Soviet Propaganda in Illustrated Yiddish Children’s Books: From the Collections of the YIVO Library, New York lyudmila sholokhova
Yiddish children’s book publishing was a relatively short-lived phenomenon in the Soviet Union, with a time-frame mostly limited to the period from the early 1920s to the late 1930s. Despite strict ideological demands often applied to children’s books published in the Soviet Union during that period, numerous writers, poets and artists took an active part in producing Yiddish literature for younger generations. The development of children’s literature in the country aspired to build a ‘bright socialist future’, and was an ambivalent and complicated process with its own evolutionary stages: from the great romantic expectations of the first postrevolutionary years to the symbolic clichés of the 1930s. This essay aims to explore how visual signs of Soviet propaganda were entering the pages of children’s books, increasingly occupying youngsters’ minds, and how visual artists interpreted these symbols.