In the last years of the regime, Pavel Câmpeanu, a prominent sociologist and a lifelong leftist and former prison cellmate of Nicoale Ceauşescu during World War II managed to smuggle out this article, which was published in The New York Review of Books. For his safety, the editors did not publish his name since it was known that the Romanian secret service was quick to punish, even….
This graph shows two trends in the Czech population (first in Czechoslovakia and after 1993 in the Czech Republic)—changes in fertility rates (births per women aged 15-49) and the abortion rate in this same population. This fairly simple graph offers a number of insights into the experiences of Czech women both during and after Communism. For instance, we see births per woman declining from a….
One of the most important indicators of a societies transition to what economists often call “modern industrial society” is a decline in infant mortality rates. As you might imagine, declines in infant mortality rates are also very important to individual citizens, because it means that their children are much more likely to live to adulthood. This rate reflects the number of children who….
During a set of oral history interviews conducted in Braşov, Romania, during the summer of 2003, “F” and “R” talk about rearing children under Socialism. For “F” it was a mixed-blessing, since she adored her infant son, yet had to do so under less than optimal conditions. While for “F,” caring for her son was a chore as a result of the manifold shortages in the 1980s, for….
This shirt is an example of the uniforms worn by children aged 6-14 who were members of the Young Pioneers in East Germany. Founded in 1948, the Young Pioneer movement was similar to the Boy and Girl Scout movements that originated in the United Kingdom at the turn of the century and spread around the world. Like the Scouts, children involved in the Young Pioneers attended regular after school….
In Communist Eastern Europe much propaganda was directed toward young people, who party leaders correctly viewed as forces important for the future of the state. This propaganda was filled with messages about the Communist Party's benevolent protection of workers' interests and the evils of Western capitalism. These messages were delivered in schools, where all teachers were required to write….
Before the era of the Gorbachev reforms, social and health problems could not be easily discussed in the Soviet Union. The emphasis for public health was on keeping people healthy so that they could work better and more productively. Alcoholism remained a persistent problem for the Soviet Union; its frequent appearance as the subject matter in Soviet posters suggests the problem was widespread.….
One of Mikhail Gorbachev's most famous reform movements was glasnost' (openness), which allowed partial freedom of the press to address social problems and corruption within the Soviet Union. Among the issues raised during the glasnost' era of the Soviet Union were public health concerns, which became a prominent issue by the late 1980s. Drug abuse, for example, could be publicly discussed for….
One of Mikhail Gorbachev's most famous reform movements was 'glasnost' (openness), which allowed partial freedom of the press to address social problems and corruption within the Soviet Union. Among the issues raised during the 'glasnost' era of the Soviet Union were social problems, including previously forbidden subjects such as the high rate of divorce. An example of this is the following….
Soviet propaganda posters presented positive images of healthy, active people engaged in useful service to the state, including children. This Soviet poster from 1953 was typical of this image. Its slogan, "Pioneers and Students, Get Interested in Modeling!", coupled with the image of a happy child in the open air on a bright, sunny day, suggested the positive results of state-approved….