By 1941, the USSR had the following system of informing citizens about life abroad: directives were sent from the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) about the nature of coverage of international events and events in the country [1, L. 32], local party organizations, in turn, conducted lectures and seminars on the international situation, taking into account the directives received. It should be noted here that the source material for the above-mentioned events was mainly articles of the Pravda newspaper [1, L. 29.]. In areas with local agitators, conversations and meetings were held [2, L. 94, L. 99], the topics of which were developed on the basis of materials sent by the regional committees and regional committees of the CPSU (b), which were then sent down to the campaign groups [3, L. 14]. The local population learned about everything going on abroad during meetings, talks, lectures, readings [3, L. 33, L. 48, L. 68; 2, L. 38], carried out by local propaganda and agitation departments, and all the agitation and mass work was carried out in the light of “Stalin's instructions” [3, L. 7, L. 18]. There was a similar system of information dissemination among the citizens of the USSR during the war years.
From the Central Committee of the CPSU (b), instructions were sent by telegram to the Penza region on the contents of newspapers [2, L. 101; 1, L. 27], recommendations were given on how to cover certain foreign events [2, L. 24], for example: “We recommend holding talks among workers on the following topics by May 1: 2. The united front of freedom-loving peoples against the fascist invaders. XNUMX. Worldwidehistorical the significance of the struggle of the Soviet people against the Nazi invaders. 3. The struggle of the enslaved peoples of Europe against the fascist yoke. 4. The great liberation mission of the Red Army. 5. The friendship of the peoples of the USSR is the guarantee of our victory ... ”[1, L. 9]. By May 1, 1942, the Penza regional committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks proposed a list of slogans that included slogans on the theme of friendship between the peoples of the world: "Greetings to the enslaved peoples of Europe fighting for their liberation from Nazi tyranny!", "Greetings to the oppressed Slavic peoples fighting for their freedom and independence against the German, Italian and Hungarian imperialist robbers! ”,“ Slavs, to arms! All on the people's holy war against the worst enemy of the Slavic peoples - German fascism! ”,“ Brothers are oppressed Slavs! The hour of decisive battles has come. Take up arms. All the forces to defeat the bloody Hitler, the sworn enemy of Slavism! "," Brothers Slavs! Clear your land of German invaders. Death to the German invaders! Long live the unity of the Slavic peoples! ”,“ Greet the German people moaning under the yoke of the Black Hundred gangs - we wish them victory over the bloody Hitler! ”,“ Long live the unity of the peoples of democratic countries, leading the peoples of the USSR and Great Britain, just, liberation war against Nazi invaders! ”[1, L. 10] The activities of the Stalinist Banner newspaper and regional publications were reviewed at meetings of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Penza Regional Committee of the CPSU (b) [4, L. 22; 5, L. 1, L. 5, L. 7], and the appointment of the chief editor of the newspaper and director of the Stalin Banner publishing house was controlled by the Department of Propaganda and Agitation of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) [5, L. 10, L. 11] . It should be noted that control over the content of newspaper articles in wartime has tightened.
The main reason was the fact that the seal was “one of the sources of information from the enemy’s intelligence” [2, L. 58]. Describing the system of informing the public about life abroad, it should be said that in 1941, the Soviet media system was modified according to wartime requirements, namely, the network of central and regional newspapers was partially curtailed and the publication of the military press was organized. Such researchers as L.A. Vasilyeva , A.A. Grabelnikov , A.I. Lomovtsev  note in their works the reduction of the network of central and local press. In particular, in the work of L.A. Vasilieva gave the following data: “the number of national newspapers more than doubled: only 39 remained from 18 ... Pravda, published on the 6 bands, from 30 June 1941 began to appear on four bands” [6, p. 195]. The overall reduction affected the Penza region.
According to a study by A.I. Lomovtseva, in the Penza region, “regional newspapers published 5 once a week on two pages; district newspapers, which were reduced to two pages, were transferred to the weekly issue ”[8, p. 114]. As the researcher notes, “a reduction in the circulation of newspapers occurred throughout the entire first half of the war” [8, p. 114]. Indeed, strict distribution limits were set for the distribution of central and regional newspapers in areas during the war by the Penza Regional Committee of the CPSU (B.) [1, L. 34; 2, L. 64; 9, L. 85], the frequency of district newspapers was reduced [2, L. 34]. At the same time, a network of military newspapers was deployed in the army, the publication of partisan underground press was organized [7, p. 82]. The sharp decrease in the number of newspapers available to the public did not delay affecting the entire information system and the degree of awareness of Soviet citizens about current events in the country and abroad. Sometimes, due to the weak work of the party organs, the level of awareness of the population about all the events that took place outside the settlement was practically zero.
