© 1958 Lithuanian
Students Association, Inc.
September, 1958 Vol. 4, No. 3
Managing Editor P. V. Vygantas
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ASPECTS
at present the Lithuanian delegate to the ACEN where he is also the
chairman of the ACEN Political Committee, was Envoy Extraordinary and
Minister Plenipotentiary of Lithuania in Berlin, Bern, Vienna,
Budapest, London, and de Haag, also Lithuania's delegate to the League
of Nations and agent of The Lithuanian Government at the Permanent
Court of International Justice at de Haag. After occupation of
Lithuania by USSR, was active in Resistance movements and also prisoner
of the Nazi Concentration Camp in Auschwitz, Germany. Since 1951
chairman of the Committee for a Free Lithuania in New York.
the last few years
the Assembly of Captive European Nations (ACEN) has been a vivid
reminder of Soviet aggression. The Assembly, composed of democratic
representatives of nine countries at present subjugated by Soviet
Russia: Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia,
Lithuania, Poland, and Romania, continuosly seeks keener awareness in
the free world of the deep wound inflicted upon the body and conscience
of Europe by the Soviet brutality. The Assembly does not advocate any
kind of social, political or economical privileges but aims solely at
the restoration of national independence and democratic way of life to
these nine nations.
In April, 1958, the ACEN held its Fourth Special Session at Strasbourg, France. At the Third Plenary Meeting of the session Vaclovas Sidzikauskas read a comprehensive report on Soviet Colonialism. LITU ANUS here presents an excerpt of this paper covering social and cultural aspects.
first and most striking characteristic of Soviet social policy in the
captive nations is the pitiless exploitation of all workers, whether
industrial, laborer, peasant, or white collar worker.
The State, or its agencies, is the sole employer In the Communist system. Any individual, therefore, who wants to earn a living must become the serf of the government and is compelled to accept the hard, often inhuman working conditions imposed by this employer with respect to work norms, wages, pensions, etc.
In addition to those workers and salaried employees who are hired under so-called "bargaining conditions," an immense number of persons have been recruited into the labor force by force. They are alleged "delinquents" and "political criminals" who are considered guilty of opposing and resisting the newly imposed social order and who, under the authority of loosely worded laws, have been completely at the mercy of the state. Thus, millions of people work at forced labor in prisons, labor camps, concentration camps and on public works projects, the luckier ones in their own country, many others In Russia whither they have been deported.
The Polish law of April 19, 1950, on "Socialist Labor Discipline," the Albanian Penal Code of 1952, the Romanian Labor Code of 1950, the Hungarian Decree 1/195/III 19 BM and the Soviet Penal and Corrective Labor Codes (text 225, section 33) as applied in the Baltic States, have provided the legal bases for the Communist authorities to imprison people in forced-labor institutions. These actions constitute flagrant violations of the Convention on the Abolition of Forced Labor which the Soviet Union and the countries dominated by her have signed and ratified.
The deportations of indigenous population carried out by the Soviet occupation power from the several captive countries and the transporting of young farmers, ostensibly volunteers, to the Asian parts of the USSR, constitute a deliberate policy of destruction of all national feeling and loyalty.
The condition of the peasants on the Sov-khozes and Kolkhozes, who are held in virtual serfdom, contradicts Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which declares that "No-one shall be held in slavery or servitude," and violates even the Soviet Penal Code, which provides penalties for servitude in Articles 30 and 59.
The worker has no right to choose the type or place of employment according to his aptitudes, his experience, let alone his wish, but is rather obligated to work in the enterprise to which he has been assigned. This simultaneously involves a system of forced domicile.
In Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, in the Eastern provinces of Poland and in Bessarabia, the Soviet Edict of April 15, 1956 (Sections 4010 and 13-23) establishes restrictions on change of employment in business and in industry.
Work norms are fixed by commissions composed of so-called specialists, engineers, technicians, State officials or members of planning commissions. The commissions do not include representatives of the workers. The result is that the work norms are established in the interest of fulfilling the usually exaggerated State production plans, and do not take into consideration the physical capacities of the workers, thus subjecting them to inhuman exploitation.
a consequence of the manner in which the work norms are established,
workers are unable to fulfill the norms and therefore receive wages far
below the minimum required for a decent standard of living.
