The Pioneer Day on May 19 long ago, alas, ceased to be a holiday in our country. Some remnants of the once-most powerful children's organization still exist, but we admit honestly that this is only a pale shadow of the mass movement that from the mid-end of the 20s of the twentieth century until the collapse of the Soviet Union almost completely covered its younger generation.
In the dashing year of "perestroika," the All-Union Pioneer Organization named after V.I. Lenin was generously spit upon and despised by her organizers and possessed by adherents. Today we can say with full confidence that the role and place of Soviet pioneers in the history of our country are completely underestimated and unreasonably silent. Let's try to correct this injustice - as much as possible in the framework of one article.
One cannot fail to mention that the very mention of a pioneer organization evokes genuine paroxysms of hatred and anger among the domestic liberal public. She was displeased with these gentlemen, perhaps a little less than the NKVD with comrade Beria ... Having proclaimed the pioneer "a Soviet-era machine for fooling and militarizing children", our liberals have lain so much foolishness and fiction about it that raking them up is still a job. Therefore, let’s try to deal with at least some absurdities, and then - how it goes. First of all, the Soviet authorities are accused of allegedly “stealing” the idea of a “noble scout movement” from its creators, “repainting it in red and filling it with completely inappropriate ideological content”. To listen to such clever men, so the pioneers “copied” literally everything from scouts - from attributes and a motto to the organizational structure, and then swore that they themselves invented it all. Absolute nonsense, of course. First of all, no one ever hid the fact that the first steps towards creating a pioneer organization, in fact, were taken after several reports by Nadezhda Krupskaya, entitled "On Boy Scoutism." Innokenty Zhukov, not just a prominent figure in the Russian scout movement, was a pioneer in the creation of Soviet pioneers, but in the past he was the secretary of the Russian Scout society. The Bolsheviks simply did not “reinvent the wheel”, but, having looked closely, adopted the most suitable world experience, naturally, changing it in their own way, in accordance with pressing requirements and plans for the future. Therefore, to persuade the pioneers that they had exactly the same tie and the motto “Be ready” - “Always ready!”, Like bourgeois scouts, is just as ridiculous as reproaching the Red Army for “plagiarism” because it had a banner in the form of a rectangular panel, and not some octagon with squiggles ...
Now - about the ideology, and, by the way, about “militarism”. If anyone does not know, then the Colonel (and later the Lieutenant General) of the British Royal Armed Forces, who stood at the origins of the scouting movement on a global scale, so to speak, Robert Stephenson Smith Baden-Powell, not sitting under an apple tree reached his idea, but during Boer war. Being the commandant of the Mafeking fortress besieged by the Boers, Sir Robert drove under the gun all the males there, including the boys of 12-14 years old, from whom he created a completely effective intelligence unit. From there everything went. Being, in modern terms, a British imperialist, whom did Baden-Powell intend to educate in the organization he created? That's right, future conquerors and “civilizers”, “white masters” who were to keep and push the limits of “an empire in which the sun never sets”. For the most part, he served in military intelligence - an organization characterized by utmost practicality bordering on cynicism, according to which everything possible is used to accomplish this task ... Children? Why not children? Therefore, when scouts, contrasting them with “ideological pioneers,” try to sculpt a kind of “white and fluffy” social movement, preoccupied exclusively with the health of the kids and the introduction of diversity in their leisure time, I personally find it ridiculous. And, by the way, in the Russian Empire, scouting for a long time and persistently tried to make its way - it only ran into a complete misunderstanding of those in power. Sovereign Nicholas II wanted to see in the country children’s “school systems and gymnastics” and teenage “amusing teams” at military units. The mass movement with some detachments, oaths and rituals aroused in it latent rejection and fears. It would be better if he paid attention to the Social Democrats, a disease ...
Make yourself bonfires!
But the Bolsheviks, in contrast to the crowned slow-witted sent “to the dustbin of history” at once, realized that there could be great benefit on a national scale. In the early 20s, by and large, nothing had yet been decided. Yes, the main battles and battles of the Civil died out, but the war of the old and the new was actually only in full swing. The future of the Land of Soviets and, as many of its leaders saw then, the world proletarian revolution was beating in the tiny hearts of those who had just come into life and who were destined, having made their choice, to decide their fate. In the same village, often, the former “red” and “white” neighbors, and most importantly, the poor and the “fists” who are beginning to get stronger and stronger. The former were for the new government with all their souls, but the latter, wondering how to cut the fellow countrymen as it were, believed that without a king and a lord it was, of course, good, but as for “equality and fraternity”, this very power, perhaps, of that ... I had enough excess and here it will have to be “corrected” over time - in accordance with my vision of life prospects. In cities, periodically swollen from hunger and struggling to rebuild after war, crowds of street children scurried around by this very hard weather, not disdaining anything in their eternal desire to "get something to eat." It was a whole army! Who could grow out of them - bosota, lumpen, criminals, by definition, who are the enemies of any state? Or the future builders of communism - creators, citizens, defenders of the motherland? The issues were resolved, without exaggeration, the most global and, it is necessary to pay tribute to the Soviet regime, she solved them brilliantly - and not least by creating a pioneer organization.
