Thursday, February 8, 2018

What sometime could happen to the ordinary Soviet Union postcard

February 8, 2018 This post has appeared due to my wife who has a passion – postcard collecting. Many postcards in her collection were published in the time when USSR was under the rule of Josef Stalin. Two of her postcards attracted my attention. Joseph Stalin's cult of personality became a prominent part of Soviet culture in 1929 and lasted until his death in 1953. That time everything created by cultural workers had to glorify the Father of Nations. The first postcard discovered in my wife’s collection was published in 1959 and contains a reduced copy of the painting “Admittance to the Komsomol” by Soviet painter Sergei Grigoriev (1910 – 1988). I would like to pay your attention on the Stalin bust that was added to the painting to underline its ideological essence.

After Stalin's death, Nikita Khrushchev's 1956 "Secret Speech" to the Twentieth Party Congress famously denounced Stalin's cult of personality and initiated a political reform known as "the overcoming/exposure of the cult of personality". But what to do with many nice painting created for postcards? The decision was very easy: just cut out all details connected with Josef Stalin. Unfortunately at that time such amazing instrument as Adobe Photohop was not available, so, most probably, the painting was just simply partly repainted. Somehow or other it was done and you may look at what was published in 1970s.