While the Labor Codes may provide for an eight-hour work-day special decrees and administrative rulings constantly modify the law, institute special brigades, impose "voluntary" extra work without pay, etc.
In 13 years of despotic rule, the Communist regime has been unable to establish a stable tariff of wages. The many commissions that deal with work norms and wages continually change the rules and justify the resulting confusion with the claim that they are still in an "experimental period." The real explanation is the internal contradiction of the system. On the one hand it wants to establish work norms and wage tariffs on a rigorously "scientific" basis, but on the other hand, it is tied to the instability of an economy that is subject to technological change, Soviet requirements, and general economic conditions.
The situation is aggravated by the fact that the labor unions are mere tools in the Communist party. They do not represent the workers, let alone their interests; they have no freely elected leaders. Their role is to wield police authority to assure the discipline in the workers and to spur the fulfillment of production plans.
The collective bargaining contracts are of course, a fiction, so long as they are negotiated between directors of enterprises and labor union leaders, who are all appointed by the Communist Party.
The workers have no right to strike and are thus deprived of the one basic weapon for fighting for their legitimate claims.
The best negative proof of the foregoing was rendered by the Hungarian revolution, when the true representatives of the workers formed Workers' Councils. They immediately abolished the exploitative system of work norms and performance wages and replaced it by a system of time wages. After the Revolution had been put down, the Workers' Councils were, of course, promptly abolished.
Housing is rationed and is allocated not according to need but on the basis of the political criterion of devotion to the Party. Those who do not meet these criteria live in housing that is insufficient for a normal family life and often leads to an atmosphere of promiscuity. Statistics show that the housing construction is inadequate for the increase in the population; existing buildings are in a deplorable state of disrepair; the number of dilapidated and uninhabitable buildings rises ecah year. In such a situation it is to be expected that living conditions are unhygienic and that public health is endangered.
In an address to the Albania People's Assembly on June 17, 1956, Enver Hoxha, Secretary General of the Albanian Communist Party, conceded that any improvement of living conditions had been confined by and large to the upper strata of industrial labor and Communist officials.
The forced export of food supplies to the Soviet Union and various Asian countries, together with the substandard wages paid to workers in the captive countries, has resulted in an undernourished and unhealthy population. For example: The incidence of tuberculosis among the population of Albania has risen from 1.5% in 1938 to 14.5% in 1956.
The most important social cell, the family, is suffering from the onslaught of a combination of factors; the food shortage usually makes it essential that both parents work and hence results in lack of proper care for the children; inadequate and unsanitary housing accommodations have led to a life of quasi-promiscuity; the lack of religious freedom has brought about a weakening of morality; the regime of terror is a continuous demoralizing factor. Family life is therefore threatened with disintegration.
The authority of parents has been replaced by that of the Party. Children are taught to denounce their parents, parents to denounce their children, friends their friends, and colleagues their colleagues. Everyone is threatened with punishment for failure to report political deviation. Under such conditions, all the moral rules adopted by the civilized world are in danger of destruction.
Article U of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights prohibits punishment of offenses not specified by law. Nevertheless, the Romanian Decree No. 187 of April 29, 1949, still in effect, states that: "Actions considered to be endangering society are punishable even if not specically mentioned as offenses in a provision of law." Similar provisions are in force in other captive European countries.
Police terror, the absence of just laws, and the violations of all standards of order and justice tend to corrupt the moral sense. The presence of foreign troops and agents who wield power not only over the people but also over the so-called national rulers is an additional demoralizing element.
development of every national culture is dependent upon its inherited
traditions but it is profoundly affected by the progress and by the
dynamic character of the society that is its bearer. All the
achievements of mankind are reflected in national cultures and bear the
imprint, marked or subtle, of their particular cultural provenance. A
national culture can survive and remain creative cnly if it is capable
of assimilating the cultural influences of other nations without
succumbing to them or being completely absorbed by them.
In relation to the captive nations it has been the Kremlin's persistent policy to impose its own culture upon its subject countries to the detriment of indigenous culture life.