At first, Soviet pioneerhood bore the name of an antique fighter against the oppressors of Spartak. This was only later, after the departure of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, she was given his name, thereby being given a high honor and no less high responsibility. Incidentally, in the first years after Stalin's death, there were naive comrades who sincerely offered to add to the name of Ilyich in the name of the All-Union Pioneer Organization also the perpetuation of the memory of Joseph Vissarionovich. Yeah ... It's under Khrushchev something! After 1956, with his vile report on the “cult of personality,” such proposals instantly “faded.” How the ideological component of the pioneer movement has changed can best be judged by the changes in the solemn promise made upon entry into its ranks. Until the end of the 20s, they vowed “to stand firmly for the cause of the working class”, the goal of which, of course, was “the liberation of the workers and peasants” no less than on a global scale. After that, one can even believe that Comrade Trotsky seriously took a hand in the creation and establishment of pioneers - his dreams of a “world revolution” are blowing a mile away. But then the “proletariat of all countries” disappeared somewhere, but the obligation to “love your Motherland” and “live, study and fight” according to the precepts of Lenin and the Communist Party came first. In the 30s, one of the main duties of all members of the pioneer organization was the preparation for the defense of the USSR in the inevitably impending war. The whole country was preparing for this, sparing no energy, and the boys and girls, proudly wearing red ties, were in the forefront. Many years will pass and they will occupy the frontiers of the Great Patriotic War ...
They were ready
Unfortunately, the enormous role of the All-Union Pioneer Organization in achieving the Great Victory was never revealed even in more than favorable Soviet historiography. On the banner of the Pioneer there were two highest awards of the country - the Order of Lenin, but there were no military ones. But in vain. All Soviet children knew about pioneers-heroes, young soldiers of the Great Patriotic War. In fact, the title of Hero of the Soviet Union was awarded to four members of the All-Union Pioneer Organization - Leonid Golikov, Marat Kazei, Valentin Kotik and Zinaida Portnova. Everything is posthumous ... However, the number of children and adolescents, both deserving military orders and medals, and remaining unknown and selflessly devoted to their homeland by their defenders, is immeasurably greater. According to some reports, only the "sons of the regiment" in the Red Army and the "Jung Red Navy" totaled up to half a million! However, no matter how many more pioneers took up the struggle against Nazi invaders in the occupied territories in the ranks of the underground and partisan detachments. All four Heroes of the Soviet Union are from this glorious cohort. It so happened that it was the children and adolescents who turned out to be one of the most implacable and fearless fighters against the invaders. And this is an occasion to give the highest appreciation to the educational work that has been carried out in its ranks for almost two decades since the creation of the pioneer organization and before the start of World War II. Pioneer has managed to raise millions of real young patriots, both fighting the enemy with weapons in their hands, and forging Victory in the rear, at the machine tools of factories, on collective farms and hospitals. It was this patriotism that turned out to be the very “strong military secret” of the Soviet country, about which the idol of all pioneers Arkady Gaidar wrote. It was about him that the Nazi blitzkrieg broke, the enemy hordes broke their teeth.
However, to reduce everything only to the personal participation in the battles of the Great Patriotic War of young fighters would also be fundamentally wrong. It was the pioneer organization that became the "starting point" of that general military education and training, which to an enormous extent subsequently conditioned the Red Army's ability to quickly make up for the tragic losses of the initial period of the war, and restore its combat capability. Some of our "historians" with liberoid brain damage (or what do they have instead of it?) Love to talk about the topic of "completely untrained boys" who were "ruthlessly thrown against the hardened soldiers of the Wehrmacht." But the fact of the matter is that by 1941 there were practically no "untrained" guys and girls of military age in the USSR! And thanks for this must be said, among other things, to the pioneer organization, the matter of honor for each member of which in the 30s was "to have three badges" - Voroshilov shooter, TRP (ready for work and defense) and "ready for sanitary defense." The level of initial military and physical training in the pre-war USSR was the highest. And no less high was the level of consciousness, thanks to which those who at present are considered to be unintelligent children, who really cannot be trusted with anything, made shells, performed other incredibly responsible and difficult work. Do you think that during the war years pioneer assistance to the front was limited to concerts in hospitals, sending letters and parcels to the front to soldiers and collecting scrap metal? Yes, thirteen-year-olds worked hard at logging, building railways, plowing on their own! And no one, believe me, no one forced them to do it! It's just that, brought up by the Soviet pioneers, the Soviet Union, these girls and boys could not do otherwise, did not think of themselves outside that war, outside the common fate of the people. The motto is "Always ready!" turned out to be not at all pretentious empty words - when trouble fell on their homeland, they really turned out to be ready for anything.
Nowadays, little is remembered about pioneering. Alas, more than one generation has grown up, which managed to drive into their heads the lie that they forced the wearing of a red tie almost "forcibly", which in October, pioneers and Komsomol members almost "drove". Believing themselves to have the right to judge and condemn everything that they like, “intelligentsia”, gentlemen and ladies mournfully talk about “suppressing the identities of children”, “enforcing totalitarianism” and the like, which have absolutely nothing to do with reality. And few dare to ask them the simplest question: “So what exactly was bad in pioneer?” Luxury palaces and children's art houses? The complete absence in the Soviet Union is not like street children, but simply idle children who do not know what to do with themselves? Zero child and adolescent drug addiction and alcoholism, almost zero crime among adolescents and children ?! How bad were the pioneer camps in which the children of all (mind you, without exception) citizens could rest and heal for free, or for purely symbolic money? Creative clubs and sports sections, available, again for everyone and for nothing?
I will allow myself to suppose that those who want our pioneering childhood today are hated by the ideals of love for the Motherland, admiration for its victories and achievements, which were instilled in us precisely in these beautiful years. The pioneer organization is unacceptable to them, like everything else that really worked to strengthen and prosper our country. Moreover - to a large extent it works even to this day! The education of discipline, decency, honesty, the principles of friendship and mutual assistance, and, above all, patriotism, this is what she gave to all those who once walked in its ranks. And no matter how many years pass, we will never forget this.