Tim in the land of the Soviets

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Tintin in the Land of the Soviets ( French original title: Tintin au pays des Soviets ) is actually the first comic album from the Tintin series by the Belgian illustrator Hergé , which initially appeared from 1929 to 1930 as a weekly sequel in the magazine Le Petit Vingtième .


The young Brussels reporter Tim takes his dog Struppi on the train to Moscow to report from there. But during the train ride he becomes the victim of a Soviet secret police officer who regards him as a member of the bourgeoisie . This detonates a bomb , which blows up the compartment in which Tim is located. Tim survives, but is blamed for the attack by the Berlin police . In his tattered clothes he managed to escape the German police and he took a train to the Soviet Union (including the Stoubzy district ), where the Soviet secret police noticed him again and the local administration took action on him.

During his journey through the country, Tim realizes that the Soviet economy is not working, that free elections are not taking place and that communist repression is the order of the day. Tim escapes to Berlin by plane , where he uncovered a conspiracy by the Soviet secret service to bomb all European capitals with dynamite and reports it to the Berlin police. Tim is now rehabilitated and then travels home by train to Brussels , where a large crowd is already waiting for him and celebrating him.


In Tim, in the land of the Soviets , communism is strongly criticized in a humorous way. Due to the success of his new adventure story, Hergé drew more Tintin comics after Tintin in the land of the Soviets , starting with Tintin in the Congo , which was later published as Volume 1 and which he colored in contrast to the actual first adventure.

Tim in the land of the Soviets was hardly reprinted for years, since Hergé described the first comic as a "sin of youth". However, after pirated prints increased , it allowed an official reprint for the first time in 1973. But it was not until the 1980s that the story was regularly reprinted and included as volume 0 in the album numbering.

The bleak picture Hergé paints of the Soviet Union is in part exaggerated, but on the whole true. For example, a report by Malcolm Muggeridge of a trip through the Soviet Union in March 1933 shows the mistreatment of farmers. Hergé's practically only source on conditions in the Soviet Union was the 1928 book Moscou sans Voiles (Moscow without a veil) by the Belgian consul Joseph Douillet , which had a strong anti-communist tendency. Whole passages were taken over directly into the comic, for example the election scene on page 35: You can see a picture of a people's assembly. The chairman said there were three lists. The first is that of the CPSU . The question of whether someone is against this list is then asked at gunpoint. Since - of course - nobody answers, she is chosen. Later, it became a trademark of Hergé that he meticulously paid attention to the precision of the places and cultures he portrayed.

Today we know that the radical reorganization of Soviet agriculture, the policy of intensified forced evacuation ("extraordinary measures"), the Holodomor , the alignment of the country, war communism and the Great Terror claimed millions of lives. The Bolsheviks and the secret police (the Cheka and their successor organizations) did not shy away from the use of economic, physical and psychological violence, and millions of people starved to death and were deported to Gulags . In this regard, Hergé has drawn a very authentic picture from today's perspective.

In the land of the Soviets there was no redrawing or redrawing and no repainting until Hergé's death, as was the case with most of the later volumes. Therefore, one can clearly see the graphic development of Tim (and his creator) in the volume. While Tim was sketched in very rough outline at the beginning of the volume, towards the end of the volume his features approach those of Hergé's later works. The fact that Tim was created in the land of the Soviets under great time pressure also played a role , because Hergé quickly needed a follow-up story to Les aventures de Flup, Nénesse, Poussette et Cochonnet for Le Petit Vingtième . He didn't even have a script for the story, but developed it from week to week.

Nevertheless, some of Hergé's later strengths are already evident in this work: For example, the escape vehicles that Tim uses are drawn in detail from the real models. Hergé also succeeds in depicting the speed in a very lively manner. In the land of the Soviets , the narrative style was a revolution for Europe, because until now drawings had been used to illustrate a story (cf. Max and Moritz von Wilhelm Busch ), now for the first time speech bubbles were used throughout . As the very first in Europe, this technique was only used by Alain Saint-Ogan in his comic Zig et Puce in 1925. The two comic artists met in Paris in 1931 when Hergé sought Saint-Ogan's advice. They remained close friends all their lives.