Just as Communist political subjugation and economic exploitation constitute total war upon the freedom and wealth of its subject peoples, so the Sovietization of culture constitutes total war upon their spiritual life. The captive peoples are being forced to accept Communist atheism and dialectic materialism. They are being made to acquire and teach ideas about the human being and his dignity, about truth and morality, freedom and democracy, attitudes toward religious traditions and national customs, national independence and relations among nations that are completely alien to their accustomed modes of thought. Even foreign and debased literary and artistic styles are being imposed upon them.
This cultural coercion is a flagrant violation of the freedom of the national cultures of Central and Eastern Europe which have their roots in Western civilization, just as it flouts the Universal Declaration of Kumar Rights, which asserts that "everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community."
The puppet regimes of captive Europe have been spending enormous sums of money for what they call the promotion of the arts, science and folklore — for "bringing culture to the masses." Whatever the results of this effort, the Communist assertions about its effects are as extravagant as their expenditures. A case in point is the Communist claim of having "wiped out illiteracy" by compulsory and universal education, even though schooling was compulsory in the entire area long before the Communist occupation, and illiteracy was either non-existent or on its way out — without terror and oppression. In any case the so-called achievements of the Communist cultural campaign must remain limited to the outward trappings of culture; under the Communist system the basic condition for genuine cultural growth — the free development of the creative spirit — is entirely absent.
Whether in Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, in Estonia, Hungary, in Latvia, Lithuania or In Romania, the Soviets have applied one and the same basic formula to the cultural life of their subject peoples, namely that of a culture which must be "national in form, Socialist in content," in the words of the Soviet jargon. The experience of the captive nations of Central and Eastern Europe conclusively proves that "national in form" means nothing save the preservation of the national language and of some popular traditions and customs; but that "Socialist content" means the displacement of the national culture by the doctrines of Russian Communism and the glorification of Russian culture. In a particular context, "Socialist content" may be defined as dialectical materialism, as Marxism-Leninism, as people's democracy, or as "Socialist realism"; whatever the jargon, it means but the policies and ideas of the Kremlin's ruling clique and its determination to impose a foreign system of thought upon the cultural life of the captive nations. The cultural policies of the Kremlin are sole and binding criteria for all scientific, literary, artistic, and educational effort. Therefore all of cultural life in the captive countries of Central and Eastern Europe, their national traditions, their ideas of national freedom and independence, freedom of thought and conscience, freedom of education, freedom to share in the cultural life, are tortured but fit the Procrustean bed of the Kremlin's pattern. But passive consent is never enough: writers, composers, painters, actors, educators, and other intellectuals are expected to preach the Communist gospel and to make the content and style of their creative output conform to prevailing standards of "Socialist realism"; in other words, to display not actual reality, but the theoretical reality of Communist propaganda. In the Communist universe, all activity must have social utility, and the function assigned to culture is to educate the Soviet man. Thus, not only are the characteristics of the national culture being systematically destroyed, but creative men themselves are being turned into tools of the Soviet system. Parents are denied the right to guide the education of their children. Teachers are denied the basic requisite of education — the right to teach the truth. Writers, painters, and composers are restricted in the choice of their subjects, styles, and methods.
Lenin declared that "no one can remain impartial to what happens to his class, not rejoice in its victory, not deplore its failures, not feel in his heart indignation against the enemies who obstruct the evolution of his class by spreading backward ideas." And the Kremlin's puppets in Romania have applied this dictum to the spiritual life of a captive nation: "The working class must conquer not only political and economic positions hitherto in the hands of exploiters, but it must strive at the same time to destroy capitalistic beliefs in men's minds. Red hot iron must burn out all the rot planted in people's minds by centuries of capitalist slavery." What Is demanded here is the complete severance of all ties with the national heritage and the forcible imposition of the Soviet culture. For over a decade, the "red hot iron" of cultural sovietization has been trying to "burn out" the national identity of subjugated peoples from the Gulf of Finland to the Adriatic Sea.
The intensity of the sovietization of culture varies according to country, time, and field of cultural activity. At one time, certain cultural disciplines are subjected to stronger efforts at sovietization while others are less affected. In some captive countries, sovietization proceeds more brutally and aggressively than in others. Yet, in all Soviet-dominated countries, the sovietization of culture is an integral part of the Communist system.
