Thursday, February 28, 2013

Czech Propaganda poster - Lenin Weeps

a Czech propaganda poster on a wall in Prague,  Czechoslovakia in 1968 showing a Soviet tank driving over a marker labeled 4CCP/ЧССР/CSSR/Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and a disembodied, jug-eared crybabyLenin cries his poor little eyes out with giant tears streaming down his face.
A Soviet tank makes Lenin cry on a Prague wall, Czechoslovakia (1968)

A poster taped on a Prague wall in Czechoslovakia during the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia showing a tank with the Soviet star on the side driving over a marker labeled 4CCP/ЧССР (which is CSSR in Cyrillic aka the CzechoSlovak Socialist Republic) and a jug-eared, disembodied head of Vladimir Lenin weeping.

It sounds like someone drunk the Kool Aid if they thought that Lenin would cry over the Soviet Union invading another country. I doubt Lenin cried when he had the USSR invade Poland in 1919.

Lessons in propaganda techniques to be learned from this :
  1. The tank is a caricature of a tank. In an attempt to include only the essential elements of a tank it appears to consist only of tracks and a turret. If the tank were drawn more realistically with the front cockpit (as a real T-54 or T-64 has) then it would appear more bulky and crushing and therefore be more menacing and more productive. 
  2. Comparing someone you aren't fond of to a monkey is classic and the jug-eared Lenin looks vaguely like a chimpanzee. 
  3. Understand your audience. Note that the abbreviation for Czechoslovakia is "ЧССР" in the Russian Cyrillic alphabet while the Czechs would write it "ČSR." The target audience for the poster was probably Soviet soldiers who grew up where Lenin had practically been sainted and his mummified corpse turned into relic for a tourist attraction. It doesn't matter if Lenin was for or against invading Eastern Europe; the point is to try to provoke an emotional response. Of course, I would bet most Soviet soldiers, simply as a matter of human nature, were more interested in their own lives and people they actually know than any aspect about Lenin. 
More propaganda can be found in the Propaganda category.

No comments: