Post-War Domestic Policy
Foreign Policy under Khrushchev

Late Stalinist Domestic Policy, 1949-1956

Party purges and general fear, one might be arrested, sentenced and deported to Siberia continued right until Stalin's death. Stalin's successor GEORGI MALENKOV did not sigbificantly change Stalinist policy; Stalin's portraits and statues were omnipresent.
Reconstruction had been achieved with some success, and in the early 1950es the USSR was able to supply its population with the basic necessities, food, clothing etc. The industry made progress, partially as industrial facilities had been imported from occupied countries in eastern central Europe, partly because of 'invited' German engineers. Russia produced a luxury car (mainly for high party officials). Russia's MIG JETS were, for a short time, the best fighter planes in the world. Russia was working on spacecraft. Although both of the latter were heavily based on German wartime research, a Russian pride in their technical accomplishments emerged, the slogan of communism to be superior to capitalism found genuine believers.
Soviet society had a number of social accomplishments - a more or less egalitarian standard of living, the emancipated position of women in Soviet society.
The USSR had not participated in the 1948 summer olympics held in London; they sent a team to the 1952 olympics held in Helsinki. Soviet athletes earned 22 gold medals, taking second place in the medal rankings behind the USA. The USSR would promote sports as a tool in its propaganda, promoting an image of socialism's success abroad and as a success the Soviet citizens could feel proud of. Athletes received preferential treatment.

There were differences, though. Much of Central Asia and Siberia was treated by Russians as colonial territory; the Kazakhs, Evenks etc. were not treated as equals if they did not assimilate. There were other ethnic groups, the Sobiet Germans etc., which suffered from discrimination, as were those who professed a religious confession. Officially, the USSR was an atheistic state. Children who came from an educated family (father medical doctor, professor etc.) found it hard to be accepted into a university; sons of bus drivers etc. were given preferential treatment. Bus drivers also received better pay than hospital surgeons.

DOCUMENTS 1952 Olympics Helsinki, Final Medal Standings, from Olympic Website
Files on German P.O.W.s in the USSR, posted by, scroll down for Russia, in English
USSR : The Party System in 1950-1956 and 1957-1962, in : Kenneth Janda, Political Parties : A Cross-National Survey
REFERENCE Article : Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1950 pp.683-687, 1951 pp.687-691, 1952 pp.691-694, 1953 pp.700-703, 1954 pp.702-705, 1955 pp.757-760, 1956 pp.693-696 [G]
Article : Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1952 pp.433-438 [G]
Article : Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, in : Americana Annual 1957 pp.791-797 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on September 28th 2007

Click here to go Home
Click here to go to Information about KMLA, WHKMLA, the author and webmaster
Click here to go to Statistics

Impressum · Datenschutz