These words directly echoed those of the Church: “God is not in power, but in Truth.” There will be many appeals to religious archetypes. The most famous is Dear Stalin Brothers and Sisters. In a moment of extreme trial, people and nations turn to God (in his June 22 speech about Hitler’s attack on Russia, Churchill said, “Yes, there are times when everyone prays”).
And the test was not only physical, not only a test of the economic strength of the country, the organizational strength of the state, the courage and courage of the people – at the front and in the rear. No. 1941 is also an ideological and political test.
We write about this comparatively less often, but one of Hitler’s main calculations in 1941 was not just about the actual military defeat of the USSR, but about the fact that the first military defeats would tear the Power System apart from within. Furthermore, in two senses: the national republics will break away from the weakened Russian center, and in Russia itself an uprising against the Dictatorship of the Party will begin.
In 1914 Lenin said: “The transformation of the imperialist war into a civil war is the only correct proletarian slogan.” In 1941, the same idea was repeated in its own way by Goebbels’ German propaganda to the Reich Minister of the Occupied Eastern Territories A. Rosenberg: if the “Bolshevik hoop” is removed from the Russian barrel, then Russia will not resist. The Germans are betting on the ideological defeat of the USSR: in their opinion, the Russian people (especially other peoples of the USSR) hated “Jewish Bolshevism”, with the collective farms, the NKVD, the Party dictatorship, the ban on property private, 1937, etc. It is necessary to find an outlet for this hatred: convert the foreign war into an internal, civil war. Yes, there is no organized fifth column in the USSR, but there are anti-Soviet sentiments that are inevitable after the Civil War and the terror of the 1930s. Power will weaken, they will surface.
Therefore, if “for their own” in Germany they directly said that the Russians were Untermenschi, “slaves of our culture”, their number must be radically reduced and turned into semi-animals capable only of reading signs and following the orders of the masters. germans. , then the agitation for the Russians was directly opposite. The basics of any propaganda: the people with whom they are fighting (Russians in this case) are good, the German army and the state are not fighting against the people at all, but, on the contrary, for their “liberation from the Bolsheviks “. regime.” Not a brown wolf, but a kind grandmother.
This ideology of “liberation of Russia” was also in Vlasov’s “Liberation Army of Russia” and for the “volunteer assistants” of the German army from among the Russians (“hi-vi”) and simply for any police and collaborators.
This propaganda (combined, of course, with the successes of the German army in 1941-1942, when Hitler’s victory was said to be inevitable) had considerable success. Suffice it to say that, according to Russian historians, there were about 1 million of these “hee-vi” who fought against the Red Army! And this is not counting the Vlasov army, policemen, various national units (Baltic, Georgian, etc.). Of course, the vast majority became complicit with the Germans not for propaganda, but simply for selfish reasons, out of fear, hunger (prisoners of war), etc. But there were also many ideological opponents of the USSR, the CPSU (b), Stalin. So, in 1942-1944, according to Russian historians, there were 90 thousand deserters from the Red Army.
All this determined the most important tasks of Soviet propaganda, including the work of writers.
Raise Russian patriotic feelings, national pride. Sow hatred for a ruthless enemy, thirst for revenge. Expose German propaganda: Despite the fact that many German theses, for example, about collective farms, the dictatorship of the Party and the NKVD, anti-Semitic slogans, etc., Soviet propaganda simply had to ignore, these dangerous topics were not discussed in the Soviet media in principle. Finally, carry out anti-fascist counter-propaganda among the enemy troops. The latter was done on a large scale, including by German anti-fascists living in the USSR (writers V. Bredel, Fr. Wolf), but without noticeable effect. During the entire war, there were fewer than 1,000 German deserters in the Red Army, although the few Soviet Germans who fought (the vast majority, as you know, were expelled and used only for auxiliary work) fought no worse than the Soviet citizens of other countries. nationalities
How did the writers and SSP cope with such tasks?
The first Moscow writers’ rally was held on June 22. Fadeev reread Molotov’s speech. Among the standard words and appeals, the words of the poet I. Utkin stood out: “We are not children and do not underestimate the strength of our enemy. The enemy is dangerous. But this is the enemy with whom, perhaps, most of all I would like fight”. Yes, a lot of people had such a state of mind – those ideological anti-fascists in the USSR who did not doubt the inevitability of a considered collision 1939-1941. just a breather, and in his heart he assessed the treaties with Germany as “obscene.” Sol. Vishnevsky: “The decisive day has come. Fascism must perish. It will not escape destruction. Let the Hitler gang remember that the Russian army has been in Berlin twice in history.”
On June 26, a telegram from Veshenskaya reached the People’s Commissar of Defense: “Dear Comrade Timoshenko, I ask you to inscribe the Stalin Prize awarded to me in the USSR Defense Fund. At your call, I am ready to join to the ranks of the Red Army at any time and defend the socialist Motherland to the last drop of blood. Regimental Commissar of the Reserve of the Red Army M. Sholokhov”.
Since June 27, “Windows TASS”, propaganda posters, began to be displayed in Moscow. Texts for them were written by Moscow poets, including Marshak, Demyan Bedny, Kirsanov.
But war is not flowers at all. And numerous “berries”.
One of the burning issues is the popular militia.
On July 4, 1941, Sov. secret resolution of the State Defense Committee “On the voluntary mobilization of the workers of Moscow and the Moscow region in the division of the people’s militia.” Point 1. “Mobilize 200 thousand people in the division of the people’s militia in the city of Moscow.”
To what extent was it voluntary? There is no doubt that many people enrolled in both the army and the militia of their own free will. But not all. For example, members of the SSP were summoned to the Union by summons or by phone – to Bakhmetyev. “The matter was raised as if it were about paying membership fees. Bakhmetyev and his wife (!?) Then headed the Union defense commission. They offered the person who came to sit down, took his membership card, after which he advised the respected comrade to sign up for Stalin’s call to the militia, making it clear that otherwise the ticket will remain on his table.” Well, from today’s point of view, it sounds wild. And in 1941? War. Here’s one. WWII. Not in front. For life and death. Another thing is that the “Bakhmetiev couple” reported that many untrained middle-aged militiamen died, but there was no military sense in the death of each of them individually. Although, probably, there was still some kind of cruel military meaning in general from the ruined divisions of the people’s militia.