The Science Work
Site is for sale:
Category: History

The youth independent movement in the Russian province in 1917 the beginning of the 1920th (on materials of the Penza province)

i. V. Yurkov

The YOUTH INDEPENDENT MOVEMENT IN the RUSSIAN PROVINCE In 1917 - the BEGINNING of the 1920th YEARS (on materials of the Penza province)

Work is presented by department of the contemporary history of Russia and study of local lore of the Penza state pedagogical university of V.G. Belinsky.

The research supervisor - the doctor of historical sciences, professor O.A. Sukhova

Article represents the analysis of conditions of emergence and activity of independent youth movement in the Russian province in the 1917-1920th. During studying archive materials and sources of personal origin the author comes to a conclusion that the process of mass involvement of youth in socially significant activity, formations of an active civic stand built on values of self-government and self-organization was artificially interrupted and further was carried out under strict control of Bolshevik Party.

I. Yurkov


The author of the paper analyses the conditions of origin and activity of the independent youth movement in the Russian provinces from 1917 through the 1920s. Having investigated the archive materials and resources of personal origin, author came to the conclusion that the process of involving the youth into social activity and the process of formation of an active civic position based on such values as self-authority and self-organization were artificially interrupted and then were realized under the strict control of the Bolshevik party.

The youth makes the fourth part of the population of the country today. Realizing the social and political interests, the purposes and ideals, the younger generation is integrated into social and political structure of society, promotes its reproduction. Updating the existing social and political structures and transferring to their future generations, the young tribe defines the nature of social and political development of society for many years ahead. In the first half of the 90th of the 20th century in society various positions in relation to youth movement were designated: from full wipe -

a tsaniye of its need for any form before attempts of return to uniform model of the organization of Komsomol which was on October 29, 2008 90 years old.

The modern situation is characterized by variety of the youth organizations: now in Russia about 450 thousand youth work and children's public organizations (international, all-Russian, regional and local), the national council includes 41 all-Russian and interregional organizations [1, page 17].

The mass character and pluralism were characteristic of youth movement and during the period

since 1917 to the middle of the 1920th and if the pluralism was generated by revolution of 1905, then the mass character is a quality which was shown in 1917. The set of the most various mass youth associations of pupils, students, young workers and peasants worked in the country during this period. They were various profile: political, national, religious, pripartiyny *, patriotic, educational, cultural and educational, sports. Among them scouts totaled 50 thousand people [20, page 144]; The Petrograd union "Work and light" - from 16 to 50 thousand people [18, page 15]; Petrograd SSRM of-16 thousand [18, page 22]; Petrograd OSUZ of-12 thousand; The Moscow OSUZ - 15 thousand [15, page 55]; The Christian unions - more than 8 thousand people [20, page 145].

In the Penza province after the October revolution of 1917 several dozen clubs for youth appeared. They were not uniform on organizational structure, religious, moral and political aspirations. It should be noted that the data on the youth and children's organizations found in archives are not full as documentary activity of some organizations and circles was not considered and issued.

The teenage club "Yunoshestvo" was organized in 1918 and carried out the activity till 1925. In the summer of 1918 members of this organization adopted the Charter in which as the major task was declared: to provide "the all-round development of the members based on amateur performance, free creativity and full self-government; development of public skills; education of collectivism, their on bases; development of feeling of a civic duty" and also "acquisition of knowledge in the field of history, literature, etc." [2, l. 49]. It is remarkable that pupils of schools of the advanced teenage age - were 14-17 years members of the organization. The number of participants reached 40 people.

All decisions in club were made by a general meeting of all members, however flowing -

Lamy elective members, responsible before participants of the organization, such as chairman, secretary, treasurer, etc. operated

The teenager wishing to join Yunoshestvo club had to submit the application to a general meeting about acceptance it in clubmen and attend classes within a month as the candidate. Only after that the question of the accession to the organization of the new member was considered. For not visit of the organization within a week the teenager was excluded from its ranks. To the teenager who spoiled a thing of club it was imputed a duty to replace it new.

Management of circles at club was performed by teachers of comprehensive schools on a voluntary basis. At the organization several circles successfully worked: drama, gymnastic, choral, literary, library, manual work and musical. There was the workshop which was quite demanded by the Penza public on weaving of furniture and baskets [22, page 68-72].

Pupils attended classes in circles in the evenings. In the fall of 1919 when at schools the classes were not, in Yunoshestvo club, groups on studying school objects were organized. Later, when educational process at schools was included into the ordinary course, to the forefront there were two circles: self-development and drama. Here works by various writers were read and dramatized, thematic conversations on the set subjects were organized. Production of plays and performances attracted great interest of children. However this process of the organization of educational work was complicated by lack of necessary material resources [3, l. 49, 49 about, 61, 61 about].