In contrast to most other adventures, the story has not yet been adapted as a radio play, not even in other languages, or as a film. In 2016, Moulinsart, in cooperation with the Casterman publishing house, announced a colored version that was published in January 2017.

The Brussels North Railway Station at the beginning of the 20th century where Tim was expected. The building was later demolished because a new building was constructed in 1952.

A year after the story ended, Tim's arrival was staged for the newspaper Le Petit Vingtième at Brussels North Station , where a large crowd awaited him.

Tim's amazing skills

Although a comic-typical oversubscription also determines Tim's later adventures, the fact that Hergé published Tim in the land of the Soviets as a weekly sequel story and was forced to entertain the readers in particular is probably partly responsible for the fact that Tim was a whole series in the course of the story sheer extraordinary skills are presented:

  1. He survived a bomb explosion that destroyed ten carriages on a passenger train and killed 218 people.
  2. He beats up various people, almost all of whom are taller and physically superior: a German police officer, a GPU agent who wants to arrest him after an accident, the GPU agent Wirchwoff, a muscle-bound hiker, who keeps him frozen finds, as well as three GPU agents disguised as German police officers.
  3. He survived a motorcycle accident , a car accident with a stolen car, an accident with a self-made rail vehicle and at the end of the story an accident in which he was thrown from his car into the window of a moving train while traveling at 150 km / h .
  4. His car was hit by an aerial bomb and hit a train a few seconds later. Tim survived and, sitting at the head of the train, traveled the 1,125 km from Berlin to Stolbzy in Minskaja Woblasz ( Belarus ).
  5. He almost overtook a moving train with a trolley .
  6. He builds a motor vehicle from scrap within a few minutes .
  7. He escapes a freight train at full speed , walking on rails bordered on both sides by rocks .
  8. He survived a fall into an open manhole cover .
  9. By sneezing, he destroys a massive steel grille .
  10. He survived the fire from a Maxim machine gun and the sinking of his speedboat .
  11. He survived a serious accident with another speedboat in which he was thrown out of the cabin.
  12. In its immediate vicinity, a cart loaded with an oil tank , several artillery shells and a cannon detonated .
  13. It easily disassembles a car engine into individual parts and significantly improves the vehicle's performance.
  14. He uses a helmet wetsuit .
  15. He escapes fire with carbines and pistols from a few meters away by submerging.
  16. He sneaks into a secret CPSU party meeting without any problems , disguises himself as a soldier a little later and sneaks into a military unit.
  17. Without being noticed, he swaps the cartridges of an entire train for blank cartridges in order to simulate his own death in a standing shooting.
  18. He survived a blizzard in which he was completely snowed in, wearing light clothing.
  19. He is shot in the back with a rifle.
  20. He defeats a full-grown brown or polar bear in a duel with his bare hands.
  21. It is completely frozen, but is ready to fight a fist fight just seconds after thawing.
  22. He is thrown from a horse at full gallop .
  23. He controls an airplane with ease and survives when lightning strikes the engine and the plane crashes.
  24. He carves, apparently in a short time, two functional propellers for the aircraft from a tree trunk, using only his pocket knife.

In the course of the story you can never see that Tim complains of greater pain, he never needs medical treatment and apparently understands Russian fluently and speaks it without an accent.


  • Hergé : Les aventures de Tintin, reporter du “Petit Vingtième” on the pays des Soviets . Casterman, Paris / Tournai 1981, ISBN 2-203-01101-7 (French, first edition: 1930, reprint of the first edition).
  • Hergé: Tintin in the land of the Soviets . 1st edition. Carlsen, Hamburg 1988, ISBN 3-551-02929-6 .
  • Michael Farr: In the footsteps of Tim & Struppi . Carlsen Comics, Hamburg 2006, ISBN 3-551-77110-3 (French: Tintin - Le rêve et la réalité .).

Individual evidence

  1. Thompson, Harry: Tintin: Hergé and his Creation . London: Hodder and Stoughton. 1991, p. 30 ff. As well as Tintin au pays des Soviets ( Memento of the original from April 19, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Official French site for Tintin and the corresponding volume) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.tintin.com
  2. The German volume Tintin and Struppi in the Land of the Soviets was reprinted by Carlsen-Verlag in 1988, 1989, 1996 and 2005, among others.

Web links