
State Grain and
Meat and Dairy
The Chairmen of the Administration of the State Bank, the Committee on
Art, the Committee on Higher Education, and the State Planning Commission
,are also members of the Council of People's Commissars.3
SUPREME SOVIET OF THE USSR
SOVIET OF THE UNION SOVIET OF NATIONALITIES
"The highest organ of state authority of the USSR is the Supreme Soviet of the USSR."
(Article 30. Constitution of the USSR)
1 In this diagram the lines connect the organs at the top of the diagram with the lower ones which elect
them and to which they are responsible.
SThe number of commissariats changes from time to time. For instance, several machine-building commis-
sariats have been changed to armament commissariats during the war.
8 In addition, the Council of People's Commissars has a number of other agencies which do not have a
voting representative in the Council. Among these are the Economic Council, the Committee on Defense,
the Labor Reserves Administration, the Committee on Standards, the Committee on the Cinema.
The Presidium carries on the work of the Supreme Soviet when the latter is not in session. It chose
the State Committee of Defense to meet the extraordinary problems of war.
of the USSR
(Russian, Ukrainian, etc.)
Supreme Soviet of the
Autonomous Soviet Socialist
(Tatar. Bashkir, Chuvash, etc
Soviet of Working People's
Deputies of the Autonomous
Soviet of Working
People's Deputies of the
National Area (Okrug)
Soviet of Work-
ing People's -
Deputies of the
Area (Okrug) o
Territorial (Krai) or Regional (Oblast)
Soviet of Working People's Deputies
County (Raion) Soviet of
Working People's Deputies
City and Ward (Raion)
All c.t;:ens of both sexes over 18 years of age. regardless of religion. race. nationality.
edj.cad-;n. property, orwerihip. length of residence, social origin, or membership in the
armed forces. acte ;n equal direct and secret elections.
Electoral system of the USSR, with ratios of representation within individual republics
illustrated by those in force in the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic in 1939.
1 1 1|1
legislation and land tenure. These principles are applied, each in its own
way, by the member republics.
E. Court system
1. The Supreme Court is elected by the Supreme Soviet and supervises the
work of lower courts.
2. The republic and regional courts are elected by republic and local
3. The people's courts are elected directly by the people for 3-year terms.
4. Procurators (state's attorneys) are free of local partisanship since they
"perform their functions independently of any local organs whatsoever
and are subordinate solely to the Procurator (Attorney General) of the
U.S.S.R." (Art. 117). The latter is elected for a seven-year term by
the Supreme Soviet.
Readings: "Soviet Law: An Introduction," John Hazard, Columbia Law
Review, Dec. 1936.
The Court System in the Soviet Union, Morton Kent, Comp.
Law Series, U. S. Dept. of Commerce.
F. Republic and local governments
1. The republic and local government structures are generally similar to that
of the federal government, except that they do not have bicameral
2. Local variations due to cultural and economic differences are registered
in Republic constitutions: e.g. the Central Asian republics have special
penalties for oppression of women; the laws of Baltic republics have
economic variations due to incomplete socialization of the economy, as
well as special provisions for making land available for use by the
Readings: Moscow in the Making, Simon and others.
"Constitutions of the Baltic Republics," Trainin. The American Review
on the Soviet Union, April, 1941.
G. Territorial divisions
Territorial divisions in the Soviet Union are made according to:
a. Union Republics-may include any or all other subdivisions
b. Autonomous Republics-include counties
c. Autonomous Regions (Oblast)-include counties
d. National Areas (Okrug)-may include counties
2. Administration within Union Republics
a. Territory (Krai)-may include autonomous areas, national areas,
regions, and counties
b. Region (Oblast)-may include national areas and counties
c. County (Raion)
H. National defense
1. "Universal military service is a law. Military service in the Workers'
and Peasants' Red Army is an honorable duty of the citizens of the
U.S.S.R." (Art. 132). Under pre-war law conscription begins at 19.
Women serve in the auxiliary services and in exceptional cases in the
2. In peace-time, the armed forces are under the Commissariats of Defense
and of the Navy.
3. In this war, the armed forces, as well as the rest of government struc-
ture, are subordinated to the State Defense Council (established June
30, 1941) having the whole power of the state in its hands.
4. The civilian defense organization Osoaviakhim was a voluntary
membership organization before the war. Now the training is com-
pulsory for all men from 16 to 60 and women 18 to 50. All men 16
to 50 are also required to take 110 hours of military training.
Readings: Russia's Fighting Forces, Kournakoff.
The Great Offensive, Werner.
Attack Can Win in 1943, Werner.
U.S.S.R. at War: 50 Questions and 50 Answers.
General Reading on The Governmental Structure
Constitution of the U.S.S.R.
The New Soviet Constitution, Joseph Stalin.
The Government of the Soviet Union, Harper.
The Russians: The Land, the People and Why They Fight, Williams.
The New Constitution, A. L. Strong.
Soviet Communism, A New Civilization, Beatrice and Sidney Webb.
II. DICTATORSHIP AND DEMOCRACY
A. Communist theory of the State
Communists believe that historically every state apparatus has been used by
one class to suppress another. Speaking of the various forms of government
in capitalist states, Lenin said: "in the final analysis, all the-e states are
inevitably the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie." And, he continued, in the
transition to communism, there may be a variety of forms of government,
"but in essence there will inevitably be only one-the dictatorship of the
proletariat". (State and Revolution.) It is in this sense that the Soviets use
the word dictatorship. In early years, the working class dictatorship was
directed against capitalist classes (through disenfranchisement, etc.) Demo-
cratic rights were not extended to all, but after the first two five-year Plans,
the Soviets felt that the situation had changed. "The function of military
suppression inside the country ceased, died away; for exploitation had
been abolished, there were no more exploiters left, and so there was no
one to suppress." Consequently, the new constitution extended the fran-
chise to all, regardless of social origin. A-I rights and privileges are now
extended equally to all members of society, and the Soviet state is thus now
fully democratic in its form. The class dictatorship aspect of the state, in
the Soviet view, is now aimed against external enemies and any attempts
to overthrow the socialist state and to restore capitalism. Internally, on the
other hand, the Soviets feel that they have advanced very far in bringing
into being real democracy.
Readings: "The Soviet Union: A Working Class Dictatorship," Hazard,
pp. 93-125 in Dictatorship in the Modern World.
State and Revolution, Lenin.
"Stalin's Theory of the State," The American Review on The
Soviet Union. Feb.-March, 1942.
Foundations of Leninism, Stalin.
The Government of the Soviet Union, Harper. Chap. V. "De-
termination of Policy."
B. The Communist Party:
The Communist Party now is the only political party. . and the most
active and politically conscious citizens in the ranks of the working class
and other sections of the working people unite in the Communist Party
of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks), which is the vanguard of the working
people in their struggle to strengthen and develop the socialist system and
which represents the leading core of all organizations of the toilers, both
public and state." (Art. 126)
1. In 1941, there were 2,515,481 members and 1,361,404 candidates for
membership. Reports indicate that membership has grown very rapidly
during the war. By July, 1942 it was reported that about 750,000 new
members had joined since the beginning of the war. The Party has the
largest active membership of any political organization in the world.
2. A large percentage of deputies in the Supreme Soviet and most high
officials in all spheres of Soviet life are members of the Communist
3. Constitutionally, the Party has no special relationship to the govern-
ment, except that it, along with the trade unions and other social
organizations, may nominate candidates to office (cf. Art. 141)
The Communist Party often co-signs important decrees, thus giving its
moral sanction and stressing the importance of the particular legislation.
4. Stalin and other leading government figures hold offices in both the
Party and the government. Their public official acts are performed as
Readings: History of the C.P.S.U.
Source Book on European Governments, Rappard, Sharp, etc.
Land of Socialism Today and Tomorrow, pp. 173-234; 447-464
Soviet Communism, Sidney & Beatrice Webb, pp. 413-415;
C. Democratic processes
The elective principle is basic in all phases of Soviet life. "Accountability"
or responsibility to the electorate is embodied in Art. 142: "It is the duty
of every deputy to report to the electors on his work and on the work of
the Soviet of Toilers' Deputies, and he is liable to be recalled at any time
in the manner established by law upon decision of a majority of the
electors." Recall is operative in regard to all elective offices. The practice
is to make frequent reports to the electorate.
1. The 1937 election to the Supreme Soviet was the first nation-wide, direct,
universal secret election. The major part of the public discussion, as well
as the elimination of candidates, took place at the nomination stage. The
final ticket at the election was termed a unity slate of "Party and non-
Party candidates." The elections were all but unanimous, and a high
proportion elected were communists.
2. Collective farms and trade unions are managed by elected officials. Here,
as in local government, the percentage of communists is much lower.
3. Within the Communist Party the elective principle also applies. "The
guiding principle of the organizational structure of the Party is demo-
cratic centralism, the application of the elective principle to all leading
bodies of the Party from the lowest to the highest . ." (Art. 18, Rules
of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union). "At the elections of
Party bodies, voting by slates of nominees is forbidden. The voting
must be done by individual nominees and all members of the Party have
the unlimited right to nominate candidates and to criticize the nominees.
The elections take place on the basis of secret ballot for the candidates."
(Art. 23) Decisions once adopted are binding on all members.
Reading: "The New Soviet Elections," Rose Somervelle, American Quar-
terly on the Soviet Union, October, 1938.
D. Popular participation in government
1. There are no professional deputies in the soviets. Deputies hold other
jobs. The most famous people in the country were elected to the
Supreme Soviet in 1937.
2. Appointive administrators are responsible to the deputies who them-
selves come directly from factory, farm, Red Army, educational insti-
tutions, etc. The Commissariat of Control relies on popular help in
securing facts on efficiency and honesty of officials.
3. Volunteer citizens committees cooperate with soviets, especially in local
4. Public discussion of important legislation takes place before it is
enacted: e.g. the nation-wide six-month discussion of the new Consti-
tution from which amendments resulted; widespread discussion of the
ban on abortions. There is constant public discussion in the press and
in meetings of the actual operation of government. Criticism and
suggestions for changes are often acted on.
E. Civil rights
The Soviet Constitution guarantees the same rights found in the American
constitution, and a number of others in addition.
1. The right to work (Art. 118) In fact, there has been no unemploy-
ment since 1930. Provision is made for finding jobs for students be-
2. The right to rest and leisure (Art. 119) Annual vacations with pay
are provided for all-at least two weeks. The government, trade
unions, and other agencies provide rest homes. The work-day is
basically limited to 7 hours (8 hours plus overtime in war).
3. The right to maintenance in old age and sickness, or loss of capacity
to work (Art. 120) The social security system is largely administered
by the trade unions. There is cooperative insurance for collective
4. The right to education (Art. 121)
5. "Women in the U.S.S.R. are accorded equal rights with men in all
spheres of economic, state, cultural, social and political life." (Art.
122) In practice, this necessitates giving equal opportunity by provid-
ing care for children, maternity leave, etc. Especially important
changes have taken place among Moslems. Women are now in every
occupation. In the war, women from 16 to 45 have been made subject
to labor mobilization in wartime industry; from 14 to 50 for farm work
during harvest season, as are men within other age groups. 45% of all
workers and employees now are women (only 27% in 1929). There
are 19 million women members of collective farms. They bear a large
share of farm work, including administrative work.
Readings: Woman in Soviet Russia, Halle.
Women in the Soviet East, Halle.
Soviet Power, pp. 215-237.
6. "The equality of the rights of citizens of the U.S.S.R. irrespective of
their nationality or race, in all spheres of economic, state, cultural,
social and political life, is an indefeasible law. Any direct or indirect
restriction of the rights of, or conversely, the establishment of direct or
indirect privileges for citizens on account of their race or nationality, as
well as the advocacy of racial or national exclusiveness or hatred or
contempt is punishable by law." (Art. 123) The policy is based
on the scientific theory of the inherent equality of all races and nation-
alities, as well as on the Bolshevik solution for problems of inter-racial
and international relations, formulated primarily by Stalin. Theoretical
equality is translated into real equality by extending help to previously
backward nationalities in order to raise them to the same economic,
educational, health and cultural level of more advanced groups. There
has been a larger proportional capital investment in former backward
areas than in advanced sections. Written languages have been devel-
oped for previously primitive peoples. Development of national cultures
Readings: Marxism and the National Question, Stalin.
Soviet Power, Book V. "The Plan and the People."
7. "In order to ensure to citizens freedom of conscience, the church in the
U.S.S.R. is separated from the state, and the school from the church.
Freedom of religious worship and freedom of anti-religious propaganda
is recognized for all citizens." (Art. 124) Under the Tsar, the Church
and the State were united. The church had immense wealth and power.
The Provisional Government under Kerensky had disestablished the
Orthodox Church. The Soviets confirmed this by the decree of Jan. 23,
1918 which separated the Church from the State and the school from
the Church; abolished previous privileges accorded the Russian Orthodox
Church; confiscated church property and forbade compulsory collections.
In reply, the Patriarch pronounced anathema on the Soviet State and in
many places the clergy took up arms against it. The Soviets disfranchised
the clergy along with the former landlords, gendarmes, etc., but provided
a constitutional guarantee of freedom of religious worship. In 1923,
the Patriarch declared his loyalty to the Soviet State.
In 1925 the League of Militant Atheists was founded and anti-religious
propaganda became very strong, in line with the Communist theoretical
rejection of religion, but persecution of the religious was not permitted.
Freedom of religious worship and anti-religious propaganda were guar-
anteed in all constitutions. Under the 1936 Constitution, the clergy is
again enfranchised. The churches are now supported entirely by their
own congregations and are tax exempt. The law of 1929, governing
the churches in the R.S.F.S.R., provides for annual registration of re-
ligious societies (groups of not less than 20 adults) ; forbids educational
and social service activities by these societies; permits the societies to
obtain places of worship free of charge. There is some variation between
the different republics in the degree to which religious institutions are
given a place in the community.
During the war there has been a marked change in the public activities
of the various religious sects, and anti-religious propaganda has virtually
ceased. All sects-Russian Orthodox, Jewish, Moslem, Armenian Chris-
tian, and Protestants have called for active support of the war effort.
Churches are cooperating in aiding families, sending gifts to the front.
A leading churchman was appointed to the government commission to
investigate pillage by Nazis. The churches are contributing funds to
build tank and plane units, named after canonized historical figures-
Nevski and Donskoi.
On September 4, 1943, Stalin, as Chairman of the Council of People's
Commissars, approved the holding of a congress of bishops to re-
establish the Holy Synod. On September 12, 1943, Metropolitan Sergius
was installed as Patriarch. The Patriarchate had been vacant for 250
years except for a brief period after 1917.
Religious seminaries for adults are again to be permitted to function.
Religious education for organized groups of youth under 18 continues
to be forbidden, though such instruction, as in the past, may be given
Readings: Interview with Metropolitan Benjamin, Russia at War, Oct.
The Russians, Williams, Chap. 20, pp. 209-219.
Shooting the Russian War, Bourke-White, Chap. XI.
Soviet Power, Book VI.
8. Freedom of speech, press, assembly and street demonstrations is guar-
anteed. (Art. 125) The press, radio, etc., are owned and operated by
the government or by membership organizations such as trade unions.
Individuals have access to press, etc. and use it for wide range of
criticism of individuals, practices, conditions, etc. The limitations of
the exercise of this right is that it must be "in conformity with the
interests of the toilers, and in order to strengthen the socialist system."
Reading: The Russians, Williams, Chap. 19.
9. The rights to organize in trade unions, cooperatives, youth organiza-
tions, etc., are ensured. (Art. 126) Such organizations are widely
encouraged to perform many functions for Soviet society, e.g. trade
unions administer social insurance. Civilian defense was organized
through Osoaviakhim, a huge voluntary organization. Physical culture
is developed through voluntary societies often sponsored by trade
10. Inviolability of person, (Art. 127) inviolability of home and of mail
(Art. 128) are new guarantees in the 1936 Constitution. Formerly, the
G.P.U. was an independent agency, not responsible to the Council of
People's Commissars. Its functions are now assigned to the regular Com-
missariat of Internal Affairs, and search and seizure are subject to
F. The effect of the war on operation of democratic procedures
1. The State Defense Council was established June 30, 1941 by the Presi-
dium of Supreme Soviet. It has all the power of the State in its hands.
Membership cn it: Stalin, Chairman, V. M. Molotov, Vice-Chairman,
K. E. Voroshilov, G. M. Malenkov, L. P. Beria, L. M. Kaganovich,
N. A. Voznesensky, A. I. Mikoian.
2. Martial law operates now in the section west of the Urals. Under mar-
tial law, civil authorities are subject to the military in all matters affect-
ing defense. They have the right to mobilize people for defense work
and civilian defense activities; military courts handle all cases affecting
defense, protection of public property, treason, murder, draft evasion,
speculation, etc. In those places where there is no civil authority due to
war, the military performs all functions of government. It has the power
to establish curfew, rationing, and deportation of suspicious people.
There is no appeal against the decision of military court. Sentences can
be changed only if the military court reviews its own decision.
3. Workers in armament industries were drafted for the duration in Dec.
4. The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet still operates and issues legislation.
5. Regular sessions of the Supreme Soviet have been postponed and only
one special session has been called-in June 1942, which discussed and
ratified the mutual assistance pact with England.
6. Elections were scheduled for December, 1941, but were postponed be-
cause the most populated areas of the country were occupied by the Nazis,
and technical difficulties of elections were even greater than those in-
volved in the convening of the Supreme Soviet.
7. In wartime there has been increased participation by the population in
governmental activities to replace drafted government officials, especially
in areas near the front, occupied or reoccupied. Participation of women
and the clergy, in public, governmental and social activity has been
General Reading on Soviet Democracy
Soviet Communism, Beatrice and Sidney Webb.
The Russians, Williams, Chap. 6, 7, 8, pp. 70-79.
This Soviet World, A. L. Strong, Chap. III, IV,, V, VI.
Soviet Power, Dean of Canterbury, Book VI.
The Government of the Soviet Union, Harper, Chap. X.
In Place of Profit, Ward, Part III.
"The Soviet Government, Its Structure and Administration", Soviet Russia
Today, May, 1941.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS ON GOVERNMENT
1. What is the meaning of each word in the name UNION OF SOVIET SO-
2. Describe the structure of the federal government of the U.S.S.R. Why is the
Supreme Council called "the highest organ of state authority?" (How does its
relation to the Council of People's Commissars differ from the relation of
Congress to the President, Cabinet and Judiciary in this country?)
3. How is the Supreme Soviet elected and by whom?
4. What rights and powers are retained by the Constituent Republics?
5. Discuss popular participation in government operation. How does this act as
a check on bureaucratic tendencies?
6. In view of the structure of the Soviet Government and the extension of uni-
versal suffrage, what is meant by the "dictatorship of the proletariat?"
7. What is the relationship of the Communist Party to the Government?
8. How far are the "four freedoms" in existence in the U.S.S.R.?
a. Freedom of speech and expression.
b. Freedom of every person to worship God in his own way.
c. Freedom from want.
d. Freedom from fear.
9. How far are Vice-President Wallace's "five democracies" in operation?
a. Political or "bill-of-rights" democracy.
b. Economic democracy.
c. Ethnic democracy.
d. Democracy of education.
e. Democracy of sexes.
What guarantees are there for these freedoms?
Study suggestions: Details are given in this part of the syllabus both to illus-
trate the principles of Soviet economic development and to indicate the present
level of economic development of the U.S.S.R.
