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. . � Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 From: Beardsley Ruml Room 305 608 Fifth Avenue New York Re: William Benton's Report on Cultural Activity in the Soviet Union Perhaps you have already received a copy of this Report of William Benton's. How- ever, because of the great interest in the first mailing of the Report, a second mailing seemed desirable and this is it. I'm sorry this couldn't be a personal letter, but that was impractical, and besides, if you're interested in education and culture as of the Fall of 1955 in the Soviet Union you'll be glad to have the Report anyway. When I first read the Report, I was impressed by the fact that it contained important information not hitherto available, and I felt that it should be called specifically to the attention of educational leaders and a few other friends. Publication date in the 1956 Encyclopaedia Britannica Book of the Year is today, March 6th. Benton told me of the circumstances of his access to sources of information and ,re are some paragraphs from his letter to me. "Here is the quick background. "The purposes of my trip seemed clearly understood by the Soviet Embassy in Washington when it finally gave me a visa. I assumed that everything 4_had been cleared in Moscow. I listed the many people I was coming to --'11Csee -- the Minister of Education, the Minister of Higher Education, the Minister of Culture, the Rector of the University of Moscow, the man in charge of Radio and TV, the man in charge of the movies, etc. "But when I reached Moscow, I had no appointments. Intourist suggested that I visit Kiev, while they worked out my schedule for me. So off I went for three days in Kiev. "When I returned to Moscow, I think one appointment had been made. Forty eight hours later I was greatly disturbed because the purposes of my trip were apparently to be frustrated. "At this point I was taken to the reception in honor of U Nu. I had a long chat with him and I also chatted at length with the three Burmese Ambassadors who were in his train. Fifteen or twenty minutes later, Premier Bulganin left his table which contained most of the members of the Presidium and the Burmese guests. He came walking toward me, a distance of perhaps a hundred feet. With him was his Chef de Protocol. He asked me the purposes of my visit to Moscow. I explained that I was there to write an article for the Encyclopaedia Britannica Book of the Year; that my visit to Moscow was in my capacity as publisher and not because of any political interests, although of course I had a long time interest in Soviet - U.S. relations and in American politics. I told him the people I wanted to see and why. He ended up saying, 'The Soviet Government will do everything to assist you, and immediately'. He turned and left and I hung on to the Chef de Protocol. I said, 'You heard the Premier. I shall be in touch with you in the morning'. "And that's how it happened. "Then the appointments began to come through. I was the first Westerner to the best of the knowledge of the people in our Embassy, to talk to many of the men whom I interviewed, and on whose interviews I dictated at such length." William Benton, now Publisher of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, was formerly Vice President of The University of Chicago, Assistant Secretary of State, and U.S. Senator from Connecticut. March 6, 1956 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 � � William Benton Reports on the Voice of the Kremlin Some first-hand observations on red propaganda techniques within the U.S.S.R. and Satellites WILLIAM BENTON, publisher of Encyclopmdia Britannica, spent part of the autumn of 1955 visiting the Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, accompanied by his wife and 13-year-old son John, and also with a Russian-speaking assistant and interpreter. The Bentons are believed to be the first such family group from the West to be given visitors' visas for Russia since before World War II. Mr. Benton sought to observe and study some of the methods used by the Communists to indoctrinate the Russian people and others under their control. To such a study, the editors of Britannica feel that he brought unique qualifications. He has spent the 35 years of his adult life in the fields of communications, education and public service. He founded a major advertising agency, Benton & Bowles, and retired from it in 1936, at age 36. He served as a part-time officer of The University of Chicago for eight years. He became U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs in 19452 and organized America's first peacetime program of in- ternational information, including the launching of the Voice of America and its Russian-language broadcasts. He was one of the founders of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organiza- tion) and served as chairman of two U.S. delegations at UNESCO con- ferences. In 1948, he headed, the U.S. delegation to the U.N. Conference on Freedom of Information. As United States senator from Connecticut from 1949 to 1953, one of his early major proposals was that the United States develop what he called a "Marshall Plan of Ideas." When Britannica's editors invited Mr. Benton to write a report on Russian propaganda and indoctrination techniques, a major but little understood arm of Soviet policy, he accepted with the following caveat: FoR thirty-eight years, ever since the Revolution of October 1917, the Kremlin has been conducting the most stupendous experiment in psychological manipulation ever attempted�with the entire population of the Soviet Union as subjects. There is a century of history behind the experiment. For Communism is itself the child of propaganda. Communism be- gan as propaganda and its growth is inconceivable without prop- aganda. Modern Communism was launched by a pamphlet, The Communist' Manifesto, one of the most striking pieces of politi- cal pamphleteering in history. The Manifesto was published in 1848 by two German social theorists, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. For the next half century the ideas of Marx and Engels were kept alive, with little or no organization, backing or sup- port, by the propaganda of their disciples. Marx and Engels had not concerned themselves seriously with problems of or- ganization, strategy or tactics. They dealt most earnestly with ideas. Ideas are the weapons of propaganda. On Nov. 7, 1955, on Red Square at the great annual celebra- tion of the anniversary of the Revolution, I heard the speaker of the day, Lazar Kaganovich, one of the xi members of the Presidium, shout: "Revolutionary ideas know no frontiers; they travel through- out the world without visas and fingerprints. When Marx and "First, I shall do all I can to assemble and study available data, both in the United States and Great Britain. Then I shall visit Russia and some of the satellites. However, no one, no matter how well prepared, can tackle this subject and expect to produce a rounded and balanced report which meets the high standard of scholarly accuracy Britannica seeks. For ex- ample, there is no way of checking the reliability of information and statis- tics given by Communist government officials and publications. Even riskier than the judgment of such material is the assessment of public atti- tudes and opinion. This latter effort is beset with pitfalls even in weStern countries and under the best conditions. In Russia, it is im possike for a foreigner to do better than hazard guesses. Mine I hope will be informed guesses, even educated guesses, but manifestly no visitor can know for sure what is the reaction of a kolkhoz manager to the Soviet propaganda, or even of a youngster in a tekhnikum. "Western diplomats stationed behind the Iron Curtain, who for years have studied the unfolding techniques of the Communists, differ on the depth and the breadth of Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist indoctrination. Some experts think the degree of loyalty to Communism varies in inverse ratio to the privileges and economic status of the individual; e.g., the higher the educational and economic level, the greater the degree of loyalty. Experts will argue on both sides of such a question as the attitudes of the Poles towards the Russians and how these attitudes will affect the amount of pressure the Polish people will stand before breaking into open revolt. Yet it is imperative on hundreds of similar questions that we reach the best judgment we can. Thus although I shall approach the writing of this report with humility, I shall submit it for publication with no apology."� EDITORS' NOTE. Engels issued the 'Manifesto of the Communist Party' there were no radios, no telephones, no aeroplanes. But the immortal ideas of Marx and Engels penetrated into all corners of the world and into the consciousness of the working masses of all countries of the globe. All the more so in the 20th century, the great ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, which have gripped the world, have been and will be victorious. . . It is precisely the strength of these ideas which explains the fact that in October, 1917, our party, which had only 240,000 people �a drop in the sea of the people�led millions of workers and peasants to storm capitalism, to defeat capitalism and the land- owners." Nikita S. Khrushchev put this more succinctly in his visit to Burma in Dec. 1955. He said, "Ideas can't be stopped by rifles." Nicolai Lenin, a Russian disciple of Marx and Engels, who founded the Communist Party as we know it today, and who conceived it as a tightly knit, strongly disciplined, conspiratorial body, wrote as far back as 1905: "Propaganda is of crucial im- portance for the eventual triumph of the Party." A professional revolutionary, agitator and organizer, he thought of propaganda as the chief instrument by which he could attain his goals. He himself was a propaganda genius. Reprinted from 1956 Britannica Book of the Year. � 1956, by Encyclopmdia Britannica, Inc. Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 WILLIAM BENTON, MRS. BENTON AND JOHN in Moscow. Mrs. Benton had suffered a leg fracture several weeks before their departure During the long years of his exile from Russia, before his dramatic return in 1917, he was forging a party around himself. For this party he developed a revolutionary doctrine. Lenin's only weapons during this period were the written and spoken word. He had no other way to impose his ideas on anyone. Through his skill as a debater, his deftness with the pen, which found expression in Iskra ("Spark"), a newspaper he published, and through his qutput of polemical pamphlets, he rose to the leadership of the revolutionary movement which destroyed the Czars and achieved supreme and absolute power in Russia. "Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolution- ary movement," Lenin said. Thus Communist Party leaders have been theoreticians as well as men of action; they have sought to persuade the Russian people and the world that Com- munist doctrine is the only means to salvation. While Lenin perceived that theory could serve as a formidable striking weapon against his enemies, he also recognized theory as an instrument of discipline within the Party itself. Those who hold control of the complex theory of the Party also con- trol the interpretation of that theory, and thus they control the policies and actions carried out under the theory. Acceptance of the basic Party dogma by the members winds up as total con- formity and obedience. Lenin continuously stressed the primary role of propaganda and agitation as instruments to win intellectual converts and to prepare the masses for the Revolution. In his pamphlet of 1901, Where to Begin, he emphasized the role of propaganda. In 1902, in What Is to Be Done, he said: "We must go among all people as theoreticians, as propagandists, as agitators and as organizers . . . the principal thing, of course, is propaganda and agitation among all strata of the people." The Party itself, as the most thoroughly indoctrinated and disciplined element in the popula- tion, was to serve, in Lenin's words, as "teacher, leader and guide" of the masses. The success of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, according to Lenin, was due to the Party's ability "to combine force and persuasion." This combination is not unique in history. Cer- tainly force has been a major factor in most historic crises-- and not least in the fall of Czarist Russia. It was the degree of emphasis on persuasion, however, and its deliberate and sys- tematic character, that was the distinctive factor in the success of the Oct. 1917 Revolution. The combination of coercion with persuasion has remained the hallmark of the Soviet rule ever since 1917. Seizure of the power of government by the Communists did not obviate their need for propaganda; on the contrary it placed an even higher premium on it. In order to consolidate the victory of the Revo- lution, the deeply ingrained habits and attitudes of whole popu- lations had to be eradicated and replaced with new ones; and that could not be done merely by force and coercion. Lenin said that the Communist regime must be prepared to sacrifice two whole generations. He anticipated the thorough indoctrina- tion of the third. Today, it is Lenin's third generation that is surging through to power. Joseph Stalin, first editor of Pravda, who followed Lenin a t the helm of the Communist Party, subscribed fully to Lenin's doctrines in the field of propaganda. Although Stalin's regime became notorious for its repressive measures and its use of terror, Stalin pursued the path of persuasion as relentlessly as he conducted his purges. In his lection on "The Foundation of Leninism," .in 1924, Stalin said, "The masses, likewise the mil- lionfold masses, must come to understand this need (for the overthrow of the old order) . . . Our task is to see that the masses shall be provided with opportunities for acquiring such an understanding." At the i8th Congress of the Communist Party in 1939 Stalin said that political leadership is "the ability to convince the masses of the correctness of the Party's poi.. icy . . . If our Party propaganda for some reason goes lame . . then our entire State and Party work must inevitably languish.'' These views of Lenin and Stalin, via Marx and Engels, must be thoroughly comprehended by anyone who wishes to achieve even a rudimentary comprehension of the Russia which is per- haps today more obscure, more the riddle and the enigma and the mystery, than at any time since 1917. The New Phase When Stalin died in 1953 his heirs to power, who had been hand-picked by him as members of the Politburo (now called the Presidium), undertook to rule as a collective leadership, at least temporarily. They began to exhibit a new style of tactics, somewhat more flexible, somewhat less harsh, than Stalin's. In the field of propaganda this partly took the form of a modera- tion in the "hate the West" and "hate America" themes. This intensive campaign, which portrayed the United States as a "warmonger," is perhaps a noteworthy example of the fact that Communist propaganda doesn't always work. The Russian peo- ple don't like war any more than do the American people. They didn't like the sound of "warmongering America." This gave them agonizing thoughts of war. They greatly preferred Khrush- chev's "spirit of Geneva" which seemed to promise peace. Post-Stalin propaganda conceded that there was some evi- dence of progress in the West. For example, it said, in effect, "Comrades, let us not be arrogant; we can learn something about productivity from the West." It loosened slightly the reins on Soviet writers and artists. It permitted a limited in- crease in the admission behind the Iron Curtain of western visi- tors of whom I became one. It actually encouraged Soviet "mis- sions" or "exchanges" sent to the West. Because these developments seemed startling by contrast with the years since V-J Day, the western press described them and dramatized them thoroughly. This had the temporary effect of obscuring the elemental fact that (I) the aim, (2) the scale and (3) the organization of Communist propaganda remained Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 essentially unchanged. The aim of Communist propaganda, internationally, is to ad- vance the Communist cause throughout the world, and thus to swell the power of the Soviet Union. Gigantic though this inter- national effort is, it is small compared With the effort that goes into the propaganda at home in the Soviet Union and among the peoples of the satellite countries. In this article I do not at- tempt to deal with Communist propaganda world-wide, though the international impact of Soviet propaganda is enormous, as I first learned in my service as Assistant Secretary of State when I was responsible for combatting Russian propaganda throughout the world. This article will deal with some aspects of the Communist home propaganda, with some of the techniques of indoctrination and with their impact. The home propaganda is a real "satura- tion program," dominating every aspect of Soviet life. It is employed on a massive scale, previously unknown in history. At its simplest level, it is used to mobilize the energies of the people for the accomplishment of concrete tasks, such as gath- ering the harvest or raising labour productivity. Such propa- ganda at its most useful level isn't too unlike our efforts to promote highway safety or to recruit more nurses. At its best at this level the message the Soviet government projects to its own people is no more than any government might reasonably seek: loyalty to the regime, hard work, vigilance against the enemy, belief in the future. At its most ambitious, the aim of Soviet propaganda is so daring that we in the West can hardly comprehend it: so to condition its citizens that they think of their personal freedom, and their personal ambitions, as identical with the purposes of Soviet society. The latter of course are wholly determined by the Communist leadership. To any American who has been sensitized to propaganda, the most striking single impression he gets as he passes behind the Iron Curtain is the all-embracing character of the ,effort. In America he may think of propaganda in terms of advertising, or political campaigns, or crusades for good causes, or even in terms of slanted news. In Russia he discovers that the rulers seek to convert the total culture into a giant propaganda apparatus. The distinctive features of Soviet propaganda manifestly stem from the Communist theory of government. In Bolshevik theory the Communist Party is to be the "vanguard of the work- ing class," and the leading force in the creation of a new society. On this premise the Party has assumed a monopoly over all means of communication. The Party is wholly intolerant of any competition. It regards itself as the repository of all truth and wisdom. It claims unrestricted authority to impose its views and its will on the people. This claim extends into the most personal and private matters of human existence. In western nations the role of the government in guarding public and private morals is largely limited and negative. Our laws set outside limits to what may or may not be done by the individual, and punish only gross transgression of moral stand- ards. By contrast, the Soviet government seeks to mould the be- haviour of the Soviet citizen not only at work, but also at home and during leisure hours. It seeks to guide all his thoughts and attitudes�not only toward his government but also toward society in general and toward his fellow men individually, in- cluding his closest associates and even his relatives. Soviet indoctrination is a function not only of the traditional instruments and channels of communication, the so-called mass media�newspapers and periodicals, broadcasting, motion pic- tures�but also of literature and art and the theatre, of schools and religious institutions, and also of farm and factory and in- deed of every form of social organization. In Russia no human Benton Reports � activity can be Okified for its own sake. All must be sub- ordinated to Communist dogma. The Organization To supervise its vast propaganda program the Communist Party has built an elaborate machinery of policy making, ad- ministration, control and censorship. At the top is the Agitation and Propaganda Department of the Communist Party itself� the so-called Agitprop. This is attached to the Party's central secretariat. It is headed by one of the top leaders in the Soviet hierarchy, though his identity is not always known to us. My casual acquaintances among Russian officials, cordial and out- spoken on many subjects, did not respond to questions about Agitprop. Agitprop gives central direction to all propaganda and indoc- trination activities and agencies. In this it controls the press. It is also aided by a number of governmental departments, the most important being the Ministry of Culture. The Agitprop, the Ministry of Culture and the All-Union Ministry of Higher Education operate throughout the U.S.S.R. Corresponding and subordinate organs, in both the Party and the government, exist on all territorial-administrative levels. F. Bowen Evans, in his book, Worldwide Communist Propa- ganda Activities (1955), reports: "Agitprop has an elaborate organization with about a dozen subsections: for the Central (Moscow) Press, for the Local (Provincial) Press, for Publishing Houses, for Films, for Radio, for Fictional Literature, for Art Affairs (theater, music, paint- ing, etc.), for Cultural Enlightenment, for Schools, for Science, for Party Propaganda, for Agitation (administrative), and for Propaganda (administrative). As a Party organ, rather than a government organ, Agitprop for the most part does not itself engage in propaganda operations. Its primary role is that of planner, guide, supervisor, and policeman over the Government agencies which actually do the publishing, filming, broadcasting, etc." (With permission of The Macmillan Company.) The propaganda of indoctrination is so all-pervasive that it ceases to be a measurable activity, and tends to become identi- cal with the total culture of the country. But some notion of the scale of effort within the U.S.S.R. that goes into "propa- ganda and agitation" is shown by Evans' estimate that in 1953 the Soviet government used 375,000 propagandists full-time and another 2,100,000 part-time. These total about the size of the U.S. army. Another ro,000,000 intellectual and professional workers were expected to engage in propaganda work as a con- dition of their employment. This latter figure is roughly four times the number of college students in the United States. Throughout the Soviet Union there are about 6,000 special schools maintained by the Party devoted exclusively to train- ing professional propagandists. These have an enrollment at any one time of 185,000 students. Above these 6,000 schools are 177 regional "propaganda colleges" to train 135,000 "alumni" of the local schools. This is 50% more than the total college and university enrollment of Great Britain. And above the regional schools are a dozen higher institutions giving "grad- uate training" to several thousand advanced students. Commu- nist leaders throughout the world, such as Mao of China, Togli- atti of Italy, Duclos of France, and Browder, Foster and Dennis of the United States, have attended these advanced schools. Propaganda is