Perception in the Soviet Union was one of the most critical concerns of the government, from identifying “kulaks,” real or imagined, to outing prisoners-of-war turned German spies, and the legions of orphaned vagrants in the streets were no exception. The prospect of orphaned children in the public eye created a challenge to the effort to portray the Soviet Union as an idyllic society free of the capitalist-based sins of the West. Eventually, however, children were subjected to the same “work or starve” ethic that their elders found themselves placed under, and the focus of rescuing wayward children became an initiative to build socialism rather than add any particular meaningful happiness to their lives. … Read the rest here
Fürst’s article concerning the orphans and those who were living on the streets aims to distinguish the USSR’s claim of trying to save the children, while also subtly hiding this problem and keeping it out of the public eye.
Fürst begins by declaring that the the original ideal of the Soviet Union was to save the children and relieve them of their horrible state. Fürst claims that this position was most prominent during the 1930’s and the beginning of the war period. … Read the rest here
The drive for the collective propagated the Soviet image during World War II. In his article “Between Salvation and Liquidation,” Furst notes that images of crying, bedraggled children could be found between posters of heroic soldiers and dutiful citizens. The presence of street children and orphans was not to be blamed solely on their parents; the Soviet Union, as a collective, was at fault. Therefore, it was the duty of the Motherland as whole to find a solution.… Read the rest here
Children were the future of Communism. Childhoods were to be happy and foster the next generation of “good” comrades. How would the regime spin the existence of thousands of parentless, homeless, and post traumatically stressed thieves? During the war the humane slogan quickly rose to save these children, adopt them and do your part for the war against the evil fascist. For those living behind the line of the war torn frontlines the people naturally embrace this idea.… Read the rest here