1. Sovietization of Education
the free world, education aims at the development of the intellectual,
religious, artistic, and other faculties of human beings. The highest
aim of Soviet education is to achieve a "technically trained
individual, an active and hardened builder of Communist society." This
aim is systematically pursued. Yet, the recent Polish and Hungarian
revolutions have cast doubt upon the succcss of the Soviet attempt to
win over the minds of men. It was especially the youth of those
countries that manifested the hardest anti-Soviet resistance.
The educational influences that operate in the free world are manifold. They include society, family, church, and schools. In the Soviet system, the Communist Party has a monopoly as an educational factor — to it family, schools, and society are subservient.
In the Communist system, the family's educational influence is minimized. In violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which guarantees that "parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children" (Art. 27), parents in the captive European countries are denied this right. Even parents who are opposed to the Soviet system are indoctrinated through friendly conversations and lectures, and if necessary even through intimidation and threats.
It is important to remember that the low standard of living in the captive countries usually forces both husband and wife to work. While in the USA, women constitute only 25 per cent of the work force, in the Soviet system the number of working men and women is about equal. Thus, the family's (especially the mother's) educational influence upon the children is virtually eliminated.
The educational influence of religion, as the instiller of responsibility before God and one's conscience, is, of course, entirely absent in the Soviet system. Youth is made to feel responsible only to the Communist Party. Even in this post-Stalin era of peaceful coexistence, religious influence in education has been eliminated as far as possible in all the captive European countries. Nearly all — and in some countries all — private and religious schools and educational institutions have been nationalized. In Hungary, for instance, only twelve are left out of about 4600 schools once sponsored by the Catholic Church and even in these the teaching of Marxism-Leninism is compulsory. The Central Committee of the Lithuanian Communist Party resolved on December 4, 1957, "to draw special attention... to the education of students in the spirit of scientific-materialist ideology," and "to exclude every appearance of the influence of an adverse ideology."
Social groups have always played an important part in the education of youth. In the Soviet system, youth finds its social education exclusively in Communist organizations. In the very beginning of the Soviet domination of Central and Eastern Europe, all religious, liberal, and socialist organizations were disbanded, down to boy and girl scout associations. Only two youth organizations are in existence in the Soviet-enslaved countries: "Lenin's Young Pioneers," to which youngsters of both s'xes belong, up to the age of 14 and "Lenin's Communist Youth Union," (Komscmol) which includes youngsters from 14 to 25 years of age. Every Pioneer promises "to live, learn, and fight in accordance with the teaching of the great Lenin and the Communist party." The primary goal of Pioneers and Komsomols is to promote wherever possible the sovietization of all aspects of life.
The school systems in all Soviet-dominated countries are alike. They consist of kindergarten, grade schools, junior high schools, high schools, various technical institutes and other institutions of higher education. The humanities are very much neglected in preference to technical training. One of the principal campaigns in the process of educational Sovietization has been the so-called "polytechnization" of schools whose aim is the training of engineers and technicians. After all, Communism does not need thinkers: the leadership is in the hands of the Communist Party; all it needs is technicians to carry out its projects.
As a result of "polytechnization," the standards of general education in captive Europe? n countries are far lower than in the free world.
Perhaps the worst of the sovietization of schools are the universal introduction into the educational process of Communist atheism and the falsification of history. It is the duty of every Communist teacher to make so-called "scientific atheism" part of every subject. "Communist education is anti-religious education," rightly states the encyclopedia of captive Latvia. Characteristically, the government maintains four institutes of Marxism-Leninism in captive Latvia.
As part of the russification of schools and the universal glorification of Russian culture, textbooks are translated from Russian or ola ones "corrected" so as to prove that all great discoveries and inventions — such as electricity, telegraphy, atomic energy, etc., have come from Russia. All textbooks -;xtol the achievements of the USSR and of the Soviet system, and necessarily distort historical facts. The study of the Russian language is made compulsory, in some captive countries from the second in others from the fourth grade of primary school. The compulsory teaching of the Russian language and of the history and geography of the USSR severely limits the hours available for the study of the native language and literature, history and geography.
Educators in Soviet-enslaved European countries who refused to become obedient toois of the Soviet system suffered dismissal and worse, and a large part of the teaching staff was changed. About 60 per cent of all teachers of the independent Baltic States were deported to Siberia. Another group was dismissed. Even in the academic year of 1957/1958 there is a great shortage of qualified teachers. Teachers are not qualified if they know anything about the modern systems of education outside their own country — save that of the USSR, of course.