There was no ideological basis of association also, so, V.P. Chibireva, one of participants of the organization, highlighted that in club political work was not carried out [16, page 3].

Different types of activity were means of implementation of educational work in Yunoshestvo club: labor, igro-

Wai, art, informative, communicative, public.

Money, necessary for work, arrived from membership fees and also allocations of the CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION. Besides, teenagers often organized paid performances and the earned money directed to needs of the organization and the members consisting in it. The fact that the teenage club had all rights of the legal entity deserves attention and had the press.

Thus, in Yunoshestvo club, various types of activity which main objective was a spiritual and intellectual development of children, the organization of their leisure and also formation at teenagers of mutual respect, consciousness, activity, initiative, accuracy and punctuality by establishment in it rigid discipline for all his members were carried out.

At the end of 1920 the cultural and educational circle of Abramov was organized. Association aimed "to give to members the spiritual education and intellectual development based on amateur performance and full self-government" and also "to conduct cultural and educational work among pupils by means of production of performances, festivals, etc." [4, l. 17].

The wide age list of members - up to 20 years was one of features of a cultural and educational circle. At the introduction of the new member in a circle the necessary requirement was obtaining the recommendation from three teenagers who already consisted in this structural unit.

The indisputable advantage of a circle was the duty of all his members enshrined in the Charter to have communications with other Penza nurseries and the youth organizations, to conduct with them collaboration. The General meeting which elected presidium and the treasurer managed all affairs of a circle. For triple not visit of classes of a circle the teenager according to the decision of a general meeting was subject to an exception.

Such type of educational work as fight of children,

is represented positive to

of teenagers and young men, members of a cultural and educational circle, with addictions, somehow: quarrels, denunciations, fights, street hooliganism, etc. The organization promoted conscientious attitude of all members of a circle to the duties and also attraction in its ranks of new members and prevention of destructive activity of "bad companions".

The organization of "the children's national reading room" (for children up to 12 years) was one of tasks of participants of a circle formulated in the Charter. Need of its opening spoke not only acquaintance of children with books, but also carrying out in the reading room of conversations, games which partially satisfied spiritual and educational needs of children. It is curious that at a circle RKSM cell for children of the advanced teenage and youthful age was organized. Undoubtedly, it was a merit of the head of a circle M.M. Kuzmin.

Means of implementation of work in considered the following types of activity were higher club: labor, communicative, game, art, public, political. It is possible to refer production of performances and concerts, holding conversations, games, meetings, etc. to forms of work with members of the organization

Funds of the organization consisted of allocations of the CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION, membership fees, income from the performances held by teenagers and "other income" [9, l. 56, 56ob, 57].

The indisputable advantage of a circle was that the organization of leisure of children, teenagers and youth, but also satisfaction of their educational and spiritual needs was a main goal not just. Besides, all members of a children's circle did not remain away from political life of Penza and kept in a direct connection with RKSM.

Creation of a positive image and rendering influence on "bad companions" was an important educational tool of youth. It had to promote

to formation of merits at them. For personal development of teenagers the duty of careful attitude to things and the environment stated in the charter had huge value.

Presumably in 1919 there is "A theatrical circle at school No. 3 of the second step". This association on Moskovskaya Street in the former manor of Ponomarev, in the yard was located. The organization of leisure of children and implementation of their creative activity was the purpose of work of a circle. Association had no documents regulating its activity. In our opinion, the similar circumstance was connected with the fact that adult heads in this circle were not. Control of activity of a circle was exercised by teenagers. Pupils of the specified school aged from 13 up to 17 years were members of the considered association.

Work of a circle was expressed directed by performances with the charitable purpose. From archival documents it is known that children and teenagers gave several performances in favor of the starving Volga region. At the end of 1921 holding a performance for the purpose of the help to one of schoolgirls of school, "strongly affected by theft" was planned. Plays which made the repertoire of club had a task to make evening live, cheerful and interesting to undemanding public. However they did not bear either the serious ideas, or semantic loading.

Over time the existing forms of work of this circle ceased to satisfy teenagers. Many of them suggested to reorganize work. As a result in association there were two currents:

1) the teenagers belonging to the first current supported the oriyentirovanno-directed activity of a circle (for example, in the form of studying history of theater or works of some writers-playwrights, etc.);
2) supporters of the second current looked at a circle only as on entertainment and on means of earning money [6, l. 17, 17 about].

Funds of association consisted of income gained by children from holding performances and concerts. The circle did not receive the help from the CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION. Considerable difficulties in work were caused also by the fact that it practically did not possess own equipment and property (table and several chairs).