by far the biggest business of the U.S.S.R., except for the Soviet armed forces. It is so much the spirit and the essence of Communism that I visited Russia in an effort better to understand it, and to prepare this article about some of the significant but little understood aspects of it. My present goal of course is merely to report some observations and inci- dents which will help some of us Americans to achieve greater Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Right: Interior of the lzmailovskaya station of the Moscow subway. The ornate architectural style was criti- cized by the government in 1955 Below: A slum area, about 100 yd. behind the United States embassy. This photograph was made in 1953 by a U.S. college student editor Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 � Left: General view of the city, showing on the left a new office building of the popular Soviet architecture style Above: The Tsar Kolokol bell in the Kremlin. Damaged in the fire of 1737, the bell was never hung Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 MOSCOW Photographs of the Soviet capital. The three on this page and the two on the top of the facing page were presented to Sen. Benton by an editor of lzvestia, the Soviet govern- ment newspaper in Moscow Top: The Kremlin, former palace of the czars, now housing the central government offices of the U.S.S.R. Right: Statue of George Dolgoruki, prince of Rostov, legendary founder of Moscow. The statue was unveiled in 1947 during the 800th anniversary of the city Below: View of a principal building and fountain of the agricultural exposition r 43 approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH in Moscow. Sen. Benton observed that he saw few persons under the age of 60 in Soviet churches understanding of what I believe is the most terrifying com- petitive threat in the competitive co-existence which seems to lie ahead. I shall concentrate here first on education because this is most fundamental and for the long pull most important; sec- ondly, on the press; thirdly, on the use of the arts for Com- munist propaganda; and finally, some rather casual comments on broadcasting, the motion pictures and on my visit to three of the satellite countries. In my concluding section I seek to sum up. I also give some of my further personal observations. Of the influence of religion I shall say only that the regime's slightly more tolerant attitude today does not mean that it is relenting in its militant atheism; it may only mean that, in Russia, religion no longer worries the Party. I saw very few Russians under age 6o in church. Khrushchev said not long ago, "Religion is still the opiate of the people, but we are strong now and not afraid of it." I fear the Communists have been largely successful in the U.S.S.R. in their antireligious propa- ganda, though I suspect the total success of this campaign is often exaggerated; many feel there are deep religious convic- tions still in the hearts of tens of millions of Russian people. I shall pass over, briefly, the entire area of "face-to-face" propaganda which occupies such a large proportion of the trained propagandists. There are two major types. One con- sists in formal lectures, conducted at a fairly high theoretical level and often before large audiences. This is technically called "propaganda" by the Communists, and is the responsibility of the Society for the Dissemination of Political and Scientific Knowledge. The Society has more than 300,000 members. Its lectures range from animal husbandry to the philosophical underpinnings of Marxism-Leninism. It also publishes propa- ganda pamphlets. The Society claims to have organized roughly 1,000,000 lectures in 1954. The other is called "agitation" and takes place within groups of about io to 15 people. Problems and ideas are handled in simplified fashion, one idea at a time. The local Party units select and train agitators. Agitation meetings are usually short sessions held at places of work. The agitator's job is to con- vince his listeners of the wisdom of Party decisions, and to exhort them to their best efforts. More than 2,000,000 serve Reports as agitators. In American sa es language, this is the "merchan- dising at the point of sale" for which the educational system, and the mass media, have prepared the way. I do not present many of the following observations as other than cursory. They are subject to continuous re-examination The information I have sought for this article is not easily come by. I spent months studying the available data, both ir. the United States and England, before leaving for Russia. I submit the data I have assembled, my reportf on interviews with high Russian officials, and my personal observations-1 submit these in full knowledge that they only scratch the sur- face. But I submit them also in the deep conviction, after a lifetime of experience in the field of communication, that a far better understanding of this subject by the government and people of the United States is vital to our future welfare. THE SOVIET EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM In the Educational Institutions the Foundation Is Laid and the Basic Attitudes Shaped for Communism "Just because we don't teach Marx in the first ten grades, please do not conclude that our lower schools are non-political. Our aim is Communist education." This was Ivan Kairov speaking, the Minister of Education for the so-called Federated Russian Republic. This republic is by far the largest and most important of the 16 republics which make up the U.S.S.R., embracing both Leningrad and Moscow and extending from the Baltic to the Pacific. I interviewed Kairov in Nov. 1955. His ministry is responsible for the entire educational system through the first ten grades. It has insti- tuted a ten-year program which is now compulsory in the 122 biggest cities and for about 70% of all young people; it is to be compulsory everywhere by 1960. The ten grades are at least comparable to the average high school education in the United States. The Russian youngsters go to school six days a week and io months a year. Further, students at all levels work much harder than students in Amer- ica. The parents know that this is the sure way for their chil- dren to get ahead. Indeed, the Soviet government felt it necessary a few years ago to pass a law prohibiting teachers in the lower grades from assigning homework for Sunday, so that the child would have one day off in seven. "We teach history as we Communists see it," the Minister continued, and he showed me the beginning textbook in Russian history, which Soviet youngsters encounter in the fourth grade, at age io or II. He explained, "The children are not intro- duced in any depth into the significance of the class struggle in the fourth grade, but of course they are instructed on the part played by the landlord versus the worker throughout the history of Russia. Such instruction prepares them for the con- cept of the class struggle which they will be taught in the higher grades, and after they finish the ten-year school." At my request, Kairov later sent me copies of four history texts used by Soviet youngsters for the fourth, eighth, ninth and tenth grades. The text for the fourth grade, which went to press in June 1955 in a printing order of t,000,000 copies, has for the first two sentences of its introduction; "The U.S.S.R. is the country of socialism. Our Fatherland is the greatest coun- try in the whole world." A few lines later the introduction goes on, "Unlike other countries, the U.S.S.R. has neither capitalists nor landowners. In the U.S.S.R. there is no exploitation of. mart by man. We all work for ourselves, for the who Le society." The changing propaganda themes of the Soviet regime, as they are laid down by the Communist Party to fit changing Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Benton Reports needs, are hammered constantly, uniformly and insistently through the press and through broadcasting, films, the theatre and other media. But it is in the schools that the foundation is laid and the basic attitudes shaped into Communism. It would be a serious mistake, however, to assume that Soviet education consists entirely, or even largely, of Communist in- doctrination. By any standard, the educational achievements of the Communist regime have been impressive. The most strik- ing of these has been the virtual elimination of illiteracy among people under 40. In its issue of Oct. 30, 1955, Pravda claimed that 6o,000,000 Russians are now going to school, adult classes included. Kairov told me that, before the Revolution, 30% of all Rus- sians were illiterate. Mr. Palgunov, managing director of Toss, gave this figure as 65%. An American study puts it at 55%. (These differences may partially result from using earlier or later boundaries.) Advances had been made under the last Czar. A few years after the Communists took over, they threw themselves into the task of education with fervour. Their slogan seems almost literally to have become, "Education instead of butter." Kairov told me that the first "law of Universal Obligatory Education," making four years of primary education compul- sory, was passed in 1930. In 1947 the requirement was raised to seven years for urban children. The big decision to introduce universal obligatory ten-year education by 1960 for everyone was taken in 1951. The mayor of Kiev, capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, in explaining to me that his city was already on the compulsory ten-year program, said that the city had 6,000 teachers to serve its 16o,000 to 170,000 pupils. By American school standards the U.S.S.R. now has a strong primary and a rapidly expanding and developing secondary sys- tem. Surprising to many Americans is the phenomenal growth of higher education. Today, according to figures which Western students of the U.S.S.R. accept, about 1,80o.000 are enrolled in universities and higher institutes, and about another 2,500,000 are enrolled in the tekhnikums�vocational schools above the ten-year school system. In some fields, notably technological, the Soviet Union is producing graduates who compare favour- ably, both in number and quality, with those in the United States. Indeed, Allen Dulles, head of the U.S. Central Intelli- gence Agency, and Admiral Lewis Strauss, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, say the Soviet output of engineers and technical specialists may exceed that of the U.S. by as much as 50%. This figure becomes the more startling when one recalls that the Russian economy is probably no more than one-third the size of that of the United States, and thus, presumptively, the demand for engineers internally should be far less than in the U.S. The Soviet educational system is designed to meet the needs of the state, not the needs of the individual. The system has two predominant goals: first, to produce trained specialists to meet the demands of the expanding state economy; second, to pro- duce graduates with the "correct" political orientation, that is, loyal and unquestioning believers in the government and in Communism. These two goals have not always received equal stress under the Red regime. In the 192os, political indoctrination was the more important goal, and educational standards suffered as a consequence. Since �945 the demands of the national economy have received the greater emphasis. Today, in the technical institutes, the Minister of Higher Education, Vyacheslav Yelu- tin, told me that 90% of study hours go to the students' special field of training, with only the balance of o% to ,the teaching of Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism. But of course ro% over the years adds up to a great deal of studying; and, one may be 110 sure, to% over t years adds up to fully adequate indoctrina- tion by Communist standards. Early Communist Experiments Before the Soviet regime came to power in 1917 the prevail- ing educational system of Russia, modelled largely after the German, was one of the most liberal features of the Czar's gov- ernment. The pre-1917 Russian schools had high academic standards. They were open to children of all classes and both sexes (though on a "separate and unequal" basis). Primary education, was developed and supervised largely by the local self-government units. Most secondary and higher schools were run by the state. Only about half of all Russian youngsters of primary school age were going to school in 1914, though on the eve of the 1917 revolution the system was in process of great expansion. If only one-half the children were in school in 1914, and in an educational system which was expanding, this statistic would seem to support the illiteracy estimates of 55% or 65%. It was not until the 1920s that the new Communist govern- ment had the time and power to formulate and put into effect a Communist educational policy. At first, this policy consisted largely in doing away with anything that came from the past. Regular subjects of instruction were abolished and a "core cur- riculum" substituted; entrance requirements, examinations, grades and academic degrees were swept away. All work was done in student "brigades." Testing became "collective." Each brigade had a leader who answered for the group, and the bri- gade received a collective mark. The authority of the teacher was considered one of the "reactionary vestiges" from Czarism. Students were allowed to contradict the teacher, or even to denounce him on political grounds. Since the students were recruited largely from worker and peasant families, while the teachers were of necessity holdovers from the old regime, plenty of friction resulted. Teachers reported that they feared denun- ciation if they failed to give a Komsomol (member of the Communist youth organization) a good grade. Standards of quality, especially in higher education, fell to a low point. The national economy was suffering because the schools were gradu- ating second-rate technicians, rather than the top-flight engi- neers and scientists who were needed in the Soviet drive for industrialization. So with the first Five-Year plan, in 1928, the government began to withdraw its previous educational "reforms" and to reintroduce examinations and individual grading. It re-estab- lished regular academic courses and reaffirmed the authority of the teacher. By 1955, education, with liberal doses of Com- munism added, had largely returned to the structure and stand- ards of prerevolutionary times, but on a vastly expanded scale. However, many features are new; the system is not only univer- sal in the primary grades, but, throughout, it is coeducational and secular. Further, it is closely and continuously geared to the demands of the national economy. The Ten-Year School The curriculum of the Ten-Year schools has not been greatly altered in recent years except for the new constant drive to step up and improve "polytechnic" instruction. Since many Ten- Year school graduates have considered themselves too good to work with their hands, the Soviet press continually conducts a strenuous campaign on the "joys of manual labour." It empha- sizes the values of "polytechnic instruction" in the Ten-Year schools to prepare young people for work in industry and agri- culture. The hours formerly devoted to the Russian language and lit- erature, and to psychology and logic, have been cut. Kairov Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Benton Reports explained to me: "We are working toward a school that is gen- eral and polytechnic, all in one." Even in the first four grades, a course of study which the Minister called "The Study of Labour" has been introduced. In the city schools, shopwork perhaps similar to what in the United States is known as manual training has been added; in rural schools. gardening. This manual program is increased to two hours a week in the fifth and sixth grades. From the eighth to the tenth grades the students engage in what are called "Practicums," dealing with work techniques. All students in the last three grades must do two weeks of sum- mer work in factories or on farms. In addition, all schools have "Voluntary Circles" for these grades, for groups interested in practical hobbies, from making radios to keeping bees. "We are trying to work out a combination of study and productive labour," says Kairov. Youth Organizations Against Kairov's statement that "our aim is Communist edu- cation" comes the discovery that less time is given to formal indoctrination in Communist ideology than one would suppose. All courses of all kinds, even in the natural sciences, are admit- tedly slanted towards so called "materialism." Yet an over- whelming percentage of the study courses goes to academic and technical training. The schools can and do lean on the press, radio, TV and other media for continuous and daily indoctrination of the young (as well as the old). For the young, however, there is still another source of ideological indoctrination. Almost all Soviet children go into the Young Pioneers at age nine, in the third grade, and remain until age fourteen, in grade seven. Then in large numbers they enter the Komsomol, the youth organization for youngsters from 14 to 23. These two organizations are perhaps equally responsible with the schools for the early stages of formal indoctrination. The statutes of the Komsomol, which Khrushchev claims num- bers 18,000,000 members, require each member to study Marx- ism-Leninism; to engage in constant efforts to raise his own political literacy; to explain the political line of the Party to the masses of youth; and to provide an example of socialist attitudes toward work and study. From the Komsomol comes a large reservoir from which the Party can cull its future leaders and functionaries. At any one time about 40% of the 18,000,000 members of the Komsomol are engaged in serious study of Marxism-Lenin- ism. Komsomol leaders are continually pointed out in the Soviet press as young people who should set examples of loyalty and devotion to the regime. In the schools, they seem to carry a large share of responsibility for the maintenance of discipline and loyalty to the regime among students. If a student refuses to go to his job assignment, or shows unwillingness, the Kom- somol representative will be the first to explain to the student why he should go. This seems to be the advanced Soviet tech- nique of what was called "student government" when I was at college. The Tekhnikums Some children are siphoned off into specialized schools called tekhnikums at the end of the seventh grade. There they take a four-year course in their chosen vocations. Others enter the same schools after the tenth grade for two or two and a half years. In 1955 it was'anticipated that the admission of seventh grade students and those under 16 would shortly be abolished. The tekhnikums are not a Soviet invention, but a develop- ment from the Czarist system. There is no equivalent for them in the United States. Perhaps the best name for them in Eng- lish would be vocational junior colleges. They are designed to � produce "middle-trained" specialists not only for industry, but also in music, art, medicine and education. A tekhnikum gradu- ate in medicine would occupy a position intermediate between a doctor and a nurse. The tekhnikums are run by the great industrial ministries such as the Coal and Coke Ministry, the Ministry of Commu- nication, the Ministry of Agriculture, etc. One estimate placed the total number of these tekhnikums throughout the U.S.S.R. at "more than 2,000." This was given me by the prorector of the University of Moscow who says the total tekhnikum enrol- ment is 2,500,000. I visited a tekhnikum in Kiev. This is one of 50 maintained throughout the Soviet Union by the Ministry of Coal and Coke. (The All-Union Ministry of Higher Education, however, ap- pears to set minimum standards for all tekhnikums.) The prin- cipal told me that when his tekhnikum opened i, years ago it had only 255 students; and that it now has 2,500 students and 85 teachers. He offers tenth grade graduates two and a half year courses in four specialties�construction of coal mines, construction of coal mine buildings, construction of roads for coal mining enterprises, and construction and use of communi- cations equipment used in the coal mining industry. The equipment, the models and laboratories astonished me. The principal said that the equipment, some of it covering rooms roo feet long, was worth "millions of roubles." The principal was particularly proud of a scale model of a "Palace of Culture" made by one of his students. A Palace o f Culture is a kind of local club which is supposed to symbolize the progress of the Soviet people. There must be tens of thou- sands of them throughout the Soviet Union and thousands more going up all the time. The model was about 12-ft. long by perhaps 5 ft. deep, with electric lights, and a tiny simulated moving picture flickering inside. All the details of construc- tion were visible when part of the "Palace" was lowered in order to give a cut-through. Indeed the student builder was also on exhibit, a tall, gaunt poetic-looking boy with a receding chin. I asked the principal how he could put such a boy into a coal mine. The problem of getting boys voluntarily to apply to a tek- hnikum in the field of coal mining interested me because I know that coal mining isn't exactly a popular career in the United States. The principal suggested that the problem is one of propaganda and promises. The boys from the Ten-Year schools are "guided" by the government into the tekhnikums where they are most needed. This is done by what the principal called a "process of popularization." I did not have the chance to in- quire whether salary incentives were also involved; for example, whether a coal mine foreman is paid more highly than a young man who is being trained to go into journalism, which sounds, at least to me, like a more pleasant and interesting occupation. Applicants have an opportunity, on a certain day each year, to come in and look the tekhnikum over, and listen to repre- sentatives of the school, before they make up their minds. presumed that there must be those whose academic grades failed to qualify for the universities or higher institutes. But the principal says this isn't necessarily so. Some talented young people who might qualify just don't want to wait the five years of the university or comparable higher education, before they go to work. They apply for a tekhnikum because it takes only 40% or so% as long. They, and others who may develop aca- demic aptitude in the tekhnikums, have a second chance for the university or higher institute if they stand in the top 5% after their 2 or 2-1- years at the tekhnikum; this 5% goes on into the higher institutes purely on the recommendation of the faculty, and without examinations. Thus the bright student in Russia can have, at the expense of the state, all the education he Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 4 Benton Reports wants and can absorb. However, s udents who go from tekhni- tional institutior.the 1/ 0 hum to university or institute from this top 5% must remain in the same field in which they were trained in the tekhnikum. The rest of the tekhnikum graduates serve at a job to which they are assigned for three years. Only after the expiration of this job assignment may they apply for admission to a higher educational institution. To be admitted they must pass the competitive entrance examinations and they must