Vintage Soviet Propaganda Posters From The Era Of Stalin And World War II

Published August 2, 2017
Updated December 28, 2018

Whether encouraging obedience or discouraging loose talk, these Soviet propaganda posters are masterpieces of manipulation.

Vintage Soviet Propaganda Posters
Woman Holding Paper
Soviet Propagana Point Red
Strimaitis Spichka
Vintage Soviet Propaganda Posters From The Era Of Stalin And World War II
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Modern Soviet propaganda first appeared during the Russian Revolution of 1917. Used to promote the revolution and engender optimism for the new society, this propaganda also sought to attack opponents of Vladimir Lenin’s government, including the ruling class, landowning peasants, and anyone espousing competing communist ideologies.

At the time, very few newspapers were published and therefore propagandistic posters served as a primary means of communication. During the revolution, posters were sent to the front lines of communist opposition cities with the warning that “anyone who tears down or covers up this poster is committing a counter-revolutionary act”.

After the revolution, posters were commissioned from some of the biggest artists in the Soviet Union and encompassed many different revolutionary aesthetics in order to promote communist values related to hard work, fairness, and education.

With Joseph Stalin in charge by the late 1920s, Soviet propaganda began to focus more on political discipline and ambitious government programs, particularly the collectivization of land and establishment of industry.

In service of these aims, the government produced countless dynamic, somewhat abstract posters featuring bright colors and distinct shapes. However, this aesthetic was later replaced with one featuring more lifelike images. And always present were core communist symbols like the red star as well as the hammer and sickle.

With the onset of World War II, Soviet propaganda took on a new importance in rallying national support for the war effort and convincing eligible people to enlist.

Wartime aside, Soviet propaganda became a defining aspect of the nation's very culture, spreading the aesthetics, values, and lessons of the Soviet ideology throughout the nation and beyond.

Next, for more Russian propaganda posters, check out this gallery of Soviet posters from the Cold War. Then, check out these World War I posters that inspired much of modern propaganda.

Gabe Paoletti
Gabe Paoletti is a New York City-based writer and a former Editorial Intern at All That's Interesting. He holds a Bachelor's in English from Fordham University.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
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Paoletti, Gabe. "Vintage Soviet Propaganda Posters From The Era Of Stalin And World War II.", August 2, 2017, Accessed May 18, 2024.