It is suggested that different members of the group be assigned to report on
various aspects of the economy, while the leader pays special attention to the inter-
relation of the various parts of the economic organization.
I. LEGAL BASIS
A. Social system
"The socialist system of economy and the socialist ownership of the means
and instruments of production firmly established as a result of the abolition
of the capitalist system of economy, the abrogation of private ownership
of the means and instruments of production and the abolition of the
exploitation of man by man, constitute the economic foundation of the
U.S.S.R." (Constitution, Art. 4.)
B. Public property
"The land, its natural deposits, waters, forests, mills, factories, mines, rail,
water and air transport, banks, post, telegraph and telephones, large state-
organized agricultural enterprises (state farms, machine and tractor stations
and the like) as well as municipal enterprises and the bulk of the dwelling
houses in the cities and industrial localities, are state property, that is,
belong to the whole people." (Art. 6.)
C. Cooperative property
"Socialist property in the U.S.S.R. exists either in the form of state prop-
erty (the possession of the whole people) or in the form of cooperative
and collective-farm property (property of a collective farm or property of
a cooperative association." (Constitution, Art. 5.)
"Public enterprises in collective farms and cooperative organizations with
their livestock and implements, the products of the collective farms and co-
operative organizations, as well as their common buildings, constitute the
common, socialist property of the collective farms and cooperative organiza-
tions." (Art. 7.)
"The land occupied by collective farms is secured to them for their free
use for an unlimited time; that is, forever." (Art. 8.)
D. Private property
".. In addition to its basic income from the public, collective farm enter-
prise, every household in a collective farm has for its personal use a small
plot of land attached to the dwelling and, as its personal property, a sub-
sidiary establishment on the plot, a dwelling house, livestock, poultry and
minor agricultural implements-in accordance with the rules of the agricul-
tural artel." (Art. 7.) "Alongside the socialist system of economy, which
is the predominant form of economy in the U.S.S.R., the law permits the
small private economy of individual peasants and handicraftsmen based on
their personal labor and precluding the exploitation of the labor of others."
"The right of citizens to personal ownership of their incomes from work
and of their savings, of their dwelling houses and subsidiary household
economy, their household furniture and utensils and articles of personal
use and convenience, as well as the right of inheritance of personal prop-
erty of citizens, is protected by law." (Art. 10)
E. Economic planning
"The economic life of the U.S.S.R. is determined and directed by the state
national economic plan with the aim of increasing the public wealth, of
steadily improving the material conditions of the working people and rais-
ing their cultural level, of consolidating the independence of the U.S.S.R.
and strengthening its defensive capacity." (Art. 11)
F. Moral bases of economy
"In the U.S.S.R. work is a duty and a matter of honor for every able-
bodied citizen, in accordance with the principle: 'He who does not work,
neither shall he eat.' The principle applied in the U.S.S.R. is that of
socialism: 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his
work.' (Art. 12)
II. THE PLAN
"The economic life of the U.S.S.R. is determined and directed by the state
national economic plan . ." (Art. 11)
Gosplan (State Planning Commission) is under the Council of People's
Commissars. Its chairman is a member of the Council.
1. It is charged with preparing annual and quarterly plans for the coun-
try, based on draft plans submitted by the Commissariats, etc. Plans
are subject to the approval of the Council of People's Commissars.
2. "The principal task of Gosplan is to ensure in the plan of the national
economy of the U.S.S.R. a correct interrelationship in the development
of various branches of the economy and to ensure that the necessary
steps be taken to prevent disproportions in the national economy"
(Decree on Gosplan, Feb. 2, 1938). It is concerned with the location
of industry; the relation of industry to agriculture; the relation of
consumers' goods to producers' goods; the relation of industry to
3. It checks on the fulfillment of plans.
4. It is in charge of all national statistics.
B. Other planning organs
Every republic, city, village, factory, farm, industry, etc. has its planning
C. Continuity of planning
The process of planning involves coordinating draft plans from the smallest
to the largest economic units into an overall plan. It is a continuing process,
with constant revision and adjustment.
Readings: The Russians, Williams. Chap. 9.
Soviet Communism, Webbs. Chap. VIII, "Planned Production
for Community Consumption".
The Soviets, Williams, pp. 134-158.
A. Enormous industrial resources
The resources now known and developed make the U.S.S.R. less dependent
on imports of raw and semi-manufactured products than any other country.
Readings: Mineral Resources of U.S.S.R., Gubkin (W.F.P.).
Mikhailov, pp. 20-25.
B. Aims of industrialization
1. To increase the public wealth and advance social welfare.
Industry as a whole produced twelve times as much in 1940 as in 1913,
five times as much as in 1929. Despite the emphasis on heavy industry,
cotton textile output rose 50% from 1913, socks and stockings more
than 100% from 1932, silks four times from 1928, knit goods over
four times from 1913 to 1938. Meat production was up 50% from
the very poor year of 1932, sausage and smoked meats up 61/2 times
from 1913, fish up 50%, animal fats increased 212 times from 1928
to 1938, vegetable fats 20%o from 1932 to 1937. Bread and bakery
products doubled from 1913; sugar doubled from 1913; confectionery
output increased 15 times from 1913 to 1938.
Housing space in the cities has been increased from 1,400 million square
feet in 1923 to 2,550 million square feet in 1941. Most of the new
houses are provided with central heat and other modern conveniences.
Hundreds of towns which were formerly hardly more than big villages,
have been equipped with public utilities and modern means of trans-
Readings: "Food Industry of U.S.S.R.", Zhemchuzhina (W.F.P.)
Land of Socialism Today and Tomorrow. pp. 29-32, 142-152,
"Soviet Economy: 1941", The American Review on the Soviet
Union. June, 1941 (statistics).
2. To advance the peoples of the formerly colonial areas, which were
forcibly retarded under Tsars, to a status of material, as well as legal
equality with the Russians. Tremendous quantities of capital were
poured into the Caucasus, Central Asia, etc. Thus, the 1941 plan,
interrupted by war, provided a more than 50% increase in investment
over 1940, to have been distributed as follows:
Republics Increase in Capital Investment
Russians S.F.S.R. ................................................50% over 1940
Ukraine ......---- ---...................-- ........--- 76%
Belorussia (nearest border) ....................................45%
Georgia ......... ........... .... ............... 101%
Armenia ......... ... .. ---------........................135%
Azerbaidzhan ..----------................ .....................122
Tadzhik ..... -- --.............. ..................83%
K irgiz .................. ........ ..... ...................132
Turkmen ......... .....--------..........................--- 72%
Readings: "Industrial Progress in the Soviet Republics of the Non-Russian
Nationalities." M. Papyan (W.F.P.)
3. To insure the economic independence of the U.S.S.R.
The Russian Empire was dependent on foreign capital and industrial
imports. The objective is to achieve economic balance, freeing the
country from the danger that its welfare and independence can be
affected by foreign control of essentials. Now, no single commodity is
utterly lacking. Cotton and rubber no longer need be imported in
quantity. The objective is not autarchy, but a well-rounded economy
and production of defense essentials.
4. To strengthen the defensive capacity.
Industry was modernized: electric power output in 1938 was 21 times
greater than in 1913, and 8 times greater than in 1928. All branches
were expanded: by 1937 output of industry as a whole was second only
to the U.S.A.
Industry was dispersed and brought closer to raw material resources.
Under the Tsars, industry had been concentrated in the West near
Leningrad, Moscow and in the Ukraine, and the resources of the East
were little known or developed. Among important pre-war develop-
ments are the following:
a. The Urals: from Sverdlovsk to Magnitogorsk now produce steel,
non-ferrous metals, chemicals. (In 1929 there was no iron and steel
output on an industrial scale east of the Ukraine).
Reading: "Magnitogorsk," Baikov (W.F.P.)
b. The Kuzbass in Siberia now produces steel, chemicals, and coal.
c. The Far East: the steel city of Komsomolsk, built in virgin wilderness
on the Amur, 200 miles from civilization, whose population was
planned to reach 300,000 by 1942.
d. Kazakhstan and Central Asia: copper, coal, and oil now developed;
chemicals, textiles, machinery are now produced in Central Asia.
5. The tremendous development and more rational distribution of various
branches of industry, resulting in European Russia's providing 85% of
the total industrial output at the time of Hitler's attack. (Leningrad-
10%; Moscow-Tula-Gorky triangle-30%; Ukraine-18%, the rest in
the Caucasus, Volga valley, and Far North). Formerly, almost 100% of
industry was in Europe.
The Nazi successes early in the war changed this situation considerably.
The Ukraine was lost at the outset. Much of its industry, as that of
Moscow and Leningrad, was evacuated to the east. The Urals are
probbaly now the greatest center, the Kuzbass is greatly expanded;
and Central Asia has basic industries for the first time. The Volga
cities, such as Kuibyshev, etc. have a much more important place
in the total. In the Caucasus and the Far East expansion has possibly
been tempered by the proximity to the frontiers. Reconquest of the
Donbass restores to Soviet control an area which produced 60% of its
coal when the war began.
6. To help the modernization and collectivization of agriculture by provid-
ing machinery, in order to raise the productivity of farm workers to a
par with industrial workers and eliminate the social and economic con-
trasts between town and country.
Readings: Land of Soviets, pp. 34-49.
The Russians, pp. 119-139.
Land of Socialism, pp. 20-24, 121-125, 301-329.
"National Income of the U.S.S.R."-Sautin (W.F.P.)
"The Industrial Might of the U.S.S.R."-Bardin (W.F.P.).
The central government of the U.S.S.R. has jurisdiction over: "Foreign
trade on the basis of state monopoly . Establishment of the national
economic plans of the U.S.S.R. . Approval of the single state budget
of the U.S.S.R., as well as of the taxes and revenues which go to the all-
union, Republican and local budgets. Administration of the banks, indus-
trial and agricultural establishments and enterprises and trading enterprises
of all-Union importance. Administration of transport and communica-
tions. .. ." (Constitution, Art. 14).
1. The most important industries are administered by the U.S.S.R. govern-
ment, each headed by a Commissariat, the head of which (the
Commissar) is in the "cabinet" (Council of People's Commissars).
Under the Commissariats are factories or trusts, etc., each one oper-
ated as a separate unit financially, on a cost-accounting basis. Each is
supposed to remain "in the black" after it is in full operation.
Since the war industrial commissariats have the right to shift equipment
from one plant under their jurisdiction to another, thus legalizing the
changes made necessary by conversion and evacuation.
Losses of individual enterprises under the management of a given Com-
missariat may now be written off against over-plan profits of the Com-
missariat as a whole, thereby compensating for temporary losses due to
conversion, bombing, etc. The purpose of this measure is to maintain
the credit of these enterprises with the banks serving them.
2. Textile and other light industries, the food industry, the timber industry,
are administered either by the U.S.S.R. government or that of the
3. Cooperatively owned small industry, and public enterprises of local
importance (roughly under $100,000 capitalization), and such matters
as water supply for agriculture of irrigated Central Asia, are adminis-
tered and planned entirely by the Republics and smaller administrative
units, such as cities and counties (raions). This type of industry
constitutes 20% of all industry and accounts for a large portion of the
consumers' goods produced in wartime.
4. Managerial personnel is appointed by the controlling Commissariat
(except for cooperatives). The manager has full power and responsi-
bility. He can be removed only by the Commissariat, though public
pressure via the soviets, the Communist Party, the trade unions may
lead to such removal. Managers now come primarily from the ranks
of labor. Workers are nominated or seek entrance into higher educa-
tional institutions to be trained as industrial managers, engineers and
Readings: The Russians, Williams. Chap. 12.
In Search of Soviet Gold, Littlepage.
"Who Directs Soviet Industry?" Smetanin (W.F.P.).
In 1940 there were approximately as many wage workers and salaried em-
ployes in the U.S.S.R. as in the United States, 30.4 million (11.2 million in
1913). Since the war, nearly half the workers are women. The increase in the
number of industrial workers is a direct result of the release of farm
population to industry through the mechanization of agriculture. The pre-
war plan was to add 1.5 million workers per year from the rural areas.
2. Trade Unions:
Four-fifths of the workers (25,500,000 members) are in trade unions. They
are organized on industrial lines. The nearly 200 unions are united in the
All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions. Locals make wage contracts
with plant managers on the basis of nationally established rates. Since the
abolition of the Commissariat of Labor in 1933, the trade unions have
been responsible for: administration of social insurance, inspection of safety
and work conditions, recreation and health facilities for workers. They
are also closely concerned with raising the productivity of workers through
training courses, etc. The trade unions have a large press. They are
supported by dues, government subsidy and a levy on industry.
There has never been any anti-strike legislation. However, strikes are un-
known, due to workers' feeling of ownership of industry, generally noted
by foreign observers. The workers' interest in increasing production results
both from the assurance that the increase will be reflected in higher pay, as
a result of the incentive wage system, and from the consciousness that bene-
fits to the nation at large will ensue, with no danger of unemployment.
Readings: "Labor in the War Effort," Russia at War, No. 10.
"Soviet Trade Unions All-Out for Victory," Russia at War,
Organized Labor in the Soviet Union, Edwin S. Smith.
3. Wage System:
Piece-work rates and wages are set generally by the Economic Council,
attached to the Council of People's Commissars, on which serve the indus-
trial commissars and Shvernik, Secretary of the Central Council of Trade
Unions. Piece-work is the general system, with an elaborate system of in-
centive bonuses. The financial stimulus is widely used to increase output.
4. Working Conditions:
a. The 8-hour day is the wartime basis. (Maximum for minors-
4 hours plus a possible 2 overtime). The pre-war day was seven,
with shorter hours in dangerous occupations, a differentiation re-
tained in wartime.
b. Paid vacations were provided for all. In war they have been sus-
pended, with extra pay given instead.
c. In wartime, overtime may be obligatory up to three hours daily, at
d. Provision of housing is considered the responsibility of industry.
The housing facilities for a factory are part of its initial capital
investment, just like the plant.
e. Public health facilities are provided at the place of work.
5. Labor productivity is lower than in the United States, but is higher than
in European countries. It was advanced greatly through technical educa-
tion, socialist competition," social and financial incentives, "Stakhanov-
ism" ("working with your head as well as with your hands"), rationali-
zation, wartime "200 percenters" movement.
Readings: In Place of Profit, Ward. Part II.
The Russians, Williams, Chap. 13, 14.
Soviet Communism, Webbs, Chap. IX.
"The Stakhanov Movement Explained," Stakhanov (W.F.P.)
"How Soviet Workers Spend their Leisure," Korobov (W.F.P.)
A. Collective farms
The Kolkhoz (collective farm) is a producers' cooperative of farmers who
have pooled their land, equipment and livestock. The bulk of the produce,
acreage and farm population is now on collectives. They date from 1930-
1934, or earlier. (See section on "History"). They were organized to
increase the country's food resources and to meet the need for marketable
grain to feed the growing cities which the individual peasant farms were
too inefficient to supply. The organization of collective farms eliminated
the last stronghold of private property in production; it helped meet the
need for labor in industry as efficient mechanized collectives needed fewer
hands. The Soviet view of the advantages of collectivization to the farmers
were stated by Stalin in Problems of Leninism: "Under the new collective
farm system, the peasant works in common, cooperatively, with the help of
modern implements-tractors and agricultural machinery; they work for
themselves and their collective farms; they live without capitalists and
landlords,. l thout kulas and profiteers; they work with the object of
raising their standard of nvelfare and culture from day to day." No farm
unemployment resulted, but industry contracted with farms to employ given
numbers of workers each year, the latter to be trained and advanced ac-
cording to ability. The long time objective is to eliminate the disparities
between life in the towns and in the countryside, where lower cultural
standards had prevailed.
Much already has been accomplished: there is an agronomist on most
farms; a supply of selected grain; increased use of machinery, which results
in an increase in the interest in mechanics and science. Farms have lab-
oratory huts, where farmers experiment in improving crops, etc. Collective
farms have erected club-houses with movies, radio reception, etc. New
schools have been built (see "Culture").
1. Organization of Collective Farms.
a. A kolkhoz averages about 75 families. Each family retains house
and garden plot. They may and generally do own a milk cow,
goats, sheep, and fowl, for private use, with the right to sell the
surplus. During the war, the government which had provided cows
to peasants during preceding years (most of them had had none),
has bought up many to restore the herds reduced by German occu-
pation of the rich farm regions.
b. Most of the machinery with operators is rented to the collective
farms by government Machine and Tractor Stations (M.T.S.) in
return for rent payable in produce. The farms own some machinery
of their own.
c. After payment of rent to the machine stations, the compulsory sale
to the government of fixed quantities of each type of produce, the
payment of taxes, the setting aside of seed and catastrophe insur-
ance funds and of funds for such capital construction as the farm
may have voted on, the remaining produce and cash income is dis-
tributed among the members in proportion to the time worked and
the type of work done. The law requires each farmer member to
put in 100 to 150 "work days" a year on collective work. A
"work day" earned means that a set quota of work has been done:
skilled workers may complete two quotas in one actual day and are
accordingly paid for two "work days." In simplest work the "work
day" tends to correspond in time with an actual day. The "work
day" wage system is an incentive to increased ouput and mastery
of skilled farm trades. The rest of the year may be spent on the
farmer's own plot, but many farmers earn 400-600 work-days on the
collective in a year. The success of collectives is evidenced in the
growth of the individual farm-family's share (after the collective
mikes all payments and provisions listed above) from slightly over
one ton of grain per year in 1933 to nearly three tons in 1937 and
thousands of rubles in cash, not including the income in cash and
kind from their own plots.
d. The collective farms are required to maintain subsidiary livestock
and duiry farms.
2. Results of Collectivization.
Grain crop (all types of farms) was up 50% from 1913 to 1941, al-
though acreage rose less than 20%. Cotton output was up almost 4 times,
sugar beets almost double, potatoes almost triple, flax almost double, tea
up 70 times, citrus fruits 160 times from 1928 to 1940. Milk was up
50% from 1932; wool doubled in same period.
Readings: "The Kolkhoz," by Klimenko (W.F.P.).
"Machine and Tractor Stations," by A. Oskin (W.F.P.).
B. State farms
These huge farms (called Sovkhoz) are operated jointly by the Republic
and the U.S.S.R. governments. They are similar to the United States ex-
perimental farms. They concentrate on producing seed grain for the
collective farms, livestock breeding and dairy and beef farming. They em-
ploy labor and are comparable to factories in their economic organization.
They have altogether one-tenth as much acreage under crop as the collec-
Readings: "The State Farms of the U.S.S.R.", by P. Loganov (W.F.P.).
C. Individual farms
Peasants who had not joined collectives in 1938 sowed 2,250,000 acres,
less than one percent as much as the collectives and only one-sixth as much
as the collective farmers tilled on their private plots.
D. Wartime changes
Nearly half of the normal sown acreage was lost at the time of the farthest
German advance in 1942. Huge new acreages were opened in Siberia,
Kazakhstan, Central Asia, and the Far East with the aid of refugees and
farm machinery evacuated in advance of the Germans. Scientists worked hard
to produce higher yields. Children and city people were drafted for farm
work at the height of season. About 2,000 school children assisted in the
farm work during the 1942 growing season. In the Moscow oblast alone
110,000 children worked on the farms and earned a total of 5,000,000
work days. The main losses in the occupied areas were grain, flax, and sugar
(which had been concentrated almost entirely in the Ukraine). To provide
for the local supply of fresh vegetables, victory gardening was encouraged,
the Soviet press giving detailed instructions on how to cultivate kitchen
garden crops. In 1942 some 5,000,000 workers and office employees tilled
their own gardens; while in 1943 there were above 10,000,000 such private
gardens embracing about 2,500,000 acres in and around the urban centers.
