AN AGITPROP GROUP SPEAKING TO BUILDING CREWS ON THE BAIKAL-AMUR MAINLINE. 1977. (NATIONAL ARCHIVE)
IMMIGRANTS OFTEN MADE UP THE WORKFORCE ON LARGER JOB SITES. BUILDERS AT THE WOOD PARTICLE BOARD FACTORY IN PÜSSI (FROM LEFT) V. ZMITRICHENKO, V. CHELMODEYEV, N. ANTSSEN, V. ZAVYALOV AND M. SASS. OCTOBER 1981. (NATIONAL ARCHIVE)
AN OFFICER WITH THE PARTY COMMITTEE AT THE H. PÖÖGELMANN ELECTRONICS PLANT, IDENTIFIED AS V. JUDINA, TALKS TO THE COMPANY’S PROPAGANDISTS. 1981. (NATIONAL ARCHIVE)
The Soviet Union was also known for anti-Semitism. A professor at the University of Tartu, the internationally best-known semiotician Yuri Lotman, experienced it. He ran into repeated difficulty publishing his work. Even as late as in 1987, Lotman had his candidacy for an academic position rejected.
The Soviet Constitution of 1977 called for a new stage in human development. Homo sovieticus was supposed to be a committed communist, above all, with an appreciation for Marxist-Leninist convictions, loyalty to the party and an ethic of striving unselfishly and diligently.
There could be no other parties besides the Communist Party. The Communist Party’s children’s organizations were the Little Octobrists and Young Pioneers. It was semi-compulsory to belong to these organizations. For older youths, there was the Komsomol – the All-Soviet Leninist Communist Youth Association. All of these organizations served one main goal – to be a breeding ground for future communists.
All other mass organizations were subordinate to state control and did what the state dictated. Trade unions provided leisure activities for workers, dealt with communist education and doling out “deficit” goods, not what they were originally intended to do – protecting worker interests. A mass organization set up in 1951 to strengthen the Soviet Union’s defensive capacity was DOSAAF, the Volunteer Society for Cooperation with the Army, Aviation, and Navy. Although it was formally only voluntary, membership of the organization was in fact obligatory or semi-obligatory depending on the educational institution or workplace.
A GROUP OF AGITATORS IN THE TALLINN VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTING ASSOCIATION SPEAKING AT A REVIEW. JANUARY 1974. (NATIONAL ARCHIVE)