This can be judged by the data of memoranda and reports of party workers of the Penza regional committee of the CPSU (b) on the state of propaganda and agitation in 1941-1942. For example, in 1941 the following situation developed in the Bessonovsky district: “... Enterprises, organizations, institutions, two MTS and 56 collective farms in the district receive 29 copies of the Pravda newspaper (of which 18 remain in the regional center), 32 copies of the Izvestia newspaper ( 28), 474 copies of the regional newspaper "Stalinskoye Znamya", 1950 copies of the regional newspaper "Stalinsky Ustav" settle in the regional center. No magazines have been received in the district over the past two months ... ”[10, L. 21]. Regional and central newspapers reached the population with a great delay, sometimes central newspapers were delivered to the districts with a three-week delay [10, L. 21]. The work of the network of radio nodes was also rated unsatisfactory by the party organizations: “Three times a day for 15 minutes the latest news is broadcast over the telephone network from Penza. In a number of village councils that have telephones, these programs are often not listened to or listened to by people who are unable to talk about the news"[10, L. 21].
Information about the events that took place in the country and abroad did not reach the population well for another reason. The problem was that the employees of the propaganda and agitation departments themselves were not sufficiently aware of how to hold events to inform the public about events in the country and abroad. Many agitator groups disintegrated due to the mobilization of people to the front and the construction of defense fortifications [10, L. 21]. As a result, unprepared and in fact random frames were included in the information process. Judging by the reports received by the editorial office of the Stalin Banner newspaper, the level of training of such agitators was extremely low, they had the most vague idea of the top officials of the Soviet state: “The agitator of the Paris Commune collective farm. Zolotova, a good production worker who skillfully organizes the work of collective farmers, is not prepared for political campaigning. She cannot say who Mikhail Kalinin is ”[10, L. 25]. Naturally, such cadres were powerless to provide any reliable information about events in the country and outside the USSR: “On the collective farm to them. Dzerzhinsky agitator teacher Comrade. Zhdanova does not answer the listeners even to elementary questions. She herself does not read newspapers, can say nothing about what the Soviet assistance from Britain and the United States is expressed ”[11, L. 4].
In 1942 — 1943 the situation was still difficult. According to the report at a meeting of the party activists in Penza, the state of propaganda and agitation 27 June 1942, the population of the Penza region was practically not informed about what is happening in the USSR and other countries: “The public’s information about the situation on the front lines of the national war, current events and The current international position in the area is completely unsatisfactory. In many collective farms, state farms, MTS and industrial enterprises political reports and conversations have not been conducted and are not held for several months in a row. However, radio and newspapers do not reach the broad masses of the village.
Most newspapers are deposited in institutions, village councils, and collective farm boards, where they are often spent on raskurka. Newspaper windows and the latest news marts are not organized ”[2, L. 74]. During the inspections conducted by the Penza Regional Committee of the VKP (b), the following facts were revealed: “The regional newspaper Luninskaya Kommuna (editor T. Lobova) for 6 months 1943 did not give a single review of hostilities on the Soviet-German front, nor the information bureau reports .
The population of the Luninsky district is not at all informed by the district newspaper about reports on the fronts of the Patriotic War ”[11, L. 4]. As a result of all the above facts, in the first years of the war, the most diverse and incredible rumors about events abroad were spread among the population of the Penza region. In 1942, "... in some areas of the region, a rumor spread at one time that 26 states allegedly presented an ultimatum to the Soviet government about the dissolution of collective farms and the opening of all previously closed churches" [11, L. 4]. It should be said here that this situation has developed not only in the Penza Region, such facts have occurred throughout the country. As noted by OL. Mitvol in his study, “the deaf echoes of events at the front reached people in the rear, very few people imagined what was really going on there, since the Soviet Information Bureau was limited to brief and incomplete reports. Uncertainty, lack of truthful information were superimposed on pre-war ideas and expectations of a victorious war, and fantastic rumors were born ”[12, p. 167].
The poor awareness of the population about events in the country and abroad was also due to the fact that at the beginning of the war, solving the tasks of supplying food to the front, the Penza Regional Committee of the CPSU (B) pushed propaganda and propaganda activities to the background. This is evident from the contents of the minutes of the Plenary meetings in 1941 — 1942. [13,14,15]. This trend in the work of local party organizations was strongly criticized by the Central Committee of the CPSU (b). The Penza Regional Committee of the CPSU (b) received a decree from 14 July 1942, in which its activity was characterized as follows: “... the party organizations of the Penza region sharply weakened during the war, and in some cases completely abandoned political work among the masses ... The Penza regional committee The CPSU (b) and its agitation and propaganda department did not rebuild agitation and propaganda work in accordance with the tasks of wartime, showing in this unacceptable slowness and inertia ”[11, L.3]. And further: “the regional committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks), the city committees and the district committees of the party do not manage district newspapers and factory factory circuits, do not show the necessary care for the timely delivery of newspapers and magazines brochures” [11, L. 4-5].