Workers were obliged to care for their gardens only in spare time, after
their regular working hours. Moreover, the 28 industrial commissariats oper-
ated auxiliary farms attached to the basic industrial plants. The 2,000,000
acres sown in these auxiliary farms in 1942 was expanded to 2,500,000
The overall expansion of the sown area planned for 1943 was 16,000,000
acres in all industrial crops, most of it taking place in the eastern areas.
Readings: "Socialist Farming," Borin (W.F.P.).
"Science at the Serviceof Soviet Agriculture," Tsitsin (W.F.P.).
"Livestock Raising in the U.S.S.R.", Liskin (W.F.P.).
The Russians, pp. 108-119.
The Soviets, pp. 172-188.
Hitler Cannot Conquer Russia, Hindus, Chap. V, VII, VIII.
Mikhailov, pp. 50-59.
Land of Socialism, pp. 24-28, 126-129, 245-268.
Lenin on the Agrarian Question, Rochester.
A. General observations
Huge distances, a heritage of roadlessness, rivers and seas frozen three to
nine months, are the problems faced by Soviet transport.
Railroads carry four-fifths of the total freight in ton-miles. Much of the
trackage was lost in the war, but locomotives and rolling stock were saved.
Wartime performance has been efficient. Before the intensification of ser-
vices due to the war, the density of traffic was almost three times that in
the United States, and the speed was second only to the United States. The
main lines are: (1) The Trans-Siberian, with its main European connections
to Moscow and Donbass. (2) The Turkestan-Siberian. (3) The Murmansk
line. (4) Archangel-Moscow-Donbass-Rostov-Baku-Tbilisi. The densest
networks are: Donbass, Moscow, Leningrad, Ural, Kuzbass. There has been
a 50% increase in total track from 1913 to 1939.
Readings: "The Railroads of the U.S.S.R.", Obrastsov (W.F.P.).
"The Stakhanov Movement on the Soviet Railroads", Krivonos
C. Rivers and seas
Volga and Caspian tankers carry Baku oil to industries of European Russia,
Urals, as well as Central Asia and Siberia through transshipment by rail. The
Black Sea grain trade was of great importance in peacetime, fed by Dnieper
and Don. Siberian rivers act as spurs of the Trans-Siberian railroad. The
Okhotsk and Japan Seas and the Pacific are the only means of bulk trans-
port in the Far East. One indication of the importance of river transport is
the opening of the Amu-Darya in Central Asia to river transport in 1942,
which made it possible to take 60% of the freight from the overloaded
vital Tashkent railroad, linking this area to the Urals.
Readings: "Waterways and Water Transport in U.S.S.R.", Blidman
"The Moscow Volga Canal," Romanovsky (W.F.P.).
There are no long-distance highways except in the extreme Far East, Cen-
tral Asia .and Kazakhstan, and in the extreme west. The latter are now
largely in German hands. However, trucks carried half the total freight by
weight (not weight and distance) before war.
Be fore the war, the Soviets held all height-weight-distance records (now
important for heavy bombers) and had the largest air freight service in the
world. Air transport is particularly highly developed in outlying regions
and is also used for emergency shipment to new industries. Aviation prob-
ably has a larger future in the immediate post-war years. It iS essential in
Reading: "Civil Aviation," by V. Molokov (W.F.P.).
"Finances are essentially an economic expression of state activity." (The
Financial System of the U.S.S.R., Bogolepov.) Though the economic struc-
ture and the financial system of the U.S.S.R. are essentially different from
other countries, finance terminology current in the U.S.S.R. is not substan-
tially different, e.g., "money" is the means of calculating expenditure of
social labor and consumption, and the means of exchange. "Capital" is the
technical designation for the basic resources of the national economy.
"Profit" represents national financial accumulation. From the beginning,
Soviet leaders were aware of the importance of the financial system to
economic development. "It must not be forgotten that every radical reform
we introduce is doomed to failure if we do not make a success of our
financial policy." (Lenin, 1921.)
The currency is secured by precious metals, mainly because of trade rela-
tionships to the outside world. Actually, money in U.S.S.R. bears a closer re-
lation to goods than to gold reserves. "What determined the stability of
Soviet currency? Of course not simply gold reserves, but the tremendous
stocks of commodities in the hands of the state marketed at fixed prices.
Who can deny that such a backing, which exists only in the U.S.S.R., con-
stitutes a more genuine security than any reserves of gold?" (Stalin, From
First to Second Five-Year Plan.)
B. Capital accumulation
1. About 75% of the revenue is derived from State-owned industries and
trade through the turn-over tax, collected at the point of production
(ranging from 5% of sale price on iron and coal to 83% on vodka);
the tax on profits; and fixed deliveries in kind from agriculture. 60%
of the revenue comes from the turn-over tax.
2. Relatively smaller revenues, about 6%, come from direct taxes on the
population: 4-8% on income from sale of farm products; income tax
on workers' incomes, 150 rubles and over, are graduated to 3%; inheri-
tance taxes are graduated to 90%; customs revenues, etc.
The average worker pays three taxes, of which the war tax is a special
levy imposed in January, 1942.
Anmnal Wage Income Tax Cultural Tax War Tax
1,800 rubles 14.40 r. 12.60 r. 120.00 r.
4,300 r. (average wage) 172.00 r. 150.50 r. 360.00 r.
Higher incomes are subject to a graduated tax. The higher paid workers
are taxed 7% for income tax, 6% for cultural tax, and approximately
10% for war tax.
3 Goteinmenr loin,. floated annually, contribute about 6% of the budget.
Lottery bonds, the total winnings of which are 4% of the amount of
the issue, are sold to individuals in denominations of 25 rubles to 500
rubles each. One-third of the individuals win something. Bonds bearing
an interest of 2%, and not participating in the lottery, are sold to all
types of cooperative organizations. Bonds are tax free. The loan issued
June 5, 1943, in the amount of 12,000,000,000 rubles was oversub-
scribed within a day.
4. The social insurance tax, paid entirely by the enterprises, accounts for
most of the remaining revenue.
C. Financial Appropriations
Appropriations are handled entirely through state-owned banks and through
budget appropriations. The national budget reflects the process on a na-
tional scale. With minor exceptions, the national budget includes only the
funds transferred from one branch of economy to another, from one part
of the country to another. Operating capital and funds "plowed back" into
industries where accumulated, as well as reserves for depreciation and
amortization, are not included in the national budget.
The National Budget includes expenditures on army, schools, public health,
courts, governmental agencies, as well as investment in industry and agri-
culture: e.g. in 1941, the 216 billion ruble budget was spent as follows:
1. 33% for capital construction in industry, agriculture, transport.
2. 22% for social and cultural services-education, health, science, etc.
3. 33% for defense.
4. 12% for government, courts, banks, social security, reserves, pensions,
emergency funds, etc.
Banks are the channel for redistributing national wealth in the U.S.S.R.
Their clients include practically all agencies or enterprises. They settle ac-
counts between trusts, factories, cooperatives by a system of book entries.
There are five specialized banks, each with wide network of branches:
1. Gosbank (State Bank) with 3,200 branches. This is the bank of
issue. It floats government loans, holds reserves of specie and foreign
currency. It receives tax payments, grants short-term credits to enter-
prises, handles foreign exchange transactions.
Allocations from the National Budget pass through the four long-term
credit banks, under Gosbank, which operate entirely by debit and credit
entries and handle no cash transactions.
a. Prombank (Industrial Bank). It advances money to new enter-
prises, some in the form of long-term loans for as long as 40 years,
some as non-repayable, non-interest-bearing subsidies. In return,
Prombank receives a percentage of the profits of each enterprise,
holds on deposit the funds for amortization, gets interest on long-
term loans. It exercises financial supervision over the operations of
b Bank of Agriculture.
c. Bank of Municipal Economy and Housing.
d. Bank of Commerce and Foreign trade.
(Note: The three last operate similarly to Prombank but in their
2. Accounts for individuals are handled by an extensive network of savings
banks; they operate gyro accounts; they pay 3% interest (5% on ac-
counts over 6 months). There are now 17 million individual accounts.
There are branches in schools, villages, plants, post offices, etc.
3. Soviet banking has undergone various changes in wartime. Short-term
loans were issued in increased quantity to finance the resumption of pro-
duction in evacuated plants, to build emergency stocks, to build reserves
of finished materials, and to provide larger stocks of materials than
normally needed in order to enable plants to manufacture their own
equipment and process their own raw materials. The availability of
short term loans under wartime arrangements has made it possible to cut
the reserve funds which enterprises were previously required to accumu-
late against emergency needs, these reserves now going to the state which
needs them for over-all war purposes. On the other hand, these loans
have served to render flexible the economy of plants which had been
unsuccessful in accumulating reserves for required changes.
Readings: The Russians, Chap. 15.
Banks, Credit and Money in Soviet Russia, Arnold.
A. Wholesale distribution
Handled largely by direct contracts between producer and retailer. There
are some wholesale warehouse organizations.
B. Retail trade
Handled through three principal channels:
1. In urban areas distribution is almost entirely through state stores under
the Commissariat of Trade.
2. In rural areas there are, in addition to state stores, some consumers
3. There are Kolkhoz markets in towns and cities at which collective farm-
ers sell their share of the collective farm produce or the products from
their own garden plots.
Prices in state stores and cooperatives are set by the government, as are
prices of industrial products. Ceiling prices are established for markets.
D. Problem of selection of goods and consumers choice
There is competition between various stores and various manufacturers of
similar consumers' goods, subject, however, to check if it results in irra-
tional long railway hauls or other economic waste. Within limits of fixed
prices and fixed costs in wage rates, etc. there are variations in quality
depending on the efficiency of management. There is a very large selection
of consumers' products such as cigarettes, candy, cloth, perfumes, bread
products, etc. Strict standards for food and medical products are set by the
government and inspection is enforced.
Advertising is used largely for the purpose of public education in the use
of products, rather than for competitive selling.
F. Wartime rationing
Bread rationing is universal. General food rationing in many cities began
four weeks after the Nazi invasion. Food rationing is handled through
"closed stores," with individuals assigned to trade in specific stores, usually
near the place of work. There is coupon rationing of food and clothing.
Food purchases above rations are possible when supplies are available. This
is handled in "open stores" in which anyone may trade. This practice dis-
courages the development of a black market. The amount of rations varies
according to the type of work performed by the purchaser. It also varies in
different localities, depending on the ability to supply the goods.
Readings: U.S.S.R. at IWar, pp. 23-24.
Soviet Trade and Distribution, Hubbard.
"Soviet Advertising", American Quarterly on the Soviet Union,
Webbs, Part I, Chap. IV.
General Readings on National Economy
The Russians, Williams, Chap. 9-15 incl.
The Soviets, Williams, Part II-"Economic Life".
Soviet Communism, Webbs-Chaps. III, IV, VII, VIII, IX.
Soviet Power, Johnson, Books II and III.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS ON
1. What is the essential difference between socialist and capitalist economy?
2. What forms of property are there? Is there any private property in the
3. How is the socialist economy administered? What is the plan and what is the
planning process? What was the attitude to the 5-Year-Plans abroad?
4. Discuss the new industrial developments in relation to (a) Soviet nationality
policy (b) foreign trade (c) foreign policy.
5. What is the function of management? What are the functions of the trade
6. What is the wage system? What are the incentives to individual work and
the means to advancement? Is there freedom of choice in jobs?
7. What is the place of industrial cooperatives in the economy?
8. How is agriculture organized? How does it differ from industry?
9. How are the farmers paid?
10. What is the financial system, budget, taxes, etc.? How is capital accumulated
11. How has the transport system of the U.S.S.R. been developed? Describe the
role of the railroads, truck transport, waterways, air transport. How has the
system stood up under the strain of war?
12. How are the consumers' goods distributed?
13. How has the Nazi invasion affected industry, agriculture, planning?
(One and one-half Units)
"Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to education. This right is ensured by
universal, compulsory elementary education; by education including higher edu-
cation being free of charge (n.b. see below); by the system of state stipends
for the overwhelming majority of students in the universities and colleges; by
instruction in schools being conducted in the native language and bythe organ-
ization in the factories, state farms, machine and tractor stations and collective
farms of free vocational, technical and agronomic training for the working
people." (Art. 121, Constitution.)
For the care and education of its youth, the U.S.S.R. has a network of institu-
tions. Education begins at birth and may go through the university. Education
is a responsibility of the Republics, but the general principles are set by the
federal government. Republics have Commissariats of Education which supervise
the schools, etc. There is also a federal Committee on Higher Education whose
chairman is on the Council of People's Commissars.
A. Basic principles of Soviet education
1. Three-sidedness of training: mental, physical and polytechnical ("tech-
hical training which acquaints the pupil with the basic principles of all
processes of production and at the same time gives the child and
adolescent habits of handling the simplest tools of all production."
Marx and Engels, Collected Works, Vol. XVIII.)
2. Cultivation of collective outlook and attitude; understanding of self-
government are principles adhered to even in pre-school training, where
to develop beginnings of polytechnical training children learn what a
factory is and how it looks, harvesting, sowing, etc. To cultivate a
collective outlook, the children are given play material that can be
used only collectively, though individual self-expression is fostered. To
train youngsters in self-government, nothing is done for him that he
can do alone or with another child's help.
Of further importance methodologically is the unity of theory and prac-
tice, which is especially evident in technical education. In addition to
study, students are given actual bench practice to a maximum of four
hours a day, e.g. in trade schools students produce goods for the market;
receipt of a diploma in higher technical schools is dependent on the
completion of the "practicum," which is an actual project in connection
with the industry into which the student is going.
B. Teaching methods
The education system has passed through various stages. In the early stage,
they largely discarded textbooks on the theory that "Life must teach." They
found that children grew up without sufficient specific knowledge. It was
hard to train working members of modern society without specific
Th.y now have stable text-books, along with supplementary reading, use
:f newspapers, excursions and projects. They tried the Dalton Plan in the
classroom, and brigade methods. They found the learning was uneven-
some learned, others did not. Now they have both the lecture and the
laboratory method in secondary schools and institutes, supplemented by
extra-curricular activities, excursions, etc. Projects are used to supplement
the text, not to replace it. The present method is regarded not as a return to
the formal class method, but a combination of the best of both methods.
Orientation towards a place in society and the choice of profession begins
in early childhood. Extra-curricular activities, in circles, clubs (art, music,
etc.) help to develop vocational abilities. Specialists in various fields discuss
their work with school children. Children are given orientation consulta-
tions regularly. Institute students go into offices and factories as recruiting
agents for their institutes.
C. Pre-school education
1. Creche or nursery school. These creches care for children from infancy
to 31/2 years. Working mothers may use them, though they are not
compulsory. They are located at the place of work when possible. Pro-
vision is made for nursing mothers. The creches care for the child for
the full working day, or if the mother is on night shift for the full
night. The child is brought to school and called for by its parents.
There has been a large expansion of nurseries in wartime, especially
night nurseries. The children are bathed and given breakfast. Infants
are put in cots, crawlers in play pens, toddlers in play rooms. They
spend much of the time out-of-doors. They have dinner, two hours
sleep, milk, indoor play.
Creches are supervised by the Commissariat of Health of the Republics.
They are financed by the Commissariat of Health or by the factory,
club, housing association, farm, etc. to which they are attached.
2. The kindergarten comes under the Commissariats of Education of the
Republics. They take ages 3/ through 7. The usual day is 7:30 a.m. to
5:30 P.M. Children whose mothers work late spend the night in kinder-
garten. A characteristic schedule begins with the change to school
clothes, washing, free play and exercise. Breakfast is followed by lessons
in drawing, carpentry, nature study, reading, writing and number. The
four to five-year group has two fifteen-minute formal lessons; the next
age group has two twenty-minute formal lessons; the six to seven-year
age group has two lessons of thirty minutes. All such lessons come in
the morning. After dinner the children have two hours of rest in bed.
Then they have milk and carefully supervised play. Those who spend
the night have their supper and go to bed at 8:00 p.m.
D. The ten-year school (7-17 years)
1. D..,isions: This school course can be considered in three parts: (a)
Primary: 1st through fourth grades; (b) the "incomplete secondary"
(;th through 7th); (c) the higher classes (8th to 10th) which, with
the two former, make the "complete secondary school." It was the aim
to make the ten-year school universal and compulsory by 1942. The war
interfered. The seven-year school is universal and compulsory. The ten-
year schools are mainly in the larger cities.
2. Content: The class lesson is the basic method used. It is supplemented
by excursions and practical work. The subjects studied are the native
language and literature, Russian and Russian literature, mathematics.
nature study, history, geography, physics, chemistry, astronomy, social
science, a foreign language, art, handiwork and manual work, mechani-
cal drawing, singing, physical culture, military studies. After school
classes for music, dancing, etc. which are free to all are provided by
schools, clubs and other organizations. Every effort was.made to keep
schools open in the war, even those near the front.
3. Wartime Changes: During the war, all study was intensified. Practical
agriculture was made part of the regular curriculum; formerly, military
studies were taught in 9th and 10th grades. Now they begin in 4th.
Boys are taught hand-to-hand combat and platoon exercises. Girls are
trained in nursing and as radio and telephone operators. This training
is under direction of the Commissariat of Defense. Logic and psychology
and two new subjects on the theatre have been added to the curriculum,
and pedagogy is also being introduced in girls' schools. Children now
enter school at the age of 7, instead of 8.
However, all subjects, so far as possible, are tied in with defense.
Pupils are being trained in the use of maps and compasses, elementary
plan drawing, the taking of measurements. Rudimentary training is
given in the handling of optical and telegraphic instruments, knowledge
of terrain, ballistics, and diesel motors. Basic courses are given in meth-
ods of combating poison gases, extinguishing incendiary bombs, fire
fighting, and knowledge of war explosives.
To build up morale, stress is laid on the study of history, on the ex-
ploits of the old Russian heroes and the heroes of the other peoples of
the multinational Soviet Union; on their victories in the past against
foreign invaders; on the achievements of Soviet science, literature and
art. Physical training has been amplified, particularly in the higher
grades. These courses have been allotted more time and now include
swimming rivers, surmounting obstacles, throwing hand grenades, using
firearms and bayonets.
Beginning with the school year of 1943-44, coeducation, formerly uni-
versal, is replaced by a system of separate classes for boys and girls, in
72 large cities, probably those with a population in excess of 100,000.
A Moscow school director, A. A. Solokhin, explains the change, saying
that differences in the physical and intellectual rate of growth of boys
and girls require "different pedogogical methods, special elaboration
of studies and different assignments. . This differentiation cannot be
achieved if girls and boys are sitting in the same classroom. . All jobs
in society cannot be performed with equal success by men and women.
There are many examples . a man must . be prepared to join the
Red Army, and his preparations must have started in school. But women
have duties which men have not, and they are extremely important. The
girl as a future mother must know how to care for children and how to
educate them. Whatever is said about the various duties of men and
women in the education of children, mother is always mother, and the
schools must give the girl special knowledge of anatomy, psychology
This change does not apply to the extensive extracurricular and after-
school program. "After lessons, work must be organized so that boys
and girls spend their leisure hours together. . Literature, singing,
dramatic, and other clubs should be coeducational." Higher educational
institutions continue coeducation.