continue in the fields for which they've been previously trained. The Rus- sians feel the need for skilled technologists too keenly to allow them the free choice to shift fields. For most students, of course, graduation from a tekhnikum is the terminal point in their formal education. But many continue to struggle and strive: This is why one sees the young people in the bookstores at the sections featuring scientific works; they buy books on nuclear physics in preference to novels in order to get ahead. This is why I found every desk occupied in the great reading rooms connected with the scientific sections in the Leningrad library. The silence was absolute; the con- centrated zeal of the students was a bit breath-taking; and the rooms are jammed by day with workers from the night shifts of the factories; and by night with those from the day shifts. It can't be stated too often that the surest way to get ahead in Russia is by studying and by learning. Promotion can't often be won, as occasionally in the West, by inheriting money or influence or by marrying a dowry or the right girl. Universities and Higher Institutes The University of Moscow, with its gleaming new 33-story tower, is, after the Kremlin itself, Moscow's most arresting structure. The prorector of the university, Professor Vovchenko, told me it cost the astonishing sum of 3,000,000,000 roubles. At the present inflated four-roubles-for-a-dollar exchange rate that would be U.S. $750,000,000; even at the lowest estimate I picked up anywhere on the rouble, twenty-for-a-dollar, this is U.S. $150,000,000, or more than has been spent for the physi- cal plants of any but a handful of American universities. This greatest of the Russian universities is a symbol to all Russia of what lies ahead in the fulfilment of Soviet ambitions in the field of higher education. Vovchenko, s chemist, told me that the University of Mos- cow had graduated 85,000 in its 200 years, 45,000 of these since the 1917 Revolution. It now has 23,000 students enrolled, and turns out 3,000 graduates a year. About half of all students are being trained as teachers. Ten per cent of the graduates are permitted to stay for graduate work (compared with about 5% at the University of Kiev and in the Soviet Union as a whole) and of these, after three years of advanced study, more than 90% earn the kandidat degree. The teaching faculty num- bers 2,000, all of whom must do research, with another 500 who do not teach devoting themselves exclusively to research. (The great new building has 1,900 laboratory rooms.) The univer- sity's annual budget is 250,000,000 roubles, exclusive of con- struction. Vyacheslav Yelutin, Minister of Higher Education, told me that there are 760 institutions of higher learning in the Soviet Union, but these do not of course include the tekhnikums. Vovchenko estimated that 1,825,000 students are enrolled in these higher institutions. (In the United States, about 1,850 institutions are in the "higher education" category, with 2,533,000 students, and of course there are no tekhnikums.) If we add the tekhnikum enrolment, we reach a total for institu- tions beyond those comparable to high schools in the United States of more than 4,300,000�or almost double the post-high school enrolment in the United States. In the U.S.S.R. there are three basic types of higher educa- university, the institute (the latter category including technical, medical, legal and other special- ized schools, but excluding the tekhnikums), and the pedagogi- cals or teacher-training institutes. According to Soviet sources about 90% of all students in these higher institutions are on state scholarships, with the amounts of the scholarships increasing slightly every year that the student remains in school. This largely removes from Soviet education the factor of the economic status of the parents which is so important in the U.S. in determining the educational advantages and advancement of the young people. The fact that, generally speaking, in the U.S.S.R. a student can keep going, at the expense of the State, as long as he can make the grades �this fact is profoundly important when the present Soviet development of its potential manpower is weighed against and compared with the practices in the U.S. The U.S.S.R. scholarships are fixed by the Ministry of Higher Education and they vary in amount from field to field. There must be a technique of persuasion, as in the tekhnikums, to channel students into the fields of greatest need, as judged by the State. The larger sized scholarships will encourage stu- dents to enter in sufficient numbers those fields to which the government gives high priority (for example, scholarships in mining and aeronautics are very high, but scholarships in his- tory are almost negligible). After a male student has been accepted at a higher educa- tional institution, he applies for draft deferment, which is ap- parently automatic. This Soviet draft deferment policy has never been explicitly stated by the government. Before 1939 all stu- dents were exempt from military service. After 1939 all youths from the age of 18 were made eligible for the draft, but it appears (from testimony of displaced persons) that most stu- dents attending schools of higher education obtain deferments not only during their period of study, but also after graduation. Instead there seems to be, especially for students in the fields of science and engineering, some sort of R.O.T.C.-type training: summer camps and military courses are included in the curricu- lum. On graduation these students are commissioned in the reserve. The draft deferment policy, and the exact nature of the military training given, are never mentioned in the Soviet press. The Soviet policy, however, is manifestly designed to utilize youth and manpower so that its sum-total productivity will bring maximum benefits to the State. This policy, in my judg- ment, as it increases in effectiveness, poses a most serious threat to the West, dangerous in war because of its efficiency, and ominous in any form of competitive co-existence we can envi- age. The victory in such competition between the U.S.S.R. and the West in areas like Asia and Africa may well go to the larg- est battalions of technologists trained for export. The academic load of the arerage Soviet college student sounds far heavier than in the U.S. Further, Yelutin explained to me that the higher institutions draw their students from the entire population, and not from any particular segment. He said there are perhaps ioo,000,000 workers in the U.S.S.R., of whom perhaps 20,000,000 could be called "members of the intelli- gentsia." And of the total enrolment in higher institutions, Yelutin says, about 20% come from "intelligentsia" families. He commented, "In admitting students, we don't ask who the father is; we want a cle'ar head." The U.S.S.R.'s 33 universities are directly under the jurisdic- tion of Yelutin's ministry. A typical Soviet university has 12 "faculties"; for example, in physics, mathematics, language, literature, history, biology, geography, chemistry, philosophy, economics, law and journalism. The two universities I visited, Kiev and Moscow, two of the three most important, have six faculties in' the natural sciences and six in the humanities and Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 pproved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Views of Lomonosov State uni- versity, Moscow Left: Palace of Science on Lenin hills, completed in 1953. The building contains all scientific de- partments, a library of more than 1,000,000 volumes and rooms for 6,000 students and .'aculty Below: A lecture by Soviet sci- entist A. I. ()Darin, department of biology and soils Left: Book stacks in Gorky library, Palace of Science Right: Assembly hall, Palace of Science, during bicentenary of the university, 1955 Below: Old university buildings, downtown Moscow, now housing humanities departments pproved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Right: An arithmetic lesson in the second grade of a girls' sec- ondary school in Moscow. Me- chani9a1 counters and the abacus are still widely used by busi- nesses in the U.S.S.R. Electrical computing machines are almost unknown EDUCATION Right: Scientists of the Dckuchayev Agricultural institute in Kharkov using atom tracers to study the absorption of radioactive phosphorus by sugar beet leaves Below: The oral examination is a part of the educational system from the lowest grades. Note the "hero" medals on the male examiner Above: Typical school .building of a collective farm Right: Moscow children pose in front of a modern building in the new primary grade uniforms adopted in 1954 pproved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 FUTURE LEADERS, members of the Lenin Young Communist league in the Hall of Sessions of the Kremlin, Moscow, during the congress of 1954 social studies. If a student is accepted for graduate work, his three years will follow an individual study program which is worked out with his adviser. This is the first time in the Soviet educational process that the student is not following the uniform study plan laid down by the government. Graduate work in the U.S.S.R. is also offered by the research institutes of the Academy of Sciences. The Academy controls and directs nearly all basic and theoretical, and much of the applied, research in all scientific fields in the U.S.S.R. The dis- tinction between doing graduate work in a research institute and in a regular academic institution is not clear to me. How- ever, Vovchenko told me that members of the Academy of Science serve on the Learned Council of the University of Moscow. The first graduate degree, the Kandidat Nauk (Candidate of Science), calls for a level of training roughly equivalent to that of the Ph.D. at a good university in the United States. The second, and the highest, Soviet academic degree, Doktor Nauk (Doctor of Science), is not predicated on any formal plan of -study but requires a successful defense of a Doctor's thesis which involves an original and significant contribution to sci- ence. The degree of Doctor of Science may take 25 years for the holder of the Kandidat's degree to achieve, and many Kandidats are said to spend their lives striving for it without success. There is no such super-advanced earned degree in the U.S. and if my information is correct, our Ph.D. from many departments in many universities is, by comparison, a diploma from a junior college. Yelutin explained that the pedagogical institutes, for teacher training, are under the direction of Kairov's Ministry of Edu- cation; that the medical institutes (of which there are 90) are under the Ministry of Health; that the ioo or more agri- cultural institutes are under the Ministry of Agriculture; the 200 or more technical institutes are under various economic Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Benton Reports ministries. However, Yelutin inistry serves as what he called a "kind of legislative organ for all institutions of higher learn- ing." As Minister of Higher Education, he says, "I follow out the orders issued by the government and also put cut additional regulations of our own." Among Yelutin's responsibilities is certification of all degrees. He confirms and approves all teaching plans and currictffilms. He also has a right or privilege which seems odd to us, and which must be important to the control he exercises. Only he can authorize putting into a book the phrase, "This is a text- book." No university or institute can do this; only the Minister can do it for them. The book publishers, he says can put out what they may regard as textbooks�but they can't say, "This is a textbook." Yelutin's ministry appoints the rector (or director) of each higher institution. Under the rector are two or three deputies: one for academic administration, one for general administra- tion, and the third for Party affairs. The latter has much to say in the matter of personnel selection and policies. Highly important by our standards is the fact that no university pro- fessor has permanent tenure. Any professor can be fired at any time when the authorities, who are politically appointed, judge his work to be unsatisfactory. Each university faculty has a "Learned Council" with some powers; but no one seems clear about how much power. It is clear, however, that the appoint- ment of their members must be approved by the Ministry of Higher Education. The entire question of how rigidly and to what extent the Soviet educational system is centrally administered is not clear. The relaxation of control since the death of Stalin has been evident in education as well as in other fields. For example, there is today wide academic discussion of a so-called "new charter" under which the rector of a university will in future be elected by the Learned Council by secret ballot. But there is no discussion of changing the requirement calling for the approval by the Minister of every professor elected to any Learned Council, nor did I hear of any discussion of any exten- sion of tenure in their jobs to scientists and scholars. Of foreign students Yelutin said, "We are willingly going in the direction of taking more foreign students. When other governments ask us we respond positively." Yelutin continued, "the financing of these students varies. One system of financing is mutual exchange between countries. We have this kind of arrangement with Norway and Finland, for example. Sometimes the students are financed by their own governments. Now there is talk of using the United Nations funds for backward coun- tries to finance students. We expect Indian students here who will be financed by these UN funds." The added that it is "difficult to overestimate the importance of this exchange of students." There are of course thousands of foreign students in the U.S.S.R. Even in the satellites, there are many. Professor Urduig-Gruez, Minister of Education in Hungary, told me there are between 200 and 300 Korean and Chinese students in Buda- pest. When I asked him what they were studying, he replied, "Many are specializing in the Hungarian language and litera- ture." On this I can only comment briefly that Generalissimo Mao must be looking a very long way ahead. Of the 6o,000,000 students Pravda claims, I do not know what proportion are in the institutions for formal education, in contrast with those engaged in what we would call "adult education." The percentage of the latter must .3e substantial, and notably through correspondence courses. In the U.S.S.R. adults keep at their studies because diligence and industry pay off in the form of -advanced education and certificates and diplomas and the rewards that accrue therefrom. Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Summary of Soviet Aims Perhaps a quick way to conclude this key section in this article, and to summarize the aims in Soviet education, is to quote from the Great Soviet Encyclopaedia. Its editors are instructed to produce the final instruction on "the Marxist- Leninist-Stalinist outlook." Their task is regarded as of such supreme importance that they report directly to the top Council of Ministers. In their special volume devoted to the Soviet Union, pub- lished in 1948, they imprinted Kairov's vieWs on the duty of the schools to provide the Communist education. The Soviet encyclopaedia progresses as follows: "To develop in children's minds the Communist morality, ideology and Soviet patriotism; to inspire unshakable love towards the Soviet fatherland, the Communist Party and its leaders; to propagate Bolshevik vigilance; to put an emphasis on atheist and internationalist education; to strengthen Bolshevik will-power and character, as well as courage, capacity for resisting adversity and conquering obstacles; to develop self-discipline; and to encourage physical and esthetic culture." This definition of aims of Soviet education is exactly in line with the subjects of all articles in the 50-odd volumes of the so-called "Great Soviet Encyclopaedia." I spent more than three hours with the editor, B. A. Vvedenski, and with four of his top associates. This subject is naturally of special interest to me as publisher of the Encyclopcedia Britannica. The Great Soviet Encyclopaedia serves to illustrate how the publishing of all books in the U.S.S.R., as with all other media of communi- cation with the people, is directed towards the furtherance of the aims of the Party and the State. The creation of "the new Soviet man" is to be brought about not only by the teachers in the course of the schooling period, but also by the whole system comprising the Pioneer and Youth organizations, as well as by the Pupils' and Parents' committees. The ideological fare doled out in schools today is limited and is accomplished chiefly through the courses in history, litera- ture and geography. One reason no greater indoctrination pres- sure seems required from the lower schools is that the student is surrounded by the government propaganda, everywhere and on all sides, wherever he looks and in whatever he reads. � Some further and more detailed comments by Mr. Benton on the Soviet Educational System The Ten-Year School The Ten-Year school is subdivided into a primary school (classes r to 4); an incomplete secondary school (classes 5 to 7); and a complete sec- ondary school (classes 8 to so). These subdivisions correspond roughly to the U.S. elementary school, junior high school and senior high school. At age seven a child enters the first class. As in Czarist days, he wears a uniform (this his family must buy). He studies the same subjects at the same time as every other child in the republic. Scholastic demands are strenuous, hours are long and discipline is severe. For the first three years, pupils are passed from grade to grade on the recommendation of the teacher, but at the end of the fourth class they must pass written and oral examinations both in Russian and in arith- metic in order to move into class five. From the fourth class on, they take written and oral examinations at the end of every year on a whole year's work. A student's mark for the year depends largely on how he does in his examinations. The marking is from s to r as we mark from A to E: 5 is excellent and i is failing; 2 is "unsatisfactory." For the oral examinations the pupils appear before a special examining board which includes their regular teacher. The course has been sub- divided into about 75 specific topics or questions. These have been printed on tickets which are placed in a bowl in the front of the room. About 20 minutes before a child is called on to recite, he is allowed to pick, his ticket. When his turn comes, he stands up in front of the class and recites the answers to his questions. This oral examination procedure is used right up through university and graduate work. At the end of the seventh year comes the first watershed in the Soviet educational process. For some students, about 30% of the total accord- ing to Kairov, and largely in the rural areas, this is the terminal point of their formal schooling. Benton Reports At the end of tanth class, a special examination is held. All those who pass are graduated and receive a certificate known in Russia as the Attestat Zrelosti (Certificate of Matriculation). Labour Reserve Schools A system of "Labour Reserve schools" was established in 1940 under the Ministry of Labour Reserves to provide a "continuous stream of labour for industry," from both the country and city. While in Russia I asked many questions about the Labour Reserve schools but could pick up little about them. Officials seemed to intimate that they are on the decline, or even in process of being discarded. This may or may not be true. These schools trained semi-skilled workers, largely for heavy industry, and have been a scholastic dead-end. They were filled both by volunteers and a form of draft. Every collective farm had to send two boys or girls from 14 to 17 years of age and two from 16 to 18 years of age per ioo of the population, counting males and females between the ages of 14 and 55. City quotas were reassigned yearly. The Labour Reserve schools were run on a military pattern. The stu- dents lived in barracks, and it was a criminal offense to leave the school. Youngsters who left were subject to imprisonment in a labour colony�a forced labour camp�for a term up to one year. Tuition, room and board were free. Upon graduation a student had to work four years at an as- signed job, again at the risk of criminal liability for non-attendance. There has been considerable evidence that these schools were unpopular with young people because of the harsh military life and the almost cer- tain lack of future. Obviously these schools provided a place for the less talented students, and there has been some evidence that the transfer to Labour Reserve schools was used as a punishment ("If you don't do better this term, we'll recommend you for a Labour Reserve school"). There were three types of Labour Reserve schools: so-called trade schools, which had a two-year course and trained semi-skilled workers, for ex- ample, miners, metal workers, mechanics and electricians; railroad schools, which had a two-year course and trained railroad workers; and schools of "factory-plant instruction" with a six-month course, which trained relatively unskilled factory, mine and construction workers. In the fall of 1954 a new kind of technical school was opened by the Ministry of Labour Reserves�the technical academy. These schools, with a one to two year course, are built on the base of the Ten-Year school, but they are distinct from the tekknikum. Admission is wholly unselec- tive; i.e., anyone between the ages of 17 and 25 who applies is enrolled without entrance examinations and there is no tuition. The students are trained largely for work in heavy industry�the metal and oil industries, industrial construction, railroads, mining and agriculture�and the stu- dents are obligated to work on an assigned job after graduation. Higher Institutions The various types of higher institutions have many features in com- mon. Largely, they draw their students directly from the Ten-Year school system, or from the tekhnikums. The admissions policy for all types of higher educational institutions (referred to as vuz in Russian) is the same. The prospective student files an application for admission to a specific faculty (department) of a given institution. Then he must take four or five entrance examinations. For example, the required entrance examinations given by the physics faculty at the University of Moscow are in mathematics, physics, chem- istry and the Russian language and literature. The only students exempt from the entrance examinations are the honours graduates from the Ten- Year school (called medallists, since they win a gold medal) and the top 5% of the students from tekhnikums. Since 5940 all higher educational institutions have charged nominal tuition and compensated for it with a system of scholarships that blankets almost everyone. While the course of study at a university or institute lasts five years, at a pedagogical institute it is only four. The curriculum for every "specialty" (major) is laid down by the Ministry of Higher Education. The courses are taught much as in the United States with lectures, lab- oratory work and group meetings. The io% of every student's course- load devoted to lectures in the field of indoctrination cover the first three years only, and are devoted to Marxism-Leninism, history