Informing about international events, the situation was also bad: “... in many areas, until now, the population is not sufficiently informed about political events, about the situation on the fronts of the Patriotic War, about the international situation, etc.” [16, L. 2, L. 49]. In 1943 — 1945 the documents of the Penza Regional Committee of the CPSU (b) contain materials on the unsatisfactory work on the distribution of newspapers in rural areas [2, L. 82, L. 89; 17, L. 11, L. 16, L. 21; 18, L. 10, L. 30], as well as problems in the operation of radio centers in the regions of the region [2, L. 113; 17, L. 7], it was reported that “Many radio hubs in the Neighborhood, Bashmakovsky, Neverkinsky and Tamalinsky districts are almost inactive. In the majority of radio centers in the region, the Moscow program is broadcast no more than two or three hours a day ... Many radio receiving stations have long ceased due to malfunctioning of the loudspeakers and broadcasting network ”[1, L. 2]. In the course of the inspections conducted, shortcomings in the activities of local agitators were also revealed. In 1945 in Kuznetsk, “at the 30 leather factory in May, the dining room conducted a reading of Pravda newspaper articles from May 26, The Great Russian People, and International Review. Agitator Comrade. Gorkina (accountant of the plant, non-partisan) mechanically read one article after another, without even explaining to the workers incomprehensible terms (conservatives, Labor) ”[17, L. 21].
Sometimes, in a well-established propaganda mechanism, there were failures due to the slow reaction of local party organizations to changes in the external political course of the country. During the war years, inconsistencies in the conduct of agitation and propaganda activities took place in the coverage of the allied relations of the USSR, Great Britain and the USA. For example, the lecturer Tokmovtsev in a memorandum [18, L. 16] about a business trip to the districts of the region in 1944, pointed out the following shortcomings in the work of the head of the propaganda department of the Neverkinsky district, Comrade Myakshev: Myakshev began his report by contrasting the system of socialism with the system of capitalism. They cannot exist for a long time. A struggle is inevitable between them. Or that, or other system should win ... Tov. Myakshev I pointed out the shortcomings of his report. In particular, he also indicated that making an introduction from opposing the system is not appropriate. For this opposition cannot explain to us the course of the war and our alliance with the United States and Great Britain. ”
So, after analyzing the archive materials 1941 - 1945, we can draw the following conclusions:
1) during the Great Patriotic War the system of informing citizens about life abroad
faced with a number of difficulties caused by objective reasons:
- lack of qualified personnel;
- reduction of the network of newspapers intended for the civilian population;
- poor equipment of the Soviet mass media network by technical means
dissemination of information (reduction of the number of radio points and radio centers) due to the orientation of the entire industrial complex of the USSR for military production;
- low level of awareness of employees of local party organizations about changes in the country's foreign policy (development of allied relations between the USSR, Great Britain and the United States);
2) strict control over the activities of all media by party structures led to a slowdown in the circulation of information in the USSR, which led to such consequences as the appearance of unwanted rumors among the population, i.e. to misinformation;
3) despite a lot of problems, the system of informing the public about foreign events continued to operate during the most difficult times for the Soviet state, and the Soviet press was the main source of information about everything happening, both for ordinary people and for regional party workers.
List of sources used
1. Department of Public Policy Organizations of the State
archive of the Penza region (OFOPO GAPO) F. 148. Op. 1. D. 639.
2. OFOPO GAPO. F. 148. Op. 1. D. 853.
3. OFOPO GAPO. F. 148. Op. 1. D. 720.
4. OFOPO GAPO. F. 148. Op. 1. D. 495.
5. OFOPO GAPO. F. 148. Op. 1. D. 1158.
6. Vasilyeva L.A. Mass media in political processes of totalitarian and transit types: a comparative study of the mass and the significance of the print media of the Soviet and Russian patterns: Dis .... Dr. polit. sciences. Vladivostok, 2005. 442 with.
7. Grabelnikov A.A. Mass information in Russia: From the first newspaper to the information society: Dis .... Dr. East. sciences. M., 2001. 349 with.
8. Lomovtsev A.I. Mass media and their impact on the mass consciousness during the Great Patriotic War: on the materials of the Penza region: Dis .... Cand. ist sciences. Penza, 2002. 200 with.
9. OFOPO GAPO. F. 148. Op. 1. D. 1159.
10. OFOPO GAPO. F. 554. Op. 1. D. 69.
11. OFOPO GAPO. F. 148. Op. 1. D. 637.
12. Mitvol O.L. Formation and implementation of an information policy in the USSR and the Russian Federation: 1917-1999: Dis .... Dr. East. sciences. M., 2004. 331 with.
13. OFOPO GAPO. F. 148. Op. 1. D. 353. 165 l.
14. OFOPO GAPO. F. 148. Op. 1. D. 595. 256 l.
15. OFOPO GAPO. F. 148. Op. 1. D. 593. 253 l.
16. OFOPO GAPO. F. 148. Op. 1. D. 1036.
17. OFOPO GAPO. F.148. Op. 1. D. 1343.
18. OFOPO GAPO. F. 148. Op. 1. D. 1159.