Out of the Ashes: Social Problems Faced by Soviet Children Post WWII

In her article, Juliane Furst  makes the claim that the Soviet Union emphasized two contradictory campaigns that attempted to rebuild a war torn country that suffered many losses in both human lives and economy.  These losses created a problem in that many of the youth of the country were to grow up impoverished and as orphans.  When the Party realized this, they attempted to eradicate the issue by initiating two ideologically opposite campaigns.  The Party attempted to attack the notion that this war would have an effect on Soviet ideals therefore discontinuing the Soviet project.  Before the war, the Soviets emphasized how molding the next generation of Soviets was essential for the survival of the Party according to Comrade Stalin.  Children must act, be educated, and live the Socialist way in order to give hope to the Soviet people that the Tsar and/or Capitalist way of life will not return to Russia.

The only question was how was this going to be achieved? Stalin knew that if he did not target this issue directly, it would bring decimation and ruin for the continuation to the Party.  Similar to the concept of the work camps , Stalin created the concept of the Juvenile camps.  Essentially the camps serve as labor centers just under a different name.  Stalin was smart to at least proclaim that the safety of the children was on the forefront of his reconstruction acts, as the propaganda of what were to happen should children fall into the Germans hands scared the whole country. Stalin was “saving” these displaced children by collectivizing them and then making them work in traditional Soviet fashion.  I propose that with the combination of poor and malnourished children without parental protection, children chose to turn to a life of thievery or were sent to these labor camps; a very dismal future either way.

One thought on “Out of the Ashes: Social Problems Faced by Soviet Children Post WWII

  1. I agree that is was a smart move to save the children that would determine the future of the Soviet Union, and it was also smart to do it in multiple ways. Stalin provided many different options for children that were found on the streets, but many those options did not work, most of the time the children would run away from where they were put, and return to the streets and continue their hooligan acts. Although it was smart for Stalin to do this, his plan wasn’t fully successful.

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