Higher education in the Soviet-enslaved countries has suffered a similar process of sovietiza-tion as the primary and secondary schools. There is compulsory teaching of Marxism-Leninism as a subject, besides the ideological coloration given to every other branch of learning. Marxism-Leninism fills all student newspapers, posters and bulletins. There are departments in Russian Studies at all institutes of higher education. The university libraries contain special Russian sections which the students must use in their studies. Many Russian professors have been appointed.
2. Sovietization of National History
strive to study history on the basis of the sole scientific conception
which is that of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin," the Romanian Communist
academician M. Roller has stated. The histories of Central and Eastern
European nations, rewritten in this light, abound in grossly arbitrary
assertions and manifest falsehoods. The period of their independence is
represented as characterized by misery and poverty and as a period of
slavery for the working class.
The rewritten history of Bulgaria boasts that the Russians brought literacy to all Slavic peoples, even though no literacy would have been possible without the alphabet which the Bulgarians St. Cyril and Methodius gave to the South-Eastern Slavic peoples, including the Russians themselves.
The Czechoslovak Republic under Masaryk is represented as a reactionary fascist state. This falsification goes so far as to assert that the creation of Czechoslovakia was the consequence of the great October Socialist Revolution rather than the efforts of the Western Powers and the help of Western statesmen after World War I.
The rewritten history of Estonia pretends to a long friendship between the Estonian and Russian peoples, in spite of the established fact that Russia has initiated about 40 wars in its history to extend its domination over Estonia.
All the great events in Romanian history are either ignored, interpreted as due to the generosity of Russia, or the doing of the alleged forefathers of the Communist movement. The brutal Soviet ultimatum to Romania of June 1940 is explained as being the result of a conflict between Romania and the USSR that "originated in Romania's armed intervention against the Soviets in 1918."
National uprisings in Poland against the Russian occupation in the 18th and 19th centuries are represented as revolts of the proletariat against the Czarist system.
The most impudent Soviet corruption of Lithuanian history is that thfe Lithuanian nation "was closely allied with that of the great Russian nation" and that "realizing that Russia is her only hope and ally against the Western aggressors, it always has looked to Russia for help and protection."
In rewriting the history of the Baltic States to suit their purposes, the Soviets even went so far as to claim that the national resurrection of the Baltic States was made possible by the "progressive forces of the Russian nation."
When national history is closely connected with historical monuments, these are also "sovi-etized." In Romania, for instance, the graves of the former Romanian kings and queens were desecrated and their ashes thrown into the river. (It may be noteworthy that ncne of the tombs of the former Russian Emperors have been desecrated during the forty years of the Bolshevik regime. In the "sovietized" history textbooks all sovereigns are threated with the utmost contempt, except the Russian Czars, who are dealt with most respectfully.)
In Czechoslovakia, the monuments of Masaryk and Stefanik were destroyed and monuments to prominent Russian Communists erected in their stead.
Not only were the monuments erected in memory of the fighters for Estonian independence destroyed, but even the monument of Kalevipoeg, the hero of the Estonian national epos, in Tartu, was torn down.
In Hungary, the Budapest church of "Regnum Marianum" was torn down and replaced by a statue of Stalin.
The Liberty Statue in Kaunas, Lithuania, was destroyed; the tomb of the Unknown Soldier was desecrated; statues of national figures were either destroyed or removed.
This merciless destruction of historical monuments is the planned destruction of the cultural patrimony of the Soviet-enslaved nations.
3. Sovietization of National Customs and Traditions
customs and traditions being essential elements of national identity,
the old customs, habits, traditions are declared by the Soviets to be
"the most dangerous enemies of socialism" (i.e. of sovietization). Only
such customs and traditions as do not impede the sovietization of the
cultural life of the captive European nations are tolerated. All others
are branded as reactionary and banned or misused for the purposes of
sovietization. The first target in the systematic destruction of the
national traditions are the national holidays which are supplanted by
festivals to commemorate the blessings allegedly brought by the
Soviets. The religious traditions of Christmas Trees and Santa Claus
have been converted into the Winter Tree of the New Year and into Uncle
Frost; the Easter egg tradition has been turned into a spring egg
celebration and so on. Christmas, Good Friday, as well as other
religious holidays are no longer observed in most captive countries.