of the Com- munist Party, and dialectical materialism; all the rest of the courses are in the student's field, beginning with very general subjects and becoming increasingly specialized until, in the fourth and fifth years, the students concentrate wholly on their specialties. Very few electives are allowed, and they must be in the student's major. Thus, except for political sub- jects in the first three years, and a foreign language, a Soviet advanced student takes no subject outside his field. The Western idea that a physi- cist might want to take a fine arts course, just for his own edification and increased breadth of interest, seems wasteful to the Soviets. Every graduate from the technical institute must serve for three years at a job assigned by the relevant ministry. He (or she) is criminally liable if he refuses to accept a designated job or if he leaves his job. (There are a few exceptions; a wife cannot be assigned to work in a different city from her husband.) The job assignment practice, although alien to the West, does not seem to be unduly resented in the U.S.S.R. Complaints, according to refugee reports, are made about particular assignments, not about the practice itself. The students' attitude, it is said, is that the State has educated them and that they are repaying the State by their work. In the student's mind, a compulsory job assignment may be an entirely acceptable alternative to a tour of military duty, from which he is exempt. The official Soviet propaganda line is: How lucky Soviet students are in comparison with American students; our Soviet students have jobs waiting for them when they graduate, while the unfortunate American graduates have to pound the pavements and haunt employment offices. A student admitted to graduate work, in order to obtain the kandidat Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Benton Reports degree, follows a course of study laid down by ln viser, and he must pass certain examinations. He must hand in and publicly defend a kandidat thesis. This usually takes three years after the five years of the university. The Faculties of Higher Institutions Higher institutions are divided into faculties (departments), headed by a dekan (dean), and each faculty is organized into kafedras (chairs). For example, the mathematics faculty at the University of Moscow is divided into the kafedras of mechanics, differential equations and others. It is around the kafedra that graduate work and university research are organized. The highest in the academic ranks is a professor, for which rank a doctor's degree is theoretically necessary. Next comes a dotsent (who can be compared with an assistant professor) of whom a kandidat degree is required. The lowest rank is that of an assistant which is similar to that of our instructor. The most important academic body in a higher educational institution is the Uchenyi Sovet (Learned Council). The Council is supposed to co- ordinate the academic and research work of the different faculties and kafedras. It grants kandidat degrees and recommends the granting of advanced degrees. However, only the accrediting commission of the Ministry of Higher Education can grant the relatively rare and highly prized Doctor of Science degree. The Learned Council also serves as a transmission belt for policy decisions from the Ministry of Higher Educa- tion. The Council does not have any control over the number of students that can be accepted annually or over the distribution of students by fields within an institution. This direction must emanate from the govern- ment or Party in line with the needs of the State. Evening Schools During World War II, evening schools (incomplete secondary and sec- ondary) were established for young people whose education had been interrupted by the war. In the city, so-called Schools for Working Youth and in the country, Schools for Rural Youth were established. These schools continued to increase in number ever since their establishment in 1943-44. They have apparently become a permanent fixture. Adult Education There is an extensive program of adult education, both in evening schools and by correspondence, designed to serve adults who are employed and who are willing to put in long hours of extra study in order to get ahead. The courses of study are supposedly the same as in the regular schools. They are extended over a longer time period. The tuition is half that of a regular school. The extension student must pass entrance re- quirements. He is supposed to take correspondence training only in the field in which he is regularly employed, but it is evident that many students use correspondence education in hope it will help them eventually to change fields. An employed person who enrolls in a correspondence course is legally guaranteed time off sufficient for examinations and labora- tory work. Formally, a correspondence degree is equivalent to that of a regular degree. The same benefits (increased salary and promotion) accrue to the holder, even though qualitatively the standards are not so high. One of the fields where correspondence schools have been used to great advantage is in teacher training. One of the remarkable facts of the Soviet educational system has been its success in training hundreds of thousands of new teachers. THE SOVIET PRESS The Key to the Understanding of Soviet Propaganda and Indoctrination Fifty-four years ago Nicolai Lenin defined the press as an in- strument for "collective propaganda and collective agitation." Further, newspapers were to be a "collective organizer." Lenin would not be disappointed in the Soviet press today. He would enthusiastically approve of its short term values and long range goals. In separate meetings I visited with three top newspaper ex- ecutives of Moscow. They exceed in power and influence any 300 American newspapermen. Colonel Robert McCormick or Roy Howard in their heydays were but cub reporters in in- fluence by comparison with any one of them. They are not so sharp as Lenin in their language�one of them blandly com- mented that, after all, a newspaper is a newspaper, whatever the society�but none would question Lenin's definitions. They are experienced and sophisticated men, attractive men, mani- festly able men, and because of these qualities they are poten- tially dangerous men to the U.S. They were N. G. Palgunov, managing director of the Tass News Agency, the Russian counterpart of the Associated Press and the only source of world-wide and U.S.S.R.-wide news for about 7,000 Soviet newspapers; Constantin Gubin, editor of Izvestia, second largest U. . . . paper, which is the organ of the Supreme Soviet, the highest governmental body in the Soviet Union; and Yuri Zhukov, deputy editor (and foreign editor) of Pravda, organ of the Communist Party, and by far the largest and most powerful Soviet newspaper. All were cordial, and on the whole, I thought, candid. All three vigorously denied that they received editorial marching orders regularly from above, or gave marching orders to the rest of the Soviet press�which is why I qualify my word "candid." All three conceded without hesitation that the Party runs Russia�including its press. In the press as in every activity in the Soviet Union, all power is concentrated in the Party. Palgunov of Tass said, "Of course the Party directs the economic, social and cultural life of the Union. We do not deny that the Party gives the guid- ance,. and Pravda is of course the central organ of the Party." Gubin, editor of Izvestia, also conceded at mica that Pravda, as the Party organ, is more significant than his own paper. Zhukov told me that his chief editor, D. T. Shepilov, devotes more time to his duties as secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party than as editor. I told Gubin I had been authoritatively informed that Izvestia and Pravda had differed editorially in 1934. I knew that Pravda had urged concentration on heavy industry, in the tra- dition of the Stalin era, and that Izvestia had called for greater emphasis on light industry and consumer goods, a view identi- fied with Georgi M. Malenkov at that time. Gubin said the two papers could never differ�they could never have a major dif- ference on an important issue. He said, "There cannot be any difference between the view of the Party, represented by Pravda� and the Supreme Soviet, represented by Izvestia." Palgunov told me that there are more than 7,000 newspapers in the Soviet Union. Gubin gave the figure as 8,000�one of many evidences I received that statistics in the U.S.S.R. tend to be erratic. Of these papers, more than 500 are dailies, with a total circulation between 43,000,000 and 47,000,000. In Czarist Russia there were about Ioo dailies, with 2,500,000 circulation; obviously the steep rise in literacy under the Soviet educational drive has been a factor in this increase. (In the U.S. there are published 1,785 dailies, with 55,000,00o circulation.) In addi- tion to Pravda and Izvestia, there are 23 other so-called All.. Union papers which circulate everywhere throughout the U.S.S.R. The remainder are provincial and local organs of regional and local soviets, unions, Party units, etc. The All-Union papers are said to account for 3o% of the total newspaper circulation in the U.S.S.R. Several ministries pub- lish their own All-Union dailies. For example, the Red army publishes Red Star. The Ministry of Agriculture's daily is said to have a circulation of 1,000,000. The newspaper Labour was described as the organ of the labour unions. The Komsomol, the Soviet youth organization, has its own Komsoinol Pravda. All newspapers are of course properties of the Party or the State as is everything else in Russia. All are thus propaganda organs of the Communist Party. The Soviet press differs profoundly from tha.: of the United States in practically everything except printing presses and paper. There is little resemblance either in purpose or execu- tion. Palgunov handed me a volume of his lectures for the fac- ulty of journalism of the University of Moscow, dated 1955. Here is a sample, and I concur wholly with the first sentence: "In its character and content Soviet information differs radi- cally from the information which is distributed by the bour- geois press. In the capitalist world the press is used by the bourgeois in order that, by misleading simple people, the capital- ists might be able to impose their will upon the workers. In a capitalist society, newspaper information, like all the bourgeois Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 press as a whole, very frequently serves as a means of divert- ing the attention of the popular masses from the truly impor- tant, serious and vital problems. Thus it serves as a means of glossing over social conflicts. For this purpose the press makes a practice not only of incorrectly and tendentiously reporting the facts, but also of tendentiously selecting the facts. Ordi- narily the pages of the bourgeois newspapers are filled with sen- sational, detailed and graphic descriptions of murders, rob- beries, armed raids, street manifestations, trials, scandals in high society and generally with a description of the life of the 'high society,' etc." In the lectures Palgunov said further, "Unlike the bourgeois press, Tass is interested only in facts. The Tass reporter must follow the struggle of the classes; but he must do it objec- tively." Objectivity as we in the West idealize it�the reporting of relevant facts and of both sides of every controversy�is alien to the Soviet publishing system, which is based on the doctrine that "impartiality results in the distortion of historical truth." Being "first with the latest" is not a worry of the Soviet editor. Even major international events sbmetimes must wait their turn, until the Party line has been worked out. There are no "enterprising young reporters" in Soviet journalism, out- doing each other for "beats," no hard-bitten city editors; and of course no salesmen of advertising space! Crime, if it is reported at all, is treated as a shortcoming in Soviet society traceable to the surviving remnants of capital- - ism. It provides the newspaper with the chance to admonish, to lecture, to point up a moral. For example. Sovetskaya Es- tonia, reporting the case of a group of "speculators" whose alleged crimes included the theft and sale of stolen goods on the black market, identified the criminals as people who "(I'd not wish to engage in socially useful work" (as all good Soviet citizens are supposed to wish to do!). The story went on: "The case has ended. The criminals have been punished. But we would like to emphasize something that was not mentioned at the trial, namely, the struggle which our public should wage against speculation, a most shameful survival of capitalism. Un- fortunately, certain public organizations overlook such cases.... The struggle against speculators and their accomplices is the duty not only of the militia (police), the prosecutor's office and the courts, but of our entire population as well." If the exploits of an individual should happen to make news, the treatment is impersonal. The Soviet press has written a great deal about "Stakhanovism." Though the term has not been in offical use for the past year or two, it had been made a household word in Russia, standing for the worker's initiative and resourcefulness in overfulfilling production quotas. It takes its name from one Stakhanov, a miner who accomplished ex- traordinary feats with a drill. But what is known about Stak- hanov himself? Nothing about him except what he did with a drill has ever been considered newsworthy. Society news, when it is reported, resembles the court cir- culars of Victorian times. From time to time it is this news that provides the only clue to the status of one or another high ranking official. The first indication of police chief L. P. Beria's fate was given by a "society" announcement. The list of digni- taries at the opening of an opera failed to include his name. It was confirmed later that at the time of the performance he was in custody. In Aug. 1955, in the early weeks of "the spirit of Geneva"� the phrase of Khrushchev's so widely publicized in Soviet propaganda�so well publicized that most Americans don't even recognize it as a Soviet propaganda slogan�Pravda departed from accepted form to report a unique social affair "in the country." Premier Nikolai Bulganin had invited the entire dip- THE PRESS ROOM OF Pravda and other Soviet newspapers and magazines, Moscow lomatic corps and foreign correspondents to a party. Pravda used such extravagant�for it�phrases as "laughter and merri- ment were heard" and the "mirror-like stillness of a millpond." The Communist Party line in the press has its hero. It is the "social process," as this is conceived by the Party. One day the featured press article may be the coming election to the Supreme Soviet. Another day it may be the celebration of Miner's Day, and what this implies for the "glorious construc- tion of socialist economy." Industrial production and the need for more of it; problems of agriculture; aspects of Party life, such as indoctrination of citizens and supervision of govern- ment institutions�all these are constant themes in the pages of Soviet newspapers. A typical day's offering in the four pages of Pravda looks like this: Page. 1. Unsigned editorial on the status and shortcom- ings of the building industry. Texts of two government de- crees, one instituting the annual observance of "Builder's Day," the other announcing the demobilization of Soviet troops who have served a fixed term of service. Page 2. Detailed, editorialized reports on (a) a compe- tition between the coal miners of the Karaganda area and the Donets basin to outproduce one another; (b) progress of grain procurement by collective and state farms in various regions of the U.S.S.R. Formal announcement of the visit of a foreign prime minister with retinue. Page 3. Article by an official of the Ministry of Building Industry about the problems of the industry. (This serves to reinforce the editorial on page Article by a profes- sor on how best to harvest the current crop of flax. In the column on "Party Life" a letter from a Communist urging better preparation to insure smoother, more productive Party meetings. News briefs (4 or 5 lines each) of do- mestic events. Page 4. An editorialized dispatch from Bucharest about cooperation between Rumanian agricultural workers and their Russian counterparts. Article summing up foreign press reaction, and giving official Soviet slant, on the forth- coming negotiations with the foreign dignitary whose ar- rival was formally announced on page 2. News briefs on foreign affairs (4 or 5 lines each). Reading a Soviet newspaper from cover to cover is a chore entailing ineffable boredom for a western reader. The Soviet press is by its nature dull�except to those for whom it is a matter of life and death or at least a matter of their political pproved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 or economic future, because it is the ke the attitude and line of the Party. Palgunov claimed that Tass has an incoming daily file that averages 1,677,000 words a day, received from (a) its 40 for- eign correspondents, with a total of 200 employees overseas; (b) its exchange services with the Associated Press, the United Press, and other world telegraphic agencies; and (c) its 800 domestic correspondents. He estimates the incoming file of the Associated Press at 1,000,000 words a day, but concedes that the Associated Press, having more correspondents, is better off with its 1,000,000 words. He explains that this is because they are more usable words; that the Associated Press has told its correspondents exactly how many words it wants on each story, or each day, which cuts down the total wordage greatly and improves its quality. Palgunov says Tass sends out daily to its newspaper clients 40,000 words of domestic material, and 20,000 words of foreign material. A four-page newspaper, which is the typical size in Russia, can print only 16,00o words. Therefore, the editors must select what they want from the 6o,000. Palgunov flatly denies there is any direction from Tass as to what the papers should select. He claims that any Russian editor could edit his paper without printing a single word from Tass�if he wished. He quickly admits, of course, that this would prove impracti- cable because without the Tass service an editor wouldn't have any domestic or international news at all. Palgunov pushed at me a batch of the previous day's papers. I picked up three of the top four or five. These had exactly the same headline across the left-hand two columns on the first page, and the same size picture of the same event streaming full width across the bottom. I asked if Tass had sent out instruc- tions to handle this story in this manner. Apparently embar- rassed, Palgunov vigorously denied that the sameness of head- lines and make-up was Tass's doing. He insisted that the identi- cal headlines and pictures were only "coincidental"; that any good editor would give this same play to the story about U Nu, the Burmese premier, which was the big story of the day. He didn't try to explain why the headline position, the headline itself and front page format were exactly the same. I was puzzled by Palgunov's momentary discomfiture. The standardization and uniformity of the Soviet press is as obvious as it is well known. The three papers I picked off the top of the pile, representative of several hundred throughout the Union on that same day, could not have had that identical treatment by accident. Such a meeting of minds of editors on headline and make-up and picture is manifestly impossible mathematically. If Tass doesn't send out such material with instructions to edi- tors, then the instructions must come from somewhere. The following day Gubin of Izvestia laughed at my account of the three papers with identical headlines and pictures, and said that this was "forced news." He referred to "Toss head- lines." But he wouldn't elaborate. He said, "With experience the editors learn how it should be done," and I really believe that this last comment is the key comment on the press as a whole. This is a more important factor than any instructions coming from anywhere. Who indeed wants the responsibility for giving such detailed instructions on any except perhaps the biggest stories, such as U Nu's visit? Thus my over-all impression is that the uniformity of the Soviet press is not achieved by de- tailed internal censorship or detailed instruction by Pravda or by Palgunov or by anyone else. The responsible editors of all papers are hand picked by the Party. They are highly trained in Party matters and discipline, as well as on technical matters. They know how to put out the kind of newspaper the Party wants. They don't have to be instructed in details (except once in a while!). Benton Reports 111 Gubin insists that, far fm having someone over him who must approve his material, he is told by those to whom he is responsible, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (not the same body as the Presidium of the Party), "You're the editor; get your editorial board together and make up your mind what position Izvestia wants to take." Gubin presented me with three issues in which he criticized the Ministry of the Meat and Dairy Industry. The minister was so upset that he wrote a long letter. The Collegium of the In- dustry, according to the letter, had met and agreed with the correctness of the Izvestia criticisms. The letter pointed out that there was "incipient reconstruction" of the ministry's work. It thanked Izvestia for "yielding much that was useful." This ministry, Gubin said, is now more compact. Costs have been reduced, extra departments have been eliminated. Gubin sought to imply that his role is similar to that of an American newspaper in criticism of the government; but he did not suggest that he ever criticized the top figures of the Com- munist Party, or any of the Party's plans or statements. Izvestia's daily circulation of 5,400,000 is drawn in large part from the 5,500,000 deputies of local soviets, and from the administrative commissions under these soviets. A soviet is described as a legislative body, but it doesn't have too much legislating to do because it takes its orders from the Party. Gubin points out, quite correctly, that his news.paper, being de- voted to government, has special importance in the Soviet Union because government itself is most important, e,mbracing as it does the total life of the people�not only their economic life but even their culture. The circulation of Pravda, the Party paper, in Nov. 1955 was 4,900,000, but was to be stepped up about Jan. 1, 1956, to 5,500,000. But it was claimed that Pravda could sell io,000,000 or 12,000,000 copies if it had the needed paper. It flies matrices of its daily issue to regional centres throughout the U.S.S.R. for printing and local distribution. Pravda is very profitable. Its plant prints 20 magazines in addition to the newspaper. It has 5,000 employees. It owns apartment houses, a sanatorium, a secondary school, a school to train printers and a Palace of Culture. And still there is much profit left for the state budget. I asked Zhukov, Pravda's deputy editor, whether the Ameri- can editors and people were right in thinking that Pravda set the line for the entire Soviet press. He replied that when he worked for Komsomol Pravda, that paper had made an effort to set a