Cultural and educational work was conducted by the Probuzhdeniye club opened in 1919. Clubmen tried to move to higher level of the organization of the work. Here political, drama, literary circles and also a shoe workshop worked. Teenagers read, sorted books, wrote papers of both political, and literary character [5, l. 17 about, 18]. In club there was a bibliotechka consisting of 40-50 brochures on social and political subjects.

The Penza club of teenage workers of M.Yu. Lermontov saw the purpose in that, "to give intellectual and political education, the physical development based on amateur performance, free creativity and full self-government" [8, l. 30, 31]. The teenagers of 14-16 years who are written down in CGB of M.Yu. Lermontov could be clubmen. It is possible to carry performances, parties, classes in natural study, history, geography and also political conversations to forms of activity. Thus, this club was among the few organizations trying not to allow isolation of the members from political life in the country. In club the hand-written magazine was issued.

Cultural and educational societies received big distribution in rural areas. Generally it were the non-party amateur PDA which are not connected with a certain ideology, carrying neutral names, for example "A young falcon". The organization existed in the village Big Azyas of Krasnoslobodsky district. Generally sports preparation acted as the purpose of association. Female peasants participated in the union as it was noted in the document, there were no intellectuals [11, l. 17].

In the Penza province there was an Union of pupils ** which was organized till October, 1917. So, in memoirs of Z. Pchelintsev, one of the first Penza Komsomol members, there is the following record: "10.09.17. Today the meeting of pupils in the 1st female gymnasium took place. Was to very many people. Chairman from labor office of pupils Arkhangelsk & #34; кадет" made the report on activity of bureau in the summer. And then decided to organize & #34; Union учащихся". After the first break the attendees were divided into two groups: socialists and not socialists" [19, page 42]. In 1917-1918. The Penza union of pupils issued the Nasha Mysl magazine. This edition of semi-newspaper type had pronounced "cadet" character [21, page 35]. There were only four numbers. In 1919 as the contemporary remembers, the initiative group of communist pupils made the proposal to organize the Union of Workers' and Peasants' youth, and to dismiss "The union of pupils": "The meeting took place violently. There were at it also pupils with Menshevist and eserovsky views which furiously defended existence & #34; Union учащихся" however the decision on creation of the union of Workers' and Peasants' youth was made" [19, page 43]. Other of activists of the Komsomol movement in Penza M. Dyumayev remembers: "In each educational institution we met repulse, organized & #34; Union учащихся". In female gymnasiums against us especially neistovstvat. Never it would be impossible to think that the maidens who received so-called & #34; noble воспитание" are capable to behave as market dealers, - to shout, squeal, clap school desks" [13, page 23-24]. Thus, an overwhelming part of youth expressed the interests of petty-bourgeois layers and groups of society, making a social base of parties of cadets, Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries. It also caused opposition of "The union of youth" to the communistic unions of youth existing in the explored region, the big activity in their creations was shown by pupils of schools of the second step of Penza.

So far in our country it is very little known of the religious, in particular Christian, movement of youth. Though it was one of the most mass since the beginning and to the 30th of the 20th century. In postrevolutionary Russia it is possible to allocate three main types of Christian youth associations: Orthodox Christians; the organizations under the auspices of CUYP (Christian Union of Young People) and sectarian. The decree about disestablishment and schools from church fixed freedom of conscience in Marxist understanding, and by a number of resolutions of Council of People's Commissars of RSFSR and Narkompros of the end of 1917-1918 the religious dogma in all educational institutions was forbidden [12, page 119-120]. Various population groups unequally apprehended Lenin decrees. Substantially it was one of the reasons for reduction of attendance of schools in the village in the first months 1918 [17, page 30]. It is a little data on the organizations of this sense in Russia, nevertheless, according to contemporaries, during the studied period in Penza "different religious sects appeared: Baptists, evangelists, society of Tolstoi. Churchmen began to bring together religious youth for conversations, gave them velvet remembrances. Boys were invited to help priests during service" [14, page 36]. In general in the 1920th in the USSR there were 41 religious association [20, page 266] and practically in each province existed not less than 10 youth circles of the Protestant direction. In a performance at the VIII congress of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League in 1928 N.I. Bukharin emphasized that the coverage of young workers the sectarian organizations considerably amplified, at the same time recognized that in the religious organizations consisted, as a rule, highly skilled, with higher, than in Komsomol, moral and moral principles young people.

One more real social and political force was represented by the national unions, societies and circles of youth operating under the influence of dozens of nationalist parties. 1917 was

it is characteristic activization of the Jewish current in youth movement. The Jewish society showed the greatest activity in traditional areas of residence of this nation - in Ukraine, in Belarus, the Central Russia and the Volga region. The largest legal organizations cooperating with Komsomol were the Bolshevist Jewish Communistic Union of Youth (JCUY), Evkamol and the Menshevist Jewish socialist union of young workers (Yugend Poaley - Tsion). In the Penza province there were also Jewish youth teenage clubs. It is possible to give club of the Jewish youth Stern as an example [8, l. 30, 31]. It incorporated members aged from 15 up to 20 years. The specifics of similar clubs were that first of all they belonged to ethnic minorities and expressed their interests.