E. Middle education
1. Tekhnikums: On completion of seven-year school, the student may enter
a tekhnikum, or a special professional and technical high school where
a four-year course trains junior specialists in the fields of science, in-
dustry, the arts, medicine, education, etc., or he may enter:
2. Special schools established by the Labor Reserves Decree (October 2,
a. Railway Schools where there is a two-year course to prepare skilled
b. Industrial Schools (promyshlennyi) in which a two-year course
trains skilled metal workers, oil workers of assistant technician rank.
c. The Trade Schools (remyslennyi) in which a six-month course
trains for semi-skilled industrial jobs in mining, oil metallurgical
industry and construction industry.
By May 1942, 700,000 young men and women had completed this
training. The 700,000 still studying there work eight hours a day
and receive half adult pay in addition to food and maintenance. All
also take 110 hours of military training a year.
F. Higher education
1. On graduation from a ten-year school or a tekhnikum, the student
may enter an institute or a department in a university. There he receives
professional training in some special field. From the institute he
may go on to graduate work. Institutes issue degrees equivalent to
B.S. or B.A. They give graduate work degrees equivalent to M.A.,
M.S., or Ph.D. Courses vary from four to five years, or longer for
medicine and some other forms of specialization. Job placement takes
place before graduation.
2. All higher institutions are under the All-Union Committee on Higher
Education, except those coming under the aegis of the All-Union
Committee of Art.
3. Higher educational institutions of the U.S.S.R. are divided into the
following general categories: a) industrial and construction; b) trans-
port and communications; c) agriculture; d) social sciences; e) teacher
training; f) the arts; g) public health. All institutes and universities
are departmentalized to train for one main profession. The student
may get "liberal arts" training in universities, but this is aimed toward
preparing research workers or teachers.
4. Before the war, 700,000 students were enrolled in 800 higher educa-
tional institutions of U.S.S.R. Since the war, the college curriculum
has been rearranged. The number of academic hours per week has
been increased and holidays shortened. In 1941-42, 170,000 trained
specialists were graduated-double the usual number. Many institutes
have enlarged their facilities for training specialists in war industries.
In others, war industry departments have been organized. New subjects
have been introduced, such as field surgery, transport of war materials,
repair of bridges, railroads, fortifications and defense installations,
camouflage, chemistry of explosives, etc.
5. Many higher educational institutions were evacuated from invaded
zones: Kiev Industrial Institute to Tashkent; Kharkov Medical School
to Chkalov. Many students and teachers went to the front. Many also
remained in occupied areas as guerrillas.
Until the end of 1939, tuition was free in all primary and secondary
schools and for almost all in tekhnikums and institutes. In additions,
most students in higher educational institutions received monthly stipends
to support themselves. In October 1940 tuition fees for tekhnikums,
institutes and the last two years of secondary schools were instituted
(except for needy students with excellent grades), and stipends are now
granted only to those with excellent standing. This change was explained
as necessitated by increased defense expenditure, and it was made possible
by the fact that people were able to afford to pay something for higher
education. It also encouraged attendance at free technical schools. How-
ever, in wartime the system of stipends and free tuition has been greatly
extended to meet students needs. During the war, the Council of People's
Commissars passed a decree exempting from tuition fees students who have
been wounded, shell-shocked or are sick. War invalids are given scholar-
ship aid, regardless of their academic standing. Members of families of
Red Army men and commanders are exempted from tuition fees.
H. Special and adult education
After the revolution the immediate problem was literacy. In the 1897
census, there was 27% literacy in Russia proper: 12.4% in the Caucasus;
5.3% in Central Asia. The average for the country, 24%. By 1926 it was
raised to 51.1% and by 1939 was 81.2% over-all (67-76% in Central
Asia). Literacy schools for adults were the first emphasis. But the country
is also honeycombed with courses and study.cireies for adults. All enter-
prises (factories, shops, offices, etc.) have regular study courses to improve
the qualifications of workers, as well as to give general knowledge. Workers
are required to take "technical minimum" tests and to improve their
qualifications. "Free-day universities" are conducted by institutes to supple-
ment the specialized curriculum; many correspondence courses are provided.
Also there is education by radio, movies, museums, etc. The whole country
studies. "An illiterate people cannot build the Communist State." (Lenin).
Special schools for the blind and handicapped have been established.
General Reading on Education
The Russians, William, pp. 181-187.
Changing Man, King, pp. 129-203, 222-243.
The U.S.S.R. at War, pp. 25-26.
Nursery School and Parent Education in Soviet Russia, Fediaevsky and Hall.
World's Fair Pamphlets:
"Mass Technical Training in U.S.S.R."-T. Fyodorova.
"The Little Citizen of a Big Country"-M. Hill.
"Soviet Students"-S. Kaftanov.
"Soviet Youth at Work and Play"-S. Kaftanov.
"Sport in the U.S.S.R."-A. Starostin.
"Palaces of Culture and Clubs in U.S.S.R."-M. Kuznetsov.
"Parks of Culture and Rest in the Soviet Union"-K. Ivanova.
"Children in the Land of Socialism"-A. Makarenko.
II. PUBLIC HEALTH
"Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to maintenance . in case of sickness.
This right is ensured by . free medical service for the working people and
the provision of a wide network of health resorts for the use of working
people." (Art. 120, Constitution).
Medical and dental care in the U.S.S.R. is free, and the accent is on Preventive
Medicine. Health of the individual is considered a public affair. Legal penalties
are imposed for spreading social diseases. Medical services are socialized. All
hospitals, rest-homes, sanatoria are socially owned. 98% of the doctors and
nurses are civil servants. After graduation they must serve at least three years
where assigned. They are all required to take advanced courses with pay every
two years. All medical personnel is under the Commissariat for the Protection
of Public Health. There are both federal and republic commissariats. These
commissariats also supervise research institutes (tropical diseases, aviation
medicine, vitamins, public feeding, etc.); propagandize for hygiene and public
health, stressing causes rather than symptoms of diseases; press for reforms
of conditions menacing general public health; aid in the selection of sites
for new construction; encourage sports. Now there are 140,000 physicians
(23,000 in 1913) of whom more than half are women. Now there are 600,000
hospital beds (140,000 in 1913). Outlying districts, especially border areas,
.crc almost completely without medical aid. Uzbekistan-1913, 900 hospital
beds. 19'39-16,000; Kirgizia-1913, 100 hospital beds, 1939-over 2,800.
In 2i years the number of institutions of medical science increased from 14 to
213 jnd the number of higher medical schools from 13 to 72.
A. Care of mother and child
New-born children are registered in district child welfare centers. They
are under direct supervision of a doctor. The mother is instructed in child
care. Her child is vaccinated and innoculated, and is provided with medical
aid at home or in a children's hospital in case of illness. Doctors and
nurses visit homes periodically to advise parents. There are over 4,000
child and maternity welfare centers in U.S.S.R. (9 in 1913). There is also
medical supervision of creches (see above) in which over 4 million children
are cared for.
B. General medical care
Every large district has a polyclinic. Large factories have their own
hospitals. Smaller districts and factories have dispensaries. In rural areas,
travelling dispensaries reach the scattered population. Any sick person
may send for or visit a doctor at his factory, farm or polyclinic in his
district. He may also call in an outside physician of his own choice. This,
however, can only be done on a private basis for which there is a charge.
The people have free services of the staff of specialists in hospitals and
free treatments. Full wages are paid to the sick for a limited period and
then part pay, and if necessary accommodation in sanatorium or rest
home is provided.
C. Public health service
Among the functions of the Commissariat of Health are: the organization
of medical aid for the population; the health inspection of dwellings,
factories, food stores, etc.; inspection of water systems, sewage systems,
laundries, bath houses, and sanatoria; organization of production and dis-
tribution of drugs and pharmaceuticals; organization of public health
education; organization of medical education.
Great strides have been made in fighting social diseases. There are one-
tenth as many cases of syphilis in the U.S.S.R. as in pre-revolutionary
Russia. There has been a decrease of 83% in the incidence of tuberculosis.
Mortality among tubercular patients has been reduced by 50%. Vaccination
for smallpox, diphtheria and intestinal disease is required.
D. Medical services for the Red Army and Navy
It is organized around the Red Army Medical Service with sections in
each branch of the armed forces. It is assisted by the Union of Red Cross
and Red Crescent Societies of U.S.S.R. By giving aid at the firing line,
these services are able to return up to 73% of their wounded.
General Readings on Public Health
The Russians, Williams, pp. 187-193.
The U.S.S.R. at War, pp. 24-25.
Public Health Protection in the U.S.S.R.", Propper-Grashchenkov (W.F.P.)
Socialized Medicine, H. E. Sigerist.
Health Protection in the U.S.S.R., Semashko.
Soviet Health Care in Peace and War, Rose Maurer.
III. SOCIAL INSURANCE
"Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to maintenance in old age and also in
case of sickness or loss of capacity to work." (Art. 120.)
A. General Administration
Republic and Local Commissariats of Social Maintenance administer social
welfare not directly concerned with workers. They are now expending large
sums for aid to families of Red Army Men and for the disabled. They also
care for evacuees, children, etc. The expectant mother is given 35 days before
and 28 days after birth with full pay. Layette and nine-months allowance
for milk and extra clothes are provided the mother. Extra aid is given to
mothers of large families.
B. Administration through unions
"The biggest social insurance company in the world" is what Albert Rhys
Wiiliams cails the Soviet trade unions. Trade unions administer old age,
sickness, disability insurance funds. Funds are obtained from an assessment
on the employing organization and from state appropriations. The system
protects worker and family from cradle to grave.
Workers are paid while ill or quarantined. They are compensated for in-
juries while at work. Old-age pensions of 2-% wages are given men over
60 after 25 years service; to women over 55 after 20 years service. Pensions
are given in many strenuous or unhealthful occupations. The social insur-
ance takes care of burial costs and insurance benefits are extended to sur-
C. Group insurance
1. For collective farmers unable to work because of age or physical dis-
ability, funds are provided through mutual benefit societies. Rules of
collective farms provide that 2% of the gross income be set aside for
the mutual benefit fund. These societies maintain rest homes for the sick
2. There are group insurance plans for life insurance, fire and theft, etc.,
and other insurance not provided under trade union program of social
insurance. This is also organized in mutual benefit funds. Workers can
also make personal loans through these funds.
D. State Insurance
Life, theft, and fire insurance, etc. may also be purchased from the State
General Readings on Social Insurance
The Russians, Williams, pp. 147-149.
U.S.S.R. at War, pp. 9-10.
Soviet Communism, The Webbs, Chap. X.
"How Old Age is Provided for in U.S.S.R.", Shalimova (W.F.P.).
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS ON SOCIAL SERVICES
1. What are the basic principles of Soviet education?
2. Describe the present educational set-up of the U.S.S.R.
a. Pre-school: Provision of care for children of working women.
b. Primary and secondary.
3. How is educational opportunity provided and what choice of professions
4. What special provisions are made to raise the level of technical education
of workers and others?
5. Discuss special (adult) education in the U.S.S.R.
II. PUBLIC HEALTH
1. What is the attitude of the Soviet State to the health of the citizens?
2. What institutions are provided for health care?
3. What is the position of the doctor? Is there free choice of doctors?
4. How have the Soviets handled problems of social and epidemic diseases?
5. How is the workers' health protected on the job?
III. SOCIAL INSURANCE
1. What types of social insurance are provided and by whom?
2. How is it financed and administered?
3. What coverage is there for farmers and others not covered by trade
4. What other forms of insurance are there?
I. THE ARTS
A. Importance of the Arts in the Soviet Union
"Art belongs to the people. It must have its deepest roots in the broad masses
of workers. It must be understood and loved by them. It must be rooted in
and grow with their feelings, thoughts and desires. It must arouse and
develop the artist in them." (Lenin.)
Art is considered an integral part of every-day life. It is sponsored and
largely financed by the Soviet government. Trade unions and collective farms
set aside specific sums for cultural facilities for their members. The creative
artists-musician, writer, painter, etc. are among the best known and most
highly esteemed members of Soviet society. Many are Deputies to the Su.
preme Soviet, eg., the Ukrainian playwright, Korneichuk; the new director
of the famed Moscow Art Theatre, Moskvin; opera singer, Valeria Barsova;
the novelist, Sholokhov (And Quiet Flows the Don); the composer, Gliere
(Red Poppy ballet); the architect, lofan (New York World's Fair Pavil-
ion); the Kirgiz composer, Abdymas Maldybaev; the Kazakh bard,
In addition to a very widespread professional art world, there are over
60,000 amateur art circles-dramatic, choral and instrumental, poetry and
dance groups-to be found on collective farms, in factory clubs, "palaces of
culture," in every type of institution. Non-professional theatre groups are
reckoned at 5,000. Amateur groups are given great assistance by profes-
sionals in all the art fields. The interchange between professional and
amateur groups is furthered by the fact that professional theatrical troupes,
concert performers, etc., yearly tour the outlying parts of the country. During
the war, these groups have frequently visited the fronts and the new indus-
trial centers. Throughout the Soviet Union there is a network of specialty
art schools-music, dancing, painting and sculpture, dramatics. Primary and
secondary schools provide extra-curricular art facilities.
B. Organization and administration
Practically the whole professional art field, with the exception of the cinema,
is under the aegis of the All-Union Committee on Art Affairs whose chair-
man is on the Council of People's Commissars (equivalent to a cabinet post).
The Committee's supervision covers every phase pertinent to these fields:
art education, theatres, circuses, music halls, museums and galleries, prices
of tickets, repertories, royalties, awards of titles, advertisements, wage
norms, recordings and artistic radio programs, manufacture of equipment,
erection of monuments, etc. The All-Union Committee on Cinema
U.attched to the Council of People's Commissars) has similar comprehen-
sive control over movies.
C. Status of cultural workers
Creative artists are organized into unions according to specialty: Union of
Soviet Composers, Union of Artists and Sculptors, Theatre Societies, Union
of Writers, Architects Union. The over-all organization is RABIS, the
Trade Union of Art Workers. These unions are concerned with the material
welfare of their members and with raising the cultural standards of the
country. They work very closely with the Art Committee and the Cinema
Committee. The unions frequently act as agents in disposing of the works
of their members and they also provide special loan funds for them, in
addition to offering the standard social insurance.
Cultural workers are among the highest paid people in the Soviet Union.
Writers, artists and composers can arrange through their unions for allow-
ances for special projects, granted by the so-called Litfond and Musfond.
Painters and sculptors through their union and cooperatives can receive trav-
eling allowances covering long periods during which they can work at any-
thing they choose; in return they give the endowing organization a small
amount of work as compensation. There is very great demand from social,
educational, government and industrial institutions for all kinds of art
works. Authors and playwrights get royalties for their work. Actors, singers,
directors, instrumentalists, ballet dancers, etc., are attached to given theatres
and other entertainment enterprises and are on a regular salary basis. They
can also accept outside work.
D. National cultures
"National in Form-Socialist in Content" is the slogan of Soviet art. Arts
are developed in all the Republics, with emphasis on the local languages,
art forms, handicraft techniques, etc. To stimulate the development of arts
of non-Russian nationalities and to promote exchange of cultures among
all the nationalities, ten-day festivals of some one of the nationalities' arts
are held annually in Moscow, where major art works are exhibited, operas
and plays performed, dances and instrumental music performed and poetry
E. Soviet Aesthetics
The Soviets believe in using the best in the artistic heritage. Theories on
art passed through many stages. At first everything new-however worth-
less, unaesthetic-was considered revolutionary and appropriate. After sev-
eral years during which the majority of the audiences rebelled against these
art styles, a reaction set in, sometimes gradually, sometimes sharply. (cf.
case of Shostakovich). Today the greatest importance is attached to the
cultural heritage of Russia and of the world. There is great interest in the
arts of all ages and all peoples. The present objective in art is "socialist
realism" which was defined by Gorki as the "means of reflecting life in art,
distinctive of socialist society. Socialist realism demands a true portrayal of
actuality in its revolutionary development."
F. The Arts at war
"Everything for the front; everything for victory." Current films and plays
deal largely with war themes-this war or historical events-guerrillas, the
Red Army, war industry, etc. (Broadway has seen two Soviet plays dealing
with this war-"The Russian People" and "Counterattack"). Artists turn
from the easel to paint exhortative war posters and writers go to the front
as correspondents to tell the story of their country under attack. Composer
Shostakovich writes a symphony describing Leningrad under siege in the
intervals when he isn't on duty as a fire warden. Entertainers of all kinds
travel widely and frequently to all sectors of the front. A Front Line
Theatre has been specially formed with the leading actor of the Jewish
Theatre, Mikhoels, at its head. All art is geared to wartime morale and
In the first 18 months of war Soviet theatres gave 200,000 concerts and
performances to service men at the fighting fronts. Typical of this effort was
that of one brigade from the Moscow Art Theatre which in the summer
of 1942 travelled about 1,000 miles along the western front in an autobus,
giving 40 performances in forest clearings, barns, hangars, and garages. The
Theatre of the Baltic Fleet gave 3,000 performances during 13 months of
the siege of Leningrad.
There has been in equally impressive migration of the art services from the
occupied areas into the interior. The State Symphonic orchestra of the
Ukrainian SSR has removed to Stalinabad in Tadjikistan. The Belorussian
State Opera has removed to Gorki on the Volga. The Kamenets-Podolsk
(Ukraine) Theatre is serving to entertain the Soviet Far Eastern Army. The
Kiev Dramatic Theatre is now resident in Semipalatinsk, near the borders
of western China. For two seasons the Vakhtangov Theatre, its building
bombed out in Moscow has domiciled in Omsk, Siberia. The Leningrad
Opera, the Moscow Theatre of Satire, the Leningrad Theatre of the Young
Spectator, the Ukrainian Theatre of Music, Drama, and Comedy performed
in the new Ural centers of industry. However, in September 1943, after
an absence of 22 months, 8 Moscow theatres returned to the capital. The
war continues disrupting life in certain areas, but the continuity of art is
preserved both at the front and in the rear. The State Jewish Theatre of
Moscow, evacuated for two seasons to Tashkent, has again returned to
Moscow. During the war film studios from Leningrad and Kiev likewise
migrated east to settle in Tashkent and Alma Ata, in Kazakhstan.
Architects are working on fortifications, on camouflage, on new methods
for speedy construction and for the utilization of local materials, on the
building of new cities behind the Urals to house the industries and the
people evacuated from the West.
G. Characteristics of Soviet Arts
1. Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture
The best work has been done in graphic arts and miniature lacquer
paintings. The latter are the direct outgrowth of the world-famed Russian
ikon paintings, using the traditional style but with new subject matter.
The Soviets excel in poster work, book illustration, cartoon and carica-
ture drawing. The poster has been very widely used since the inception
of the Soviet regime as an educational medium in promoting literacy,
industrialization, collectivization, public health, etc. Since the war the
poster has been actively revived. Oils and water colors are widely pro-
duced and hung in various institutions, and sculpture is highly popular.
The Soviet Union is a vast country of song ranging from nationality
melodies centuries old sung by itinerant bards to thousands of amateur
musical groups and the Red Army Song and Dance Ensemble. A number
of music schools and conservatories turn out many instrumentalists.
Some of the younger piano and violin players have competed in world
contests and taken the majority of top prizes. There are many instru-
mental groups from jazz bands to full symphony orchestras in every
major city. Classical composers-Chaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mous-
sorgsky, Borodin, and those of all countries-are highly revered. America
is becoming familiar with the compositions of the many contemporary
Soviet composers-Shostakovich, Prokofieff, Gliere, Miaskovsky, Kha-
chaturian, Kabalevsky, Zhelobinsky, Khrennikov.