line so that others would copy it. So, he said, did the labour paper; it also would like to set a "line." And, so he said, would all editors. Thus he was happy that Pravda now makes this same effort. In this explanation we have an example of the skill of the Soviet leaders in dialectics: thei:: skill in dodging the direct question and seeking to divert the answer into other channels. Zhukov knew that I knew that the answer to my question was a simple affirmative. Indeed, he confirmed it as he went on, "Some think that top members of the Communist Party read and approve every article in Pravda. This is not title. But of course Pravda reflects the line of the Party." Zhukov, foreign editor of Pravda, as befits his role in setting the line and tone for the treatment of foreign news for the entire U.S.S.R. and satellite press, talked more about politics than about Pravda. The second Geneva conference was in session at the time I spoke to Zhukov, and "contacts between East and West" was one of the questions on its agenda. Some days before, U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had announced that the United States would abolish the requirement that American passports must be specially validated for travel to the Soviet Union and certain other east European countries. Pravda and Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Benton Reports other Moscow newspapers were printing editorial articles on the desirability of "more East-West contacts." No word of Sec- retary Dulles' passport announcement had been allowed to pene- trate the news columns of the Soviet press. When I asked Zhukov what was the reason for his paper's total silence about this key item in the world news, his reply was that space was "limited" in the four-page Soviet newspapers! Zhukov's views on foreign policy, as distinct from journal- ism, I shall not report except for the key point, which is an example of the propaganda line of Nov. 1955. He said: "One could argue at length as to who is to blame for the loss of trust after the second war. Let us leave that to the historians. The main thing now is not to allow this little flame which has been kindled at Geneva to flicker out. "The American people are practical. They will understand that the two countries must start where we now are. We now have two sides that are equally strong. If the two sides were not equally strong, there might be some reason for one or the other to make compromises or concessions. But today there is no better starting point than exactly where we are. Indeed there is no other. "To put it crudely, you of the United States must not go after false Utopias. Don't think that you can make the Bolshe- viks retreat. This is impossible." This was his way of saying that the United States must ac- cept the hard fact of the injustices Communism has worked on unwilling peoples in many parts of the world. If America wants to remedy these injustices, Zhukov intimates, what is she pre- pared to offer Russia in return? Frederick Barghoorn of Yale university has called the Com- munist Party "an ideology in arms." The press is on the Party's front line of ideological artillery. As an easy example of com- plete Party domination, we may well remember how the entire Soviet press, which had been cannonading against Naziism day in and day out for years, suddenly changed its tone to one of friendship and mutual regard within 24 hours after the Ribben- trop-Molotov pact was signed in 1939. Some observers minimize the effectiveness of the Soviet press because of its dullness. But I am impressed with the fact that approximately 43,000,000 Soviet citizens buy the dailies, and tens of millions more buy the 7,000 other papers. I'm impressed by the fact that the press calls the tune to which others march. I favour continuing the efforts of the Voice of America and the B.B.C. (British Broadcasting Corporation) to bring straight news to the Soviet people, even though only part penetrates the Soviet jamming. I favour bringing top Soviet journalists to the United States to see for themselves what we are like, even though they will be required when they return to be critical of us. I favour formal demands that the position taken by western statesmen be fairly reported. I favour negotiations for the circulation of western newspapers and periodicals within the Soviet Union. I favour consistent pressure on the Russians to cease and desist their costly jamming of our broadcasts. I like Secretary Dulles' idea for an exchange of radio programs on domestic networks. I am not optimistic that any important improvement in the Soviet press, from the western point of view, will come about except as Communist Party strategy or tactics dictate. Every column, every story, every editorial will continue to promote the Communist Party line, to the complete exclusion of any- thing that interferes with that line. This is a major area of the Communist saturation strategy� that everywhere the Soviet citizen looks, and in everything he reads, he finds nothing but the promotion and glorification of the aims of the Party. PROP ANDA AND THE ARTS The Most Diverting and Perhaps the Most Transient of the Soviet Propaganda Assaults Olga Bergholtz, a Soviet writer on art and literature, recently voiced a criticism that would have been impossible before Stalin's death: "Our Soviet theatre has lost its theatrical quali- ties . . . Love has disappeared almost completely from our lyrical poetry, just as nude bodies have disappeared from our paintings, and movement has gone out of our movies. There the characters do nothing but sit and stand and talk, and above all take part in meetings." What Mme. Bergholtz was complaining about, though she couldn't and didn't say it directly, was the Communist concept of "socialist realism." That is the phrase used by Soviet propa- gandists to prescribe the goal for Soviet artists, novelists, play- wrights, musicians and movie makers. With this phrase as their cloak, the politicians convert the creative artists into propa- gandists. With it they have stultified the great tradition of the arts in Russia. On Dec. 19, 1955, the United Press sent a dispatch from London stating that "The Communist Party newspaper Pravda has complained that Russian music, while full of 'socialist real- ism,' is dull." The dispatch continued, "Soviet music and musi- cal criticism have resolutely taken up the position of socialist realism, gained in the struggle against formalism, naturalism, aestheticism, cosmopolitanism and against the neglect of clas- sical heritage and manifestations of antipopular bourgeois ideology." In Leningrad, Moscow and Kiev, in Warsaw, Budapest and Prague, I asked the "cultural officials" what the phrase "socialist realism" meant to them. The words and ideas used to describe it are among the most interesting and diverting I encountered on my visit. Further, they show the dialectical skill of the Russians in defense of attitudes which seem to us preposterous. "Socialist realism" was established as the basis of all the Soviet arts in a resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1932. This decreed "the creation of works of high artistic significance saturated with the heroic struggle of the world proletariat and with the grandeur of the victory of Socialism, and reflecting the great wisdom and heroism of the Communist Party." When � I entered the Soviet Union at Leningrad, my first exposure to "socialist realism" in painting and sculpture came in that city at the art school of the Soviet Academy of Art. I believe I am the first American to visit this school since the 193os. It is one of the two leading art schools of the U.S.S.R., the other being the Academy's school in Moscow. The dean at the Leningrad school gave me this definition: "Socialist realism is realistic art understandable to the masses of the people." The paintings themselves, in room after room of the school's exhibit of work of present and past students, reminded me of the illustrations that used to appear in the Saturday Evening Post and Collier's back in the 1920s, except that the themes were different. The technique is what our American artists of those days called "commercial art"�and, I suppose, still do. In one of the art classes I visited, I turned to the dean in front of three finished oil paintings, which seemed to me to be competently done by commercial standards. They were large paintings, perhaps 24 in. by 40 in. in size, of a woman in bright coloured clothes and with a not unattractive face, and I asked the dean how anyone could determine which of the three was best. All seemed to me to be the same. The dean shrugged his shoulders and said that sometimes it was impossible to deter- Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Benton Reports mine the best among works of equal me . In such cases he assured me that more than one artist is given the prize. But he insisted that there were often differences which I might be unable to detect. In the rooms of exhibits there were hundreds of paintings by former students including some dating back to the period before 1917. In the post-1 of 7 rooms (the earlier period was represented inconspicuously in the back rooms) were countless scenes of Soviet heroes. There were no boys and girls; no families and no nudes; no attractive or beautiful designs or arrangements of lines and colour; no mirth and no gayety; no impressionism, abstractionism, surrealism or any other kind of ism. I walked through room after room of huge canvasses showing Lenin making orations, usually with a young black-haired determined Stalin sitting next to him; showing farmers resolutely putting their hands to the plow; showing generals grouped together pointing triumphantly at their charts, gesturing onward to a victory that seemed certain; showing Stalin in heroic size and posture. I commented that the art of Russia, in addition to being "realistic." was certainly grim. The Leningrad school has five faculties�painting, drawing, sculpturing, architecture and "history and interpretation of art." The most talented child students�about 175 to 200 of them in Leningrad�are selected when they are only ii years old from the fourth grade of the ten-year educational system. (There must be a high mortality rate, since the dean says the school has only 700 or 800 students.) Others take examinations and enter after the ten-year school, at about 17. These older students take a four-year course, almost wholly vocational, with five hours a day of drawing and painting. The associate director, who accompanied the dean and me on our tour, assured me, "men like Picasso had to go through years of painting of the kind we teach here before they could develop individuality." This statement later seemed extraordinary to me, as I looked back on it. It implied that there may be some- thing beyond "socialist realism," and something even better. This was the only such implied admission that I received any- where from any Russian or satellite citizen. (In Moscow I was told by an American correspondent that Picasso, himself a member of the French Communist Party, had said, "There is no art in Russia; just portraits of generals loaded with medals." In reply to this, Gerasimov, president of the Soviet Academy of Art, and a painter of what I call the "Stalin school," retorted: "We respect Picasso as a fighter for peace; but he's no artist.") As I left the Leningrad Academy I saw two large blank can- vasses, perhaps to ft. by 15 ft. in size, lying on the floor at the top of a great staircase. I asked what they were for. The associate director told me that they were for the pictures of Marx and Engels which were to be painted for the coming great holiday, Nov. 7. I raised my eyebrows and asked how long it would take to paint these giant pictures. He said, "Two days. We can of course in an emergency do them in eight or ten hours; they are just copies of photographs." "Just copies of photographs!" This is one way to judge Soviet art and its slogan, "socialist realism." But it isn't the only way. I pursued my inquiries in Moscow. Mr. Nazarov, a deputy minister of culture for the entire U.S.S.R., and not only a trained dialectician, as most Soviet officials seem to be, but eloquent as well, as many also are, said to me: "We emphasize the theme of labour in art and literature because everything comes from labour and everything should go to labour." Nazarov continued, "All Soviet literature and art pursue the most lofty aims of mankind. I do not say this as an agitator, but as a fact. As to freedom, our American critics are misled. Ask any artist or man of etters here whether he is free. His answer will be 'yes.' He can pick his theme. He can deal with it as he wishes. The issue is how one defines freedom. Socialist realism is not a stereotype. On the contrary, it gives the artist the opportunity to manifest his individuality to the full." This statement isn't true by our standards. If the artist wants to support hiniself as an artist, he must paint as he is told to paint. By western standards, Russian paintings can only be called stereotypes. But I. do not claim that Nazarov did not believe what he said. He has been trained, for example, to use a tortured definition of the word "free." Such usage is an instance of the Communist propagandists' trick of first appro- priating, and then debasing and bastardizing, the great words of western civilization. Even more eloquent, and more dialectical, was Nicolai Skachko in Kiev, deputy minister of culture for the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. To my question, as to whether poli- ticians set the standards for artists in their efforts to convert all artists into propagandists, he replied, "There is no particular author for our standards. They are the work of the collective The philosophical basis for them is of course in Marx. Lenin and Stalin were the people who worked out Marx's philosophy applied to the arts. To understand socialist realism you must understand dialectical materialism. Materialism has a great and long history, and dialectical materialism is even more complex." Skachko went on, "The method of socialist realism gives the artist an opportunity to project the developing world; it is the method by which the artist portrays the objective world around him, the world that exists independently of the artist's will, the world that is everybody's world." This explanation was delivered with emphasis because the deputy minister could see that I wasn't in agreement. He kept giving new definitions and examples. It almost seemed that he couldn t imagine that he could fail to persuade me. He was himself an example of how deeply imbedded runs the Communist indoctrination, even in men of high intelligence and training. Indeed, this is perhaps the most marked among the most highly placed. The minister continued, "Things are constantly dying out and are being born. The artist must stress the latter, what is being born, rather than what is dying. The artist is an active participant in our life, and by his works he takes part in the new life." All this must sound pretty reasonable, even appealing, to large numbers of Soviet artists who have never heard anything else. I'm sure that many of them can't even- imagine anything else. And of course all this brings them to heel as tools of the propaganda apparatus of the Soviet State. Skachko continued by explaining that "socialist realism" was more than just duplicating photography. It mast portray an image, he said. Thus when an artist paints a woman kolkhoz (collective farm) worker, he must "catch the image"; he must "project the depths of her soul." The minister waxed enthu- siastic. "In her eyes," he said, "I see a woman�more than a woman, I see a mother�I even see more than a mother�I see that someone loves her. And beyond all this I see that she is performing an heroic deed in her work a t the kolkhoz. This image is realism; the rest is photography." What the government is after in this case, of course, is motherhood and high productivity for the kolkhoz. Towards these ends, they prostitute the artists. To my question, "Should the artist paint the weak side of life?" the minister replied affirmatively. But he explained that the weakness should be painted only so that it can be elimi- nated. He told me of a painting called "Discussion of the Two." In the Soviet schools, the marks used in grading the pupils' work run 5, 4, 3, 2, f�and 2 is "unsatisfactory." The minister said, "Here you see young people condemning�by Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 411, Benton Reports their postures�the behaviour of a omrade who got a 2." Her in this painting, he said, is "socialist realism." And so it i The Soviet government in this case is using the artist to sham and cajole students to greater effort for the greater glory o the fatherland. "Is the artist in the Ukraine free to paint what he wants and as he sees it?" I asked. "His theme is wholly up to him, said Skachko. "It is his personal affair, with no restrictions.' Then came the big qualification, and in this qualification un happily flows the artist's lifeblood, his chance for a livelihood Skachko hurried on, "The Ministry of Culture does turn to the artist to persuade him to accept certain themes." Skachko was speaking the next day at an artist's meeting. He was going to recommend to them as a theme the new Kakhovka power station. He wanted the artists to go there and work out com- positions "to show the images of the people who created the power station�so that a person looking at the picture can read the whole story of this great achievement by looking at these people." Here in this illustration, we see how, under Communist dogma, "socialist realism" fosters and furthers the aims of the state. There are about 1,000 artists in the Ukrainian S.S.R., said Skachko. I assume that a high percentage must be employed in the propaganda bureaus, in industry and other places where the themes are obligatory if the salary is to keep coming through. But even with other artists, their pictures seemingly cannot be exhibited or shown if they fail to fit into the definition of "socialist realism," or even if they stray too far from the approved themes. Thus Skachko is listened to most intently by those Ukrainian artists who want their daily bread. There have been two periods since the Revolution when artists and writers were under most intensive pressure to conform. These were in the mid-193os and in the years immediately fol- lowing World War II. The pressure now seems to be easing slightly, since Stalin's death. One hopeful sign is that the paintings of the French Impres- sionists, which for years have not been displayed by the Her- mitage in Leningrad, were shipped to Moscow for a show in Nov. 1955. Another is the report of Henry Shapiro on the Moscow annual art show for Soviet artists. Shapiro has covered Moscow for 17 years for the United Press. He tells me that, up until 1952, more than 50% of all pictures exhibited showed Stalin either as the only figure or in conjunction with Lenin or in some other favourable situation. The "Stalin school" still predominates, but the paintings of the Marshal himself are no longer in evidence. Further, Shapiro believes that many Soviet artists have painted things in recent years for their own enjoy- ment and pleasure, well knowing that they could not show them or sell them. He thinks that such paintings, now hidden away, may begin to make their appearance over the next few years. Perhaps an even more hopeful sign is that Gerasimov (not only head of the Academy, but the brother-in-law of Presidium President Klementiy Voroshilov), whose paintings always fea- tured Stalin, admitted recently to Shapiro that he was painting some peasant women taking a bath. This indeed sounds like the Revolution�in Soviet art. In the satellites, "socialist realism" receives obeisance but apparently hasn't yet become the sole lodestar of the arts. However, in Prague, Mr. Stoll, Minister of Culture of the Czechoslovakian government, described "socialist realism" in literature as "in fact a continuation of the great traditions of literature basing itself on Shakespeare, Cervantes, Tolstoy, Mark Twain and Walt Whitman. Socialist realism isn't meant to restrict a writer's style. However, each writer must realize )) � S. LOUD-SPEAKER mounted on a telephone pole broadcasts news and propa- ganda to workers in the fields a harmony; the personalities of the writers must not clash with the interests of society." In Budapest, Mr. Ibos, of the Hungarian Ministry of Culture, who is responsible for 56 permanent theatrical companies� plus the circus !