Some have been transformed. For instance, St. Stephen's Day in Hungary was replaced by the Day of the Communist Constitution.
Crosses and shrines, traditionally erected by Lithuanians on the roadside and in their homes, have been largely destroyed.
4. Sovietization of National Language, Arts and Literature
Sovietization of culture corrupts the native languages of the captive
nations by the introduction of innumerable sovietisms and russicisms,
for example, the formation of many neologisms on the Russian pattern,
the transfer of Russian words to the native languages of captive
nations which have no meaning in those languages, the imposition of new
terms even if the native language possesses its own corresponding word.
Many international terms that have good equivalents in native languages
are introduced only because there is no substitute for them in the
Russian language. Kremlin puppets have justified the sovietization of
the native languages by claiming that "The Russian language had and
still has a great importance in the development of all languages...
Consequently, many new words have found their way into our language
under the influence of and patterned after the great Russian language."
It is nevertheless quite obvious that the only true reason for the
sovietization of native languages is the promotion of Soviet Russian
imperialism and the destruction of national feeling in the enslaved
"Communist partisanship (Party-jnost) is the fundamental ideological principle of the method of Socialist literature," — this dictum is inscribed invisibly over the door of every creative artist's or writer's studio. For the writer or artist in a Soviet-dominated country, belonging to or at least faithfully serving the interests of the Communist Party, is the highest virtue. Even the characters of novels and dramas must serve the purposes of sovietization. As a rule, all characters of high moral standards, full of initiative, who are progressive and good workers, who exhibit, in brief, all the positive characteristics are Communists. A drunkard, grafter, swindler or other negative character can under no circumstances be a Communist. All poets have had to write odes to Stalin and even now must write about Lenin or the Russian revolution. Even the imperialistic Russian czars and the successes of the Czarist armies must bo praised. The histories of literature and the other arts of the captive nations have been rewritten to concur with the purposes of sovietization.
Painters, sculptors and
composers may find it a bit less painful to adapt themselves to
"Socialist realism" and to the requirements of sovietization since a
painting or a symphony can more easily have two meanings than the
printed word. Nevertheless, painters, sculptors, and composers must be
on their guard too. They are under constant criticism frcm the
Communist Party for not showing enough of the "glorious" past of the
Communist Party and its achievements in their works On the other hand,
Communist painters, writers, musicians and other artists constitute a
privileged class. They are under special protection of the Communist
regime, which pays them well for their work and gives them awards,
bonuses, honorary titles and medals. Their standard of living, as
compared to that of the rest of a population, is very high. Thus, every
non-Communist writer and artist in the captive countries has had to
withstand this crossfire of sovietization: lack of personal freedom,
constant pressure of Communist "politruks," and the tempting corruption
of the Communist regime.
"The Soviet book has a tremendously important function in the build-up of Communism. It brings to the masses the noble ideas of Marxism-Leninism; fosters the spirit of Soviet patriotism; and teaches the people to love the Communist Party. The Soviet book promotes the most progressive culture and science." This policy statement is taken from the Lithuanian Communist organ "Tiesa."
One of the first measures taken by the Soviets after they occupied the Baltic republics was the nationalization of all publishing houses and bookstores. Then a decree was issued ordering all books of patriotic or religious nature, and those unfriendly to the Soviet system, destroyed.
Similar action was taken in all the captive countries. Many works of high value were thus removed from circulating libraries and made inaccessible except for "scientific studies." Thousands of books perished in the paper mills of the captive nations. At the same time, an avalanche of translation from Russian poured into the captvie countries. In Albania, more than 80 per cent of translated books are originally Russian. The parallel figures for the other captive countries are: Bulgaria: 1952 — 83%, 1953 — 77.2%, 1954 — 55.4%; Czechoslovakia: 1952 — 65.8%, 1953 — 74.1%, 1954 — 65.4%; Hungary: 1952 — 81.6%, 1954 — 51%; Poland: 1952 — 73.3%, 1953 — 78.3%, 1954 — 72.27%; Lithuania: 1956 — 83.75%, 1957 — 76.15%.
