”Darba sieviete” magazine, # 1, 1940

Section: - 2006-02-27/2006-11-08

In July 1940, the female readers of magazines «Zeltene» (Lady with Golden Hair), «Mājas Draugs» (Friend of Home) and «Sievietes pasaule» (Woman's World) learned, that further on for the money which they had paid they will be receiving a different magazine - “Darba sieviete” (“Work Woman”).

In terms of style and ideas presented in it, the magazine was very differed from what Latvian readers were used to see. The magazine literally overwhelms its inexperienced reader with a spirit of a completely different world and a different perception of reality; it manifests signs of paranoia and maniacal hyperactivity characteristic for the Communist propaganda. Latvia is doomed to disappear for next 50 years from the civilized world, and to come into the Communist “Workers Paradise”, with its very particular system of ideology, ways of expression and stereotypes.

We can only guess, what culture shock the readers of the female magazines felt, when they browsed through the first issue of the magazine, which they had not asked for.

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Strange enough, a couple of the first issues of the magazine can serve as a great illustration for the sustainability and great viability of Stalinist propaganda concepts. It is surprising, but most of the stereotypes and mythology, which dominates the minds and “information space” (tightly connected to Russia) of part of the modern day Latvia population with dominating leftist (in essence stalinist) or pro-Russia chauvinist views and hostile to the West (Consisting mainly of Soviet immigrants and their descendants, with world view and system of values established by the Soviet “brain washing”, passing these beliefs onto their children. Amongst them is certain number of ex-members of USSR military staff, once taking part in occupation of Latvia, and political security (NKVD/KGB)), seem to be nearly 100 years old Bolshevik propaganda slogans turned urban legends. Still time from time they pop up in the publications of the local “Russian-lingual” press.

At the first page of the new magazine ”Darba sieviete” we see an expression of gratitude! Quote:

«Darba Sieviete», in the name of all working women of Latvia, expresses gratitude for liberation of the woman: to LATVIAN COMMUNIST PARTY, RED ARMY, which gave us a sample of a new socialist man.

First issue of the “Darba sieviete“ magazine says, that it is published by “Zeme” (“Earth”) corporation. But that, as well as many other things in sovetization process of Latvia (and other countries) only seems to be that way. Second issue (which will be published after the formal inclusion of Latvia into USSR) will already name the real publisher – the Communist Party of Latvia. Thus, in the first issue (after the farce of staged elections and establishing of the Moscow-controlled puppet government, but shortly before the formal inclusion of the country into the Soviet Union, the Communists are thanking themselves and the Red Army of the USSR (i.e. an army of a neighboring country !), for liberation of women of the Republic of Latvia from some oppressor, known only to themselves (the Communists).

Please note, how a motif of “The Liberator”, ever present in the Communist propaganda, shows up here. It manifests itself all too often nowadays in the slogan repeated in Latvia by aforementioned hardliner leftist and pro-Russia activists - “We liberated you from the Fascism” (meaning the German National Socialism and WWII) (Newer mind, that the cure wasn't any better than the malady. Curing Hitler's Nazism with Stalin's Bolshevism? Some luck...)

Seems strange, that gratitude for “liberation” to the army of some other country is expressed in a peacetime (at least formally – July, 1940). Obviously, even if there would have been no fight between the Soviet Union and the Third Reich, it would not have affected the shape and content of the Communist propaganda to any noticeable degree – an eternal gratitude to “The Liberators” would have been chanted anyway, no matter for what. Ironically, here we see pointed out the actual role of the Red Army in establishing the Soviet regime in Latvia – a fact, which has been denied by all means by Soviet official propaganda after the WWII, as well as it is not something the modern Russia's propaganda would like to talk about.

“Darba sieviete” in its editorial (as well as in other articles) swears at the pre-Soviet Latvia in general and at its, now former, competitors – other, non-Communist women magazines of Latvia. Amongst other things there is an accusation (what a terrible “crime” indeed):

«Mājas draugs» even has been zealously printing piquant articles and criminal novels.

It goes without saying, that Communist editorial board is sure, that the women of Latvia shall regard the USSR women with admiration, because there they are more “developed”, have a lot of different “rights”, as well as live in great “prosperity”.

One of the clichés, that we use to hear from those nostalgic of Stalin times, is hardly comprehensible slogan “We brought you a culture”. As for most of the modern day soviet stereotype relics, they stem from the old Stalinist propaganda.

In first issue of the “Darba sieviete” magazine, after we have acquainted ourselves with the thanksgiving to the Red Army for the “liberation”, in section “Literature” we find a poem of some Anna Kalviska “Mes gribam” (“We want”). In this poem, dedicated to some “beloved country” (meaning USSR, i.e. another country), the Communist poet tells about her wish that Latvia would become the fourteenths republic (i.e. province) of the USSR, and mentions “culture” [to be learned] in several places.

We grasp the meaning of the cliché, if we recall that here “the culture” is, so to speak, the “real”, i.e. the “Socialist Culture”, as an opposite to the normal Western (from Soviet point of view - “bourgeois-nationalist”) culture, dominating in Latvia as a typical European country of the day, - non-acceptable to the Communist ideology. Latvian people get introduced to the Socialist Culture indeed, right after the “liberation” - mass marches and propaganda gatherings, anthems to Great Stalin and Great Soviet Motherland, Lenin's monuments and canonical gypsum statues (e.g. “pioneer trumpeter” or “girl with an oar”) in nearly every park.

Further on, in another poem of the same poetess we read

Motherland, how tender and soft is your name,
we shall not burn in shame anymore when we mention you,
we shell not think of darkness anymore when we mention you
of chauvinism, slavery and misery ...
Possibly it is not a coincidence, that this text is incredibly similar to slogans shouted out at the gatherings organized by the leftist pro-Russia radicals in modern day Riga. Seems, that the ideological school is the same.

Similarly, the endless shouting “fascists!” in different meanings and contexts whether it is appropriate or not (rule of thumb - “those who are not with us are all fascists!”), is a historical tradition, seen also herein in several places, for example in the article on protection of a mother and a child.

Tragicomical are magazine's declarations of the USSR being the guardian and the main support of peace. It shall be remembered, that less than a year has passed since the USSR together with the Third Reich divided Poland amongst themselves. USSR is excluded from the League of Nations (predecessor to the UN) as an aggressor for its attack on Finland. The magazine is printed in time, when USSR, by means of the Red Army troops and Communist Fifth Column, is taking over the Baltic states and prepares for the Red Terror.

For ladies, citizens of the peaceful neutral country of Latvia, it should have been unusual to see the women in soldier's clothes – military pilots, military engineers, military doctors. Soviet Union, both using its war machine and threatening to use it, carries out its expansion into the Europe. Still “greater” “liberation” plans are ahead for the world's first “Proletariat Dictatorship” country. There is to be a wide demand for bomber pilots and military doctors.

It goes without saying, that a well being of a mother and a child is impossible without attention of Lenin and the Communist (Bolshevik) Party – the fact which is made clear to the Latvian readers..

“We are for the Stalin's Constitution” declares the magazine, which does not yet openly tell of it belonging to the Communist Party. Latvia is already under Soviet control, but the grotesque farce of formal acceptance to the USSR is still to be played.

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