Thus, the analysis of the youth organizations of the 20th of the last century shows their various orientation, but nevertheless it should be noted prevalence of cultural interests over political and ideological. 1919 became time of obvious prevalence of cultural and educational circles over RKSM cells, especially in the district cities of the Penza province.

These associations integrally answered inquiries of young people of that time. Rough revolutionary events and for many years wars awakened invincible aspiration to the diploma, knowledge and creativity, to communication. At the same time the Komsomol did not set a task of abolition of the CPC yet, and conducted the policy directed to attraction "cultural lesson" on the party on their reorganization and transformation to RKSM cells: "We set as the purpose the global development of Workers' and Peasants' youth and at the moment of sharp danger of civil war, in resolute fight of the capital hardly, no cultural and educational work without policy can be" [7, l. 22]. However further the purposeful and consistently carried out by the state politicization of all population groups from children to people of old age led to folding of independent cultural and educational and religious currents in youth movement of the country. In general the period of the 1920th - time when, despite adverse conditions, in Russia in general and in the Penza province in particular there was a grass-roots youthful movement which cornerstone were an initiative, self-government of teenagers, existence of the social idea, accurately expressed structure of the organization.

* Tens of thousands of teenagers and young men consisted in social democratic, Bolshevist and Menshevist, eserovsky, anarchist, cadet and other political parties.

** The student movement - one of forms of social movement in the second half XIX - the beginning of the 20th century. Its purpose - formation of the conscious citizen. The student movement had the parties characteristic, inseparably linked among themselves: aspiration to permission of urgent questions of the Russian reality, answers to which were not given by the government, and formation of moral outlook. The gymnasia movement wanted to satisfy legitimate rights of the person for the conscious choice of activity, for the right of the beliefs and beliefs (see: S.I. Belentsov. The student movement in a game. XIX - N of the 20th century//Teaching of history at school. 2005. No. 7. Page 14).


1. E.A. Arsentyev. The youth organizations of modern Russia//Teaching history at school. 2007. No. 7. Page 16-20.
2. State Archive of the Penza Region (SAPR). T. Р - 429. Op. 1. 31. L. 49.
3. GAPO. T. Р - 429. Op. 1. 31. L. 49, 49 (about), 61, 61 (about).
4. GAPO. T. Р - 429. Op. 1. 58. L. 17.
5. GAPO. T. Р - 429. Op. 1. 31. L. 17 (about), 18.
6. GAPO. T. Р - 429. Op. 1 31. L. 17, 17 (about).
7. GAPO. T. Р - 429. Op. 1. 31. L. 22.
8. GAPO. T. Р - 429. Op. 1. 31. L. 30, 31.
9. GAPO. T. Р - 429. Op. 1. 31. L. 56, 56 (about), 57.
10. GAPO. T. Р - 429. Op. 1. 31. L. 30, 31.
11. GAPO. T. 38. Op. 1. 3. L. 17.
12. Directives of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) and resolution of the Soviet government on national education. Century 1. M, 1947. 303 pages
13. DyumaevM. Our youth//at the beginning of Komsomol youth. Penza: Penza book publishing house, 1958. Page 20-28.
14. Z. Ippolitova-Vasilyev. For the sake of the great purpose//at the beginning of Komsomol youth. Penza book publishing house, 1958. Page 36-41.
15. I. Kuleshov. From the history of the movement among pupils of youth of average educational institutions. M.: Pier. guard, 1931. 120 pages
16. Mysyakova. Companion guide//Penza truth. 1984. May 19. Page 3.
17. Some issues of party and Soviet construction. Rostov-on-Don, 1969. 188 pages
18. Essays of history of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League (in search of the truth). Part 1. Saratov: Publishing house Saratov un-that, 1991. 196 pages
19. Z. Pchelintseva. From the diary of those years//at the beginning of Komsomol youth. Penza: Penza book publishing house, 1958. Page 41-46.
20. V.V. Rossiyskoye's falcons youth movements: from variety to the Unitarianism (1917-1925) of Dis. to Sais. Wuchang. degrees of the Dr. east. sciences. M, 1996. 399 pages
21. S. Ulyanova. Children's periodicals of the Penza province of the beginning of the 20th century//Study of local lore. 1997. No. 1. Page 34-37.
22. V.P. Chibareva. Lines of my biography//Information and methodical bulletin of an office of Komsomol work of regional committee of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League. No. 6 (30). Penza, 1971. Page 68-72.
Mario Armstrong
Other scientific works: