“The young person should be taught to think in terms of ‘we,’ and all private interests should be left behind,” declared the People’s Commissar for Education, Anatoly Lunacharsky.  Founded in 1922, the Young Pioneers organization fostered a sense of comradeship and public duty in children ages 10 to 14.  Sports, games, tourism, and survival skills were part of the training of the Pioneers.

Young Pioneers had their own banners, flags and songs. They wore uniforms and red triangular ties. In the 1930s it was glamorous and exciting to be a pioneer, and the red tie was a sign of maturity.

The most famous Young Pioneer was Pavlik Morozov. In 1932, he reported his father to the authorities for refusing to support the collectivization plan. His father was arrested, tried and sentenced to forced labor, never to be seen again. Pavlik was murdered by his relatives at the age of 13. The young martyr, Pavlik Morozov, was hailed as a hero, embodying the purest ideals of the Young Pioneers. His deed was glorified in image, song and verse.

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