Collection of about 270 early Soviet books and brochures geared to raising the first generations of Soviet children through plays and games
Material from: National Library of Russia, St. Petersburg.
This collection of rare publications from the 1920's to 1940's opens a window into the mentality of the 'first Soviet generations' and gives insight into one of the most characteristic aspects of socializing the young in early Soviet Russia. Play was used to inculcate 'politically correct' attitudes and children were taught new variants of familiar games, such as constructing the Lenin Mausoleum with snow bricks dyed red, or playing co-operative shop and collective farm market using wooden models and building blocks. The Pioneer and Komsomol movement devoted huge energy to efforts to 'clean up' children's games in the streets and courtyards: children were, for example, encouraged to play 'communists and fascists' instead of 'Cossacks and robbers', and baby or fashion dolls, considered as questionable in gender terms, were ditched in favor of wholesome ethnic representations. Other children's leisure activities featured in this collection are festive holidays: such as the New Year parties organized by the state for the youth; and a variety of theatre performances and films featuring approved Soviet material. The collection includes books published in the provinces, as well as in Moscow and Leningrad, and covers different age groups, from pre-schoolers to pre-teens. Heavily ideologized tracts are presented alongside more liberal articles. The actual practices of play are highlighted, rather than schematic recommendations. (OCLC)