Soviet Women and Children in Moscow, USSR, 1961

Photo Images Taken During the Filming of A Visit to the Soviet Union, 1961

 

Harvey and Alice Richards, Mexico, late 1950s.

Harvey and Alice Richards, Mexico, late 1950s.

In 1961, Harvey and Alice Richards took their camera equipment and Harvey’s son, Paul Richards, to the Soviet Union to make a film about Soviet women and children. They were pro-socialist, radical activists during the intensely anti-communist Cold War years in the United States.  Their hope was to encourage friendship and understanding between the people of the USSR and the USA and to encourage peaceful international relations.

The photos images presented here focus on Moscow which was the first stop on the trip that later also included Sochi, Irkutsk and Tashkent. The photos show the work places, housing, education, child care and medical facilities available to women and children in a socialist society. These are positive images about the USSR, documenting the remarkable advances achieved in the conditions of women and children in a socialist society. The film trip was made with the assistance of the Soviet Women’s Committee, a branch of the government of the USSR. Harvey and Alice Richards had hosted several visits to the San Francisco Bay Area by Soviet women in the late 1950′s and 1960′s.  The Soviet Women’s Committee provided interpreters, transportation and arrangements for the visit and filming.

Whatever one thinks of the Russian Revolution, Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky, or communism, the history of care and relative prosperity experienced by women and children during the Soviet period is now a lasting legacy.  


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