The life of Soviet people is full of mysteries and interesting facts; the years of formation and development of the young Soviet republic, as well as the years of the Great Patriotic War, were especially bright. For his personal contribution to the development of the country, courage and feats in battle, the Soviet man was worthy of awarding the greatest awards. One of them was the Order of Lenin, which was worn with a sense of incredible pride in his homeland.
The story of the emergence of the highest award of the Soviet people
Two years after the death of V. I. Lenin ─ the leader of all proletarians, in 1926 at the beginning of July, V. N. Levichev ─ the first deputy chief of the General Staff of the Red Army, proposed to introduce a new badge of honor. It was assumed that it will be given to persons who by that time already had at least 4 awards of national importance. For example, 4 consecutive orders of the Red Banner.
The highest-ranking government award for personal military merits was supposed to be called the Order of Ilyich. However, it was never approved in connection with the end of the Civil War. Despite this, the Council of People's Commissars supported his colleague and acknowledged the need to introduce the highest state insignia, which Soviet citizens could be awarded not only for military prowess, but also for personal achievements.
On 6 April 1930, the CEC approved the highest mark of distinction of the Soviet state ─ the Order of Lenin, which was awarded to people for their labor services to the Fatherland and personal contribution to its development, in addition to heroic achievements in battles. Soon, the artistic team of the Moscow factory producing state signs, received an order of state importance, which consisted in the development of the layout of the order. As conceived by the artists, it was the portrait of Lenin ─ the Great Leader of the world proletariat - that was to become his main image.
The first sketch of the state award was made by “state signs” - sculptor I. Shadr and his colleague, artist S. Dmitriev. On the sketch was a portrait of Lenin, and in the background of the award were images of a factory and a tractor, which symbolized the industrialization and solid collective work of the Soviet people.
How to improve the image of the order
A sample of the award, which in 1930 was the Order of Lenin (photo above), was released in the amount of 700 units. It was approved on May 23 and consisted of a medallion with wheat ears at the edges, a bas-relief of the leader and golden letters "USSR", each of which was soldered to the order separately, and the top was framed by a sickle and a hammer of gilding. The diameter of the medallion was 38 mm, and the sign itself was made of pure silver. Such a sample was preserved until mid-February 1932.
There were 2 main reasons why the main reward of All-Union significance soon underwent major changes. First, it lacked the main symbols of the young Soviet state. In addition, along with this flaw, some badges of distinction and orders looked richer than the Order of Lenin. The photo shows how the reward has changed after some time.
Now, in accordance with the decree of the CEC of September 27, 1934, the new statute of the award was approved, which made it possible to correct the essential shortcomings of the previous model. The Order contained a ruby star and a red banner with the word "Lenin" instead of "USSR" above his portrait. The main order of the Soviet country began to cast from the gold 650-th sample. Framing with gold ears remained, and the hammer and sickle shifted under the image of the portrait of Ilyich. Due to the banner stock, the size of the order increased by 0.5 mm.
Starting from mid-June 1936, the order underwent some refinements and remained in this form until June 1943. Now, only 950-grade gold was used to make it. This is one of the reasons why many “collectors” are interested in the question of how much the Order of Lenin costs. On this version of the award, the bas-relief of V. I. Lenin in the center was overhead and fastened with the help of special rivets. From June 19, 1943 until the end of the existence of the Soviet Union as a state, the highest award of the country did not change externally.
Description of the final award sample
The Order is attached to a block with moire ribbons, which are framed by a golden border on both sides. Despite the changes, the alternation of numbers continued to be observed in the order books. Lenin's portrait was made of platinum, and his image was attached in the center of the medallion. The total weight of the platinum portrait of Ilyich is 2.7 g and 28.7 g of gold, from which the Order of Lenin is made. The price of this award is today about 1000 US dollars on the black market.
The diameter of the central image of the leader is 25 mm. On the left side of the order is a five-pointed ruby star, and on the right is a banner with the inscription “Lenin”, which is made of gold letters. The width of the breastplate is 38 mm, and the height is 44 mm.
Who was awarded the first
After reading the published decree that a new main award of the Soviet state was established, Komsomol members of many Leningrad plants and factories offered to award the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. This was served by the active assistance of the publishing team in promoting socialist construction and conducting socialist competitions for working groups.
