Soviet Censorship of Images During Stalin's Regime


It's awesome being able to see how leaders in the past have used propaganda and censorship – this makes you really wonder what happens in the government today. This is a 5 image comparison of some popular censored images that were altered during Stalin's rule of the USSR.

<- An example of how the picture was altered again and again after each person fell out of favor with the regime of Joseph Stalin.






Photo of Nikolai Yezhov (Naval Commissar) and Stalin walking alongside the Moscow Canal. After Nikolai Yezhov fell from power, he was arrested, shot, and his image removed by the censors. [Source: Wikipedia]













On November 7, 1919 this image was snapped of the Soviet leadership celebrating the second anniversary of the October Revolution. After Trotsky and his allies fell from power, a number of figures were removed from the image, including Trotsky and two people over to Lenin's left, wearing glasses and giving a salute. Lev Kamenev two men over on Lenin's right was another of Stalin's opponents and below the boy in front of Trotsky, another bearded figure, Artemic Bagratovich Khalatov the one time Commissar of publishing, was also edited out. [Source: Wikipedia]















On May 5, 1920, Lenin gave a famous speech to a crowd of Soviet troops in Sverdlov Square, Moscow. In the foreground was Leon Trotsky and Lev Kamenev. The photo was later altered and both were removed by censors. [Source: Wikipedia]











During the Revolution a number of pictures were taken of successful fighters celebrating their victories. These were often used as postcards after the war. The background of the original image includes a store that says in Russian, "Watches, gold and silver". The image was then changed to read, "Struggle for your rights", and a flag that was a solid color before was changed to read, "Down with the monarchy - long live the Republic!". [Source: Wikipedia]



This picture is a meeting of the St. Petersburg chapter of the Union of Struggle for the Liberation of the Working Class taken in February 1897. Shortly after the picture was taken the whole group was arrested by the Okhrana. 
The members were handed out various punishments with Lenin being arrested, held by authorities for fourteen months and then released and exiled to the village of Shushenskoye in Siberia, where he mingled with such notable Marxists as Georgy Plekhanov, who had introduced socialism to Russia.

To the left standing is Alexander Malchenko. At the time of this picture he was an engineering student and his mother would let Lenin hide out at her house. After his arrest he spent some time in exile before returning in 1900 and abandoning the revolution. He moved to Moscow where he worked as a senior engineer in various state departments before in 1929 being arrested, wrongfully accused of being a "wrecker" and executed on November 18, 1930. After his arrest and execution he was airbrushed out of all reproductions of this image. In 1958 he was posthumously rehabilitated and was allowed to reappear in reproductions of the image. [Source: Wikipedia]

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