F. Litvinov, Raise the banner of Lenin-Stalin – the banner of our great victory!, 1949
This poster by F. Litvinov was published by the Crimean publishing house, Krymizdat, in 1949, four years after the Soviet victory in the Great Patriotic War (Second World War).
At this stage, the Crimea was part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. It was only in 1954, a year after Stalin’s death, that the Crimean oblast was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR.
The poster grants credit for the war victory to the protective banner of Lenin and Stalin, who form the hyphenated identity of Lenin-Stalin, with Stalin now portrayed as a joint leader of the 1917 October Revolution.
A young man in civilian clothing, wearing the Order of the Patriotic War medal (awarded to all soldiers in the Soviet Armed Forces, security troops and partisans who participated in the Great Patriotic War) waves a huge banner that ripples like the winds of inspiration through the sky over a crowd of people stretching back to the horizon.
The young man, in greyscale except for his military decorations, is symbolic of the Soviet people as a whole, also in greyscale. The text of the poster reads
Raise the banner of Lenin-Stalin – the banner of our great victory!
Merged into the fabric of the banner are the profile heads of Lenin and Stalin, Lenin in shirt and tie, Stalin with military collar. Both are illuminated by a divine white light and all three figures in the poster look out to the viewer’s left.
The focus of this poster is firmly on the glorious military past.
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.