Mikhail Reikh, For Communism!..., 1948
A 1948 Uzbek poster by Mikhail Reikh celebrates communist post-war abundance and depicts Stalin as the sun.
The poster is dominated by a bust of Stalin emblazoned across a red sky. Stalin appears like the rising sun, illuminating the Uzbek people below who look to the sky, arms outstretched to offer thanks to the source of fertility and abundance.
In their arms, the Uzbek people hold offerings of bouquets of cotton. Ears of wheat and blossoming roses surround the poster caption.
"For communism! So youth exclaims, and this cry is heard in the distance. Youth swears allegiance, Comrade Stalin is the sun of all the earth!"
The caption appears in both Uzbek and Russian and names Stalin as the sun. It is taken from a letter signed by 26,474,646 Komsomol and youth on 3 November 1947.
The full text of the poem in the letter reads:
In the newly illuminated country of the Soviets,
Mikhail Reikh was born in 1904 (in Turkmenistan?). Arriving in Uzbekistan in 1924, he had a long and successful career as a painter, cartoonist, illustrator and graphic artist. He died in Moscow in 1966.
Dr Anita Pisch
Anita’s new, fully illustrated book, The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929 -1953, published by ANU Press, is available for free download here, and can also be purchased in hard copy from ANU Press.
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