�said that "socialist realism" is "by Gorki from Marx and Engels out of Lenin." But only about one-third of the plays he produces qualify as "socialist realism," the remainder being the classics or "critical realism." The last group are "modern" plays written before "socialist realism" was ever heard of. The director of the motion picture division of the same min- istry in Budapest, Mr. Uzhely, paid his respects to "socialist realism" as depicting "real life, including people at work." He said, "You cannot say that Marxism-Leninism isn't in our life, because it is." He added, "If we show in the life of our people only love, and don't deal with administrative problems, we are going to make an unrealistic film. But if we show only the people's interest in production�with no love, no family� that too will be unrealistic. If we show everybody satisfied, everybody agreeing with the government, that likewise would be unrealistic." When I pressed for an example of a film of criticism, he cited a film he had recently made, The Ninth Room in the Hospital, which "shows that the care of the sick often is not good." All of the foregoing quotations from leading practitioners of "socialist realism" in the arts help to show how Communist dogma suffuses every activity of life, and how it is used as pproved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 IRan all-powerful yardstick to whip the u ling or uncertain into line, and to marshal every recourse of society for the glorification of the goals of the state. Harnessing the Writers Writers are of special concern to the Communist Party, not only because of the influence of their plays and novels and essays, but because the Party is dependent on them for the words and phrases which are the bullets of the propaganda machine gun. And they pose very special problems to the Party. The task of harnessing creative imagination to the purposes of political propaganda is not simple, for great writing usually requires full freedom of expression for the writer. In Commu- nist Russia's upside-down world of the arts, the Party and not the writer orchestrates the emotion and decides what is right and wrong, and even what is ugly and beautiful. Under the Czars the function of writers as critics of society acquired high significance. Political activity as such was pro- hibited, and thus literature became the best means of protest against autocracy. Satirists such as Gogol and pamphleteers like Kropotkin contributed to the revolutionary ferment. The Communists are not unmindful of this tradition. They them- selves most benefited from it. Thus they now take extraordinary pains to try to enlist the loyalties of writers, and to stifle even the slightest manifestation of any trend critical of the regime. For the writer, "socialist realism" has at least two major stable elements. The first is the Party dialectic. This demands a "true and historically concrete expression of reality in its revolutionary development." Of course the only truth it recog- nizes is that of "people struggling for socialism." Everything that favours the development of "socialism," as it is conceived by the Communist Party, is true and must be glorified. Every- thing that opposes it must be slandered and combatted. The second important and stable element is optimism. "So- cialist realism" cannot admit possible failure in the achievement of socialist aims. It must focus on a "happy end," on the final victory of socialism. The exploits and sacrifices of the heroes of .Soviet literature must not be treated as ends in themselves. The cause of socialism is always the end. Reverses and short- comings can never be more than temporary. They can never be attributed to defects in the system itself. They are always caused by alien, by enemy, machinations. In the end socialist righteousness must triumph. This bundle of self-righteous precepts can and has led to absurd, even grotesque, presentations of life. In the years fol- lowing World War II many writers unwittingly fell into the trap of portraying their villains more realistically than their heroes. Their villains were human beings, with a normal dose of failures and weaknesses. Their heroes were artificial crea- tures who resembled no one the reader could recognize. And this villain-hero reversal of course netted many writers sharp rebukes from the Party. The talented poet, Anne Akhamatova, was personally de- nounced in 1946 by A. A. Zdhanov, a member of the Politburo, in the following language: "Our literature is not a private matter calculated to please various tastes on the literary market. We do not have to make room in our literature for tastes and preferences which have nothing in common with the morality and the virtues of the Soviet people. . . . Her [Mme. Akhamatova's] writings may only plant the seeds of sadness, demoralization, pessimism, the desire to flee away from the real problems of social life, and of isolation from the social life and activities for the sake of the narrow world of personal experiences." Under the pounding of criticism and denunciation many writers sought ways of escape. Some ceased producing alto- Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Benton Reports gether. Others, such as Ak9 atova and Pasternak, found refuge in translating foreign works. Still others fled into the past, into historical themes that seemed safe to handle. Most writers seem to have tried their best to cater to the demands of the Party. The Soviet playwright Nicolai Virta invented the "no-conflict theory" which was well in accord with Stalinist ideology. It was based on the assumption that, since Communism has eliminated basic conflicts from Soviet life, and since Soviet drama is supposed to represent life as it is, drama itself should therefore be "conflictless." The only thing wrong with this assumption is that it flouts reality and produces dull plays. Current topics are the touchiest for the writer. The Party may unexpectedly frown on his treatment and denounce him for "kow-towing before the West," or for "bourgeois national- ism" or any of several other "isms." Some works which were rewarded with prizes have later been found wanting and have had to be revised. Alexander Fadeyev, one of the important names in Soviet literature, had to refurbish his Stalin prize- winning novel, The Young Guard, only two years after it was published. Fadeyev's fault was that he had portrayed the heroic resistance to the Nazi invaders by a Komsomol unit without emphasizing that the feat was accomplished under the guidance of the Party. When authors seek safety by treating their $ubjects as inof- fensively as possible they frequently incur charges of "formal- ism." To be accused of formalism, however, is infinitely better than to be found guilty of the dread crime of "bourgeois cos- mopolitanism." The punishment for the latter is usually expul- sion from the Union of Soviet Writers. Expulsion means loss of livelihood, and manual or menial work if the writer wants to eat. After Stalin's death Soviet writers began to experiment cau- tiously. Vera Panova, a former Stalin prize winner, and Ilya Ehrenburg, best known in the west among current Soviet writers, came out with novels, The Seasons Of the Year and The Thaw. These exposed some of the seamier side of Soviet life. Both books discuss graft and petty thievery, crookedness and double dealing on the part of Soviet officials. They do not conceal other human weaknesses such as dissimulation, drunk- enness and jealousy. They describe the longings of people for a better life, for more comfort and for safety from the secret police. Ehrenburg even had his lovers talking about love, instead of about "higher productivity for the glory of the motherland." Both Ehrenburg and Panova were reprimanded for "exag- gerating" and for an "impermissible exercise of personal arbi- trariness," but they did not lose their membership in the Union of Writers. The writer's need for at least some freedom, if only to make good propaganda outside the U.S.S.R., has apparently now been recognized in the U.S.S.R. However, Soviet literature clearly remains the handmaiden and vassal of the Party. In Moscow I lunched with Konstantin Simonov, one of the half-dozen leading writers of Russia, a poet, playwright and novelist. Simonov had denounced Ehrenburg's book. I asked Simonov if in his new play, "A Love Affair," the lovers talk about the need for higher levels of productivity. He replied, "Well, people do talk about the need for mere production." For their subservience to "State purposes," Soviet writers like Simonov are well rewarded in money and in prestige. They receive generous royalties; and those whose works sell best are authentic "millionaires," with cars and chauffeurs, town apart- ments, country homes in the suburbs and dachas in the sunny Crimea. They are like the commercial writers in the UnAed States. They give the client what he wants, and are very well paid for it. In the United States, the client rnay be CBS, Gen- Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Benton Reports Above: Election poster;- on a Moscow billboard during voting for membership on the Supreme Soviet in 1954 Below: Matrices of Pravda newspaper, Moscow, being loaded into mailing tubes for shipment to outlying cities. Local newspapers have limited space for local news Above, left: Gear cutting machine opera- tor of Sverdlovsk posing proudly in front of sign showing his production pledge of 30 annual quotas Above, centre: A "Hero of Socialist La- bour" broadcasting over a local collective farm radio network, telling farmers meth- ods of increasing production Left: Members of the MVD, secret police, pose on the steps of their office in Alma- Ata PROPAGANDA AND PATRIOTISM Below, left: Honour boards in public parks display photographs and descriptions of workers with outstanding production records Below, right: Parades and celebrations mark important national anniversaries, such as this one in 1954 in honour of the tercentenary of the reunion of the Ukraine with Russia Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 eral Motors, the Saturday Evening Post III GM. In Russia, M it is only the Party. And the Party seeks only propaganda, for its own ends and for those of the Soviet State. Hew Culture Is Organized Astride the entire area of the arts, including the popular arts, rides the Ministry of Culture. This is an all-powerful body in its domains. Its functions are difficult for an American to comprehend. Mr. Nazarov sketched out for me the areas covered by his ministry: (s) the creation and production of films; (2) theatres and music; (3) representative or pictorial art; (4) radio and TV; (5) publishing houses, exclusive of newspapers (not all publishing houses are under the Ministry of Culture, but the ministry coordinates all); (6) the printing trades; (7) books, including the operation of book stores; and (8) cultural enlightenment. Each of these eight divisions is manifestly a gigantic enter- prise. I was particularly impressed by the scope of number eight, which is perhaps comparable with everything that hap- pens in what some people in the United States like to call the field of "adult education." Under cultural enlightenment come the libraries, and Nazarov claimed 400,000 of them; the cul- tural clubs or centres, of which there are scores of thousands; the museums; the village reading houses; and the palaces of culture. These last are the large new and fancy buildings that dot the Soviet landscape and in which the cultural activities of the communities centre. Skachko, whose Ministry of Culture in Kiev covers the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, with its 42,000,000 popu- lation, and which reports up to the Ministry in Moscow, out- lined a somewhat similar scheme of organization. Its theatrical division, for example, operates 74 theatres. There were only seven under the Czar, Skachko claims. The control of the theatres, of course, brings the ministry into close touch with the Union of Writers. How can the writers do their work for the theatre, Skachko wanted to know, unless they know what will be produced? His version of the Moscow ministry's "cul- tural enlightenment" included the supervision of "35.000 librar- ies containing a is,000,000 books which serve 5,000,000 regular readers; and 70,000 amateur 'circles' for painting, drama, ballet and music, with s,000,000 members." * * * * The chief glory of the Soviet Union in the field of the arts remains the ballet, the opera and other forms of music, and the classical theatre. These are the arts which have proved least susceptible to "socialist realism." The contemporary theatre is as blighted in its writing as the contemporary novel; but Shakespeare and other great Western drama is widely popular, along with many of the Russian classics. Simonov told me there are about 550 to 570 full-time theatrical companies playing throughout the U.S.S.R. This is on a scale which must far exceed, several times over, that of all the nations of the West put together. As was shown by the United Press dispatch quoted at the beginning of this section, attempts have been made to convert Soviet music to "socialist realism." For example, composers have been urged to weave folk melodies into their settings. But Soviet music, and soloists, still As for the ballet, going back almost in Leningrad, but the Bolshoi theatre its composers, opera companies, orchestras remain outstanding by Western standards. that is purely classical, and in a tradition two centuries. I visited not only the ballet also the great ballet school maintained by in Moscow. Everywhere in the U.S.S.R. the ballet is superb. There are 30 great companies and ii full- time schoas which take the most talented children at age Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Benton Reports 0 so and turn them out as et performers at age so. But even the Moscow ballet school has its propaganda task. Students come from all 16 of the Soviet republics to be trained in folk dancing. They also come from the "People's democracies." And, of course, the ballet is sent outside Russia, even last year to Paris. The Soviet propagandists seek to make the ballet a syrn- bol of the glory of the Soviet arts. * * * * * * * Sir John Maynard, a not unfriendly historian of Russia, has written, in his Russia in Flux: "The terrifying efficiency of organized propaganda, eliminat- ing truth by calculated suppression and misrepresentation, and dinning the prescribed formulas into the ears of millions pre- pared for their reception by universal educw.ion, is ominous of a more complete regimentation than any merely negative censorship. The Czars only played with control of thought: their worthy and somewhat somnolent (not to say thick-headed) censors passed the most transparently subversive suggestions. The greatest innovation of the Bolsheviks in the 'bear's corner' of old Russia is an efficient administration. Their orders go right through to the bottom. They have harnessed the writers and artists themselves to their censorship: they have secured an effective monopoly of truth, and filled the market with their own brand of the article, and the smuggler of the precious commodity has little chance of competition with merchants in whom all powers are concentrated." SOVIET MOVIES, RADIO AND TELEVISION In these areas as in all other fields of communication, every technique centres on teaching and instructing the public, or at least on conditioning it, according to the lights of the Com- munist Party. The function of providing entertainment or diversion, domi- nant in American movies, is only a secondary motive in Russian movies. In radio and television, the Russian and American sys- tems grow closer together. In the United States, the entertain.- ment is used to attract the audience so that the advertiser can project his sales story; the Soviets use the entertainment to develop an audience for their political propaganda. In the U.S.S.R., the political indoctrination of radio and TV becomes the "commercial." In all three fields, there is a limit beyond which the Russians cannot go with their propaganda. A communication system devoted largely to propaganda or to instruction needs a monopoly position and a captive audience. The Russian newspapers are a good example. The audience for newspapers can be made captive only if there is no other way of satisfying the thirst for news�or if subscription is compul- sory. This is the situation in the U.S.S.R. American editors must compete to catch and hold the readers' interest; the Soviet editors need not. However, the Soviets must limit or trim the dosage of propa- ganda when the audience can't easily be made 2aptive. This is true in the arts such as the theatre and ballet. I: is also true of some of the mass media. A theatregoer can attend the ballet rather than a propaganda play. Or he can stay home or go to the park. The same is true of a movie-goer. The radio listener or TV viewer can turn off the set. Yet the Communists constantly strive for greater and greater propaganda impact through radio, TV and the movies, even at. the risk of cutting down on the appeal of the product to the point where it may lose a part of its audience or its effective- ness. The Communist Party once noted that new plays being developed for the Soviet stage under the guidance of the min- Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 002157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Benton Reports istries of culture were submitted Wexamination to "the local art boards, the Republican Committees on Arts, the Chief Rep- ertoire Board, the Central Theatre Department of the Commit- tee on Arts, the Art Council of that committee, to theatre di- rectors, editors of periodicals and officials of publishing houses." This process will insure simon-pure Communist plays; it will also guarantee in most cases plays that are uninspired and dull. Motion pictures, likewise produced under the ministries of culture, suffer not only from the rigid formula of "socialist realism" but also from the cumbersome machinery which emerges from the foregoing example. Orthodoxy is purchased at a high price, in terms of both boring films and long delays. For the next two years the Ministry of Culture has prescribed a quota of more than 206 original feature films. Based on past rec- ords, it is doubtful that half that number will actually be pro- duced. The topics chosen for filming are keyed to the over-all politi- cal purposes of the Party. A representative post-war film, pro- duced in 1948 while the anti-American campaign was in full swing, was called Court of Honor. This depicts the trial by their fellow scientists of two Soviet medical researchers who have in- vented a new anaesthetic. One of the pair, Losev, is accused of disclosing his discovery to American scientists at a world medi- cal congress in the U.S. Losev tries to explain, "We cannot iso- late our Russian science from the world! People are sick every- where. States have borders, but science has none." But Losev is accused by the Party secretary in the medical institute of "help- ing those who want to drag humanity into the inferno of a new war . . . From whom did you want recognition? From foreign shopkeepers, moneylenders, hired murderers?" Losev is un- masked as a "traitor" and punished. Many forthcoming films will deal with the changes brought about by the Soviet domination over the peoples living in Asiatic Russia and in the former borderlands of Czarist Rus- sia. The post-Stalin regime has pushed the economic develop- ment of these areas vigorously. Khrushchev himself has been the foremost exponent of cultivating the virgin lands and graz- ing areas of central Asia. One motion picture of this venture, The Daughter of the � Steppe, has already been produced. This is the story of a peas- ant girl who leaves her home in a desolate region of central Asia to study in Moscow. Returning to her home as a doctor of medi- cine (a nice achievement in itself) she finds it completely trans- figured. The government's decision to till previously fallow land has caused the area to bustle with the activity of happy and pur- poseful people engaged in "glorious socialist construction." The subject matter of Communist motion pictures also came into my conversation later in Prague with the chief of the film division of the Ministry of Culture of Czechoslovakia, a Mr. Hoffman. When I asked what kind of entertainment films he was making and planned to make, he said that emphasis in the next year would be on "films dealing with Czechoslovakia's great heroes and artists, with special stress on the greatest period of Czech history." I asked him what this period might be and, manifestly surprised that I felt it necessary to ask, he replied, "The period of the Hussite movement, of course." (John Huss, Bohemian religious reformer, was burned at the stake for heresy after his conviction by an ecclesiastical commission in 1415.) The first of three films in a trilogy on the Hussite movement, John Huss, has already been released. When I asked Hoffman to describe for me how this film and the second of the trilogy, Battle of God, now in production, would differ from films on the subject which might have been made in 1938 or even as late as 1947 before the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia, he re- plied: "This is a very simple matter. This is a question of ide- ology. In 1938 our films were ma de from the capitalists' point of view. After 19 11 films have been made from the workers' point of view. We stress the progressive role in Czech history of the people. We show that the people have played the biggest part in the development of this history. In our films the people become the heroes, not the emperors and kings. The great de- velopments of Czech history have stemmed from those that have been ruled rather than from the rulers." The only motion picture theatre I was able to attend in the U.S.S.R. was an open-air movie (not a drive-in!) in Kiev, when the temperature was about 40� F. More interesting to me than the feature was the newsreel. By our standards, it was largely party and government propaganda. It included shots of a mayor's conference in Trieste, featuring the mayor of Moscow; a travelling Soviet dance group in Paris; the arrival in Moscow of two New Zealand officials; the arrival of a British naval fleet in Leningrad, and the departure of a Soviet fleet for a return courtesy call in England; the opening of a new coal mine; a new tractor capable of operating in swampy terrain; and a style show in Moscow, including styles for 6- and 7-year-old children. I was told that the inclusion of footage filmed abroad is new since 1953. I could not get any figures on the number of foreign films shown in the U.S.S.R.. or on the attendance at Soviet movie theatres. With adaptations in the sound tracks of imports from the 15 other Soviet Socialist Republics, as well as from the "People's democracies," there are perhaps in excess of 200 new feature films available annually in the U.S.S.R. and the satel- lites. Mr. Uzhely of Hungary told me he had imported eight Chinese films since the war; also many films from West Europe of which the Italian films were most numerous because they were "most realistic." My interview with Uzhely persuaded me that few American films would be shown in Russia even if Hollywood offered them to the Iron Curtain countries for noth- ing. The U.S. films do not conform to the standards of "social- ist realism." Educational and Classroom Films Bureaucracy and the propaganda strait jacket have blighted the Soviet production of "entertainment" films. But the same cannot be said of either the production or use of Soviet films for education. As Chairman of the Board of Directors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Films Inc., which has pioneered in the production of classroom films in the United States, and which is by far the free world's largest producer of such films, I was particularly interested in Soviet activity in this field. In the U.S. growth has been very slow. More than a quarter century of patient work has gone into demonstrating the value of this new tool for edu- cation. Bit by bit individual teachers, school administrators and school boards must be won over. By contrast, in the U.S.S.R. with its system of decrees from the top down, development in this field, once begun, has been most rapid. We in the U.S. are still ahead in the technique of making classroom films (the Rus- sian films are like our "documentaries," and are not closely in- tegrated into the curriculum). But the Russians seem to be forging rapidly ahead of us in the classroom use of films and in the production of films in quantity. Mr. Kairov, Minister of Education, told me "the use of the film is of tremendous importance." He has the authority and he can demand action. In 1953, he told me, there had been a gov- ernment decree under which "our Ministry of Education is called upon to develop mobile apparatus and films for the schools; and the Ministry of Culture which makes the films for the theatres must make films for us in accordance with our re- quests and directions." Kairov added that the use of films in education is only "at the beginning." Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 � Above: The Russian museum, Leningrad � Benton Reports Left: Scene from a dramatic program being telecast from Moscow Below, left: Soviet sculpture and painting by art students at the U.S.S.R. Academy of Arts, Moscow Below, right: The Tschaikovsky museum in Klin showing the composer's piano - Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 ,z � THE ARTS Right: Scene from the motion-picture version of the opera Boris Godunov with A. Piragov as Boris. The film was in production in 1955 Below: Visitors at an exhibition of 15th-20th century French art displayed at the Pushkin State museum, Mos- cow, in Nov. 1955. Shown on the wall are paintings by Paul Gauguin Bottom, left: Young dancers training for the ballet at a school in Moscow Benton Reports Below: Composer Dmitri Shostakovich performing with the Lenin- grad State Philharmonic orchestra Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 0 Benton But the present activity in this field in t .S.S.R., so far as I was able to observe it, looks like far more than a "begin- ning" when contrasted to where we are in the U.S. and when we recall how long it has taken us to get there. I had a chance to study the 1954 catalogue of films for educational purposes put out by the Ministry of Culture in Moscow. It ran 206 pages and listed 937 titles grouped around the following areas of knowledge: natural sciences, agriculture, technology and con- struction, medicine, preventive medicine, physical culture and sports, culture and art, and fire fighting and traffic regulations. As specific examples, under the section on astronomy there were films on the universe, on thunder and lightning, solar and lunar eclipses, the rainbow, the changing of the seasons, and on the sun. Under physics, there were titles such as A Drop of Water, In the World of Crystals, In the Laboratory of the Sun, Rays of the Spectrum, Marked Atoms, and so on. Many of these 937 films were produced primarily as educa- - tional shorts to accompany feature films in theatres, but are offered also for use on TV or other nontheatrical use, including that in the schools. However, many films primarily for class- rooms are produced by the ministries of culture, and ro of the 33 Soviet universities make and exchange motion pictures. In Kiev, at the Film Studio of the Ministry of Culture, I saw two films which were made for school use. One was a good straightforward picture about the coke industry (very impor- tant in the Ukrainian S.S.R.). The other was titled The Story of the Note Book. It opened with a fourth- or fifth-grade teach- er holding up her pupils' notebooks and admonishing her class on their care. Some of the notebooks had smudges on them, some had fingerprints and some had sloppy writing. She told her pupils that she wanted them to appreciate the large amount of work that went into producing a notebook, so that they would have better respect for their notebooks. The film faded into a still photograph in her classroom. This was of lumbermen felling great pine trees. Suddenly the photograph began to move, and the movie went into a very creditable pictorial dramatization of the making of paper from the pine tree right through to the notebook, with the teacher's voice narrating throughout. At the end, back in the classroom, the pupils were standing up and swearing that henceforward they would treat their notebooks with deserved respect. This was a creditable classroom picture by our standards. In the Ukrainian S.S.R. the schools are served by mobile units with projectors. Some schools have special projection rooms. The goal of a projector-in-every-classroom has not yet been achieved in the U.S.S.R., but at the present rates of prog- ress the Soviets will achieve this goal decades before the U.S. gets one in every four classrooms. I accidentally discovered that the University of Moscow has a professorship on the sci- ence of making motion pictures; there is no such chair in the U.S. to my knowledge. Better to understand the significance of the foregoing para- graph, a reader must cover the opening two sections of this article, and also the final section. If the Soviet Union is going to surge ahead of the U.S. in the adoption and mastery of the modern techniques of education, this can promise an ever- widening gap in their favour in the training of the skilled man- power which will inevitably play a major role in the world of the future. The adoption by the schools of the United States of modern teaching aids and techniques, in which they are now so back- ward, is no longer a mere matter of local concern for our towns and cities. Such adoption is critical to the competitive struggle with the Russians which now faces us whether we like it or not �and which promises to deepen and intensify in the years ahead, with ever greater and greater stakes involved. Reports Broadcasting Broadcasting within the Soviet Union, both radio and tele- vision, is far less thoroughly exploited for propaganda purposes than we Americans might suppose, in view of our own experi- ence with its potentialities in advertising and politics. The Rus- sians know that if they push too hard, the people will turn off the sets. Thus radio and TV are used chiefly for music and the other arts. In Moscow, I talked with Mr. Andreev, deputy in charge of radio and television; and with Mr. Zimin and Mr. Jouravlev, both of whom, although in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, are involved with the exporting, importing and production of motion pictures and thus with TV. In Kiev, Mr. Skachko, Deputy Min- ister of Culture, had enlightened me about broadcasting in the Ukrainian S.S.R. The statements below are drawn largely from these interviews. I believe them to be reasonably accurate, but I have no way of double checking. There were to,o0o,o00 radio receiving sets in the U.S.S.R. in 1953 (compared with r ro,000,000 in the U.S.). In addition there were 30,000,000 loud-speakers in meeting places, on the streets, etc., wired to community antennas. One is exposed to these everywhere. The Moscow radio offers three programs, on three different stations, totalling 48 hours a day, with one of the programs always available throughout the 24 hours. Music and drama constitute 8o% of the total program output (more than 50% is "fine music"). The other 20% is "oral." The oral includes news, international affairs, sports, popular science, agriculture, talks by people prominent in industry and the arts, and children's programs. There are popular-type lectures on economics and Marxism for adults. There is no politics on programs for children under ten "because they wouldn't listen," but for older youngsters "we try to give them an idea of what is happening .n the world� and one lecture a week is to help them understand Marxism as taught them in the schools." � Television stations are operating in Moscow, Kiev, Riga, Talin, Kharkov, Sverdlovsk, Nalchik, Krasnodov, Omsk, Tomsk, and Vladivostok. These now operate separately and independ- ently "but extensive work is under way to develop a relay sys- tem." By 1958 it is planned to have 51 TV stations in opera- tion, tied into a network. Moscow is to have three stations, one using colour. At present r,000,000 receivers are in use (mostly i2-in., I gather, from seeing those on sale in stores), exclusive of those in factories and public places. Six to seven million receivers are planned by 1958. (There were 33,500,000 TV receivers in the U.S. in 1955 but only about 7,000,000 to r 0,000,000 outside the U.S.) Stations are programmed from 7:ro P.M. 12:30 A.M. weekdays, 6:oo P.M. to midnight Saturdays, and Sundays from 200 P.M. until ii :30 P.M. The bulk of TV programming consists of two types: first, the major dramatic productions, both live and on film, as well as operatic and ballet performances, all live, many running 21 or 3 hours or even longer; and second, films, both feature and edu- cational, with the feature films running about go min. each. These latter are available to TV six to eight days after they are released to theatres; the 30-mM. educational films are avail- able simultaneously or even before. Newsreels are made espe- cially for TV, and there are some "exchanges" with other coun- tries. These exchanges seem to include purchases from a com- pany in the U.S. called Tele-News. Mr. Andreev said, "Your American company Tele-News covered the Soviet farmers' visit to the United States very well indeed and from their material we produced three programs." Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Benton Skachko claimed that by 1960 t e Ukrainian S.S.R. would enjoy television coverage of more than 90% of all homes. He said that this would be better coverage than any in Europe. This prediction may show the TV trend throughout the U.S.S.R., and I believe it does. Because the Russians understand propaganda and believe in it, after the full potency of TV has been given an experimental demonstration, they will move rapidly ahead to expand TV coverage. They will seek better to learn how to exploit TV for the benefit of the Party and State. (This will also apply outside the U.S.S.R., as has been true with radio. In Helsinki I learned of a Russian TV station, just over the border, broadcasting Finnish programs. There are no TV sta- tions within Finland, but TV sets are being bootlegged.) Right now, there is a great shortage of sets throughout areas covered by TV. A set costs about a month's pay, but the pay is low. Actually the cost of the set is low in roubles if judged by U.S. dollar prices. Costs will stay low, as with newspapers, be- cause the Soviet government gladly sacrifices revenue in return for propaganda, and TV sets are likely to remain in short sup- ply for years. Why should they not, when they give to the Soviet buyer such easy access to the great world of the theatre, ballet, opera and first-run movies? With such a bill of fare, for a nation starved for entertainment and escapism, the political indoctrination via broadcasting may be as easy for most of the Russian people to take as our commercials have proved to be easy-to-take�for our people in the U.S. * * * * * * * * There is little sign that Soviet leaders propose to relax their monopoly of the movies, radio or TV within the areas they control. Just as they give little indication that they want American movies, so they shrug their shoulders when asked about Soviet jamming of Western radio broadcasts. One top official replied to my query, "that is a political question." Others refused to discuss the i,000 jammers which are now operating and which seem increasingly effective in obliterating American and British broadcasts, and in shielding the Russian citizens from exposure to anything except the orchestration of the Soviet propagandists. SOME OBSERVATIONS ON SOVIETIZING THE SATELLITES Thirty-eight years after the 1917 October Revolution the Soviet Union presents to the West the picture of a full-blown psychological mass disaster. In the satellite countries I visited� the "People's Democracies" of Poland, Hungary and Czecho- slovakia�the seeds of disaster have been planted and are now being fertilized and cultivated. My stays were too brief for much first-hand analysis. Many of my impressions and opinions came from men who impressed me as being competent and knowledgeable and who live in these countries as diplomats from the West�some of them for years and even decades�and whose job it is to understand and report on what's going on. I also interviewed many native-born Poles, Hungarians and Czechs- who are Communist officials. There are major differences between the Soviet Union on the one hand, and these three satellites on the other; there are also very great differences among the three satellites. What they have in common, in the field of communications, is the absolute monopoly power of the Communist Party. Because of this, it is my unhappy judgment that, unless its power is broken, the Party's psychological success in the Soviet Union bodes ill for the satellites during the decades ahead. At a first casual inspection, the Party's propaganda suc- cesses in East Europe do not seem too striking. In Poland and Reports Hungary the Comm nist control of communications goes back only a little more than a decade, and in Czechoslovakia only eight years. Some observers will tell a visitor that the Commu- nist indoctrination and propaganda have thus far largely failed. Western observers stationed in Prague agree that, in Czecho- slovakia, perhaps no more than half of the 35% who voted Communist in the last free election, just before the Communist coup of 1948, would so vote in a free election today. In Hun- gary the estimate is that the Communists could get no more than between 5% and ro% of a free vote, with possibly only i% in the rural areas. Here are five basic differences between the U.S.S.R. and the satellites which must be borne in mind in judging the present progress of the Communist program of indoctrination: (r) Because Communists have been in control of the satel- lites for a decade or less, or one-fourth as long as they have con- trolled Russia, the first generation is still dominant. This is the generation among whom it is most difficult to win converts. (2) Since the Communists are in power as conquerors, they have less success when they attempt to appeal to the emotion of patriotism. This was the emotion so successfully played upon by the Soviet leaders within Russia during World War II. Because within the satellites the revolutionary formula is im- ported rather than native, it does not easily or quickly com- mand the same fervour. (3) The cultures of Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia have for centuries been oriented toward the West, with empha- sis on the standards and achievements of the West, and mixed with contempt�beyond any warranted�for Russia. These coun- tries still remain closer to the West than to the East, both emo- tionally and physically. Reorientation toward Russia is difficult and will take time. (4) Because of the great waves of emigration in the first quarter of this century, millions of families in East Europe have relatives living in the West. Furthermore, the satellite people are more accessible to the West. They have more radios than the Russians, and more success in listening despite some jam- ming. (5) The great majority of east Europeans share religious ties with the West. (And many observers I talked with, including one Communist official, said that church attendance today is higher than before the war; this is most certainly so in Poland, where I learned that the people kneel in front of the crowded churches during Sunday services.) Poland in the last pre-Com- munist survey was 99% Roman Catholic. Czechoslovakia was 65% Roman Catholic and 30% Protestant. Hungary was 63% Roman Catholic and 32% Protestant. Thus in all three countries church and home can combine to try to offset the orientation young people receive through the schools and the public media of communication. The new Communist regimes, under the spur of the Kremlin, are thus confronted with stupendous psychological hurdles, far more difficult than their masters face in Moscow. Their prog- ress must be judged against the enormity of the task. Since they consolidated their political power after the war, they have waged their own type of unrelenting war against old values and tradi- tional attitudes. They have attacked the citadel of the mind with unabating vigour. They have attempted to carry out nothing less than a massive spiritual and psychological revolution. Even to a hurried visitor, the surface manifestations of this campaign of "re-education" are everywhere in evidence. New buildings�for example, the great towering Palace of Culture in Warsaw, "the gift of the Russian people to the Polish people"� reflect the architectural style in vogue in Russia. Theatre mar- quees once ablaze with English, French and German titles now display native or Russian titles. Bookstores, once famous for pproved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 their variety of foreign books in French, 0rman and English, are now replete with Russian Marxist-approved classics. The make-up of local newspapers bears the unmistakable imprint of their Soviet model. But the revolution wrought by the Communists cuts even deeper. Every satellite institution concerned with ideas, from academies of science to the teaching of poster design, has been reorganized. The administrative machinery of broadcasting and motion pictures, the editorial offices of newspapers, the adminis- tration and operation of the opera, ballet and theatre, all were thoroughly overhauled to bring them in line with currently pre- vailing Soviet models. Further, just as in the U.S.S.R., vast ministries of culture have been developed to promote Commu- nism on every cultural and communications front. In the Soviet Union the attack on religion had opened with a frontal assault against religion as such. In the satellites the opening moves were aimed at .subordinating organized religious bodies to the will of Party and State. Instead of seeking to abolish religion, the Communists have dreamt of infiltrating re- ligious institutions and thus corrupting them into tools of the State. In recent years such infiltration seems to have succeeded in Russia with the remnants of the Russian Orthodox Church. The relative restraint in religion with the subject people of the satellites, dictated in part by fear of costly resistance, has not been duplicated in other fields. Perhaps the best quick ex- ample is the educational system. This has been profoundly shaken up. Curriculums and textbooks have been drastically re- vised. Teachers have been indoctrinated and re-indoctrinated. The satellite schools have been geared to turn out capable prac- tical specialists and technicians, just as in the Soviet system. There has been a great increase in scientific and technical sub- jects as in the U.S.S.R. The amount and depth of Marxist- Leninist indoctrination have been even more pronounced than in the Soviet Union. The satellite texts and instruction are even more obviously infused with propaganda. In Poland something like one-fifth of the total number of class hours in elementary and secondary schools are devoted to "political" propaganda and other useful "social tasks." In Hungary, Mr. Ibos, of the Ministry of Culture, described the change to me in the language of Communism: "Our educa- tional system has been reorganized along scientific lines." He meant along the lines of dialectical materialism. Behind the Iron Curtain this is the foundation of "science." In Czechoslovakia even the revised textbooks were attacked in 1951 as too "modest in presenting Marxist-Leninist ideology." They did not teach the youth "to love Stalin and Gottwald . . . the Soviet Army and the Czech Secret Police." The texts failed to emphasize the "community of interests between Czechoslo- vakia and the U.S.S.R." Geography texts were still under the "influence of bourgeois objectivism and cosmopolitanism." The selection of illustrations of bourgeois countries showed "natural beauties such as mountains, rivers and art treasures," and not "the real face of capitalism, such as slums, beggars, etc. . . ." History texts still "treated the pre-Munich republic with kid gloves." They did not show "its true reactionary face" and did not distinguish sufficiently between it and the "People's Demo- cratic Republics." Russian has supplanted other languages as the number one compulsory foreign language. It is required in Hungary and Czechoslovakia from the fifth grade up. In Poland, it is admitted that more than 6o% of fifth graders are studying Russian. My interpreter chatted with Czech children in Russian on the streets of Prague. The Communists claim there are 300,000 subscribers to U.S.S.R. newspapers in Czechoslovakia alone. Soviet cultural outlets have been created throughout the satellites to popularize Benton Reports Soviet literature. Translations of Russian works have multiplied. The satellite peoples, who never previously had much taste for Russian literature, are now being introduced to it with a ven- geance. The sales of Russian language books have shot up. In Hungary, Russian books now sell about i,000,000 copies yearly. In Czechoslovakia the figure is three times greater. In view of the handicaps they faced, the ominous fact is not that the Communists have made but little progress in the con- version of the satellite peoples. It is that they have made same progress, and some significant progress. This often seems most notable among the intellectuals who frequently set the styles for the next generation. The Soviet attempt at the conversion of emire peoples, arid peoples who enjoy a higher level of education and sophistication than the Russians�in a few years or even a few decades�is a major offensive effort which is both new and startling. In my judgment, and I believe most expert observers in these coun- tries concur with this, the Soviet monopoly of power over edu- cation and the media of communications, plus the turn of the generations, put the odds on the Communists, if they retain their power. Much of the popular resistance to indoctrination in the satellites has rested on hopes of liberation. These hopes are fading. As they fade, the grave danger is that the resilience of opposition will diminish. In their new-type psychological war of attrition, the Commu- nists have a powerful arsenal of weapons. To the captive peo- ples, they seem firmly and ever more permanently entrenched in power. The possibilities of success for internal revolt in east Europe are dismissed even by outspokenly disloyal elements. Russia's nearness, as well as the presence of Russian armed forces stationed in Poland and Hungary, discourages hope of successful opposition to the U.S.S.R. even if the present local regimes could be overthrown. However, we of the West, like the satellite peoples them- selves, can reasonably hope that recognition within Russia and outside it will grow that the military strategic importance of these "buffer" countries, so much stressed by military historians, has faded under the impact of the aeroplane and the new weap- ons. Many now hope for a spread of so-called Titoism, and indeed I believe that there is every possibility that Russian policy will develop so as to favour more local autonomy for subject peoples. Inevitably, changes must come within the Rus- sian hierarchy and government; and these may most unex- pectedly and constructively affect the chances of the satellites for a greater measure of freedom. Indeed, the only sure predic- tion about the future within Russia is that there will be changes in the power structure. Although the influence of Western culture is still strong throughout the satellite countries, it now appears to many ob- servers to be a waning asset of the West. This may not neces- sarily turn out to be so, particularly if we in the United States do a better job to keep it alive. Our U.S. foreign policy should seek in every legitimate way to nourish Western influence. We should do far more than we are doing at present�for the refu- gees, in propaganda, in so-called "cultural relations," and on every available front. We should make no promises beyond our capacity to deliver. We should and indeed must play for the long term and not the short. Above all, we must never give up hope. Year-in-and- year-out, and administration-in-and-administration-out, the long range interest and welfare of these captive people should con- tinue to be a major goal in the United Stares foreign policy. This goal should be ours not because we are bound to these people by emotional ties, nor because our efforts may turn out to serve their best interests. This goal should be ours because it is also in America's own best interest and greatest tradition. Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 � A FEW CLOSING COMMENTS SUGGESTIONS The year 1955 saw a small but definite gain in communication between the two great areas of this tense and troubled world. Though the smiling Geneva conference of July was followed by a grim Geneva conference in November, the net at year's end was a slight advance toward understanding, an inching lift in the Iron Curtain. During the year, the "hate" element of Soviet propaganda against the U.S., both at home and abroad, was relaxed. Unfor- tunately, we Americans cannot assume that this shift reflects any change of heart on the part of the Communist leaders. The last years of the Stalin era were unusually severe, even by Soviet standards. The moderate relaxation since Stalin's death in 1953 doesn't necessarily mean more than a return to earlier practices. Stalin's last years were marked by a tightening of the Party's reins over all media of communication and by harsher and ever harsher demands for conformity. In some degree this was due to a hardening of Stalin's own personal attitude in the declining years of his life. To an even greater degree, it was the in- evitable aftermath of war. The urgent needs of the fighting had led to neglect of the ideological training conceived as a neces- sity by Soviet leaders. Further, many Soviet citizens had been directly or indirectly exposed to Western propaganda. Worse from the Party standpoint, many for the first time had come into contact with Westerners and the West. The effect of such exposure was often devastating. The "decadent West," even in some of its less lustrous manifestations in the Balkans, did not conform to the image which Soviet propaganda had painted. The material comforts and the cultural achievements of the "rotten bourgeois nations" astonished the Soviet soldiers. Their exposure to the West revealed not only the backwardness of the Soviet Union but also the falsehoods of Soviet propaganda. To combat this war-induced background, in 1945 and 1946 the Communist Party launched a major campaign of spiritual decontamination. Stalin's aim was to quarantine the entire Rus- sian and satellite populations against "harmful outside influ- ences." With his death, the pressures relaxed. Thus many observers now report a decline in the Soviet regime's ideological fervour. As the Communists had increas- ingly entrenched themselves throughout the 1930s and 1940s, they had been compelled to face up to the problems of day-by- day management of a huge governmental structure. Their dreams of world revolution had receded into the future. Many experts today predict still further recession of this dream into a still mistier future. The heroic days of the 1917 Revolution are remembered viv- idly today by only a very few. The dynamism the Revolution unleashed, and the enthusiasm and pioneering spirit it en- gendered, have long since been muted. Compromises had to be made. Retreats from some extreme positions became obvious necessities. The recklessness which was characteristic of the 192os, say many observers, by now has matured into a new form of relative conservatism. Measured against its highest claim�to alter human nature and create on a mass scale a new kind of human being�Com- munist propaganda has obviously failed. In his later years, Stalin seemed to have decided, as it were, to make a last desperate thrust to create the "new Soviet man," the dream man of Soviet propaganda. He seemed to be seeking to force people to conform to the theoretical standards of conduct which he had laid down. But today as always, the Russians are easily recognizable as human beings like the rest of us, with the same human strengths and the same human frailties. Benton AND Reports Powerful as the oviet propaganda may be, may not the Soviet leaders, when they expected it to change human nature, may not they themselves have been victims of it? If they be- lieved this phase of their propaganda, they expected far too much. They seem now belatedly to be conceding that they no longer hope to achieve the impossible. But if they abandon their effort to create their dream man, they can console them- selves with the fact that all other efforts, which have sought substantially or quickly to change human nature on a mass scale, have also failed. Measured against, and compared with, other propaganda cam- paigns in history�and some have gone on for centuries, in con- trast with the 38 years of intensified Red effort�the Com- munist propaganda achievement must be conceded to be a major one. Within Russia and the satellites, the Red propaganda has of course been bolstered by an unprecedented combination of terror and incentives. But we in the West will make a great mis- take, and such a mistake can prove very dangerous to us, if because of this combination which we so intensely detest, we therefore underrate the achievements of the propaganda. For 25 years or perhaps longer, most Soviet leaders have perceived that the interests of the Soviet state demand the edu- cation of new generations equipped to cope with a multitude of specialized and practical problems. The Soviet system has now reached a point of development where it continues to regenerate itself with an adequate and expanding supply of able and dedicated young leaders and administrators. From this Soviet need for highly trained men may evolve one of the great decisive questions of our century. It is now shaping up within the Soviet Union in these terms: can the Communists increasingly educate a whole people, and in the technical fields up to the highest level of their capabilities, without undermin- ing the people's faith in Communism itself? Can they produce a generation that is creative and original in all fields except in politics and economics�and unquestioning and obedient in these? Allen Dulles suggests a negative answer to these questions. He suggests that universal education, up to a high level, may prove to be the Achilles' heel of Communism. Traditionally in the West, education has emphasized the role of the individual. It has encouraged the open mind, the questioning mind. It has attempted to stimulate originality and creativeness. Such quali- ties have been regarded as vital for the progress of society as well as for the development of the individual's own highest powers. To protect the unorthodox thinker on our Western uni- versity faculties, we give the professor permanent tenure; after his early years, he can't be fired even if he specializes in opin- ions unpopular in his field of scholarship. We have had many experiences which demonstrate to us in the West that, the unpopular theory of today may tomorrow turn out to be the key to wisdom. How then can the Communists rival our progress if they stifle unpopular theory? Can they indeed develop the needed originality and resourcefulness in science and technology with- out losing their monolithic cohesion? Can they develop their productivity to levels which match ours and still maintain their dedication to a dogma that seems to us so obviously warped and cockeyed? My studies and observations lead me to suggest the growing possibility of an affirmative answer to these questions. The Communists have sought to resolve their dilemma by combining high quality in scientific and technical training and research with intensive courses and training in Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist ideology. If they can succeed in this combination, they may have discovered a "formula" more dangerous to us than the hydrogen bomb. If they can succeed in this, then why should Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 illthey not believe they can conquer the wo with ideas rather than bombs? If they can succeed, then time would not neces- sarily seem to be on our side in the period of competitive coexistence that lies ahead. In my judgment, they are succeeding to an alarming and even terrifying degree. They are succeeding not only with the gradu- ates of the teklmikums and higher institutes; they are also suc- ceeding with the average Soviet citizen. I have reported in the section on "The Soviet Educational System" plenty of evidence that the Communists have established the goal to give their young people all the technical education they can absorb. In- deed, they are coming closer to the achievement of this goal than we are in the U.S. I neither saw nor heard evidence that this education is producing resistance to the regime, or even skepticism about it. Harry Schwartz, famous and able Russian-speaking Soviet ex- pert for the New York Times, interviewed soo "men in the street" in the Soviet Union in the weeks just preceding my own visit. I ran into him in Helsinki as he was coming out and I was going in. Very few of the men he interviewed suggested that the form or structure of the Soviet government should be radically changed and of these not one thought it could be. (This is much as it is in the United States: as with us, the Soviet citizen doesn't admit that he wants to change his form of government, any more than we in the U.S. would suggest that we want a Czar or a Soviet dictatorship or even a government like that of France or of England. Many of the people Schwartz interviewed grumbled about specific shortcomings�and this would be true in any country, and most certainly was true in my home town of Fairfield, Conn., particularly during the Roosevelt administration�but Schwartz's Russians, like our own Americans who grumble most, are not critical of the system under which they live.) Schwartz reported that many of his soo challenged facets of the Soviet propaganda which bore directly on problems with which they had had personal experience�such as farmers, let us say, objecting to the setup on the state farms�but few if any ever challenged the propaganda in areas outside their own experience�such, for example, as the Soviet propaganda casti- gating the United States because it opposes Red China's entry into the United Nations. In my interviews I concentrated on government officials, and I came out with roughly the same end-result as that of Harry Schwartz. Some of those I met deplored America's "misunder- standings." Often they seemed to go out of their way to "set me straight," as it were, on both the theory and practice of Com- munism. Some were so absorbed by the manifest destiny of their arguments that they seemed to expect me to accept them. I know there may be many possible explanations for the vig- our of the Marxist arguments given me by high officials. One is fear. The top men with whom I talked had to assume that I meant to report on the conversations. Besides, other Russians were present at all my interviews within the U.S.S.R. except the two with the prorectors of the universities of Kiev and Mos- cow. Another explanation could be a very simple one�natural pride of country in the presence of a foreigner. Still another� and this one the experts call "careerism"�is that those with whom I talked feel as they do because they have a personal stake in the regime; they support it as naturally and easily as a successful American businessman supports free enterprise. In- deed, some Russian experts believe the degree of indoctrination among the Russian people is in inverse ratio to the educational and economic status. But there was, in my judgment, still an- other factor required to explain my interviews. This is the alarming factor. I think the officials really believe what they say. They believe in the superiority of Communism and the right- Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Benton Reports eousness of its cause. The courses in indoctrination and the propaganda have worked. Either that, or the Russian officials are consummate actors, and I do not believe a complex economy like that of the U.S.S.R. can be run by actors. As further confirming evidence of my conclusions, we have the impressions of our diplomats who deal with the Russians at the UN and elsewhere. I have been one of these diplomats, and I believed then, as I do now, that my Russian counterparts be- lieved the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist line. We also have the con- firming evidence of the interviews with refugees from the Soviet Union�refugees who have jumped over the border to the West. Among these refugees, one would expect criticism of the Soviet system to reach its peak. Yet I am told that the interviews reveal that a large proportion flee to the West as a conse- quence of specific grievances, because of miscarriages of the system, and not because of complaints against the system itself. Few of the refugees seek a new system for Russia. The very magnitude of the propaganda program in the U.S.S.R. is bound to have its impact on its captive audience. Even if he tries, the average Soviet citizen can't escape the offi- cial message. It is blared at him from every quarter and at all times. He may not wish to believe what he is told. He may even think he is not heeding the official exhortations. Nevertheless, he assimilates the message. His environment is saturated with it and his mind absorbs more of it than he realizes. He cannot discuss his doubts freely with his associates. He is inhibited in thinking for himself. At long last, unconsciously or perhaps, despite himself, he identifies himself with the thought patterns foisted on him. There is evidence that Soviet officials themselves are aware of this. One factory manager, reminded that the workers dis- regard the slogans with which their plant is festooned, agreed readily. "But," he remarked, "the words are present in their minds, although they don't know it." Many American visitors to the Soviet Union are struck by the uniformity of the political questions asked them about the West. Right now, many of the questions focus on America's Chinese policy, which is being stressed in the Soviet propaganda. Such uniformity is obviously a product of the indoctrination. Many Western visitors are impressed, too, by the confidence many Soviet citizens gratuitously express in the superiority of their Soviet system. Of 13 United States Senators and Representa- tives who visited the Soviet Union in the last half of 1933, not one reported any evidence of collapse; most ex pressed surprise at the atmosphere of confidence and stability. No informed observer�even the most antagonistic�reported any symptoms of incipient revolt. * * * * * * * My over-all impression of the many Soviet leaders I met is (a) that they are able and unusual men who would rise to the top in any competitive society; (2) that they are surprisingly ignorant in certain key areas and that this is dangerous; (3) that they are highly indoctrinated and zealous men and that this too is dangerous; and (4) that they are tough and aggressive men, ready to make many sacrifices to achieve desired goals. Last December Mr. Nutting, Minister of State in the Britis:a Foreign Office, told the U.S. National Association of Manufac- turers at its annual convention that the "summit" conference last summer in Geneva had made one thing clea:: that the lead- ers of the most powerful nations had abandoned war because it is suicidal. Unfortunately we of the West cannot be sure that this is true to the extent that we can reduce our armament budgets. Indeed, there are strong arguments for increasing them. We Americans must continue to build up the so-called "positions of strength" of the West. But we must also assume that Mr. Nutting may be right; indeed we pray he is right. If he is, we Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 pproved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 SOVIET INTERNATIONALISM, 1955 Above: The Bulganin-Khrushchev team visited several foreign nations in an effort to solidify diplomatic relations, especially In the East. The photo shows the Soviet premier and party secretary wrth Prime Minister J. Nehru (right) of India Below: Soviet sports teams invited the competition of western nations, both at home and abroad. A U.S. chess team went to Moscow in July. Shown here is a soccer match between the U.S.S.R. and France in Dynamo stadium, Moscow, in October Bottom: The United States and the U.S.S.R. exchanged several delegations of business and professional experts. In the photograph Soviet newspapermen are interviewing Keith Funston (left), president of the New York Stock exchange, in October pproved for Release: 202 Above: U.S. Ambassador Charles Bohlen and N. A. Bulganin strolling through a park during the latter's picnic for foreign diplomats and newspapermen in Moscow in August Below: Engineers and workmen installing part of the Soviet exhibit at the conference on the peaceful uses of atomic energy held at Geneva, Switz., in 1955 1/06/16 002157682 are in for a long power struggle with th. le and dedicated leaders of the Soviet Union. This is a struggle of a new type, to be waged with new weapons. It is a struggle for which the Western world is little prepared. It boils down to an effort by two great opposing forces to win the faith and confidence of the world's peoples. A part of the pattern of this struggle, this emerging competi- tive coexistence, seems clear. To meet it and to come out on top, we of the U.S. must be prepared to extend help to the "uncommitted" millions of the earth's population. Such help must of course be keyed to the opportunities for economic and for political development and in line with our available re- sources. The concept of helpfulness, of good neighbourliness, of sharing our relative abundance, is not new for us, nor is it foreign to American traditions. Of equal or perhaps even greater importance, we must drama- tize, by example as well as precept, the vision of a society that is at once free, just and strong. If an uneasy truce in the use of force between nations is now in the offing, for the next decade or the next century, the competitive struggle in the field of ideas will remain. If we use such a truce constructively to im- prove America's position in this competitive struggle, the truce can deliver values to us which might make us impregnable. We must seek with renewed vigour to show that our system can be of help to human beings everywhere in the development of their own freedoms and well-being. We must show that we are willing and able to help them develop the conditions of life in their own countries which will enable them to build up the highest standards attainable with their labour and resources. Apart from military policy and economic policy, I have often pointed out that there must be a third major facet to our for- eign policy. This is to give to foreign peoples, to the best of our ability, the information they want and need, and the informa- tion we think they should have about us and the free world, and thus to encourage them and to help them in the realization of their own legitimate aspirations. The Khrushchev-Bulganin trip to Burma and India helped to expose what I believe is "the wave of the future" in. Russia's export policy. Russia cannot match us in the export of automo- biles, tractors or business machines. She proposes to beat us with her ideas and her trained manpower. As Khrushchev left Burma he announced that the U.S.S.R. would build and equip a technological institute in Rangoon, as a gift to the Burmese peo- ple from the Russian people�and staff it, of course, with Rus- sian technicians. Here is an example of how "The Voice of the Kremlin" can prove more dangerous than its armies. We of the U.S. are now called on to compete with a Soviet system of education in technology and many specialties that milks the best out of all available brains�that literally forces its smartest boys and girls to get all the education they can ab- sorb, and then channels them into the usages of the State. As the supply of highly trained Russian technologists continues to expand, focus will centre on competition with the free world in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In these areas the peoples have a tremendous range of practical problems to which trained men can provide practical answers: problems of agriculture, health, industrial production and communications. This is the language they want to talk. We can talk it better than the Russians, if we will so prepare ourselves. We must learn better to share what we know about the operation of an economic system�what we have learned which may in turn help ti en In their hoped-for growth. We must seek to shoiv. tli.44,sin tireir, terms, that they are far more likely to realize theirt.most. cherished ambitions by the methods of freedom, and ingtet'sso- ciation with the free nations, than by totalitarian methoctsfor / in totalitarian company. Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682 Benton Reports air . We must demonstrate t their prosperity and their peace lie with us and not with the Communists. This is no mere propaganda duel. This involves more than ideas, words and manpower. Intertwined into it is the all-im- portant "propaganda of the deed"�our own actions at home and abroad. The Communists�not ourselves�developed the doctrine that words can speak louder than deeds. Now their words indicate that they plan to supplement their propaganda with a much higher quota of deeds. This greatly enhances the power of their competitive threat. One highly trained and indoctrinated Rus- sian engineer, teaching in the Russian dominated Rangoon Insti- tute, can carry a greater competitive threat to us than thousands of Russian books and newspapers. Indeed, he can be even more threatening than the Russian export of many thousands of tons of steel. The Russians now clearly are showing their long-term, confi- dent conviction that education "by order" will defeat education "by will." This is one of the greatest challenges now facing the American people. It is but little understood by us, in part be- cause it has received but little discussion. From the way we learn to face up to it, I like to hope, may come expanded oppor- tunities for many of our young people. Today, perhaps fewer than one-half of our youth with the intellectual capacity to benefit from a college education are getting one. In the great reserve of untrained manpower we have our own potential technicians, engineers and leaders for the free world. Our technical experts must also be trained in the liberal art:3, so that they will understand our great traditions of democracy and freedom. Our own surplus of technologists, willing to serve overseas if opportunity calls, must serve not only as builders of dams and steel mills, but also as representatives of Western cul- ture and of the American Dream. They may be far more im- portant to us than the billions of dollars worth of arms which we ship abroad annually. They can prove decisive in the struggle of the next quarter century. I have used education as a prime example of how we in the United States must improve our methods if we are to hold our own in the new competition. Our reply to the Russians must be: not only the right actions, but the right words�and enough words to describe our actions�and enough of the right actions at home as well as abroad. Foremost in the field of action at home is the need for trained manpower for service overseas. It is one way in which we must now prepare ourselves as we build our defenses of the future, for the further intensification of the duel for the minds of men. We of the West believe that our freedom in the Western world is incomparably superior to Communism. We must wel- come "competitive coexistence" as a status far preferable to the imminent danger of war. In 1955 the Soviet leaders of their own will and for their own purposes created tiny openings in the Iron Curtain which did not before exist. We must now seek to develop such openings into opportunities for improved rela- tionships and for more constructive forms of interchange. We must seek to convert the competition of the future into free and open competition. We must not fear it or allow it to give us the jitters. Above all, we must continue to strive to present, even to indoctrinated Communists, the spectacle of a good society which is a�constant alternative to their own. By being our own best seltietrliy acting rightly and helpfully in the world, and by talking clearly and well, we shall pursue our best and most lasti4 hope of winning and holding the free world. WILLIAM BENTON Southport, Connecticut December 15, 1955 Approved for Release: 2021/06/16 CO2157682