[SOVIET PROMOTION OF PHYSICAL CULTURE] 2 pre-WWII brochures issued for annual sports parades
1) Programma vsesoiuznogo parada fizkul’turnikov [i.e. Program of the All-Union Athletes Parade]. Moscow, 1939. 44 pp.: ill. 18,5x10,5 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Tail of spine chipped, number on front cover, pale water stain on lower margin throughout p. 33-36, otherwise very good. One of 7000 copies. Design by V. Maslov.
2) Vsesoiuznyi parad fizkul’turnikov : Programma [i.e. The All-Union Athletes Parade : Program]. Moscow, 1939. 64 pp. 14x11,5 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Covers slightly soiled, otherwise very good. One of 6000 copies. Design by Ia. Dufin and E. Maizelis.
The first parade of athletes was held on the Red Square in 1919. Since 1931, parades began to be held annually, mostly in capitals of Soviet republics. In 1936, Moscow first hosted sports representatives of all republics, promoting together physical culture in the Soviet country. Since 1939, such parades had been timed to coincide with Athletes’ Day. All pre-WWII parades were placed on the Red Square, then the Dynamo Stadium was considered a more appropriate venue.
Both brochures list an order of delegations from Republics and organizations, their names, number of participants, motto, commanders, artists and art directors. Each record is illustrated with an image of a flag or logo. Also, editions published descriptions of all performances decorated with national ornaments.
For instance, a performance of athletes of the Turkmen SSR was dedicated to 15 years of Soviet regime: “Women perform free movements with rings on a bright green background. The women are replaced by men who do morning exercises. Suddenly, all together form “a carpet” with an ornament and number XV in the center. Jigits’ dance is starting and is gradually turning into a general dance. Then a human pyramid is assembled and members of the delegation greet the leader of the peoples, comrade Stalin. 200 people participate”. Their directors, artists and a composer are recorded.
A more dramatic plot was chosen for the first performance of Karelo-Finnish SSR [formed in 1940]: “Athletes run out of a pine forest. On behalf of the happy Karelian-Finnish people, they greet the great leader of the peoples, friend and teacher of the Soviet youth, comrade Stalin. A fun Finnish round dance begins. Then athletes form the coat of arms of the 12th Soviet Republic. Then morning exercises are shown and replaced by gymnastics. Alert. Border guards appear at the edge of the forest. A combat episode is being played. Then folk games begin. All athletes perform the national Karelian quadrille which is replaced by a sports song and the delegation leaves the square. 200 people participate”.
In all, a great source on such sports shows held until 1954.
Not found in Worldcat.