One of the unpleasant aspects of my pioneering childhood was the knowledge that at some point it would end and have to join the Komsomol.
To be a pioneer, if not fun, then at least it is not expensive and does not oblige to anything, except to study well, translate grandmothers across the road and be an example to all the children. During the war, of course, it was necessary to become a pioneer-hero, but in peacetime, the exploits of Pavlik Morozov or Gaidar’s drummer Seryozha did not demand anything from us in 1980. Even being a Timurov is not necessary. We just had small children, give us a walk.
Komsomol is another matter. It was a serious political organization whose history was devoted to a thick picture book lying at home. Komsomol members fought on the fronts of the civil war, built blast furnaces and raised collective farms during the first five-year plans, bravely went to the front as volunteers, rebuilt the cities destroyed by the war. After the war, they also raised virgin land, built the Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Station and the BAM, but this, of course, was second-rate feats compared to revolution and war, besides the Komsomol members hinted that they paid good payouts in the furious construction detachments.
But still, from every loudspeaker, Pakhmutovl boomed: "Love, Komsomol and Spring" - for some reason, pioneering voices. Komsomol served as a kind of mandatory attachment to youth. If you want girls smelling of freshness with excitedly raising breasts, put a Komsomol card in your pocket. This is where the ambush lurked.
The images of such promised girls were represented by Sergey Grigoriev's painting “Admission to the Komsomol”. The picture was replicated everywhere in the version “after the Twentieth Congress” - Stalin’s bust in the corner was painstakingly smeared. But the main thing remained - a young girl in a modest school apron stands with her hands folded under either benevolent, or ironically mocking, and in any case, evaluating views of members of the Komsomol bureau. In the foreground, a gorgeous blonde "not our flight of a bird", then her face was blocked by an ugly full face with her fist - it is clear that the activist. On the side of the evil-eyed dark-haired boy in a frenchik. And an elegant blond in a double-breasted suit looking at a candidate looms over everything. He is clearly in charge here.
I do not know whether consciously Grigoriev (refraining, of course, from undressing the model) reproduced the composition of the classic Orientalist plot “Sale of a Slave” (or a slave), which inspired hundreds of artists - from Jerome to Vereshchagin. Or it turned out against his will, but it conveyed exactly that moment of horror that confused me in the Komsomol. The feeling of not belonging to oneself, being subject to a team, and not an abstract team, but in the person of these particular members of the bureau who might hate you (or love what is not always better) - all this was pretty scary.
In 12, he was in the hospital on the occasion of the removal of the glands on the day of the conclusion of the INF Treaty (the one from which the Americans now come out), I soon discovered that my Stevenson's “Black Arrow” was surprisingly quickly over, and there was no other way out than to read a novel from the life of Komsomol members forgotten by someone forgotten on the nightstand. The main negative hero played guitar there, and eventually he deceived the girl, but the team punished him for the immoral act. The construction-production process in the book was given a minimum of space, almost everything was focused on personal relationships. And again it was scary that the team is “with”.
Fortunately, I personally did not have to experience the Komsomol. Throughout the years of my adolescence, perestroika developed with inexorableness and the Komsomol fell the first victim of “publicity” —but it was not accepted to speak of Komsomol members in the baths with disdain. Clubs, of course, on calls from above, they removed from hire the announced “state-of-the-art state of emergency”, but almost all the Komsomol members in the generation of perestroika were despised by the Komsomol members. And they were very surprised when it turned out that it was to such “Komsomol members” that a fair amount of national ownership passed. They have to a large extent been staffed by the ranks of the new Yeltsin oligarchs - Khodorkovsky, Potanin, Aven ...
Interestingly, many Ukrainian leaders went through the same school: Oleksandr Turchynov, Oleg Tyagnibok, Irina Fahrion. What did all these interesting people, as well as many others (judging by the solemnity of the celebration, giving the impression that we still live in the USSR), did you like in an organization that terrified me as a child?
I found the answer many years later in the book “Storming the Heaven” by Valentinov, devoted to anti-religious policy in the early years of Soviet power. Lenin's Komsomol was one of the main characters of this book and showed itself to its full height. It was then that it became clear why it was necessary to establish this organization.
"Free love" and mamkin spoon
Anti-religious policy was one of the most important areas in the first years of Soviet power, ideological scrapping across the knee of the entire “thick-ass Rus”. However, even the Communists, not to mention the non-partisan workers and at least a little ungrained peasants, reluctantly participated in this policy. "To find in our village a communist whose icon would not have hung in the hut - very rare", - the correspondent from the Tula province complained in the newspaper" Izvestia ".
Moreover, even young people, in particular, the Red Army men, who were able to be attracted to blasphemy, lived under the constant pressure of the traditions of their families, had to respect the faithful mothers and the opinion of their fellow villagers. "One young Red Army man talked about how he hadn’t crossed himself at a table feast and decided to enter into an argument with his mother on this issue. Mother finished a religious dispute with a blow of a hot spoon with porridge over his Red Army forehead ..."- complained the Soviet newspaper and called for:" Do not be afraid of Mommy's spoon! ". But how can you not be afraid, if you live with your mother and marry with the help of your mother, the whole centuries-old Russian way of life was held up by a pious mother.
