Aleksandr Petrovich Apsit, 1918
New York Public Library
8 of 30
"Have you helped the front?"
Dmitry Moor, 1941
9 of 30
"USSR – shock brigade of the world proletariat"
Gustavs Klucis, 1931Wikimedia Commons
10 of 30
"Red Army Soldier, Save Us”
Viktor Koretsky, 1942
11 of 30
"Death to World Imperialism"
Dmitry Moor, 1919
12 of 30
"Take care of your book -
it is the true companion in campaigns and in peaceful work."
Nikolai Nikolaevich, 1919New York Public Library
13 of 30
"He who does not work, does not eat!"
Abel Anatolievich Lekomtsev, 1920Wikimedia Commons
14 of 30
"Beware of the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionary Party Members. They are followed by the Tsar's generals, priests and landowners."
15 of 30
“Comrade Lenin Cleanses the Earth of Filth."
Viktor Deni, 1920Wikimedia Commons
16 of 30
"Knowledge will break the chains of slavery."
Alexei Radakov, 1920Wikimedia Commons
17 of 30
"Savior of the World! Follow Me Into the Bosom of My Father, And He Will Give You Eternal Life ..."
Dmitry Moor, 1920
18 of 30
"An illiterate man is a blind man."
Alexei Radakov, 1920Wikimedia Commons
19 of 30
"Every cook should learn to govern the state." [Lenin quote]
Il'ja P. Makarychev, 1925
20 of 30
"The spectre of communism is moving across Europe."
Vladimir Vasil'evich Lebedev, 1925New York Public Library
21 of 30
"Away With Private Peasants!" [Bottom text]
"The private peasants are most bestial, brutal and savage exploiters, who in the history of other countries have time and again restored the power of the landlords, tsars, priests and capitalists." [Top Text]
22 of 30
“Workers and Peasants: Don’t let them destroy what was created over 10 years.”
23 of 30
“Let’s thrash it!”
Victor Deni, 1930
24 of 30
"Let's speed up industrialization in the USSR with deposits to the Labor Savings Offices."
Vintage Soviet Propaganda Posters From The Era Of Stalin And World War II
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 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.