Card Carrying Commies (3)

Last time, we were looking at the Communist Party membership cards carried by all of those Commies we have spent so much of our tax revenues trying to oppose. They all carried a little booklet:

The pretty young thing in the first booklet was called Aleesa. Here’s the second booklet we are going to look at. This is the top half of the identification page:

The surname of this gentleman is  “Artim”.  Look at the printed word “familiya”, with the Greek ‘Phi’. It means ‘surname’. His actual surname is handwritten which is a different alphabet and is best left for now. On the second line, his personal name is Vladimir with eight handwritten letters. It begins with a non-Greek letter which equals our “V” but then there is Lambda-Alpha as Letters No 2 and 3, and the word also ends with Rho as Letter  No 8.  The next line gives his patronymic, based on his father’s name. The first five letters show that Dear Old Comrade Dad was Vasili. Vladimir was born in 1933 on Line 4 and joined the Party in (March) 1967 on Line 5. He too comes from Lvov in the Ukraine.

Here’s his details in the Ukrainian version. Given that his Party number is 14,773,494 and Aleesa’s was 11,286,415, that means the Party acquired 3,487,079 new people in three years. I don’t know about the Democrats and the Republicans but it’s certainly a lot better recruitment than the Conservatives or Labour have ever managed in England:

As you can see, Ukrainian is only a little bit different although it is definitely a separate language rather than just a dialect of Russian. It’s perhaps like the difference between, say, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian, or maybe, Portuguese and Spanish.

Here is the bottom half of the page:

The bit above the photo refers to the issuing authority which is near Lvov in the Ukraine (now Lviv). His party membership book was issued on April 26th 1974 (bottom line).

I like Vladimir. He looks exactly the sort of bloke to have with you if you were a landlord and one of your tenants  was a day late with the rent. When I went to the Soviet Union in 1969 on a school trip,  we used to go out on our own in the evenings. Quite frequently we would be followed by KGB men who were not at all subtle about what they were doing.  Just imagine Vladimir in an over sized 1950s double breasted pale grey pin stripe suit and that’s them! Apparently, the KGB wanted to make sure most of all that we were not visiting churches to make contact with the Christian underground. We weren’t.  Here’s one of their student-agents of the time:





Filed under History, Humour, Politics, Russia

20 responses to “Card Carrying Commies (3)

  1. jackchatterley

    Young Putin reminds me David McCallum with a pain in the arse.

    • Well, if you are old enough to remember, in “Man from UNCLE”, David McCallum did play Ilya Kuryakin, who was a Russian. I think that our relationship with the old Soviet Union was a much better one than our modern dealings with Russia. The Old Commies used to play by a vague set of rules, but nowadays, we are dealing with a loose and unpredictable cannon. The idea that he is a cannon who has problems with his haemorrhoids, though, is worth exploring, although it won’t be me who does it.

  2. What would happen to these men if they didn’t join and obey the party?

    • To be honest, I don’t know for definite, but I presume that he would find lots of his job applications were unsuccessful and he hardly ever got promoted. In England it would equate with not having membership of the Freemasons or just simply not being upper class. Up till 1945, a very high percentage of British officers were upper class gentlemen, one of the reasons the Americans found them difficult to deal with (on occasion). A similar situation years ago would have been membership of the Church of England which was more or less compulsory for everybody. It took a lot of moral courage to be an atheist in Olde Englande.
      Perhaps in our modern world, not being a party member would be the same as being a woman in the workplace. Issues might include lower pay for the same job, a glass ceiling for promotion and so on.

  3. How scary to be followed by KGB. Oh my goodness, John! I would have been shaking like a leaf. You hear so many horror stories!

    • I think that at sixteen I was too stupid to shake like a leaf at anything!! All that the KGB men were interested in was whether you had a secret agenda to visit Christian groups and either give them encouragement, American dollars or some new Bibles. None of us had the faintest interest in that. We just used to wander around aimlessly as young men do, playing soccer with the locals if we came across any.

  4. Thank Goodness I live in Australia. But I do know there were some unwritten rules back when we were all younger.

    • I’ve seen a definition of Australia and indeed, Canada, as “England without the aristocracy” and I have always believed it. Modern Britain is very much run by white males who went to public schools and then Oxbridge, despite the presence of Mrs May. We defer hugely to even the slightest and least important member of the upper class, and social mobility, because of university fees and very poor state schools in the main, is falling back towards extinction.

      • I think it is so complicated it would lead to about a hundred PhDs. We have a lot of exceptionally wealthy families and some families that came out on the first fleet as young men of the British Aristocracy. But in general, I would say that coming from some of the ‘better’ families your life is easier, but if you work and study you can end up well. But as many people as agree with me there are as many who disagree and even more who don’t care or don’t think about it. But I’m still very happy I am an Aussie.

  5. Chris Waller

    I was always baffled by Soviet Communism. What was it’s ultimate aim? It condemned the people of the Soviet bloc to relative poverty. It could produce missiles, ‘planes and tanks but could not build a decent car or refrigerator. Beyond wallowing in the adulation of the oafs that support him Putin has succeeded only in making Russia a pariah. His agents’ attempts at espionage would, were they not so dangerous, be worthy of a ‘Carry On’ film. Russia truly is an enigma.

    • The original Soviet Communists were trying to improve the people’s lot. Pre-revolution there was 99% illiteracy, frequent famine, appalling poverty etc. etc. Their ideas were such dynamite to the old order everywhere, that when WW1 ended, there were at least a dozen different opponents all trying to invade Russia and sweep away the Communists. Then there was WW2 and then the Americans’ attitude post-1945. The latter saw the USSR as a rival to their domination of the world, All that has led to the siege mentality we have seen up until the 1990s. Things were not improved by the death of Lenin and the arrival of a crazy man called Stalin. That explains all the tanks and missiles etc. They were the guns that were necessary to defend the revolution but they prevented ant deliveries of the butter, I sincerely believe that the Russian people, who were way worse off in 1910 than present day Bangladesh or any poor African country, had their lives improved immeasurably by the Communists. Today Russia is no more Communist than China is and they have the worst of all worlds. Poverty for most of them and no way of changing it. Propaganda inflates their nationalist feelings and they wallow in the misconception that they are in the right, just as America did during the 50s and 60s.

    • Well, Derrick, I’ll grant you that he hasn’t turned out too well! He is certainly a man who has come a long way very quickly. Nought to world statesman in fifteen years.

  6. Vladimir (why are all Russians called that?) looks like he should have gold teeth and a metal rimmed bowler hat! Not the sort of man who has a conversation with you! Dropping that last photo in really shakes the brain, it almost helps understand where he is coming from (and perhaps more importantly where he is going!).

    • As far as I know the name Vladimir has a meaning. “V” means “in”, “lad” is short for “ladon” which means “palm” as in hand, and “mir” means “peace” and also “world”. Hence “in the palm of peace”, Vladivostock means “in the palm of the east”. My own favourite Russian first name is “Mstistlav” which is so difficult to say that by the time you’ve tried to say “Hello Mstistlav” he’s gone.

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