A special way was needed, a special structure that could pull young people out of the “mother's spoon” and direct them to such terrible and shameless things that no self-respecting communist from Great Russia would have decided. It was here that the Komsomol played its role - a new living environment, a strong comradely raft, collectivism, whimsically combining the socialization of life and utter licentiousness, including free relations with girls, who also emerged from under Mommy’s care. The body of a Komsomol girl was a sort of reward for blasphemy and atrocities.
Extensive literature “without bird cherry” was devoted to this aspect of the early Komsomol life in 1920-s - both Panteleimon Romanov’s eponymous story, and “The Moon on the Right” by Sergey Malashkin, and “The Dog Lane” by Lev Gumilevsky, and many other works.
In fact, women have become sexual slaves for the troops of the “stormtroopers of heaven”.
«Most recently,, - Komsomol L. Kagan celebrated in 1927, - having met a Komsomol or a non-partisan girl in a clean-ironed blouse, with a knotted tie and cleaned shoes, she scornfully threw "Bourgeois". Often a guy, pestering a girl and getting a refusal, without reconciling himself to it, starts hounding this “Petty bourgeois”, leading a girl in such cases or to a concession in the claims of the guys, or to leave the union ... ".
Finally cut off from the mother and well motivated by the main achievement of the first years of the revolution — free love, the Komsomol members of the twenties stormed the skies with enthusiasm and passion, so they sometimes managed to sicken even the older party comrades, not to mention ordinary people.
“The attitude of the population towards the Komsomol did not escape the total raid of traditional neglect ... very often the local communists also share“ neglect ”... There is no need to talk about kulak young people: they literally trap Komsomol and often revenge they knife, stating - "or get out of the Komsomol, or we will kill you"- wrote Valentinov. There were clear reasons for such an attitude.
“On the occasion of Komsomol Christmas, the priests postponed church services until 6 in the morning. Komsomol members waited for the beginning of services and approached the churches with music orchestras. They were joined by crowds of young and old. The caricature icons, stuffed gods burned at the end of the demonstration, chastoos and dances aroused interest ... Participants of the processions were dressed in the vestments of the clergy of various religions, but mostly Orthodox, with wigs made of long hair and fastened with disheveled beards, followed by gods on cars behind them. The Virgin and Child in the Red Army uniform, the God-father with a gray beard and various saints. Everywhere there were posters like: “We broke through the front of the bourgeois international blockade, now religion is an opium for the people”, “1922 times Our Lady gave birth to Christ, and 1923 times gave birth to Komsomol,” etc. Before the venerated people, the processions made the processions holy and blasphemous “ prayers ":
All the gods on the earth of the sons,
Squeal, devils, more fun!
Let's dance to your pocket!
All the gods at the carnival!
Bujan in the grove above
Komsomol as a new blasphemous church, churches were transferred to clubs. “... A portrait of Liebknecht parted the image in the altar. Hid behind the banners of Panteleimon the Healer. From the walls shout headlines wall newspapers: Preparing a shift! On both blades of the saints! .. And what do we have to hear: / Kollontai is the Mother of God».
Bolshevik Alexandra Kollontai was the most famous preacher of "free love", the author of the theory of "a glass of water", to which sexual intercourse was equated. The vileness of the comparison was obvious to everyone. And try to argue:
“In the city of Ostrov, during the Easter matins, the“ Komsomol ”who came from the villages entered the church with cigarettes and hats, with loud conversations. Their behavior angered the faithful worshipers, and they tried to remove the Komsomol from the temple. However, security officers who were among the worshipers for espionage immediately arrested these Protestants in the church and put them in prison on holy night. ”
From dekulakie mothers to the "Russian turn"
Over the twenties, the thirties came, and the Komsomol was needed to dekulakize the mother herself, who in some places would not even have porridge in the recently so formidable spoon. It was necessary to reconcile people with the inhuman conditions of almost free labor with revolutionary romance.
Thus began the self-canonization of the Komsomol in the novel “How Steel Was Hardened” and its self-learning: “Youth did not die, / Youth is alive! / We were led by youth / On a saber campaign, / We were thrown by youth / On Kronstadt ice"(A curious fact - Bagritsky's poem is a parody of the" unprincipled "poems of Nikolai Oleynikov" A small fish, fried carp ", and not vice versa, as it would be natural to think).
Youth in the USSR and in the fascist countries of Europe became a kind of sacred fetish that justified any cruelty and crime. With us, young people, it means youth, then the future, then we are right (although, to tell you the truth, when the future comes, today's young people will become old, some kind of nonsense is obtained). In the name of their youth and a bright future, they demanded from young people to jump with a parachute, work overtime, report on the enemies of the people and smash churches ...
This juvenile fascism applies today. Now all sorts of "color revolutions", borrowing it from the Chinese Red Guards and using the young as cheap cannon fodder.
