The real Soviet Union Life

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  • The real facts of life in the Soviet Union were very different
    • The Five Year Plans increased production, but not quality. 50% of tractors broke down. Managers of plants cheated in any way they could, because if they did not reach the target figures they might be shot.
    • A seven day week was introduced. Absence from work become a crime. Skilled workers were not allowed to leave their jobs. An internal passport was introduced.
    • Industrial workers were given higher pay and rewarded with medals. Some social security benefits were provided.
    • As more people crowded into the cities to work in industry, living standards fell. Pay did not keep up with rises in prices. Stalin used the secret Police to force people to accept his changes.
    • Agricultural production suffered as Kulaks destroyed their crops and animals, rather than hand them over. In 1932 to 34 there was a massive famine which killed 5,000,000 people.
    • People who objected found themselves in slave labour camps, called Gulags. These were often in Siberia or in Northern Russia, where the weather in winter was very cold.
    • Here they worked with little food for ten years or more. Many died from exhaustion. Altogether at least 7,000,000 people disappered in the Purges, perhaps twice or even three times the number.
    • Stalin forced some ethnic groups to move from their homelands to siberia. Whole populations were transported from southern Russia to east.


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