There are close to 800 theatres, distinguished by varying acting tech-
niques-dynamic, experimental, as well as traditional. The best known
here is the Moscow Art Theatre, including in its repertory Russian and
foreign classics-Ostrovsky, Chekhov, Gorki, Tolstoi, Richard Sheridan,
G. B. Shaw, Eugene O'Neill, Schiller, Lope de Vega and, of course,
Shakespeare-as well as contemporary Soviet plays. The Stanislavsky
system of acting originated by the founder of that theatre is famed
throughout the world. Other major theatres in the Soviet Union on which
numerous local theatres model themselves are the Kamerny, Vakhtangov,
Maly, Red Army and Jewish. All Soviet theatres work on a repertory
system, with actors and everyone connected with the theatre on a per-
manent salary arrangement. There are over 100 Children's Theatres at
which specially trained adult actors perform. Theatres have been opened
in the various republics where none existed before the Revolution;
plays are performed in 60 languages. There are 2 theatre institutes and
75 drama schools. Annual audiences are calculated in the tens of millions:
4. Opera and Dance
Opera is very popular and very widespread in the Soviet Union. Emphasis
is on an integration of good acting, music and staging. Most popular
among the classical Russian operas are "Eugene Onegin," "Ruslan and
Liudmila," "Boris Godunov," "Ivan Sassunin;" among Soviet operas-
"Quiet Flows the Don." The foreign classics are also performed fre-
quently. Best known of the opera theatres are the Bolshoi in Moscow and
the Alexandrinski and Mariinski in Leningrad. Copartner with opera is
the ballet and performed in the same theatres. The traditional Russian
ballet is widely taught and performed. New ballets based on contempo-
rary themes and demonstrating changes in the old technique are to be
seen. There are 2,600 professional ballet dancers. Dancing as such is
very popular throughout the U.S.S.R.-the various nationalities having
their own distinctive folk dances. At the Theatre of Folk Art in Moscow
one can see dozens of these during any evening's program. There are
thousands of amateur dance groups.
Soviet literature, especially poetry, the novel and the drama have passed
through many stages from the futurism of Mayakovski, "Poet of the
Revolution," to the socialist realism of the present day. In the early days
of the new regime, the collective idea and the new machine were the
central themes of Soviet literature. Today, more and more the individual
in his relation to the new society is written about. Soviet writers whose
works have become familiar to American audiences through translation
are Maxim Gorki, whose literary life bridged the old and new Russias;
Alexei Tolstoi; Mikhail Sholokhov; playwright and noevlist, Valentin
Kataev; journalist-novelist Ilya Ehrenbourg; playwright and poet, Kon-
stantin Simonov; playwright, Alexander Afinogenov; novelist of the
stormy days of the Revolution and the Civil War, Nikolai Ostrovsky;
humorous writers, Ilf and Petrov.
Soviet cinema, unlike the other arts, has been almost entirely developed
under the new regime. It is marked by extreme realism and new tech-
niques. Contributions to world cinema development have been made
by Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Dovzhenko, the Vassiliev brothers, etc. As in
the theatre, there is no "star" system in their cinema production-all
actors attached to a given studio play successive roles of varying im-
portance. Special films are produced for children on a large scale. On an
even larger scale is the production of scientific-educational films which
are used for training in industry, agriculture, medicine, science, public
health, etc. For those wishing to specialize in some branch of the cinema
industry, there is a State College of Cinematography which offers a
four-year course. Scenario writing is encouraged on a country-wide scale
with occasional open contests; leading writers are asked to do movie
scenarios. Soviet cinema technicians have great regard for the Hollywood
techniques. Sound films are slowly being introduced into every hamlet
of the U.S.S.R.
Soviet architecture shows a great variety of forms based on the traditions
of the various nationalities. Some of these, like the Armenians and the
Uzbeks, are heirs to a great national architecture. The architects em-
phasize the design of the "ensemble," treating the individual building
as part of a composition embracing the street or plaza; architecture
merges with city planning in new workers' settlements like those of
Zaporozhe and Baku. Industrial architecture is strongly influenced by
American precedent. Original solutions have been found for new tasks
such as the workers clubs. Considerable progress has been made in
developing modern methods of construction, especially in reinforced
concrete. Soviet architects strive for both monumentality and richness
of expressions of the pride of achievement and the joy of life of the
Soviet people. They are attempting a synthesis of architecture, sculpture,
and painting. These tendencies have led to a rejection of "international
style" which had been somewhat uncritically copied in earlier years. The
new trend found its expression in the project for the gigantic Palace of
the Soviets, in the impressive stations of the Moscow subway, in the
colorful agricultural exhibition in Moscow. All of these were the sub-
jects of lively popular interest, discussion, and critical comment.
Museums in the Soviet Union, which total over 750, are devoted to such
diverse fields as art, science, literature, music, history, education, theatre,
the Arctic, public health, industry. This number is in addition to those
maintained by industrial enterprises, scientific research institutes and schools.
The museums are either government-supported or maintained by the enter-
prise to which they are attached. Conducted tours ensure an audience counted
in tens of millions annually.
Many former churches and cathedrals have been turned into museums.
Every effort is made to preserve these buildings in the finest condition, and
where possible they are restored to their original state. Many of these were
formerly used as anti-religious museums, but there is reason to believe that
this is no longer the case.
General Reading on Art
The Seven Soviet Arts, Kurt London, pp. 93-314.
An Outline of Modern Russian Literature: 1880-1940, E. J. Simmons.
The Soviets, A. R. Williams, pp. 363-423.
The Place of Art in the Soviet Union, O. Beskin.
World's Fair Pamphlets:
"Fine Arts in the U.S.S.R.", A. Gerasimov.
"Children and Art in the U.S.S.R.", S. Marshak.
"Museums of the U.S.S.R.", O. Leonova.
"Palaces of Culture and Clubs in the U.S.S.R.", M. Kuznetsov.
"The Soviet Theatre", I. Moskvin.
"Folk Arts and Crafts of the U.S.S.R.", A. Y. Bakushinsky.
"The Soviet Screen", S. Eisenstein.
II. PRESS AND PUBLISHING
1. General characteristics
The Soviet press is the educator and organizer of the life of the nation.
Unlike American papers, they carry no headlines of murder, arson, kid-
napping, love nests. Advertisements, death notices, help wanted, news
stories occupy relatively little space. Most of the articles correspond to
our feature articles and editorials. Papers rarely run over six pages and
the format is somewhat larger than ours. Cartoons are features of most
In 1938, there were 8,550 newspapers in the Soviet Union with a cir-
culation of 37,500,000 of which one-third were printed in 68 non-
Russian languages. All Republics, regions and cities have their own
official newspapers. Over half of the newspapers fall into the category
of "lower press," that is, they are house organs for factories, collective
farms, cultural and educational institutions. These account for one-fifth
of the total circulation.
Newspapers are published by the following general groups:
a. Communist Party.
b. The central and local governments.
c. Trade unions and commissariats.
Newspapers cover all age, nationality and special interests.
a. 20%7 are for Pioneer and Komsomol age (10-25).
b. 20% are on agriculture.
c. 30% are on industry, technology, transport.
d. 4% are on education and culture.
5. Leading newspapers
Pravda and Izvestia are published in Moscow, each with a daily circula-
tion approximating 2,000,000. These are the political mentors of the
U.S.S.R.-Pravda, the organ of the Communist Party and Izvestia of the
Government. The leading "specialty" newspapers are: Literaturnaia
Gazeta for culture; Gudok (The Whistle) for the Commissariat of
Railways; Krasnaia Zvezda (Red Star) for the Red Army; Trud (Labor)
for the Central Council of Trade Unions; Sotsialisticheskoe Zemledelie
(Socialist Agriculture); and Krestianskaia Gazeta (Farmers Gazette).
6. Newspapers as courts of appeal
Newspapers are frequently barometers of Soviet public opinion and the
thousands of letters printed in them help in the formulating of the laws
of the country. There is a close interrelationship between the editorial
staff and the reading public with frequent conferences being held among
them. Letters from the public are printed also for pointing up local
foibles and shortcomings. Specially assigned persons check up to see
that action is taken on the complaints contained in the letters. There are
over 3,000,000 volunteer correspondents from farm and factory who
supply local information to the papers, central and local. These are
known as the Rabselkor or Worker and Peasant Correspondents and
efforts are made to provide them with training in journalism.
The 1,800 periodicals in the Soviet Union are patterned very much after
the newspapers; that is, they are published by the Communist Party, the
Government, the trade unions, the commissariats and scientific institutions.
They are very largely specialty journals for various groupings. There are a
few humorous journals, and no love story, detective, or other types of
thriller magazines; they are devoted to theory, literature, science, art, medi-
cine, music, industry, technology, agriculture, the Arctic, transportation,
education, cinema, theatre, etc. Much of the most important Soviet scientific
and academic work is published in these journals.
Approximately 40,000 titles, including pamphlets, are published an-
nually in the U.S.S.R. in editions totaling 692,678,000 books. Produc-
tion and trade of books was nationalized in December, 1917 and in
1930 one system of publishing houses was established-the State Unified
Publishing House (OGIZ)--combining 20 publishing houses. Book
publishing is under the aegis of the Commissariats of Education. Pub-
lishing houses are set up on the basis of specialty. Most important of
these are: Text book Pedagogical (Uchpedgiz), Socio-Economic
(Sotsekgiz), Agriculture (Selskhogiz), Medicine and Biology (Bio-
medgiz). Each publishing house is an independent unit with its own
cost accounting system. It confers only with the printing trust, the dis-
tributing trust and the Commissariat of Education. There are three large
large publishing houses outside of the OGIZ chain-ONTI, the United
Scientific-Technical Publishing House (now under the Commissariat of
Heavy Industry), Partizdat, the Communist Party Publishing House, and
Goslitizdat, the Artistic Literature Publishing House. There are also, on
a smaller scale, authors' cooperatives, and Academia, famed for its fine
Publishing houses are established from money allocated for this purpose
in the state budget.
All publications in the U.S.S.R.-periodical and non-periodical-are
supervised and censored for their political and ideological content.
Counter-revolutionary matter, writing which incites to nationalistic and
religious fanaticism, and pornographic writing are banned. Censorship
is exercised by Glavlit, a branch of the Commissariat of Education.
Glavlit has its representatives working in the major publishing houses
to save time.
Distribution of books is handled by one organization, KOGIZ, which
has exclusive distribution rights for the publications of all OGIZ houses
throughout the U.S.S.R.
There is a wide network of libraries in the Soviet Union: 43,000 libra-
ries serving the general public; 3,000 special libraries for children;
6,000 specializing in science and technology; and 20,000 travelling
libraries, serving the rural districts. The largest, the Lenin Library in
Moscow, is one of the five largest libraries in the world.
A unified system of indexing for all these libraries has been worked out
by two American librarians, working with the Soviet librarians.
The U.S.S.R. is one of the leading countries in the world in the power of
its broadcasting stations. There are large stations in the principal cities and
a network of 10,000 local stations.
Radio programs are centrally planned by the All-Union Committee on
Radio, which is attached to the Council of People's Commissars. This
Committee also organizes and operates radio stations, including the handling
of foreign broadcasts. It is likewise in charge of the weather reporting and
hydro-meteorological stations on which the Machine-Tractor Stations and
the collective farms are dependent in planning their work. The Committee
works with the Commissariat of Communications in distributing available
radio apparatus, and with the Central Council of Trade Unions in establish-
ing new radio centers where large groups of people can listen in.
Most apartments and most kolkhozes have loudspeakers which broadcast
the programs of the city stations. There are radio sets in factories, clubs,
collective farm centers, schools, and other public places where there is group
Commercial advertising is used in connection with the introduction of new
types of products and in popularizing various features of life in the Soviet
Union. Otherwise the Soviet radio audiences hear daily programs of much
the same type as in the United States: news broadcasts, frequent concerts,
dramatic presentations, setting-up exercises, educational discussions. There
are many programs for children concentrating on animal and nature stories,
and simple musical compositions. These are prepared with the Children's
Broadcasting Section of the Committee on Radio.
Unique to the Soviet radio are the answers to the letters of listeners. These
serve as a barometer of public opinion, as do the letters to newspapers.
A new type of broadcast has been instituted since the beginning of the
war and is presented at least five times a day. This is the "Letters to the
Front" and "Letters from the Front."
Broadcasts are given in sixty languages.
IV. SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Science is financed by the government. All enterprises have scientific laboratories,
no matter how modest, in farms, mines, plants, museums.
A. The Academy
The Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R. is the center of scientific research.
Founded in 1725 by Peter the Great in St. Petersburg, it moved to Moscow
in 1934. It is attached to the Council of People's Commissars. There are
similar Academies in the Ukraine, Belorussia, Georgia. Other parts of
country are served by branches (affiliates) of the Academy of Sciences of
The Academy of Sciences is divided into the following divisions: physio-
mathematical sciences, chemical sciences, geologo-geographical sciences, bio-
logical sciences, technical sciences, economics and law, history and philos-
ophy, literature and languages.
There are 82 institutes, 2 affiliated institutes directed by the Academy. The
Academy has 136 full members and over 3,600 scientists on the staff.
Though most of the 1,500 scientific organizations in the U.S.S.R. (34,000
scientists, 50,000 scientific technicians, etc.), are not directly administered
by the Academy, their activities follow a general plan drafted annually by
the Academy, outlining main fields for research.
B. Research Institutes
The country is covered by a network of 750 Scientific Research Institutes in
fields of industry, agriculture, transport and communications, socio-economic
sciences, education and arts, protection of health, labor protection, nutrition.
Promotion of inventions is lodged in the industrial and agricultural com-
missariats, each having an Inventions Division. Inventors and those develop-
ing technological improvements are given "author's certificates" and cash
premiums. All factories and farms have laboratories and experimental de-
partments whose work is supplemented by the industrial and agricultural
research institutes. A very large number of inventions and rationalization
suggestions come from workers. The trade unions, through their Divisions
of Mass Production Work and Workers' Inventions in each plant, stimulate
such proposals by providing leisure-time facilities for worker-inventors,
and by checking with management on the quick application of workers'
suggestions. So important is this source of inventions that the Commissariats
publish lists of the problems for which they are seeking solutions. Worker-
inventors receive premiums and special privileges in the matter of vacations,
etc. in recognition of the savings effected by their inventions.
Patents for 15 years are granted by the Bureau of Inventions of Gosplan
if desired, provided the invention has practical application within three
years. This practice is very limited since there is almost no opportunity for
private manufacture, and there is greater income to be derived through
accepting the premium and "author's certificate."
D. Science and the war
Since the Nazi invasion, many scientific institutions have been evacuated
from front-line zones. They were given evacuation priority. The headquar-
ters of the Academy of Sciences are still in Moscow, but many divisions
moved East-in order to continue work and to direct new work in connec-
tion with the development of the country behind the Urals. The remarkable
work of the Committee for Mobilization of Resources of the Urals, Western
Siberia and Kazakhstan made possible the rapid reestablishment of evacu-
ated industries. All branches and affiliates are doing extensive research in
geology, chemistry, minerology to find new resources and substitute products.
The scientific institutions are working in very close conjunction with fac-
tories, farms, mines to increase war production.
E. Scientific achievements
There is a close connection between scientific research and technical applica-
tion in the organization of Soviet science. Advances in technology, as well
as in pure science, are recognized each year in the annual Stalin awards. The
advance in the technical capacities of the Soviet people is most evident in
their wartime production.
The following indicates some of the fields in which Soviet science has been
outstanding: Soviet medicine was first to use widely the blood-bank, without
which untold thousands of wounded soldiers would have died. Thousands
more have had their sight saved by the transplantation of the cornea from
the dead, thanks to the experiments of Dr. Filatov. American industry now
has at its disposal the synthetic rubber formula of Prof. Favorskii and the
seeds of kok-sagyz, the rubber-bearing dandelion discovered by Soviet scien-
tists. The Soviets have developed and applied extensively artificial insemina-
tion of livestock which makes possible the improvement of herds more rapid-
ly than otherwise. The U.S.S.R. leads the world in Arctic development,
through the work of its meteorologists, oceanographers and explorers during
the past decade. Vegetables and grains now grow north of the Arctic circle,
as a result of the work of such men as Eikhfeld, Michurin, Lysenko and
Wheat production may soon be increased through the use of perennial wheat
perfected this year by Soviet agronomists. After the Germans had seized
much of the 1941 grain crop in European Russia, the Siberian crop was
saved from a premature frost by the application of the remarkable theories
on plant growth of Trofim Lysenko, who demonstrated that grain can be
harvested before full ripeness. This year, the reduced acreage of Soviet farm-
land will produce more food than before, thanks to Lysenko's development
of potatoes that can be planted in the summer and of a new method of
obtaining seed from potatoes used as food. Kapitsa's work in the physics
of gases has great industrial significance. In the military sciences, new
weapons such as the rocket gun have been invented, and the manufacture
of ply-wood airplanes is in advance of other countries.
General Readings on Science
Russians, Williams, pp. 194-200.
The U.S.S.R. at War, pp. 26-27.
"Soviet Science Fights for Victory," Russia at War, #33.
Webbs, Chap. XI.
"Planning Science," Bach (W.F.P.).
"Science at the Service of Soviet Agriculture," Tsitsin (W.F.P.).
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS ON CULTURE
1. What is the attitude of Soviet society to art?
2. What is the place of the creative artist in Soviet life?
3. How are art workers organized? Paid?
4. What are the opportunities for freedom of artistic expression?
5. What has been the contribution of creative artists to the war effort?
Give specific examples.
II. PRESS AND PUBLISHING
Discuss the role of the press in Soviet society.
1. How is science organized and financed?
2. How are scientific advances stimulated and applied? What is the relation
of science to technology?
3. In what fields of science hve the Soviets made the greatest strides?
4. Discuss the contribution of scientists to the war effort.
SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY
(One and one-half Units)
I. REVIEW OF SOVIET FOREIGN RELATIONS
A. The Soviets make peace
1. The Soviets came to power with the slogan "Peace, Bread and Land."
They made repeated attempts to obtain a general armistice, beginning
with the Decree of Peace, Nov. 8, 1917:
"An overwhelming majority of the exhausted, wearied and war-tortured
workers and the laboring classes of all warring countries are longing for
a just and democratic peace. . Such a peace the government considers
to be an immediate peace without annexation (i.e. without seizure of
foreign territory, without forcible annexation of foreign nationalities)
and without indemnities."
2. Point VI of President Wilson's Fourteen Points in his speech of Jan. 8,
1918, concerned Russia:
"The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to
come will be the acid test of their good will, of their comprehension
of her needs as distinguished from their own interests, and of their
intelligent and unselfish sympathy."
3. Soviet efforts to obtain a general armistice failed as did the Allied efforts
to keep Russia in the war.
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was accepted in March 1918, following
renewed German advances into Russia. By the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Germany annexed Russian Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and
"guaranteed" the "independence" of Finland, the Ukraine and Georgia.
". the generation of Nazi Germany-regards the principles of Brest-
Litovsk and the motives lying behind it as an actual political program."
(The Forgotten Peace, Wheeler-Bennett, p. xv.)
The Soviets were excluded from the Versailles conference 1918-19. (Later
they expressed disapproval of the Versailles system.) The Soviets recognized
the independence of Finland, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia-the
last two attaining statehood for the first time in history, and first recognized
by the Soviets.