All the first seven leaders of the Soviet Komsomol were arrested and convicted as enemies of the people: Efim Tsetlin, Oskar Ryvkin, Lazar Shatskin, Peter Smorodin, Nikolai Chaplin, Alexander Milchakov, Alexander Kosarev. Only Milchakov was not shot as a counter-revolutionary dog, but departed 13 for years in the camps. In no other Soviet organization did the enemies of the people nest with such density.
The Great War seriously tweaked the image of the Komsomol. Of course, the youth would have fought for the Motherland without any Komsomol. But since most of the young heroes were naturally Komsomol members, since Komsomol played a significant role in sending them to the front or organizing actions behind enemy lines, they naturally turned out to be Komsomol heroes. Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, Liza Chaikina, the Young Guard ...
Although this paradox is the famous Young Guard, which turned out to be one of the few really active underground Komsomol organizations, despite the huge area occupied by the Germans and a large number of Komsomol members who found themselves in the occupation. Moreover, the organizational forms of the “Young Guard” were little similar to the Komsomol members - it was an underground militant organization, and not an official power structure under the Communist Party, which was the pre-war Komsomol.
One way or another, after the war, the Komsomol turned out to be for some time a serious political structure. His two first secretaries are Alexander Shelepin (Iron Shurik), who became famous for having selected Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya as a saboteur, and Vladimir Semichastny, who was famous for the title role in harassing Pasternak- headed the KGB of the USSR. At the end of Khrushchev and the beginning of the Brezhnev reign, the Komsomol members formed a cohesive and fairly militant inner-party group that relied on Soviet military patriotism - space, sport, the cult of war heroes, the confrontation with the US (instead of detente, which Brezhnev wanted).
In the fate of the Komsomol there was an amazing and paradoxical turn. In the era of Khrushchev's persecution of the church, it was the Komsomol members who performed the dirtiest and most criminal orders for closing churches, mocking believers and disrupting religious services, as in the notorious 1920. However, since 1965, it was Komsomol newspapers and magazines that became the bastion of the “Russian Party” within the CPSU.
The magazine “Young Guard” turned out to be the locomotive of the “Russian turn” in Soviet journalism. It was in it that the manifesto of the artist Korin, the sculptor Konenkov and the writer Leonov “Protect Our Shrine” was published, which ended the era of the defeat of the spiritual heritage. The journalism of Viktor Chalmayev appears in the same place, proposing to bridge the gap between the Soviet country and Tsarist Russia (later, in the 1970-s, he was subjected to severe obstruction in the party press). And the publishing house "Young Guard", headed by Valery Ganichev, will become a real haven for the "villagers".
And now at the plenum of the Central Committee of the Komsomol 27 in December 1965, the indisputable “Komsomol member # 1” of the Soviet country - the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin - declares:
«In my opinion, we still not sufficiently foster respect for the heroic past, often do not think about the preservation of monuments. In Moscow, the Triumphal Arch 1812 was removed and not restored, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, built with money collected throughout the country in honor of the victory over Napoleon, was destroyed. Did the name of this monument eclipse its patriotic essence? I could continue the list of victims of the barbaric attitude to the monuments of the past. Unfortunately, there are many such examples.».
The triumphal arch, not connected with “idealism and clericalism,” was soon restored in Moscow.
Interestingly, both the attacks on churches and the patriotic turnaround fit in during the leadership of the same Komsomol leader, Aleksandr Pavlov. And when, by the year 1968, Brezhnev managed to completely crush the “Komsomol members” and remove them from the party Olympus, this had paradoxical consequences. Pavlov was transferred from the Komsomol to the sport - fighting for the chess crown, hockey super series, the famous basketball triumph, the Olympics-80, these were largely the achievements of the former Komsomol leader.
The organization itself grew weaker and gradually degenerated, becoming a community of the very members of the Komsomol of the baths and novice co-operators, which it came to its disgraceful end. What was the end, says the figure of the last secretary of the Komsomol, Gorbachev's nominee Viktor Mironenko. Now he heads the Center for Ukrainian Studies at the Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences, regularly makes statements like “Russia is the younger brother of Ukraine” and scolds Moscow for “supporting Donbass separatists”.
Komsomol was, in essence, a mirror of the Soviet era. Created as an organization of "red devils", he managed to visit the role of executioner of Russian churches, peasantry and traditions, and the organization of repressed enemies of the people (in this case often without any quotes), and a detachment of fighters against enemy invaders, and a new wave of anti-church bullies, and the secret order of patriots, and a collection of corrupted party bonzes.
This function of the Soviet system parasitized on the natural biological state of a person — youth, giving it one direction or another, but acceptable to the Soviet authorities. And today, those who are nostalgic for the Komsomol, sing "not Brezhnev's body, but his youth" - the times when the bodies were muscular, and the chest - high. They are difficult to condemn for it.
The main thing is not to forget that for the devilry that gave rise to this structure, Russia (that Russia, which is a thousand years old) paid the entire twentieth century a terrible, sometimes bloody price.