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Max Ferdinand Perutz
Max Ferdinand Perutz
21st week in year
19 May 2020

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The Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union is established19.5.1922

Wikipedia (12 Apr 2013, 08:05)
The Young Pioneer Organization of the Soviet Union, also Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization was a mass youth organization of the USSR for children of age 10–15 in the Soviet Union between 1922 and 1991.


History

After the October Revolution of 1917, some Scouts took the Bolsheviks' side, which would later lead to the establishment of ideologically altered Scoutlike organizations, such as ЮК (Юные Коммунисты, or young communists; pronounced as yook) and others.

During the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1921, most of the Scoutmasters and many Scouts fought in the ranks of the White Army and interventionists against the Red Army.

Those Scouts who did not wish to accept the new Soviet system either left Russia for good (like Oleg Pantyukhov and others) or went underground.

However, clandestine Scouting did not last long. Komsomol persistently fought with the remnants of the Scout movement. Between 1918 and 1920, the second, third, and fourth All-Russian Congresses of the Russian Union of the Communist Youth (Российский коммунистический союз молодёжи, or Rossiyski kommunisticheskiy soyuz molodyozhi) decided to eradicate the Scout movement and create an organization of the communist type, that would take Soviet youth under its umbrella. This organization would properly educate children with Communist teachings.

On behalf of the Soviet Government Nadezhda Krupskaya (Vladimir Lenin's wife and the People's Commissar of State for Education) was one of the main contributors to the cause of the Pioneer movement. In 1922, she wrote an essay called Russian Union of the Communist Youth and boy-Scoutism. However, it was the remaining scoutmasters themselves who supported the Komonsol and the Red Army, like Innokentiy Zhukov and some others around Nikolaj Fatyanov's "Brothers of the fire", who introduced the name "pioneer" to it and convinced the Komsomol to keep the scout motto "Be prepared!" and adapt it to "Always prepared!" as the organizational motto and slogan.

Just some days before the Komsomol conference the Moscow scoutmasters adopted a "Declaration of the scoutmasters of Moscow concerning the question of the formation of a children's movement in the RSFSR" on May 13, 1922. Thereby they suggested to use the scouting system as a foundation of the new communist organization for children, and give the "Young pioneers" name to it.

The main contribution of the scoutmasters was the introduction of the new expression system scouting into the discourse on communist children's and youth organizations. By doing so they avoided the dissolution of the scout organization as it would happen sooner or later to any organization opposed to the Komsomol.

On May 19, 1922 the second All-Russian Komsomol Conference adopted the scoutmasters' suggestions and decided to "work on the question of a children's movement by using the re-organized system of scouting." During the following years many of the remaining former scoutmasters founded pioneer groups and educated future pioneer leaders.

May 19, 1922 was later on considered the birthday of the All-Union Pioneer Organization (Всесоюзная пионерская организация, or Vsesoyuznaya pionerskaya organizatsiya). By October 1922 pioneer units were united to form the Spartak Young Pioneers Organization (SYPO) (Russian: Юные пионеры имени Спартака), which was named after V. I. Lenin by a decision of the Central Committee of Komsomol of January 21, 1924 becoming the Vladimir Lenin Spartak Young Pioneers. Since March 1926 it bore the name Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization.

By the middle of 1923 it had 75,000 members. Among other activities, Young Pioneer units, helped by Komsomol, played a great role in the eradication of illiteracy (Likbez policy) since 1923. Membership was at 161,000 in the beginning of 1924, 2 million in 1926, 13.9 million in 1940, and 25 million in 1974. Many Young Pioneer Palaces were built, which served as community centers for the children, with rooms dedicated to various clubs, such as crafts or sports. Thousands of Young Pioneer camps were set up where children went during summer vacation and winter holidays. All of them were free of charge, sponsored by the government and the Trade Unions.

During the Great Patriotic War the Pioneers worked hard to contribute to the war effort at all costs. Thousands of them died in battles as military personnel and in the resistance against Nazi Germany in its occupied territories as partisans and Pioneers under secrecy in enemy-occupied towns and cities, even in concentration camps. One of them became widely known, for his resistance in Kerch: Volodia Dubinin. Four Pioneers would later receive the coveted Gold Star Medal as Heroes of the Soviet Union, and countless others were awarded various state orders, decorations and medals for acts of bravery and courage.

   
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