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Evolution of contents of the Soviet newspapers and leaflets in the occupied territory of Russia in days of the Great Patriotic War

vestnik of the St. Petersburg university. 2005. It is gray. 2, issue 3

of C.B. The sandpiper


Another anniversary of a victory of our country in the Great Patriotic War directs us at serious reflections. Never in the modern history of our Fatherland the question of the existence of Russia as independent state was particularly acute so, as those years. Nazi Germany which enslaved many countries of Europe before attack on the Soviet Union was a strong and dangerous opponent.

More than 60 years ago in the territory of Russia occupied by fascist aggressors the fierce fight between Nazis, their allies and forces of the Soviet resistance went. It was at the same time conducted in several major directions: military, economic, ideological. Any of them could not be considered as minor. Everyone was in own way decisive. During the Great Patriotic War the Soviet resistance combated not only armed forces of the opponent, but also his political propaganda campaigns, Nazi ideology.

Hitlerites tried to prove

that guerrillas and underground workers are mindless and spiritless executors of orders of the Communist Party, soviet leadership and Stalin. Nazis and their helpers claimed that the guerrilla movement not only is alien to the Russian people, it is hostile to it. The Wehrmacht which had special "companies of promotion" in each combat unit from the first days of fighting began to distribute among citizens of the Soviet Union million circulations hundreds of various newspapers, leaflets, brochures, books, posters of pro-Nazi and anti-Soviet character. On the opponent's plans, their contents had to disorient all categories of the population of the USSR.

our country at the beginning of war was not quite ready

to such active propaganda influence from the opponent. Attempts of some staff of political management of RKKA to raspropagandirovat soldiers of Wehrmacht, to involve them on the party of the Red Army were naive, and sometimes and just harmful. Till April, 1942 the muffled appeal was the epigraph on all our leaflets turned to the opponent's soldiers: "Farewell, Moscow, down with Hitler!" The management of the head political department of the Red Army and, in particular, L.Z. Mekhlis insisted on it. He demanded that leaflets in which it was told about creation in Germany of "sluchny points" where SS-men have a good time with soldier's wives and brides were issued. The leaflets with "potseluyny cards" and certificates of "the member of the union on coverage of female genitals" offering to ladies whose husbands at the front, "to warm a matrimonial bed by performance of men's duties" were so ridiculous &. All this had to make an impression that Nazis turn Germany into brothel, to generate at soldiers on East front indignation and bespokoystvo2. For achievement

© C.B. A sandpiper, 2005


of this purpose spent considerable reserves of paper and paint. Printing houses within several weeks printed these products which success was so expected by L.Z. Mekhlis.

But at the same time our promotion did not consider that the German military personnel regularly receives letters from the house and also has an opportunity to go to a holiday. So in fact the Soviet forgeries served only as a subject of entertainment and mockery from those to whom they intended. The considerable loss put to the arising Soviet resistance also Mekhlis's order on forms of distribution of these leaflets. It was supposed to bring them in location of the German divisions by forces of prospecting and diversionary groups. Many of them after attempt of performance of this task were destroyed gitlerovtsami3.

All these events took place

in the fall of 1941., when the civilians of our country in the territory occupied by the enemy, were substantially disoriented by the opponent and knew nothing about events on fronts of Patriotic war.

the Majority of the leaflets devoted to exposure of aggressive aspirations of fascism party workers wrote in a primitive, abusive language. Hitlerite soldiers were represented in them by the stupid sadists pursuing the aim of restoration of the monarchy and return of landowners and capitalists to Russia. In the conditions of numerous propaganda demarches of Nazis these leaflets not only did not achieve a goal, but also in many respects promoted mistrust to the Soviet promotion from civilians during an initial stage of Nazi occupation of our country.

the Main objective of the work among the population of the occupied areas the Soviet political bodies saw

in stirring a people at large to national action against fascist aggressors. It was supposed to inform constantly and in due time the population on the course of the Great Patriotic War, on actions of the Red Army, on heroism of ordinary fighters and commanders, guerrillas and underground workers, toilers of the Soviet hinterland, to strengthen belief in inevitability of full defeat of fascist Germany and its allies at people.

