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Flashcards in Life in Stalin's Russia Deck (32):

What did Stalin believe the aim of literature and arts should be?

To contribute to the great collective effort of reshaping the thinking and behaviour of the Soviet people


What was the Soviet Union of Writers?

Formed in 1934:
- had authority over all published writers. Had the right to ban or censor any work


What guidelines did writers have to conform to?

- was the work acceptable to the party in theme and presentation
- understandable by workers
- was optimistic and uplifting


Who was Maxim Gorky?

A writer who praised the FYP


Who was Alexander Solzhenitsyn?

A writer who spent many years in the gulag for falling foul of Stalin's censorship


Who was Dmitri Shostakovich?

A composer who spent most of his creative life trying to keep one step ahead of the censors by exploiting their musical ignorance


How was there a cult of personality under Stalin?

From the 1930s on, Stalin;s picture appeared everywhere:
- every newspaper, book and film carried a reference to Stalin's greatness
- every achievement of the USSR was credited to Stalin


How was Stalin celebrated similarly to the Tsars?

The biggest celebration of the year was Stalin's birthday


What was Komsomol?

Youth movement open to those aged 14-28
- pledged its self totally to Stalin and the party


How supportive of Stalin were Komsomol members?

- among the most enthusiastic supporters of the FYPs
= proved this by helping to build Magnitogorsk


What happened to education in 1917?

It was largely eradicated with the Bolsheviks claiming children should instead learn useful trades


Why did Stalin focus on education?

Believed for modernisation to occur the state needed a literate population


How long was compulsory education?

10 years


What was the core curriculum in schools?

reading, writing, maths, science, history, geography, Russian and Marxist theory


Between 1926 to 1940 how much did literacy rates for the population over the age of 9 rise?

From 51% to 88%


Why were fees introduced for the last 3 years of schooling?

Claimed that all societies needed a trained section of the community to work as doctors, managers, scientists etc


How did an elite grow in the USSR?

The intelligentsia that formed the nomenklatura appreciated that education was the key to success
- got private schooling and tuition


How did the educational and promotional practice benefit Stalin?

Created a class of privileged administrators who had every motive to support him since he created them


What was the Lysenko affair?

Lysenko was a geneticist who claimed he had discovered ways of developing 'super-crops'
= Stalin gave him his full support as believed in a 'socialist science' which was superior to the West - one of the factors for the many famines in the USSR


What was the People's Commissariat of Health set up in 1918?

Aim was to provide free health care for all people


How did health improve during the NEP?

Infant mortality drooped and the spread of contagious diseases was checked


Why did death and disease increase under Stalin?

Collectivisation caused famine - no effort was made to provide help to citizens as Stalin refused to acknowledge there was a famine


Who benefitted the most from the health care system?

Party members and the nomenklatura


What seriously lowered the quality of life and the spread of mild infections?

Overcrowding in shared apartments


What was the health care dream of the USSR?

To create a health service to outmatch the West
- were attempts to train doctors, build hospitals and improve the health of workers


Why did the idea of an effective health service remain an aspiration?

The USSR could not feed its people adequately


How many churches were open by 1940?

500 = 1% of the 1917 figure


Why wer churches reopened during the war?

To create a sense of unity and provide support for the war


By 1953 how many churches were open?



How did a decree made by Stalin in 1936 influence women and the family?

- unregistered marriages no longer recognised
- divorce made more difficult
- abortion restricted


What was the emphasis on women under Stalin?

family and motherhood


Why did female members of the party feel they had missed out?

The status of women allowed little room for the notion of the independent and self-sufficient female