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Comment by Saulius, Lithuania
I have lived in USSR for about 20 years until our country broke free in 1990. I could spend hours writing my memories here, but i’ll concentrate on what i see in the images above.Most of the images were used on monthly magazines (like Soviet Woman). Like nowadays of Putin regime, no magazine or newspaper was allowed to publish anthyhing that could officially dicredit the “happy and fufilled” life of a soviet “citizen” (why do I put a word citizen into commas? Because a real citizen takes some form of participation, active or passive, in the policy o his (her) country. An average inhabitant of the USSR was far away from that). You will never see a man or a woman with an unhappy face in such images, because nobody took such photos (funeral ceremonies was an exeption).You see cars, furniture, apartments, fashionable garments etc. on these pictures. Back in those days we saw them too. Mostly on the same photos above.Does anyone of you remember stories from WWII about the certain shops reserved only for germans (nur fuer deutche)? In fact, there were such shops through out the whole USSR in all periods. Only the shops were not for the people of some specific nationality. These were the shops for the members o f a clan called “Communist party”. These shops were closed even for most of the members of the party, only higher class in the party’s hierarchy or people with relations to shops authorities (for example, chiefs of various offices) could get anything there. The equality of people in the USSR was just a sick joke. Would you believe, that an awerage worker had to wait in line for about 10 years to get a permission to obtain a car or funiture for himself? Yes, we had nearly enough money, but we simply haven’t had where to spend them. Can you imagine people, waiting in line for about 6 hours to buy toilet paper? Or some sausage? Or green peas? Or mayonaise? Shoes?You can see some pictures depicting smilling workers. Well, these pictures were certainly not taken in the middle of their work. There were photo shooting sessions for images like these. If you were not smilling, they at least will not take a picture of you (the habbit to smille in front of the cammera no matter of the sitation remains with former USSR inhabitants to these days).By the way, can you see any male with longer than 10 cm hair in any of the pictures? I can’t. Because in those days, if you had long hair, you were considered “inpropper” citizen. The authority was regulating most of your daily life, even your looks. Has anyone of you been a punk or a hippie in the USSR? If you were, you would know, that concerts and gigs of “bands with unacceptable ideals, not comprehensive and malevolent to the morale of a Soviet Citizen) were constantly raided by militia (because they were illegal), and if they catch you there, the best punishment you could get is having your hair cut off by force (this punishment is not so band considering that they could send you to the army for 2 years instantly. Did you happen to notice that half of the pictures are showing soldiers? That is because the army was the main product, developed and worshipped in USSR. But the army was also one of the main causes of the great collapse). In fact, at some time militia were arresting and haircutting hippies just for showing themselves on the streets.I’ve read some comments, and there are some people believing what they see on these photos. I wont argue – there were many happy moments, because youth is always the happiest time of life. But none of these are shown on those photos. Most of the people, that want USSR back, are either communist functionaries, or too young to remember anything from those times.