• 24/11/2022
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Christmas as a propaganda tool. But Grandfather Mráz also burned with the communists, says the historian<

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What did Christmas look like under socialism? In the 1950s, it was used by propaganda. "In the media, the symbolism of Christmas was used in the context of the fight for peace. A very popular cartoon from the 1950s shows Western imperialists hanging a Christmas tree with a swastika and using an atomic bomb instead of a tip," says historian Martin Franc. | photo: Petr Kozlík, MAFRA

Veronika Tardonová22. December 202115:00 Unlock the article Sputnik satellites instead of the Star of Bethlehem, imperialists decorating the tree with an atomic bomb and Baby Jesus who turned into Santa Claus. This is also how the communist propaganda of the Christmas holidays looked like after 1948. When did Santa come back to us again and how did the Christmas Eve menu change over the years? “In the 1970s and 1980s, households competed to see how many types of candy they could bake. There were usually ten or twelve kinds. In the 1950s, it was not so famous, most households managed two or three types and were happy," explains historian and expert on the history of consumption Martin Franc.

How did the perception of Christmas change after the communists came to power in 1948? Already at the turn of the 1940s and 1950s, we can observe very strong tendencies to change the ways of celebrating the Christmas holidays. To give them a slightly different content, to remove all possible elements connected with religion and the church, and to emphasize, on the contrary, the elements that moved Christmas towards the New Year celebrations in the Soviet Union, where Christmas was completely suppressed or remained only as a purely church holiday, the secular part of which she did not celebrate the company.

Martin Franchistorian and expert on the history of consumption

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Topics: Advent and Christmas, Mrazík, Premium interviews, propaganda, Weekly Topic, Lifestyle, Martin Franc (historian), Traditions, Christmas carols, Roman Vaněk, Charles University, Czech Radio, Czechoslovak Television

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