‘A New Way for Culture Propaganda’ by Jacob Okunev from Soviet Russia (New York). Vol. 2 No. 7. February 14, 1920.

‘A New Way for Culture Propaganda’ by Jacob Okunev from Soviet Russia (New York). Vol. 2 No. 7. February 14, 1920.

The Bolsheviki Are Indefatigable in Their Work for the Improvement of the Cultural Level of the People

Artists painting ‘The Red Cossack.’

LENIN’S train — that is what the peasants and workers call the train; it now carries the name of Lenin and recently returned to Moscow after a trip around the western part of the Soviet Republic.

This train consists of 15 cars, decorated with paintings in bright colors, with forceful and unmistakably revolutionary inscriptions. It contains a moving picture apparatus and screen, a book shop, and a branch of the telegraph bureau, which posted the latest news at every station and sent out bulletins with the latest telegrams. On this train were representatives of almost all of the People’s Commissaries, and a staff of agitators.

‘The East is Red’ in Turkestan, 1920.

This train has been in constant service for about two months. It has traveled through the governments of Pskov and Vitebsk, Lettonia, White Russia, Lithuania, and has extended its trips to Kharkov. It has made 25 long stops and covered 3590 versts. Everywhere it passed, tens of thousands of leaflets and revolutionary pamphlets were handed out, socialist and revolutionary literature distributed, with books of all kinds, meetings arranged, lectures held, while propaganda instructed and animated the masses. The Commissary representatives who accompanied the train visited the Soviet institutions and informed themselves as to the work of the local organizations, offering suggestions and aid. Around this special train, workers and peasants assembled and “flying meetings” took place. The speeches were made from the roofs of the cars, and revolutionary leaflets and pamphlets were scattered from the bookshop like snowflakes.

Staff of ‘Red Army’ with Kalinin.

During its trip the train circulated books, papers, and pamphlets worth more than a half-million roubles, distributed free more than 150,000 proclamations and leaflets, posted more than 15,000 posters, and supplied 556 organizations with various publications. About 90,000 workers, peasants, and soldiers from the Red Army attended the lectures, meetings, and conferences; about sixty lectures were organized on all sorts of burning questions.

Canteen of the ‘October Revolution.’

The local organization was informed by telegraph of the arrival of the train, and met it at the station. Sometimes the reception was very ceremonious. At Ryezhitsa, where the train arrived at night, workers and soldiers of the Red Army met it with banners, music, and torches. At the little station of Malinovka, the peasants from the adjoining villages had gathered, and their selected speaker made an address, concerning the train which carried the ligt of the class-conscious revolution to all corners of Russia.

Cinema car.

It is impossible to give in a short article an account of all the work which this train accomplished on its two months’ trip. Besides its agitation and the circulation of papers and pamphlets, the members of the Communist party who accompanied the train brought about improvements in the local organizations, listening to wishes and complaints of the residents and investigating the latter.

The agit-prop train ‘Lenin.’

At the present time, five more trains of this kind are being organized, also boats for a similar purpose on the Volga and its tributaries, and motor trucks which will make it possible to reach places where neither railroads nor waterways are available. Agitators will penetrate the most hidden nooks of Soviet Russia, there to sow the holy fire of Revolution, to spread leaflets and pamphlets, and to waken the great masses of the peasants and the poor. Within a short time a train called “The October Revolution” will be sent to middle Russia and the regions around the Don.

Staff of ‘October Revolution’ in conference.

Two other trains, “Communist” and “Red Army,” are almost ready to be sent out on their errand. The whole of Soviet Russia will soon be covered with a living net of similar trains and boats. Thanks to them, the center will come in contact with the farthest regions of the republic. It can listen to their wishes and answer their question.

‘Red East.’

Soviet Russia began in the summer of 1919, published by the Bureau of Information of Soviet Russia and replaced The Weekly Bulletin of the Bureau of Information of Soviet Russia. In lieu of an Embassy the Russian Soviet Government Bureau was the official voice of the Soviets in the US. Soviet Russia was published as the official organ of the RSGB until February 1922 when Soviet Russia became to the official organ of The Friends of Soviet Russia, becoming Soviet Russia Pictorial in 1923. There is no better US-published source for information on the Soviet state at this time, and includes official statements, articles by prominent Bolsheviks, data on the Soviet economy, weekly reports on the wars for survival the Soviets were engaged in, as well as efforts to in the US to lift the blockade and begin trade with the emerging Soviet Union.

PDF of full issue: (large file): https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/srp/v1v2-soviet-russia-Jan-June-1920.pdf

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