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Within 15 to 20 years the Russians lived through these drastic changes; some peoples’ spirits were crushed and others came out even stronger.
The Russian population was split in two: on one side those who lived under communism and who were accustomed to this system, and on the other those side, those who, younger, hardly lived under this regime and are "children of perestroika."Grandparents of these women experienced the Second World War and its share of atrocities. I remember my grandfather, Nikolai, telling me about terrible military actions, especially during the two years the Germans blockaded Leningrad. Numerous women lost their husbands during the war and raised their children alone, who grew up never knowing their own father.
At 18, the last step was to become a member of the Communist Party and receive a "Communist Party card,” a real certificate entitling the holder to many advantages.
Joining the Communist Party was not mandatory but "advised.” Many people who joined the party did not believe at all in communism.
I was deeply in the "system", although like any 10 year old I did not really know what communism was.
The pioneers had to wear a red scarf around their necks while in school.
Children were generally very proud to have been chosen as "pioneers.” All children grew up learning to worship Lenin and the Communist ideology.
At 14, a new stage of ideological indoctrination began called Comsomolets.
The propaganda game continues, but the aim has become economical, not necessarily political.As everyone was working it was very difficult to find someone to care for the children.Even if parents found a babysitter, they did not have the means to pay for childcare. From the age of 2 to 4 years old, the majority of children were cared for at these nurseries.Children had to wear this star and anyone who deviated from this rule was severely punished by the "political committee of the school," made up of young students elected by their peers and whose role was to ensure the application of Regulation policy of each school. At the age of 10 children with good grades and impeccable behavior became "pioneers" (a concept approaching that of scouts, but with a communist view).It is with some emotion that I recall the day I was elected the first pioneer in my class, during an official ceremony, I was very proud.
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The average age for the first child was in Russia at that time, 20 to 24 years; parents rarely had a second child.