Allied intervention and blockade lasted until Jan. 1920. A "Cordon Sani-
taire" of small states was erected along the Soviet western borders.
The Treaty of Rapallo, 1922, was concluded with the Weimar Republic after
the failure of the Genoa Conference to regulate relations with the Soviet
Union. It broke the isolation of the U.S.S.R.
Diplomatic and commercial relations are established with all the principal
countries. The United States, last of major nations to do so, recognized the
U.S.S.R. in 1933. Non-aggression and neutrality treaties were negotiated
with almost all neighboring countries, including Germany (1926). The
Soviets participated in the Disarmament Conferences. They signed the
Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war as an instrument of national policy and
brought it into force with its neighbors before it received general ratification.
Friction over debts, confiscation, Comintern, and trials involving foreigners
diminished as the threat of Nazi Germany grew.
F. Relations in the Far East: 1917 -1931
1. The Soviets abrogated all special rights and privileges in China and
other semi-colonial countries.
2. There was close Chinese-Soviet cooperation 1925-1927 until the break
between Kuomintang and the Communists in China.
3. Relations were established with Japan after the end of Japanese inter-
vention in Soviet Far East in 1925.
4. Clash on the Chinese Eastern Railway took place with Manchurian
troops in 1929, and at that time the Special Red Banner Far Eastern Red
Army was established. Relations with China were broken.
5. After the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, China reestablished
relations with the U.S.S.R. (Dec. 1932). The Soviets then sent aid to
G. The struggle for collective security
Sept. 1934, the Soviet Union became a member of the League of Nations.
It attempted to build up a collective system through the League and through
a regional system of mutual assistance pacts, such as the Franco-Soviet and
Czech-Soviet Pacts. It favored sanctions in the Abyssinian war and aid to
Spain when the Non-Intervention Committee failed. It urged united aid to
China at Geneva and Brussels. It exposed the Anti-Comintern Pact as a
"threat to all peace-loving countries." Serious border clashes took place
with Japanese troops especially 1938-1939. A non-aggression pact was
signed with China (1937).
At the breakdown of collective security at Munich, the Soviets were not con-
sulted, despite their pacts with the Czechs and French. On the eve of
Munich, the Soviets again offered the Czechs military aid and Litvinov said:
"At a moment when the mines are being laid to blow up the organization
on which were fixed the great hopes of our generation, and which stamped
a definite character on the international relations of our epoch; at a moment
when, by no accidental coincidence, decisions are being taken outside the
League which recall to us the international transactions of pre-war days,
and which are bound to overturn all present conceptions of international
morality and treaty obligations; at a moment when there is being drawn
up a further list of sacrifices to the god of aggression, and a line is being
drawn under the annals of all post-war international history, with the sole
conclusion that nothing succeeds like aggression-at such a moment, every
state must define its role and its responsibility before its contemporaries
and before history. That is why I must plainly declare here that the Soviet
Government bears no responsibility whatsoever for the events now taking
place, and for the fatal consequences which may inexorably ensue." (Sept.
I. Final attempts to stop the war
The last efforts were made in 1939. The Soviet proposal for conference of
all interested governments was declined as "premature" by Chamberlain in
March. The Anglo-Soviet-French negotiations through the summer failed.
"The British and French attitude, however, is hard to understand. On April
15, they had asked the Soviets to help them defend Poland. Now after four
months of tortuous negotiations, they were telling the Soviets that they
must not defend Poland.. . If the Russians had ever had any doubts,
everything was now clear to them. Chamberlain did not want to save
Poland or stop Hitler-the only way to do that (and the German effort to
neutralize Russia proved it) was to let Hitler know that he would meet the
Red Army on the plains of Poland. The scrap of paper which Chamberlain
was offering the Soviets could serve only one purpose-to draw the Soviet
Union into war with Germany. So reasoned the Russians . new informa-
tion is not likely to alter one salient point which seems amply supported
by all the present evidence-that Chamberlain never offered Stalin anything
which the government of a great power could accept. . 'The result was
inevitable,' wrote that patriotic and discerning Briton, Arthur Berriedale
Keith. The Soviet-German pact was the bitter and inescapable fruit of
Chamberlainism." (We're in this With Russia, Carroll, pp. 41-46.)
In an interview with Izvestia, August 27, 1939, Marshal Voroshilov gave
the Soviet view:
"Question: The Reuters Agency reports by radio: 'Voroshilov today told the
heads of the British and French military missions that in view of the con-
clusion of a non-aggression pact between the U.S.S.R. and Germany, the
Soviet government regards further negotiations with Great Britain and
France as purposeless.' Is this statement by Reuters in conformity with the
"Answer: No, it does not conform with the facts. The military negotia-
tions with Great Britain and France were broken off not because the U.S.S.R.
concluded a non-aggression pact with Germany, but on the contrary the
USSR concluded a non-aggression pact with Germany, among other reasons,
as a result of the fact that military negotiations with France and Great
Britain reached a deadlock in view of insuperable differences."
J. The Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact, and commercial
agreements, August, 1939
"Article I-The two contracting parties undertake to refrain from any vio-
lence, from any aggressive action and any attack against each other, either
individually or jointly with other powers."
"The Soviet foreign policy therefore has been consistently addressed to the
prevention of war. When they lost faith in both the will and the capacity
of the Western Democracies to join them realistically to stop Hitler, they
still tried to maintain their security and their peace by entering into a non-
aggression pact with Hitler in 1939. That was not a pact for a mutual
offensive against Germany's enemies. In that particular, it provided only
that neither would attack the other. They gained precious time which they
feverishly employed to protect their security against the inevitable Nazi
attack." (Joseph E. Davies, former Ambassador to the USSR, in Life,
March 29, 1943)
"It is true that it is not a pact of mutual assistance that is in question as in
the case of the Anglo-French-Soviet negotiations, but only a pact of non-
aggression. ... The USSR is not obligated to involve herself in war on the
side of Great Britain against Germany, or on the side of Germany against
Great Britain." (speech, August 31, 1939)
Stalin's explanation after Hitler attacked the U.S.S.R.
"Non-aggression pacts are pacts of peace between two states. It was such
a pact that Germany proposed to us in 1939. Could the Soviet Government
have declined such a proposal? I think that not a single peace-loving state
could decline a peace treaty with a neighboring state even though the latter
was headed by such fiends and cannibals as Hitler and Ribbentrop.
"But that, of course, only on one indispensable condition-namely, that this
peace treaty does not infringe either directly or indirectly on the territorial
integrity, independence and honor of the peace-loving state.
"As is well known, the non-aggression pact between Germany and the
USSR is precisely such a pact.
"What did we gain by concluding a non-aggression pact with Germany?
We secured for our country peace for a year and a half and the opportunity
of preparing its forces to repulse Fascist Germany should she risk an attack
on our country despite the pact.
"What has Fascist Germany gained and what has she lost by treacherously
tearing up the pact and attacking the USSR?
"She gained a certain advantageous position for her troops for a short period,
but she has lost politically by exposing herself in the eyes of the world as
a bloodthirsty aggressor.
"There can be no doubt that this short-lived military gain for Germany is
only an episode, while the tremendous political gain of the USSR is a serious
and lasting factor that is bound to form the basis for development of decisive
military success of the Red Army in the war with Fascist Germany."
(speech by Stalin, July 3, 1941).
K. September, 1939 June, 1941
1. Upon the collapse of the Polish government and army following the
Nazi attack, the Soviets occupied eastern Poland, the section east of the
Curzon line established as the ethnic division between Poland and Russia
at the time of Versailles, but west of the border established after the
Soviet-Polish war in 1920.
Winston Churchill's view:
"That the Russian armies should stand on this line was clearly necessary
for the safety of Russia against the Nazi menace . Thus (at some risk
of being proved wrong by events) I will proclaim to-night my conviction
that the second great fact of the first month of the war is that Hitler, and
all that Hitler stands for, have been and are being warned off the East
and South-East of Europe." (Broadcast, October 1, 1939)
Molotov's official stand:
"Abandoned to her fate and left without leadership, Poland has become
a fertile field for any accidental and unexpected contingency which may
create a menace to the USSR. Hence, while it was hitherto neutral, the
Soviet Government can no longer maintain a neutral attitude toward
these facts; nor can the Soviet Government remain indifferent when its
blood brothers-Ukrainians and Belorussians-inhabiting Polish terri-
tory, having been abandoned to their fate, are left without protection."
(Note to the Polish Ambassador, Sept. 17, 1939)
Attitude of Lloyd George, former British Prime Minister:
"It is essential to draw a distinction between the action of the Soviet
Republic and that of the Nazis. The latter is seeking to annex terri-
tories essentially Polish. The German invasion was designed to annex
to the Reich provinces where a decided majority of the population was
Polish by race, language and tradition. On the other hand, Russian
armies marched into territories which were not Polish and which were
forcibly annexed to Poland after the Great War despite fierce protests
and armed resistance by the inhabitants. Inhabitants of the Polish
Ukraine are of the same race and speak the same language as their
neighbors in the Ukraine republic of the Soviet Union ... White Russia
was annexed by Poland as the result of a victorious war against Russia.
"It would be an act of criminal folly to place the Russian advance in the
same category as that of the Germans, although it would suit Herr
Hitler's designs to do so . My contempt was and still is reserved for
the government which fled for safety in a foreign country whilst their
brave soldiers were still fighting desperately for the remnants of their
country against overwhelming odds ....
"It is a notorious fact that the Polish peasantry are living in great poverty
owing to the operation of the worst feudal system in Europe. That
aristocracy has been practically in power for years. All the promises of
concessions made from time to time to the peasants have been thwarted
by its influence on recent Polish governments. That is why the advanc-
ing Russian troops are being hailed by the peasants as deliverers .."
(Letter of David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of Great Britain during
World War I, to the Polish Ambassador to London, September 28,
2. The Soviet-Finnish War was waged between November, 1939 and March
1940. The Allies sent aid to Finland.
"The only purpose of our measures is to insure the security of the Soviet
Union and especially of Leningrad with its population of 3,500,000."
(Molotov's broadcast of November 29, 1939, reporting the outbreak of
The peace treaty ceded to the Soviet Union the Karelian Isthmus and
territory on the Gulf of Finland up to and including the towns of
Viipuri, as well as the western shore of Lake Ladoga, minor territories
further worth and the Rybachii and Srednii Peninsulas, commanding the
seaway to Murmansk. The U.S.S.R. also received the right to maintain
forces at Hango, commanding the entrance to the Gulf of Finland. Upon
the cessation of hostilities, Soviet troops withdrew from all other Fin-
nish territories occupied during the war, including the Arctic port of
Petsamo, and the nearby nickel mines, one of Finland's most important
3. The Baltic States were absorbed into the U.S.S.R. August, 1940; Bes-
sarabia was repossessed and northern Bukovina ceded by Rumania to the
U.S.S.R. June 1940.
"It should be remembered that the Baltic States were all carved out of,
and taken away from Russia, after the last war. Bessarabia, which was
taken from Russia at about this time by Rumania, had been Russian
for 100 years." (Joseph E. Davies in Life, March 29, 1943).
4. There was increasing tension in the Balkans:
a. The U.S.S.R. warned Bulgaria and Hungary against cooperation with
Germany, March 1941.
b. An agreement was made with Turkey, reaffirming friendly relations,
c. A Pact of Friendship and Non-Aggression was made with Yugo-
slavia, just before the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia, April 1941.
5. There was friction with Great Britain and the United States over trade.
They feared that their goods might be reexported to Germany.
6. A Neutrality Pact was signed with Japan, April, 1941, after Soviet
refusal of a joint agreement with Germany and Japan.
L. Nazi Invasion of USSR, June 22nd, 1941. Declaration of War
on the USSR by Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, Rumania, and Finland
1. Churchill and Under-Secretary of State Sumner Welles make statements
in support of the U.S.S.R., June 22-23, 1941.
2. Roosevelt pledged all possible aid, June 24, 1941.
3. Stalin said in his July 3 speech:
"The aim of this national war in defense of our country is not only
elimination of the danger hanging over our country, but also aid to all
European peoples groaning under the yoke of German fascism. . Our
war for the freedom of our country will merge with the struggle of the
peoples of Europe and America for their independence, for democratic
liberties. It will be a united front of all peoples standing for freedom
and against enslavement and threats of enslavement by Hitler's fascist
4. The Anglo-Soviet military alliance, July 12, 1941, provided that:
"(1) The two Governments mutually undertake to render each other
assistance and support of all kinds in the present war against
"(2) They further undertake that during this war they will neither
negotiate nor conclude an armistice or treaty of peace except by
5. A Soviet-Czech agreement for establishment of Czech armed forces in
the U.S.S.R. was signed July 18, 1941.
6. A Soviet-Polish agreement for wartime cooperation was signed July 30,
7. Harry Hopkins was sent to Moscow and returned with a report to the
Atlantic Conference. Roosevelt and Churchill sent a message to Stalin
offering material aid.
8. On August 2 a United States-U.S.S.R. trade agreement was made, in
which the United States assured unlimited export licenses.
"I am pleased to inform you that the Government of the United States
has decided to give all economic assistance practicable for the purpose
of strengthening the Soviet Union in its struggle against armed aggres-
sion. This decision has been prompted by the conviction of the Govern-
ment of the United States that the strengthening of the armed resistance
of the Soviet Union to the predatory attack of an aggressor who is
threatening the security and independence not only of the Soviet Union
but of all other nations is in the interest of the national defense of the
United States." (Undersecretary Welles' Note to Ambassador Oumansky).
9. The Atlantic Charter was signed August 14.
10. Roosevelt and Churchill sent a message to Stalin, proposing a 3-Power
11. Soviet-British trade, credit and clearing agreement was made August 16.
12. The U.S.S.R. and Britain jointly occupied Iran to expel Nazi agents,
13. At a meeting of the European allies in St. James' Palace, London, Sep-
tember 24 the U.S.S.R. and other nations endorsed the principles of
the Atlantic Charter.
14. The Three-Power Conference (Harriman-Beaverbrook mission) at
Moscow to determine the military needs of the Soviets resulted in the
-signing of the first material aid protocol. Loans were advanced.
Molotov said at the closing session: "The political significance of the
conference lies in the fact that it has shown how decisively these plans
of the Hitlerites (to destroy their adversaries one by one) have been
thwarted by the powerful front of freedom-loving people which has been
formed. . We do not doubt that our great anti-Hitler front will gain
strength, that there exists no force which could break this anti-Hitler
15. President Roosevelt extends billion-dollar non-interest-bearing loan to
U.S.S.R. to be repaid beginning 5 years after the war. The loan is to
cover Lend-Lease aid, which is extended to the U.S.S.R. as of this date.
16. Stalin's speech, November 6, 1941, included the following:
"We have not nor can we have such war aims as the seizure of foreign
territories or the conquest of other peoples, irrespective of whether
European peoples or territories, or Asiatic peoples or territories, includ-
ing Iran, are concerned. Our first aim is to liberate our territories and
our people from the German Nazi yoke.
"We have not nor can we have such war aims as the imposition of our
will and our regime on Slavic and other enslaved peoples of Europe who
are waiting for our help. Our aim is to help these peoples in their
struggle for liberation from Hitler's tyranny and then to accord them the
possibility of arranging their own lives on their own land as they see fit,
with absolute freedom. No interference of any kind with the domestic
affairs of other nations."
17. The U.S.S.R. and Poland made a Declaration of Friendship and Mutual
Assistance, December 4, 1941.
18. Foreign Secretary Eden went to Moscow in December, 1941, to discuss
wartime and post-war relations.
19. The Soviets remained neutral in the Pacific war, beginning December 7,
1941, though expressing sentiments indirectly. "We're all in the same
boat together" (Litvinov). President Roosevelt expressed a similar view
on December 9: "The course that Japan has followed for the past ten
years in Asia has paralleled the course of Hitler and Mussolini in Europe
and Africa. Today, it has become far more than a parallel. It is col-
laboration, actual collaboration, so well calculated that all the continents
of the world, and all the oceans, are now considered by the Axis stra-
tegists as one gigantic battefield. ...
"For weeks Germany has been telling Japan that if Japan did not attack
the United States, Japan would not share in dividing the spoils with
Germany when peace came.
"We also know that Germany and Japan are conducting their military
and naval operations in accordance with a joint plan. That plan considers
all peoples and nations which are not helping the Axis powers as
common enemies of each and every one of the Axis powers."
20. The Soviets continued aid to China. Despite their own shortage of sup-
plies, and partly as a result of the loss of the Burma Road by the Allies,
So0et aid to China continued to be larger than that coming from any
other source. The extent of that aid prior to the outbreak of the general
war in the Pacific had been describe dby Mme. Chiang Kai-Shek in the
"Intellectual honesty constrains me to point out that throughout the first
three years of resistance, Soviet Russia extended to China, for the actual
purchase of war materials and other necessities, credits several times
larger than the credits given by either Great Britain or America. Both
these countries, indeed, circumscribed their advances with conditions
which prevented even one cent of the money being used for badly
needed munitions, equipment, or war materials of any kind. Further-
more, at the meetings of the League of Nations, it was Russia who took
an uncompromising stand in support of China's appeal that active meas-
ures should be adopted to brand Japan as the aggressor. Russia acted
similarly during the Brussels Conference. On both occasions Britain,
France, and other member nations compromised their consciences. When
Japan protested through the Ambassador in Moscow that the aid ex-
tended was a breach of neutrality, Russia did not wilt, or surrender, or
compromise, but continued to send supplies of arms to China. It will
doubtless be said that Russia has been aiding China for selfish interests.
In reply to this I may point out that Russian help has been uncondi-
tional; that China has never asked any nation to fight for her."
M. The Soviet Union as member of the United Nations, signatory to
the United Nations Agreement, Jan. 1, 1942.
1. Molotov visited London and Washington, May and June, 1942, with
the following results:
a. Conclusion of the Anglo-Soviet Twenty Year Mutual Assistance
b. Conclusion of the American-Soviet Lend-Lease Agreement, of a pre-
liminary nature and embodying certain leading principles of post-
war cooperation. Second Mutual Aid Protocol.
c. Joint Communique on urgent task of opening second front. "In the
course of the conversations full understanding was reached with
regard to the urgent tasks of creating a second front in Europe in
2. Diplomatic relations were established with most of the other United
3. Churchill went to Moscow to discuss the military situation, August,
4. Stalin in a letter to an American newspaper reporter urged the allies to
carry through their obligations fully and on time, October 3, 1942.
"As compared with the aid which the Soviet Union is giving to the
Allies by drawing upon itself the main forces of the German fascist
armies, the aid of the Allies to the Soviet Union has so far been little
effective. In order to amplify and improve this aid, only one thing is
required: that the Allies fulfill their obligations fully and on time."
5. Stalin, commenting on the American-British African Offensive, wrote,
"What matters first of all is that, since the campaign in Africa means
that the initiative has passed into the hands of our allies, the campaign
changes radically the political and war situation in Europe in favor of
the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition. . Finally, the campaign creates
the prerequisites for the establishment of a second front in Europe nearer
to Germany's vital centers, which will be of decisive importance for
organizing victory over the Hitlerite tyranny." (November 13, 1942).
6. A Czech force went into action on the Soviet front early in 1943.
7. The Soviets participated in United Nations statements on Jewish per-
secution and looting.