For the solution of all these tasks needed to publish special printed materials (instructions, newspapers, leaflets, addresses, posters) and to extend it among the population of the occupied areas; to develop guidelines on party and political work; to organize daily broadcasts. & #34; But in practice in 1941 it was succeeded to make a little. The political department of the Northwest front recognized: "Only two leaflets sent from Moscow were distributed: & #34; The Resolution of a vseslavyansky meeting in Moskve" and & #34; Messages with Rodiny"".5

Very quickly to guerrillas and underground workers it became clear to

that general phrases and abstract damnations to aggressors do not bring real result. It was necessary to reconstruct work. Since 1942 advocacy work began to be conducted taking into account local specifics and often was guided by specific people. All information put by national avengers in the newspapers, leaflets, addresses could be easily checked by those whom she addressed. Therefore, not only degree of its reliability, but also efficiency increased.

in the Spring of 1942 the headquarters of the guerrilla movement of the Leningrad regional committee of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) develops the plan of distribution of propaganda literature by means of aircraft among the population of the areas which are temporarily occupied by Germans and the guerrillas acting in the back protivnika6.

to by

to the Guerrilla region the employee of guerrilla department of the headquarters of the Northwest front S.L. Besprozvanny delivered on February 19, 1942 the typographical machine and all necessary materials for printing of the newspaper in the back of the enemy. On February 23 there was first issue of the guerrilla newspaper "Narodny Mstitel". Except reprints from the central press, materials about life of guerrillas and the voluntary help of the population to residents of the besieged Leningrad were published there.

In March in the same printing house the release of "Commune", body of the Dedovichsky district committee of party and executive committee of regional council of deputies of workers began

>. The edition was generally constructed on local materials. Editors I.V. Vinogradov and K.P. Obzhigalin regularly traveled over settlements of the area, talked to the population. Except reports of Sovinformburo "Commune" printed separate and collective letters of peasants on atrocities of invaders, on position of prisoners of war, on the fugitives disappearing from stealing to Germany. Also letters of the killed German soldiers and ofitserov7 were used.

One of shortcomings of the Soviet press was the fact that local materials came to editions with some delay. This fact was admitted also by the management of the guerrilla movement. For correction of such situation it was offered to bring to guerrilla groups and groups shapirograf, or gektografy*.

Locals vividly responded to contents of each newspaper or the leaflet. As representatives of the Soviet resistance wrote, "the population very vividly is interested in life of the Soviet homeland. Ask to issue leaflets on certain subjects, somehow life evacuated in the Soviet back what to do with heads and so forth. The leaflet "That Hitlerites Want from God" issued by us was written at the request of local naseleniya9.

All newspapers and leaflets were usually issued by

on a certain template: front line and local material. And if the front line often was stereotypic for all leaflets, then the second part surely consisted of the concrete facts from life of each certain area where it was supposed to distribute these printed materials. So, in newspaper articles of summer - the results of three months of fights on the Soviet-German front were summed up of fall of 1942 and also materials about stay in Moscow of heads of Great Britain and the USA were printed: U. Churchill and And. Garrimana10.


In thematic plans of issue of newspapers and leaflets to journalists made concrete recommendations. For example, in September, 1942 it was supposed: "To the areas adjacent to the Soletsky area to give material about beatings of peasants in villages of the Luga district. In the areas adjacent to Tosnensky to give material about traitors. To show the face of the traitor, the price of treachery and the national punishment (which came true or approaching)."

In the report of a komaydovaniye of the 2nd guerrilla crew on activity for January-August, 1942. So, in "The national avenger" special pages were printed: "Guerrillas! Learn to be at war and win!", "To hammer the enemy at all seasons of the year and under any weather conditions!", "Down to a science to have weapon", "The level of guerrilla fight is higher!". In "Commune" the editorials were devoted to an issue of mobilization of the population on fight against the enemy. Besides, special strips were printed: "All for war! All for the front! All for a victory!", "Let's make our area the uniform fighting camp!", "Let's excite a national rebellion in the back of the enemy!". Besides, in newspapers reports of Information bureau, the foreign chronicle, a humour corner, anti-fascist chastushka.12

were given to

in the Fall of 1942. The Leningrad headquarters of the guerrilla movement developed "The thematic plan of issue of newspapers and leaflets". In it it was recommended to regional newspapers to lift the following problems in the territory occupied by the enemy: "A front line about harvesting. To show that the agricultural policy of Hitlerites is policy of robbery and deception. To point to the facts of withdrawal of a new harvest. To urge peasants to harvest and hide. What does not manage to be hidden - to destroy".1&

