Vladimir Ilyich Lenin pioneer organization

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Badge of the pioneer organization Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

The Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization ( Russ. : Всесоюзная пионерская организация имени В. И. Ленина pronunciation ? / I ; transliteration : Wsesojusnaja Pionerskaja organisazija imeni Wladimir Iljitscha Lenina) was the Komsomol belonging youth organization in the Soviet Union , which existed from 1922 to 1990 and aimed at 10 to 15 year old children and adolescents. Members of the organization were called Lenin Pioneers , or pioneers for short . Audio file / audio sample


The organization emerged as a derivative or split from the Russian scout movement .

In 1908 Robert Baden-Powell published his book Scouting for Boys in England , which can be seen as the founding document of the scout movement. The book was translated into Russian in the year of publication.

From 1909 to 1911 the first scout groups were formed in Russia , first in Tsarskoe Selo , and later in Saint Petersburg and Moscow . In 1914 the All-Russian Association Russkij Skaut was founded . By 1917, Skaut associations had been created in more than 143 Russian cities . In 1917, the year of the revolution, there were more than 50,000 boy scouts in Russia, mainly children from wealthy families.

The movement continued its work after the revolution in the Soviet Union . Many scouts fled abroad with their families, particularly to France and the USA. In 1922, at the all-Russian gathering of scout leaders, the active members of the scout movement discussed how to proceed: numerous scout associations took part in the founding of the communist pioneer organization. At the time of the final ban on the scouting movement in the Soviet Union in 1923, one year after the pioneer organization was founded, there were around 8,000 Russian scouts left.

One of the main players in both the Russian scouting movement and the emerging Soviet pioneer organization was Innokenti Nikolayevich Zhukov (1875-1948). Secretary of the All-Russian Association Russky Skaut since 1914 , he later became the Supreme Pioneer of the RSFSR . As a representative of a more humanistic stream of scouts, he tried since 1917 to found an independent Red Scout Association Krasny Skaut . This did not work. Since 1921 he worked together with Lenin's wife Nadezhda Krupskaja and the People's Commissariat for Education (Narkompros) on a possibility to adapt the methods of the scout movement to the requirements of a Soviet children's organization.

Soviet postage stamp for the 50th anniversary of the pioneer organization in 1972
Oath of oath in the Lenin Museum, 1981

Zhukov and the Moscow group "Brothers of Fire" around Nikolai Fatjanow are referred to as pioneers and the boy scout greeting Будь готов! - Всегда готов! - be ready! - Always ready! back. The Moscow scouts passed on May 13, 1922 - at a tactically favorable time a few days before the All-Russian Conference of the Communist Youth Union - a "Declaration by the Moscow City Scoutmasters on the question of creating a children's movement in the RSFSR". In it they suggested using the scouting system as the foundation of the new communist children's movement and calling the new organization “Young Pioneers”. This enabled them to achieve a decisive change in perspective in the public discourse on the Russian scout movement. From then on, it was no longer viewed as a scout organization opposite to the Komsomol , but as a scouting system for a new children's movement.

The change of perspective of the Moscow scouts was taken over a few days later by the Communist Youth Association, which on May 19, 1922 made the decision to “work on the issue of the children's movement using the reorganized scouting system”. In the following years the former Scoutmasters founded new pioneer groups and trained the group leaders.

The resolution of the Second All-Russian Komsol Conference on May 19, 1922 is later set as the founding date of the pioneer organization (pioneer birthday).

Shortly after it was founded, the organization began to grow rapidly. In 1923 it had only 75,000 members, in 1926 there were already two million. Membership development peaked in the 1970s with more than 25 million members. Although membership was formally voluntary, almost all children and young people belonged to the organization.

On May 23, 1924, a few months after Lenin's death, the name of the pioneer organization was expanded to include "Vladimir Ilyich Lenin".

After the Komsomol and the pioneer organization associated with it had given themselves new structures within the framework of glasnost and perestroika , both organizations quickly collapsed. The pioneer organization was banned together with the Komsomol after the failed August coup in 1991 .

Today there are numerous local successor organizations in Russia, some of which still refer to themselves as pioneering organizations. Other groups have joined the revived Russian scouting movement.


Young pioneers from the Tajik SSR , 1983
Badge of the October Children with a picture of Lenin

Until 1942 , the engineering department was the main level of work. It summarizes all students in a school between 10 and 15 years of age. From 1942 this term was only used for the Lenin pioneers from one school class, the term at school level was now pioneer group .

The pioneer organization was divided into three age groups, at 15 the members could switch to the Komsomol on the recommendation of the pioneer organization. In front of the pioneer organization were the groups of the October children, in which 7 to 9 year old children were united.

The organization was led by the Central Committee of the Pioneer Organization, which in turn was controlled by the Central Committee of the Komsomol.

The organization maintained numerous pioneer camps as holiday camps ; for the 1970s their number is estimated at more than 40,000, with 9.3 million children and young people spending their holidays. The best-known pioneer camps were the All Union pioneer camp Artek in the Crimea , Orlyonok in the Russian SFSR , Molodaja Gwardija in the Ukrainian SSR and Subryonok in the Belarusian SSR .

With the Pionerskaya Pravda , which still exists today, its own newspaper was published.

Content of the work

The salutation of the pioneer organization briefly clarifies the educational goal of the organization:

To fight for the cause of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union - be ready! - Always ready!

So it was aimed at the development of a communist educated Soviet citizen. In addition, numerous activities that are common in youth associations were also maintained, such as games or sports.

The goals were formulated in the statutes of the pioneer organization, in the pioneer rules, the pioneer promise and the pioneer motto.


There was a partnership with the pioneer organization Ernst Thälmann in the GDR .


  • Зорин, Владимир: Юные пионеры имени Спартака (The Young Spartacus Pioneers) Moscow, Leningrad 1922. (Report on the work of the world's first pioneer group in Moscow. Its founder, Zorin, was a scout in the Central Krupskaya office and then worked with Zhukov and the Central Office Pioneers in building the pioneer organization.)
  • Бирбраер, М .: Первые шаги. Сборник статей по истории детского движениа в Москве. (First steps: collection of essays on the history of the children's movement in Moscow) Moscow, Leningrad 1928. (A collection of qualitatively very different reports on the work of the first children's groups and the transition from boy scouts to pioneers. There is also the later no longer published document Declaration of the Skautmaster of the city of Moscow for the creation of a children's movement in the RSFSR of May 13, 1922.)
  • Дитрих, Георгий: Конец и начало. Из истории детского движения в Ленинграде (End and Beginning: From the History of the Children's Movement in Leningrad) Moscow, Leningrad 1928. (Ditrikh took part in the development of the St. Petersburg “red” skaut organization ROJuR and describes the “Red Skauts founding story” based on numerous documents "from 1919 to 1921 on a journey or flight of about 800 Russian children around the world via the Urals to Vladivostok, San Francisco, New York, France and Finland back to Petrograd.)


  1. ^ Sebastian Waack: Lenin's children: On the genealogy of the scouts and pioneers in Russia 1908-1924 . wvb Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Berlin, 2008. ISBN 978-3-86573-356-6

Web links

Commons : Пионерская организация  - album with pictures, videos and audio files