8. A Polish army organized in the U.S.S.R. was withdrawn to Iran on the
orders of the government-in-exile at London, at a time when the Soviet
military position was critical. Moscow suspended relations with the
government-in-exile on the grounds that it had established contact with
Hitler in opposition to the U.S.S.R., with the aim of reoccupying
Lithuanian, Ukrainian and Belorussian territories, and had conducted
espionage and anti-Soviet propaganda through its diplomats and relief
agencies set up to provide for refugees in the Soviet Union.
Immediately after this break, Stalin specifically reaffirmed the Soviet
"desire to see a strong and independent Poland after the defeat of
Hitler's Germany." A Union of Polish Patriots, previously formed at
Moscow, denounced the withdrawal of the Polish army from Soviet soil
as being contrary to Polish interests. It was given the right to raise a
new force, which fights under the Polish flag, wears Polish uniforms,
has Catholic chaplains and is commanded by an officer who was Chief
of Staff of the army withdrawn from the U.S.S.R., but refused to leave
at that time.
The Union of Polish Patriots advocates cession of West Ukrainian and
West Belorussian territories to the U.S.S.R., but demands the Polish
districts of Silesia, the mouth of the Vistula on the Baltic, and East
Prussia from Germany.
9. The Soviets participated in the United Nations Food Conference, May,
10. TASS Soviet press agency, stated that the U.S.S.R. was not invited to
the Quebec conference and that Soviet participation is not envisaged, due
to the nature of the conference.
War and the Working Class, a new, authoritative, Soviet foreign affairs
journal, urged a 3-power conference for the specific purpose of adopting
measures to shorten the war and prepare collaboration afterward.
11. The U.S.S.R. granted full recognition to the French Committee of
National Liberation "as the representatives of the state interests of the
12. Eisenhower's accepted Italian surrender in the name of the United
Nations upon terms previously approved by the U.S.S.R. as well as the
United States and Great Britain.
13. The Allied Permanent Political Commission was formed on Soviet
initiative, to direct fulfillment of the Italian armistice terms and discuss
military and political problems pertaining to Germany's remaining
partners. The Soviet member is Andrei Vyshinsky.
The French National Committee was given representation on the Allied
Commission, as a result of a Soviet proposal to that effect.
14. The conclusion of a Czech-Soviet post-war mutual-aid pact was post-
15. A draft agreement for United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Ad-
ministration was approved by the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet
Union and China and sent to other countries for approval, September
16. "The Second Front has become the test which Russia applies to the
sincerity of British and American intentions" (London Economist).
"Unless the second front on the European continent is opened in 1943
the war will be prolonged and Hitler's doom postponed.
"When we say a second front we imply the concrete concept of which
Stalin spoke with utmost clarity as far back as the autumn of 1942
when he specified that a second front in the west would divert some
60 German divisions and some of Germany's 'allies.' (Nikolai Shver-
nik, Chairman of the Soviet of Nationalities, head of the Soviet trade
unions, and member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party,
September 14, 1943).
17. The presentation to President Roosevelt in October, 1943 of the creden-
tials of Andrei A. Gromyko, replacing Maxim Litvinov as Soviet Ambas-
sador to the United States, was accompanied by a cordial exchange of
pledges of continued cooperation between the two countries. Said
Gromyko, "The friendship of the peoples of our countries is not acci-
dental. It is the expression of the basic interests of our people and our
18. At the Moscow Conference, Oct. 19-30, 1943, the United States, Britain,
the Soviet Union and China pledged "1. That their united action,
pledged for the prosecution of the war against their respective enemies,
will be continued for the organization and maintenance of peace and
security. 2. That those of them at war with a common enemy will act
together in all matters relating to the surrender and disarmament of
that enemy. 3. That they will take all measures deemed by them to be
necessary to provide against any violation of the terms imposed upon the
enemy. 4. That they recognize the necessity of establishing at the earli-
est practicable date a general international organization, based on the
principle of the sovereign equality of all peace-loving states, and open
to membership by all such states, large and small, for the maintenance of
international peace and security. 5. That for the purpose of maintain-
ing international peace and security pending the reestablishment of law
and order and the inauguration of a system of general security, they will
consult with one another, and as occasion requires, with other members
of the United Nations with a view to joint action on behalf of the
community of nations. 6. That after the termination of hostilities they
will not employ their military forces within the territories of other
states except for the purposes envisaged in this declaration and after
joint consultation. 7. That they will confer and cooperate with one
another and with other members of the United Nations to bring about
a practicable general agreement with respect to the regulation of arma-
ments in the postwar period."
II. THE SOVIET UNION IN THE POST-WAR
WORLD. STATEMENTS AND PRINCIPLES.
"The program of action of the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition is: abolition
of racial exclusiveness; equality of nations and integrity of their territories;
liberation of enslaved nations and the restoration of their sovereign rights;
the right of every nation to arrange its affairs as it wishes; economic aid to
nations that have suffered and assistance to them in attaining their material
welfare; restoration of democratic liberties; destruction of the Hitlerite
regime." (Stalin, Nov. 6, 1941).
A. Post-War Cooperation
The Soviets believe that socialist and capitalist states can cooperate.
"Our collaboration with other countries and our participation in the League
of Nations are based on the principle of the peaceful coexistence of two
systems-the socialist and the capitalist." (Speech by Litvinov, Nov. 28,
"Stalin and his followers believed that the all-absorbing task before them
was to make socialism work in Russia. They were convinced that Soviet
socialism could in the long run set such high standards of achievement and
provide such prosperity that the peoples of other countries would be
impressed by the Soviet example and would want to adopt the Soviet
System." (We're in this With Russia, Carroll, p. 212).
Self-determination of nations was proclaimed in the first Decree of Peace,
1917. It is the basis of the whole Soviet international and internal policy in
regard to various nations. The U.S.S.R. itself was formed only after the
independence of the various national groups in the former Tsarist Empire
was established. The principle is embodied in the Atlantic Charter; also in
Stalin's speeches, op. cit.
"The High Contracting Parties . will act in accordance with two
principles of not seeking territorial aggrandizement for themselves and
of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states." (Pt. 2,
Art. V. Anglo-Soviet Mutual Assistance Pact, May 26, 1942).
1. The question of the border territories.
a. The official position of the Soviet government is that Bessarabia was
seized by Rumania in 1918 when the U.S.S.R. was weak, and was
regained when it was strong enough to demand it.
b. As for the Baltic states, Moscow holds that they voted, under their
own non-Soviet constitutions, to re-enter the U.S.S.R. because, in the
words of the declaration of the Lithuanian Sejm (Parliament):
"Life has shown that only the united Soviet republics can withstand
the onslaught of imperialist powers which aim at the conquest and
subjugation of small nations. .... The People's Sejm of Lithuania
is confident that only admission into the U.S.S.R. will ensure the
real sovereignty of the Lithuanian state, real prosperity in industry
and agriculture, real advancement of national culture, the real
development of the material and spiritual forces of the people."
c. The Soviet diplomatic position on the areas formerly under Polish
rule is governed by the treaty of July 30, 1941, nullifying the Soviet-
German boundary agreement, but making no territorial settlement
with the Poles. However, Soviet Ukrainian spokesmen have declared
that they want a united Ukrainian state within the U.S.S.R., and
Belorussians have taken a similar stand.
d. The Soviet attitude toward Finland at present is governed by the
treaty ending the war of 1939-1940, which gave the U.S.S.R. areas
near Leningrad and dominating the entrance to the Gulf of Finland.
2. Attitude toward Germany:
a. Permanence of Germany
"It is not our aim to destroy Germany, for it is impossible to
destroy Germany, just as it is impossible to destroy Russia. But the
Hitlerite state can and should be destroyed. And our first task in
fact is to destroy the Hitlerite state and its inspirers.
"It is not our aim to destroy all organized military force in Germany,
for every literate person will understand that that is not only
impossible in regard to Germany, as it is in regard to Russia, but
also inadvisable from the point of view of the victor. But Hitler's
army can and should be destroyed. Our second task, in fact, is to
destroy Hitler's army and its leaders.
"Our third task is to destroy the hated 'new order in Europe,' and
to punish its builders." (Stalin, Nov. 6, 1942).
The Moscow Conference decided that Germans guilty of atrocities
were to be returned to the scenes of their crimes for punishment.
b. The Soviets officially hold the German leaders personally responsible
for the atrocities and call for their punishment under criminal law.
An authoritative public figure, D. Z. Manuilsky, discussing the
destruction of property and the forced exiling of the inhabitants of
the areas from which the Germans were being driven in the summer
of 1943, he said:
"Let no one say that these acts of violence are perpetrated by
Gestapo men, Elite Guard men and special detachments of assassins
and incendiaries. We know that power is in the hands of German
generals and that arms are in the hands of German soldiers.
"They could have stopped these crimes at any moment, but they
continue to execute the orders of their frenzied Fuehrer. Therefore,
with full reason, the peoples of the Soviet Union and the Red Army
make the whole of the German Fascist army responsible for these
shameful and criminal acts." (New York Times, September 30,
The Soviet note of May 11, 1943, to all friendly nations, adds that
private persons in Germany "who inhumanly exploit at their enter-
prises or in their households the forced labor of peaceful Soviet
citizens" will also be held criminally responsible.
The edict setting up the Soviet commission on atrocities and war
damages specified, among the tasks of this commission, the listing
of all property damage, including that to the state, private indi-
viduals, religious institutions and other societies, in the fullest and
most precise detail.
Numerous public statements, semi-official in character, indicate that
Germany is to rebuild all that its troops destroyed. In October, 1943,
the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R. resolved that "together
with the entire Soviet people the scientists of the Soviet Union
demand indemnification for the damage caused by the German
One expert, Professor Eugene Varga, head of the Institute of World
Economics and World Politics at Moscow, estimated that damage
inflicted upon the Soviet Union by Germany was twice that suffered
by all other countries combined. He urged, as a matter of economic
necessity, that reparations be paid first to those countries which
suffered direct occupation, including the U.S.S.R. He estimated that
it would require the work of 10,000,000 skilled men for 10 years
to repair the damage done, and said that Germany and the vassal
states should supply that manpower, stating that they could come
from among those rendered unemployed by the closing of the war
industries. He urged that this labor be supplemented by payments
in money, goods, livestock, machines and other deliveries to the
equivalent of the damage done. Finally, he proposed that the rate of
reparation payments be such as to prevent the Germans from enjoying
a higher standard of living than the peoples whose national econ-
omies they ruined, but made clear that the reparations were not
regarded as punishment, but simply as payment for damage done.
(New York Herald Tribune, September 2, 1943).
d. The future of Germany.
"... .it would be ridiculous to identify Hitler's clique with the
German people and the German state. History shows that Hitlers
come and go, but the German people and the German State remain."
(Stalin's spech, February 23, 1942).
A National Committee for a Free Germany was set up in Moscow
on July 13, 1943, as a result of a conference of German political
refugees and war prisoners, comprising persons of diverse political
views and social origin. The committee issued an appeal to other
Germans on the basis that:
"If the German people in good time are courageous enough and
prove in deed that they want to be a free people and that they are de-
termined to free Germany from Hitler, they will then win the right
to decide their fate themselves, and other nations will take them into
consideration. This is the only way of saving the very existence,
freedom and honor of the German nation."
C. Attitude Toward Italy and Other Satellites
The Soviet Union advocated joint Allied negotiation with minor Axis
countries for their surrender, with joint supervision of the execution of
armistice terms, and proposed the formation of the Allied Political Com-
mission for that purpose.
The Moscow Conference pledged the complete destruction of fascism in
Italy and "the right of the Italian people ultimately to choose their own
form of government." Germany's annexation of Austria was held invalid,
but the latter shares responsibility for the war.
D. Non-interference in Internal Affairs of Other Nations
This is a corollary of self-determination. It was exemplified by the Soviet
renunciation of special rights in China and Persia, 1918, reasserted in their
pledge to evacuate Iran after the present war. The principle is embodied
in the Anglo-Soviet treaty.
The question of the Comintern: The Third International was founded in
January, 1919, after the split in the Second International in which socialist
parties of many countries had been united.
The Government of the Soviet Union always maintained that it did not
control the Communist International although the Communist Party of the
Soviet Union had long been the largest affiliated party, and it rejected
protests from other governments regarding the activities of the Communist
On May 22, 1943, the Presidium of the Executive Committee of the Com-
munist International submitted for ratification to the various Communist
Parties of the world a proposal to dissolve the Communist International.
The statement urged Communists throughout the world to "concentrate
their forces on all-round support and active participation in the liberation
war of the peoples and states of the anti-Hitler coalition in order to hasten
the destruction of the mortal enemy of the working people-German
fascism and its allies and vassals." Secretary of State Cordell Hull said of
the dissolution of the Comintern that it will "promote a greater degree of
trust among the United Nations and contribute very greatly to the whole-
hearted cooperation necessary for winning the war and for successful post-
Stalin commented in similar vein, in reply to the queries of a Reuter's
"The dissolution of the Communist International . exposes the lie of the
Hitlerites to the effect that 'Moscow' allegedly intends to intervene in the
life of other nations and to 'Bolshevize' them. An end is now being put to
E. Collective Security
The U.S.S.R. was the leader in efforts to erect a system of collective security
against aggression. It recommended strengthening the League Covenant.
It now seeks collective security for the post-war period.
"We in the United States honor Maxim Litvinov, when we recall how as
Foreign Minister of Russia he worked for 'collective security.' Litvinov in
those days when Hitler was rising to power wanted to preserve the peace
by banding together the non-aggressor nations so they could take a decisive
stand against any ruthless nation that might be out for loot." (Vice-President
Wallace, Nov. 8, 1942.)
".. it will be the task of the allied states to ensure a durable and just
peace. This can be achieved only through a new organization of international
relations on the basis of unification of the democratic countries in a durable
alliance. Respect for international law, backed by the collective armed force
of all the allied states, must form the decisive factor in the creation of
such an organization." (Polish-Soviet Declaration, Dec. 4, 1941).
"The High Contracting Parties declare their desire to unite with other like-
minded states in adopting proposals for common action to preserve peace
and resist aggression in the post-war period." (Pt. 2, Art. III, Anglo-
F. International Economic Cooperation and Trade
"We stand for peace and the strengthening of business relations with all
countries. That is our position and we shall adhere to this position as long
as these countries maintain like relations with the Soviet Union, and as long
as they make no attempt to trespass on the interests of our country."
1. Foreign trade policy.
a. Foreign trade is a government monopoly in the U.S.S.R. It is con-
ducted according to plan. The Soviet export in order to pay for
imports. Its international balances are settled in gold.
b. The general aim is to balance the trade with one country where
possible; not to rely too heavily on any one source of supply or
market; to trade where the best credit terms are available.
c. They do not favor autarchy, though they wish to develop internal
sources of all vital materials.
2. International economic cooperation: in the past interest-free loans, and
industrial equipment were given outright to Turkey, the Mongol
People's Republic and China to assist them economically. It has also
made gifts in case of disaster, as in the case of the Turkish earthquake.
It has participated in international economic conferences and inter-
national commodity agreements, such as the wheat agreement, and the
United Nations Food Conference.
"The High Contracting Parties agree to render one another all possible
economic assistance after the war." (Pt. 2, Art. VI, Anglo-Soviet
"In the final determination of the benefits to be provided to the United
States" . by the U.S.S.R. in return for Lend-Lease aid, "the terms
and conditions thereof shall be such as not to burden commerce between
the two countries, but to promote mutually advantageous economic rela-
tions between them and the betterment of world-wide economic rela-
tions. To that end, they shall include provision for agreed action by the
U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. open to participation by all other countries of
like mind, directed .. to the attainment of all the economic objectives"
of the Atlantic Charter. (Art. VII. United States-Soviet Agreement,
June 11, 1942).
General Readings on Soviet Foreign Policy
We're in This With Russia, Carroll. Chaps. 4, 20-25
The Russians, Williams. Chap. 21, 22.
Against Aggression, Litvinov.
Stalin Interview with Roy Howard.
The Soviets Expected It, Strong.
Soviet Power, Dean of Canterbury.
The Soviets in World Affairs, Fischer.
Russia and the Soviet Union in the Far East, Yakhontoff.
Record of Soviet Far Eastern Relations, Moore.
Mission to Moscow, Joseph E. Davies.
Land of Socialism Today and Tomorrow
For World Peace & Freedom, Troyanovsky.
The War of National Liberation, Stalin's war-time speeches.
The American-Anglo-Soviet Alliance, National Council of American Soviet
Soviet Export, Zhirmunski.
DISCUSSION QUESTION ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
1. What are the underlying factors determining the attitude of the Allies toward
the Soviet Government immediately following the Revolution and at Versailles?
2. What were the principles of the relations between states as enunciated by the
3. What circumstances led to the end of the isolation of the Soviet Union after
the Intervention period?
4. Discuss Soviet participation in international organization:
a. What has been the attitude of the Soviet Government to capitalist states?
b. What is the attitude of the Soviet Government to war?
5. What were the main reasons for the breakdown of collective security?
6. Discuss the relation of Soviet foreign policy to its domestic policy.
7. American-Soviet Relations:
a. How is American-Soviet wartime cooperation organized in regard to:
1. Military conduct of the war?
2. Material supplies for the war?
3. Political conduct of the war?
b. What have been the obstacles to closer American-Soviet relations in the
past, and what have been the factors leading to closer relations?
c. Would continued American-Soviet cooperation after the war aid both coun-
tries in returning to peace-time economy?
d. Would continued American-Soviet cooperation after the war aid both coun-
tries in preventing future wars? What is likely to be the significance of the
Anglo-Soviet twenty-year Alliance?
8. What are Soviet views on the post-war world? How do they compare with
THE U.S.S.R. AT WAR
I. RESOURCES ON THE EVE
1. Production: Gross industrial output in 1940 was five times as great as
in 1929. The Soviet Union was thus becoming the second most powerful
industrial nation on earth, having progressed from fifth place, behind
the United States, Germany, England and France, in ten years. By 1937,
Soviet production of locomotives, agricultural machinery in general and
harvester combines in particular exceeded that of any other country. The
U.S.S.R. exceeded other countries in Europe in the production of
machinery and especially of trucks, tractors, and freight cars, as well as
of superphosphates, copper and iron ore.
2. Self-Sufficiency: Of particular importance was the success of the Soviets
in developing their immense natural resources to a point where they
were less dependent on imports than other countries. Statistically, Soviet
steel production in 1940 was 18,400,000 tons, as against 25,500,000
for Germany (without Lorraine) and 15,000,000 tons for the United
Kingdom. Petroleum output in 1940 was 34,200,000 tons, four times
as much as the rest of Europe put together. The production of other
important materials in 1940 was as follows: coal-164,600,000 tons;
pig iron-14,900,000; rolled steel-12,800,000; copper-166,200; and
1. Extent: Since before World War I, Russia has had a larger acreage under
cultivation than any other country, including a larger acreage, crop by
crop, of seven of the ten important food and industrial crops, the ex-
ceptions being rice, corn and cotton. Despite heavy losses in its livestock
as a result of the opposition of the wealthier peasantry to collectiviza-
tion, the Soviet Union led the world in its head of horses, stood second
in the number of pigs, and third in cattle.
2. Influence of Collectives and Mechanization: The unbroken fields of the
collectives led to the widespread introduction of the harvester combine,
of which the Soviet Union had more in operation by 1936 than even
the United States. Likewise, huge number of tractors were manufactured,
and the number in use on the eve of 'the war was second only to the
figure for the U.S.A. Through the system of Machine and Tractor
Stations Soviet agriculture was highly mechanized.