the Majority of newspapers and leaflets came to an end with an appeal: "Remember that each killed German brings closer hour of your release! Prick them a pitchfork, you cut with axes, you exhaust with waste, you do not come for clearing of roads. Sabotage the held events of Germans. Help guerrillas to struggle with Germans and their toadies!" 14

the Subject of leaflets was the most various: "To the Soviet young men, girls and teenagers of the areas occupied by Germans"; "Destroy bridges and roads on the ways of retreat of Germans"; "Letters from defenders of Leningrad to guerrillas and collective farmers of the occupied districts of the area" 15. The leaflet "Conduct with the Soviet Homeland" thanks to rather high efficiency, informational content and a small format enjoyed the greatest popularity. The last was important as the Soviet leaflets got to deep areas with great difficulty.

Fighting of guerrillas, the misanthropic nature of the Nazi occupational regime - all this received reflection on pages of guerrilla newspapers and leaflets. The Leningrad headquarters of the guerrilla movement carried the following to the main questions which had to be discussed with the population both on pages of the press, and during the conversations: 1) Great Patriotic War and guerrilla movement; 2) The Soviet guerrillas - national army in the back of the enemy; 3) fighting affairs of the Leningrad guerrillas; 4) guerrillas are heroes of Patriotic war; 5) female guerrillas; 6) communists in vanguard of the guerrilla movement; 7) guerrillas are assistants to the Red Army; 8) losses of the enemy; 9) guerrillas and the collective-farm peasantry of the occupied areas; 10) letter of collective farmers and guerrillas to companion Stalin. & #34; &


in the Fall of 1942 in Leningrad prepared special leaflets answers. The illustrated leaflet "About the New Order of Land Use Which Is Carried Out by Hitlerites" in which the slogan of Hitlerites "To the hardworking peasant - the earth" was exposed belonged to them. Not smaller propaganda effect also other leaflets had: "Who such heads?", "About tax policy of Germans", "About fight of the besieged Leningrad", "Why & #34; уничтоженная" the Soviet aircraft destroys military facilities in the back at Germans", etc. 17

Since the beginning of 1943 in a number of guerrilla crews resumed release of the fighting leaves entirely constructed on local materials. In them fighting affairs of groups were reflected, it was told about the best fighters who proved in fights with fascists and in political work with the population aggressors and their helpers were exposed.

in the Summer of 1943 the role of printing promotion considerably increased. It in many respects was defined by the fact that the Leningrad headquarters of the guerrilla movement, except increase in number of the newspapers and leaflets issued for the population of the occupied territory, began to send the printing equipment and professional journalists to the order of guerrilla crews and connections. Content of the materials which were located in guerrilla editions was discussed directly on places. It gave the chance not only to quickly inform the population on a situation at the front and in the country, but also to respond quickly to burning issues of guerrilla fight. The similar situation promoted successful actions of national avengers in the back of the enemy in the winter of 1943/1944 when the territory of the Leningrad Region was generally freed from fascist aggressors.

& Yu.V. Basistoye. Special battlefield. Leaflets on fronts of World War II. SPb., 1999. Page 10.

2 In the same place.
3 State Archive of the Contemporary History of the Novgorod Region (SACHNR). T. 260. Op. 1. 138. L. 32.
4 CGA IPD SPb. T. 0-116. Op. 12. 8. L. 7.
5 In the same place. 25. L. 15.
6 In the same place. Op. 1. 156. L. 1.
7 GANINO. T. 1667. Op. 2. 416. L. 36.

* CGA IPD SPb. T. 0-116. Op. 9. I 76. L. 9.

9 In the same place. L. 13.
10 In the same place. L. 6.
11 In the same place. Op. 1. 156. L. 3.
12 In the back of the enemy. Fight of guerrillas and underground workers in the occupied territory of the Leningrad Region. 1942 Sb. dock. L., 1981. Page 158-159.
13 CGA IPD SPb. T. 0-116. Op. 1. 156. L. 3. & #34; GANINO. T. 260. Op. 1. 106. L. 3.
15 TsGA IPD SPb. T. 0-116. Op. 1. 156. L. 1.

In the same place. Op. 9. L. 160. L. 1. 17 In the same place. L. 6.

Article came to edition on June 30, 2005

Donald Walter
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