PP 639

Poster of the Week

"Enough cheating!
[On the bible] We are fishers of human souls."

Organized religion was counter to Bolshevik social and political programs. At the heart of the party's religious repudiation were two factors: propagation of Marxism and the orientation in society of the Russian Orthodox Church. While Marxism eschewed religion as an "opiate of the masses", it was the Russian Orthodox Church that was seen by the Bolsheviks as politically hostile. If religious services were permitted, authorities believed them to be a way for the public to retain an icon of the toppled tsar. Along with the Orthodox Church, Judaism and Islam were targeted for reduction along with other denominations of faith.

To change the public's perception about religion, government-led atheistic campaigns were carried out across the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until the Second World War. Religious holidays were replaced with civic and political holidays. De-emphasis of religious weddings was encouraged. Citizens would have to marry (in Soviet style) at their city hall.

After decades of atheist propaganda, the annihilation or "re-purposing" of houses of worship, the execution of clergy and “old believers”; Soviet politicians came to realize that religion and Mother Russia were profoundly intertwined. The result was that by the 1940s, selected houses of worship were permitted to hold services as long as their clergy remained loyal to Soviet policies.

More About This Poster

About The Collection

Poster Plakat is a private collection of Soviet and Eastern Bloc political ephemera spanning 1916 to 1991. The collection contains over 1,000 original posters and poster maquettes. Sizes range from windowpane posters up to large, multi-panel broadsides. Numerous artists are represented such as Gustav Klutsis, Victor Deni, Nikolai Dolgorukov, Vladimir Stenberg, the Kukryniksy, Viktor Koretsky, and hundreds more. All posters are linen backed and ready for display.

If you are interested in using images from the Collection or exhibiting posters from it, please visit the Contact Us page for more information. You can also email info@posterplakat.com and include the name of your organization, the name of the contact person and provide your phone number. In addition, please provide a general description of the exhibit you are considering or the poster you would like to use.