Reading: The Growing Prosperity of the Soviet Union, N. Voznesensky.
1. Numbers: Soviet population at the time of Hitler's attacks was 193,-
000,000, including the Baltic states, Western Ukraine and Western
Belorussia which had been part of Poland from 1920 to 1939, Bessarabia
and Northern Bukovina. During the last war the population was 140,-
000,000, of which 15,000,000 were mobilized into the armed forces.
The same ratio of mobilization would make more than 20,000,000
available for this war. Early in this war a Soviet General Staff spokes-
man said that 27,000,000 men were available for the Red Army.
2. Significance of Women Workers: The above high figure is to be ex-
plained by the fact that even before the war 37% of the country's
30,000,000 wage and salary earners were women, and women made up
a large part of the agricultural labor force.
3. Age Groups: The census of 1939 showed 56,000,000 persons in the
Soviet Union to be between 20 and 39 years of age, inclusive, of whom
approximately half, or 28,000,000, were male. There were another
3,000,000 men in the 18 and 19-year-old groups.
Reading: "Counting Noses in the Soviet Union," American Quarterly on
the Soviet Union, November, 1940.
D. Military Power
1. Soviet Strength: It is estimated that between 1925-26 and 1940 11,000,-
000 men received full military training under the Soviet peace-time
selective service law, and 11,000,000 more received partial training.
The number under arms at the time of Hitler's attack is not definitely
known, but the number available for use on the European front was
considerably less than the 170 divisions Hitler threw into his all-out
assault. Soviet preparedness, however, is shown by the fact that in 1939
the armed forces were 31/2 times as large as in 1930; the borders of
the country were protected by belts of fortifications; Japanese armies had
been defeated in large pitched battles in 1938 and 1939; the amount
of mechanical horsepower per man had risen from 3.07 in 1930 to 13
in 1939, while artillery multiplied 7 times during the same period,
and tank and anti-tank artillery grew 70 times. Anti-aircraft artillery
quadrupled in the 5 years ending in 1939, while the number of tanks
multiplied 43 times in 9 years, and the number of planes increased 61/2
times in the same period. Early in 1939, the Soviet Union had planes
in service with speeds in excess of 310 miles per hour and ceilings of
46,000-50,000 feet. At the same time, personnel was being trained in
63 schools for the land forces, 32 for the air forces, 14 military acad-
emies and 6 military faculties in civilian universities. In 1938 the Red
Navy claimed to have the largest submarine and torpedo motor-boat
fleets in the world.
Reading: The Red Army Today, by K. Voroshilov and others. Foreign
Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1939.
2. German Superiority: German conquest of continental Europe gave Hitler
superiority in manpower and materiel at the time of his assault on the
I. THE PEOPLE IN ARMS
A. Initial Military Strength
1. Standing Army: The standing army at the time of Hitler's attack, June
22, 1941, consisted of men 19 to 22 years of age serving their period
of compulsory military training, plus some 18-year-olds. (In 1939, on
the eve of the outbreak of war in Europe, the age of induction had been
lowered from 20 to 19, and to 18 for youth who had completed their
high-school education. The sons of formerly hostile groups-employers,
Tsarist government officials, etc.-who had previously been excluded
from active service, were made subject to induction by the law of 1939.)
2. First Mobilization: The first mobilization call, issued immediately on
the outbreak of war, called up the 23 to 36 years age group everywhere
except in the area facing Japan east of Lake Baikal and in Central Asia
south of the Trans-Siberian railroad. Later calls mobilized men in these
areas as well.
3. Citizens' volunteer armies rose up in defense of Leningrad, Odessa and
Moscow in the early months of the war. Men not yet liable for military
service, and numerous women, volunteered for this service. Originally
they consisted primarily of members of the Communist Party and Kom-
somol (Communist League of Youth), but large numbers of citizens
without political affiliations joined as well.
4. Mass Training: A decree of September 18, 1941, instituted a compulsory
part-time military training for the entire male population between 16
and 50. 42,000,000 men in these age groups have, by this date, pre-
sumably gone through the full 110-hour course prescribed, which was
devised so as to make each man reasonably proficient in the use of one
modern weapon under field conditions, and particularly in street fighting
for home defense.
Reading: The U.S.S.R. at War, pp. 1-10.
B. Soviet Martial Law
1. In Soviet Territory: Martial law was invoked on the outbreak of war in
all Soviet territory west of a line running from just east of the port of
Archangel in the Arctic to a point east of Novorossiisk on the Black Sea.
In this area all duties of the maintenance of public order were taken
over by the military, which was granted the right to draft citizens for
the building of fortifications, for fire-fighting, for guard duty at im-
portant industrial and transport facilities and for combatting epidemics.
Furthermore, the military authorities now had the right to quarter
troops in the homes of citizens, to impress citizens for labor and trans-
port duties in connection with the regular army, to requisition all
facilities required by the army for transport or other purposes from
public organizations and private citizens, to set hours of business for all
offices, stores, theatres and industrial enterprises, to supervise all meet-
ings and public activities, to set curfew hours, to limit traffic both
pedestrian and vehicular, and to search and detain suspicious persons.
2. In Occupied Territory: Martial law remains in force even in those
sections of Soviet territory where regular organs of government may
not exist due to "exceptional circumstances." It is under this provision
that guerrilla courts act in occupied areas against collaborationists.
Reading: Mother Russia, Maurice Hindus.
III. ECONOMIC MOBILIZATION
A. Problem to be solved and handicaps to be overcome
1. German control of resources, plant and labor power of Europe.
2. Need to convert while at war, requiring new technology, new organ-
ization of production and labor, new placement of existing equipment,
basic re-tooling in many instances, complete stoppage of production for
conversion in some cases.
3. More basic, nation-wide problems of economy, changes in relative
importance and size of industries, re-adjustment of existing ties between
industries and regions, redistribution of the flow of materials and
supplies, and new "sub-contracting" arrangements, which had to be made
under conditions of invasion of the most important industrial centers.
4. Loss of the Ukraine, and other great industrial and agricultural regions
producing half of the coal, three-fifths of the iron ore and pig iron,
one-third of the manganese, two-thirds of the sugar, half of the salt
and one-fourth of the grain of the U.S.S.R., made necessary measures
to replace these essential raw materials and finished products.
5. Invasion of the great manufacturing centers of the Ukraine, loss of
Belorussion and west Russian centers of industry (Byransk, Minsk, etc.),
isolation of Leningrad and the threat to Moscow making necessary the
large-scale evacuation of industry and requiring the location or erection
of new plant housing, the organization of supply, the housing of work-
ers, under circumstances requiring that the evacuated plants be back
in operation in the briefest possible period of time.
6. Reconstruction of reoccupied areas to make use of their economic
potential for the war-the Moscow coal basin (Spring, 1942) ; the Stalin-
grad steel industry, the Maikop oil field, and the Don-Volga-North
Caucasus farm lands (Spring, 1943); the Donbass coal fields and the
farm lands of the Ukraine (Fall, 1943).
B. How it was done
"The Soviet Union is performing the miracle of long-term planning coupled
with improvisation in re-establishing all its key war industries in provinces
east of the Volga, the British Ministry of Economic Warfare disclosed today.
This seemingly impossible task is being accomplished with such efficiency
that by next spring it is expected that Russia will have made good in
production of a large percentage of what is now lost through'German
occupation." New York Times, November 17, 1941.
1. Economic Measures:
a. Civilian industry was converted to war purposes, including even the
smallest municipally-owned enterprises (large industry is nationally
operated) and industrial cooperatives, successfully effected despite
a shortage of persons experienced in the manufacture of war goods,
a shortage of proper equipment, and tremendous transport difficul-
ties. The organization of industry has not changed basically (see
Chapter IV), but conversion has been so complete that even the
names of government departments have been changed, e.g., the
General Machine-Building Commissariat is now the Commissariat
of Tank Industry.
b. Evacuation was carried through with the assistance of enterprises
existing at the new site, which provided floor space, labor, advice
on local conditions, etc. With their assistance, the workers, who
traveled in box cars with their machines, rigged them and operated
them under conditions of incredible hardship, brought many plants
back into operation within 2 or 3 weeks of the arrival of their
equipment at new sites.
c. To replace the loss of primary materials in the Donbass, new blast
furnaces, open hearth furnaces, power stations, coke-and-chemical
plants, and coal and ore mines were placed in operation.
d. To replace the loss of agricultural raw materials and foodstuffs, the
acreage sown to winter grains east of theVolga was greatly increased,
while the sugar beet, sunflower, and kok-sagyz rubber plant were
cultivated on a large scale in areas to which they were supposedly
not adapted and whose farmers had no experience with them.
2. Legal Measures:
a. In June, 1940, a resolution of the All-Union Central Council of Trade
Unions pointed out to Soviet labor, then enjoying a 7-hour day, the
danger to the country involved in the fact that potential enemy states
were enforcing a ten-to-twelve-hour day in order to pile up arma-
ments. The unions proposed an 8-hour-day and a six-day week. These
proposals were enacted into law by the government.
b. Following Hitler's invasion an order was issued enabling manage-
ment to require up to 3 hours overtime daily, payable at time-
and-one-half, but 14-to-16-year-olds could be called upon for
only 2 hours overtime beyond their legal 4-hour day. Vacations,
normally 2 to 4 weeks per year, were cancelled, with the vacation
pay deposited in banks to the names of the individual workers, not
to be withdrawn until after the war. 8-week maternity leaves at full
pay remain in force and neither women in the 6th month of
pregnancy nor working mothers may work overtime.
c. A law of February, 1942, made men between 16 and 64 and women
between 16 and 45 liable for mobilization into war industry. A prior
law of December, 1941, made all workers already in war industry
subject to punishment for desertion for quitting jobs. A law of
April, 1942, made men 14-55 and women 14-50 not employed in
industry and transport subject to draft for farm labor in the harvest
or planting seasons. Under this law, 2,500,000 children of the
R.S.F.S.R. alone worked on farms in 1942. A law adopted on the
eve of the war empowered the drafting of 14 to 17-year-old boys
into boarding schools teaching skilled trades. Graduates were
exempted from the draft. During the war this law was extended to
d. Management, equally, became liable to more stringent controls.
Since the Fall of 1940, the manufacture of defective goods has been
punishable by a 5 to 8 year prison term for the responsible members
of management. The sale or transfer of factory equipment for any
purpose whatever, without the approval of higher authorities, like-
wise became punishable as a criminal offense. These measures served
primarily to curb irresponsible elements.
e. Since the time-and-a-half payment for overtime has resulted in a gen-
eral 50% increase in actual earnings, on the basis of an 11-hour day,
the need for special bonus funds at the discretion of the plant
manager has disappeared. The "Director's Fund," consisting of a
percentage of extra profits, which was previously at the disposal of
the plant manager in order to improve the workers' conditions, has,
therefore, been eliminated.
3. Popular Initiative
The laws discussed above served to replace the vast numbers of men
withdrawn from civilian life into the army. Actually, popular initiative
played at least as great a role as did law in speeding up the national
economy to reach parity and then superiority in armaments with Ger-
many, having the factories and labor of all of Europe to draw from.
Many of the achievements of the war, such as the erection of factory
buildings in the Urals in periods ranging from twelve days to a few
weeks, were possible only because of the initiative and ingenuity dis-
played by Soviet management and labor and the smooth functioning of a
highly-developed system of labor-management cooperation. (U. S. and
British Lend-Lease supplies were equivalent to only 20% of the 30,000
tanks, and 25% of the 23,000 aircraft which the Red Army reported hav-
ing lost during the first two years of war, not counting the vast quantities
of these arms still in the hands of the Soviet forces at that time-June,
1943-which made possible the immense Summer offensive that fol-
lowed). Workers' production ideas, inventions and mutual aid schemes
helped in increasing productivity per person in 1942 by 15% in the
arms industry, 30% in aircraft, 38% in tank, and 46% in light industry,
despite the drafting of large numbers of skilled workers and their
replacement by persons physically weaker as well as less skilled. The
bulk of the working population now consists of women, young boys and
Reading: Russia at War, Bulletins of the American Russian Institute.
C. Economic Achievements
a. Increases: Actual industrial achievements include the production of
more aluminum in the Urals in 1942 than the entire country refined
before the war, when the industry was centered around Leningrad
and the Dnieper Dam. Likewise, production of manganese in the
Urals multiplied ten times by the end of 1942, reaching an annual
rate sufficient to replace fully the lost mines of the Ukraine, which
had accounted for one-third of the total output before the war.
Airplane production rose 75% from 1941 to 1942, and tank output
rose several times over.
b. Substitute Materials: The cost of the huge KV tank fell 25% by
the spring of 1942 as a result of the use of substitute materials.
Iron has been substituted successfully for aluminum with no increase
in weight of the finished product. American experience in the use of
plastics, steel, ceramics has been followed. There has been a partial
substitution of furnace coal for coke in some processes. Fire-proofed
wood has been substituted for metal in many instances. Binding wire,
oil, and paints are used over and over again, while entire depart-
ments and small plants have been equipped with overhauled dis-
carded tools and machinery. In the machine-building industry, one
typical product now requires only half of the sheet steel, 60% of
the carbon steel and 70% of the cast iron previously needed.
c. Reorganization: Enforced wartime economies have resulted in the
following general changes in inner-plant operation: raw materials,
fuel and power has been economized, more rational processes of
production have been adopted, local sources of power and raw
materials have been widely exploited, and inner-plant flow of
materials has improved, with the introduction of conveyor systems
in almost every type of industry.
Having lost nearly half its normal sown acreage at the time of the
Nazi advance to Stalingrad and Mozdok in the Caucasus during the
summer of 1942, the Soviet Union's ability to meet its own food require-
ments during that year and 1943 was seriously impaired, despite the
fact that 20,000,000 acres of virgin soil were brought under the plow
in the East and 10,000,000 city people planted Victory gardens aver-
aging a quarter-acre each.
Loss of the bulk of the railroad trackage at the height of the invasion
seemed an insuperable obstacle, but vigorous measures, including the
introduction of martial law and military rank on the roads, overcame
the transport crisis. The counter-offensive at Stalingrad was supplied
from 3 single-track railroads. Repair of reconquered railroads took place
so rapidly that the first Moscow-Kharkov through train made this run
only 3 weeks after the Ukrainian city had been freed, and normal sched-
ules were put into effect immediately thereafter. 5,000 miles of track
were repaired between March and September, 1943. New railroads
were built to serve industry. These included the completion of the "2nd
Trans-Siberian" between Magnitogorsk in the Urals and Stalinsk in the
Kuzbass, and the fabulous Kotlas-Vorkuta railroad into the northeast
corner of the European Arctic. Construction of the latter road was to
make possible the mining of 21/2 times as much coal in that area in
1943 as in 1942, and 26% more than the total output of the last
decade. Railroads were also built connecting existing lines east and
west of the Volga. (The Germans built a link from Kherson in the
Ukraine to the isthmus of Perekop which connects the Crimea to the
4. Reconstruction of Recaptured Regions
In areas liberated by the Red Army, the first steps taken by the authori-
ties are to provide food, housing and medical care, and to rehabilitate
the local economy and educational institutions. The homeless are given
lodging with those whose homes escaped destruction. Farmers are
exempt from current and back taxes, are given free lumber with which
to rebuild their homes, and government credit is extended for the
restoration of collective farm property. Tractors, horses and seed are
also provided by the government. Much of the ploughing and planting
has to be done by hand.
One-fourth of the normal sown acreage in that district was planted in
the spring of 1943. Krasnodar Territory, between Rostov and Novo-
rossiisk, reconquered in December, 1942, was so fully recovered by
September, 1943 that the acreage then being sown was large enough to
assure not only the feeding of its own population in 1944 but surpluses
to resume shipments from this breadbasket to other parts of the country.
In the field of industry, the wrecked coal mines south of Moscow,
recaptured in December, 1942, were producing at pre-war levels nine
months later. The Moscow-Kalinin railroad, retaken at the same time,
was operating on pre-war schedule within eight months.
In the cultural field, of 18,000 schools normally functioning in 12
regions that had been overrun by the Germans, 10,500 were open again
by August, 1943. Government credits extended to municipalities for
reconstruction invariably included sums for the rebuilding of theatres,
film houses and libraries.
Generally speaking, although the economy of recaptured regions has
been placed in full operation within a year, much of the equipment
used is makeshift and temporary; there are huge food deficits in the
areas most recently liberated; and the restoration of pre-war standards of
appearance, durability, services and comfort is a matter of years.
D. The Soviet system as a factor in successful economic
"No government ever formed among men has been capable of survivrin-
injury so grave and cruel as those inflicted by Hitler upon Russia."
(Winston Churchill, Quebec, September 1, 1943).
1. State control of supplies of materials, compulsory conversion of industry,
to war purposes, the closing down of enterprises not necessary to -he
war economy but using important raw materials and labor, and similar
measures could be instituted through the normal government plannirn.g
2. Evacuation of industry, foodstuffs, cattle and agricultural machinery.
and the destruction of what could not be removed was facilitated bI
public ownership of these facilities and availability of nationally-owr.cd
lands in the interior for resettlement.
3. The system of economic planning was carried over to meet wartime
conditions, and its regulation of supplies minimized the common war-
time phenomena of speculation and the black market. Despite the
interference of "unplanned" factors, such as the invasion and the
extent of the economic losses resulting therefrom, Soviet economists
maintain that planning and the degree of the organization of the
economy improved in wartime.
4. The incentive wage system commonly used in the U.S.S.R. was con-
tinued, to stimulate increased production. During the war there have
been many acts of extraordinary sacrifice and effort on the part of
industrial labor, competition among workers for higher production,
conscious efforts to improve system of production, and a huge voluntary
influx of pensioners, youth and women into industry.
IV. SOCIAL MOBILIZATION
A. Civilian Defense
34,000,000 persons had been trained in defense against air and gas raids
by April, 1943, under a compulsory scheme introduced upon the outbreak
of war. The training system remained in the hands of a volunteer pre-
paredness society, Osoaviakhim, which had embraced fully one-third that
number of citizens in its pre-war activities.
B. War Relief
Soviet citizens in the areas not directly engulfed by the war have helped
their refugee brethren through a widespread system of voluntary donations
generally averaging a day's pay per month. (It is to be remember that
earnings have increased about 50% as a result of overtime). Collective farms
have planted "Acres of Friendship," the crop from which goes to the
farmers of the devastated regions. Under the slogan "There are no orphans
in the Soviet Union," great numbers of children have been adopted, very
often by persons of different nationality and background in such areas
as the Caucasus and Central Asia. Evacuee children whose parents may be
living are placed in special boarding schools, of which there were 1,745 in
the spring of 1943. These homes are often supported by donations from the
treasuries and memberships of trade unions, cooperative societies, and the
C. War Bonds
The internal loan of 1943, issued in the sum of 12,000,000,000 rubles,
was oversubscribed in one day, and when subscription was closed at the
end of a week, 20,000,000,000 rubles worth has been bought. They may
be paid for over a ten-month period. The average citizen buys bonds
equivalent to one month's salary-approximately the same as our "10%."
D. Minority Groups
Huge numbers of evacuees were moved into non-Russian areas. In Central
Asia, for example, large numbers of Slavs, Russians, Ukrainians and
Belorussians, as well as about a million Jews, were placed in an area of
predominantly Mohammedan religious background and Middle Eastern