A short list of the assorted difficulties that faced the Russians in the early Fifties, with two additional news paragraphs that told of additional setbacks on both sides of the iron curtain.
"The standard of living in Russia has never been very high, but even despite his natural stoicism, the average citizen feels he has a good reason to be disgruntled with his life... Like any other totalitarian state, the Soviet state has done its best to paint a larger than life-size picture of its citizens. It likes to describe them as steel-hard heroes with an inflexible will, living for nothing but the great ideal of a Communist future, laughing at difficulties, gaily grasping with hard ship - a continent of Douglas Fairbankses. This is just a bit too good to be true, and the last one to be taken in by it is the average Russian."
Crocodile tears were shed for Georgi Malenkov (1902 – 1988), a buddy of Stalin's who was forced to resign as Soviet premier a few weeks earlier on the grounds that he had failed to produce any memorable reforms in agriculture (Nikita Khrushchev had drawn up a laundry list of additional Malenkov failings as well). The author sweetly pointed out that the Premiere was not to blame; after all,the entire system of government had been schemed by a dreamer who intended his utopia to be built in Germany or Britain.
Click here to read about Stalin's Five Year Plan.
Read an article explaining how the Soviets used early radio...
Some were called "Lishentsi", some were called "land lords", "Romanov lackies", "the rich", "the elite" or simply "the middle class"; no matter what the ruling Soviets labeled their preferred bogeymen, they wanted them out of the way. The attached article goes into some detail as to how this was done.
A 1933 magazine article that reported on the "success" of the Soviet Union's first (of many) Five Year Plans.
The myriad five year economic development plans dreamed-up by the assorted butchers of the dear dead Soviet Union all had one thing in common that was never lost on the Russian people: they always involved the construction of new factories, but never the construction of new housing.
Additional magazine and newspaper articles about the Cold War may be read on this page.
"Premier Vyacheslav M. Molotov (1890 – 1986) pictured the Soviet Union as a lusty young giant strong enough to defend itself from both the East and the West in the keynote speech of the Seventh All Union Congress of Soviets, the Soviet Parliament."
"In proof of this claim it was shown that in the last two years the Soviet Government had increased the strength of the Red Army from 562,000 men in 1932 to 940,000 in 1934."