Translations from the Russian hold a virtual monopoly in the intellectual life of the captive nations, which are, at the same time, flooded by Russian language publications. In captive Bulgaria, during a five year period of Soviet domination, the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin alone were published in 117 editions, with a total circulation of 3,614,000 copies. The Communist press propagates the reading of Russian books and magazines with great insistence. There are houses which specialize in the publishing of Russian books as well as special organizations which sell Russian books published in the USSR. It is a characteristic fact that of the 21 textbooks for primary and secondary schools printed in captive Lithuania in 1957, 9 were in Lithuanian and 12 in Russian. Only 3 of the Russian books were language texts; the others were handbooks on biology, botany, physics, electrical engineering, and machine construction. The total circulation of the Lithuanian textbooks was 109,500, while that of only eight of the Russian textbooks was 335,000. (The circulation of the 4 other Russian textbooks was not given.). It is worth mentioning that, in the captive Lithuania, Russian conversation textbooks are provided for kindergarten teachers although officially the teaching of the Russian language begins only in the second grade of primary school.
The fact that even the accustomed fairy-tales for children have been supplanted by some of Russian origin, epitomizes the sovietization of literature in the captive countries.
5. Sovietization of the Mass Media
theater, radio, and movies did not escape the corruption of
sovietization. During a three-year period, the theaters of captive
Bulgaria put on 117 Soviet plays for 3,607 performances. The theater of
captive Lithuania, in the 1955-56 season, showed 19 plays by Russian
authors, 3 plays by Western authors, 4 plays from the pre-war period of
Lithuania, and 6 plays written during the era of Soviet domination.
Thus, well over one half of the plays produced were by Russian authors.
In addition, there are Russian theaters in the captive countries, and
Russian theatrical groups are often attached to national theaters.
Since movies provide a powerful means of shaping people's opinions, much use is made of them for the Sovietization of captive countries. Only seldom will a Western movie be shown, while almost the entire Russian film production reaches the screens of captive countries, especially films of a propagandistic nature.
6. The Glorification of Everything Russian
admiration of everything Soviet Russian is obligatory. The Communist
press constantly praises the marvelous achievements of Russian
technological progress. Whenever a delegation of Russian agricultural
"experts," manufacturers, cowmilkers, etc., visits a captive country,
the Communists praise the great skill and achievements of the Soviet
system, and insinuate that the workers and peasants of other countries
are far behind the State of Soviet Russian progress. The Russians have
invented everything in the world. Soviet Russia is the paragon of
science and culture in the whole world. The Soviet Russian people have
launched a new era for mankind.
The severance of cultural relations between the captive European countries and the free world is implemented in various ways, principally by restricting the people of the captive countries almost exclusively to Communist books, magazines, papers, and movies and making the cultural media of the free world almost inaccessible to them.
The Sovietization of the cultural life of ths Soviet-enslaved nations is most objectionable because of its ruthless and systematic drive to destroy the very character of these nations, to deprive them of their national individuality:
I) by eradicating or destroying their national traditions and customs;
II) by falsifying their national histories and destroying their historical monuments;
III) by the compulsory preaching of Soviet atheism and by forcibly impressing upon the captive people Soviet concepts of the human being, of dignity, truth, morality, freedom, democracy, etc.;
IV) by imposing upon their scientists, writers, artists and other intellectuals the alien views of the Kremlin as the sole and binding criteria for scientific, literary, artistic, and educational enterprise;
V) by corrupting their native languages with Russicism and Communist jargon;
VI) by forcibly flooding the literary market with Soviet Russian' books, newspapers, literature, movies and other products of Soviet Russian culture;
VII) by insisting upon the glorification of everything Soviet Russian and by isolating enslaved nations from the cultural life of the free world;
VIII) by abolishing freedom of thought and conscience, freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of education and freedom to participate in the cultural life, and most importantly, national political freedom and independence.
NOTE: This description of the Sovietization of culture in the countries subjugated by Russia in Central and Eastern Europe does not apply with full force to the situation in Poland. Since the October 1956 revolution, the Polish people have been enjoying a measure of freedom in their cultural life. On the other hand, it must be remembered that as long as Poland remains a Soviet satellite, even the limited freedom regained by the Polish people can be suppressed at any time by Soviet military might.