The CEC Presidium unanimously supported the idea of young Komsomol members, and on May 23, 1930, a Resolution was signed, according to which the first order of Lenin was given to the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. The presentation of the highest award of the USSR to the team of the newspaper was timed to the fifth anniversary since the release of the first issue, which took place on May 24, 1930.
First on the list of recipients
The question of who first received the Order of Lenin is quite relevant and interesting from the point of view of history. After the "Komsomol" the second order was received by the Moscow enterprise "Electrozavod", the CEC decree was signed on October 3, 1930. However, the award was presented only in July 1931.
But the first person who received the highest award of the state was the Secretary of the Presidium of the USSR CEC Enukidze A. S. He received the award on December 17, 1932. He was awarded the Order of Lenin by number, which was recorded in the order book. Yenukidze is listed as No. 3 in the lists of recipients. After him, the GSS pilots Molokov V.S. Gribakin GV and Shelyganov M.P. were awarded the highest award, who received the Order of Lenin. The list of awarded people who have been honored with this order is among the first to continue the names of Soviet soldiers of Evsikov N. I. Kalugin K. S. and Yemelyanov V. S.
About the famous commanders and ordinary workers
Among the people who distinguished themselves in the battles of the Civil War, there are quite a few commanders who, thanks to their personal courage and competent combat operations, received the Order of Lenin. The list of awardees is continued by the following names: Blukher V. K. Budyonny S. M. Voroshilov K. V. Tukhachevsky M. N. By the way, these were the first generals, holders of the Order of Lenin. The names of these heroes of that time was named not one street in the cities of the USSR. The number one of the first order bearers included the famous miner A. Stakhanov, who showed by his personal example how a simple worker can work, as well as the driver P. Krivonos and the worker of the M. Ozerny state farm.
The first awarded foreigners
It is no secret that foreign specialists helped the development of the young Soviet country. For their contributions to various sectors of the economy, they were also awarded a high award. Among them are I. G. Liebhard (mining industry, Germany), L. Svazhian, F. Khoney, M. Kadaryan (agricultural engineering, USA) and D. Mac Dowell (agronomy, USA).
Among foreigners who also contributed to the construction of international socialism, Dolores Ibaruri, Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Janos Kadar, Georgy Dimitrov, Walter Ulbricht and many others received the Order of Lenin.
First posthumous award
At the end of January 1934, the Soviet crew of the Osoaviakhim 1 aerostat managed to achieve an unprecedented height for those times, which exceeded 22,000 m. However, as a result of bad weather and a minus temperature, the balloon froze and fell. None of the crew members survived. The commander was Fedosenko P. F. and the crew members were the designers A. Vasenko and Usykin I. D. All of them received the Order of Lenin posthumously. The price of this award turned out to be too expensive ─ the scientists' own life.
A little about the gentlemen of the Order
For outstanding services to the Fatherland, many Soviet citizens were repeatedly awarded the Order of Lenin, therefore they became full holders of this sign. Among them are the Marshals of the USSR: Zhukov KV, who was the owner of 6 orders of Lenin, Vasilevsky A. M. Bagramyan I. Kh. Budyonny S. M. Sokolovsky V. D. and General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party L. I. Brezhnev, assets of which were on 8 orders.
What was the statute of the order
The Order of Lenin could receive as an award both individual citizens of the Soviet Union and foreign powers, republics and cities that were part of the USSR, enterprises and organizations, educational institutions and other institutions for their services in building socialism, as well as military units distinguished themselves in the battles for Homeland. It could get for:
- Achievement of unprecedented success in collective, cooperative or state farm building.
- Achievements of quantitative and qualitative indicators in various sectors of farming.
- The introduction of technical innovations in agricultural and industrial farms, which make it possible to significantly ease human labor and increase production volumes, as well as for various inventions in all branches of human activity.
- Conducting research and development in the field of the structure of socialism.
- Outstanding construction of buildings and architectural structures that have benefited the Soviet state.
- Personal contribution to the socialist construction of the Soviet Union and the strengthening of its importance on the world stage.
Before the beginning of the fascist occupation, by June 1941 in the USSR over 6.3 thousand orders were served. During the war, the Soviet people received the Order of Lenin over 40 thousand times, many of which received this award more than once. Only in the first days of the military actions of this high rank were awarded more than 40 military schools and military units. Among them are military academies that bore the names of Frunze and Zhukovsky. During the years of confrontation with fascism, over 200 military units were honored with this award. In addition, plants, factories and other institutions whose entire potential was thrown to the defense of the Fatherland were not ignored.