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05 August 2023

The struggle of mindsets: atheistic propaganda in Soviet Ukraine during the 1932–1933

Zaporizhzhia Historical Review
The struggle of mindsets: atheistic propaganda in Soviet Ukraine during the 1932–1933

Having proclaimed religion to be an «opium» for the nation, Bolsheviks aimed to free them not only from its «recreation» influence but from established holidays and customs of village culture either. Moreover, the existence of two religions which could have agreed with each other was out of the question. Therefore, using propaganda as a fundamental instrument, a total pressure on religious confession had begun. Based on the materials of atheistic media and collection of letters, the article reveals the analysis of an influence of anti-church propaganda of the Bolshevik authorities on clergy and believers, also it demonstrates the study ofthe forms of agitation campaigns organisation during 1932—33. It was researched that the arrows of atheistic attacks were directed towards clergy of different confessions such as Orthodox, Catholics, Jews, as well as towards believers. In atheistic media, for example, Kharkiv and Kyiv newspapers «Voyovnychyi Bezvirnyk» (in Eng. — «Combative Godless man») the main attention was paid to the issue of food products thefts, malicious activity of clergy and believers. To persuade the Soviet people to believe that fierce struggle against religion had been occurring in many countries and even outside the socialist camp, media used to publish articles regarding Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Canada, in addition to the USSR affairs. Propagandists under the leadership of the Soviet authorities seriously considered the process on the atheisation of younger generation and children. The research shows that local anti-religious propaganda, mostly in villages, tended to be primitive. Moreover, it had gained popularity neither among peasants nor executives. Such form of moral pressure used to take an active phase during holidays, but then it ceased. Therefore, anti-religious propaganda was imposed by the government which had conducted an unpopular and socially murderous policy of suppression with the use of hunger.

Source: Hruzova T. (2021). The struggle of mindsets: atheistic propaganda in Soviet Ukraine during the 1932–1933. Zaporizhzhia Historical Review. 4(56): 92-100

Source web-site: https://istznu.org/index.php/journal/article/view/2330/2170

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