Between two centuries: how the 100th anniversary of the Expedition of Storing State Papers was celebrated8 июля 2018 года
Between two centuries: how the 100th anniversary of the Expedition of Storing State Papers was celebrated
The centenary of the Expedition of Storing State Papers took place during a very tough historical period. World War I had finished for the soviet Russia only recently; the Civil war was running high. The Petrograd newspapers were full of frontal tidings. The country was seized with hunger that was especially sharp for inhabitants of large cities. The bolshevists who had seized the power less than a year ago, considered the policy of “military communism” a way out. The so-called “food groups” were organized of workers to be sent to the villages for bread requisition. It became one of the key issues of the Petrograd newspapers in August 1918.
But even in those complicated conditions, it was decided to celebrate the jubilee of the Expedition. The main feast, the “grand meeting” that collected three thousand workers according to the reporter of The Red Newspaper, was held on August 21, 1918 in the hall of the new mill building of the Expedition of Storing State Papers. “The workers decorated the improvised meeting hall beautifully with red flags and banners; on some of them, besides the woven proletarian slogans and mottos, there were artistic images symbolizing the victory of the working class over the capital”, The North Commune newspaper wrote.
An orchestra headed by the “laboring composer” Amosov played in the hall since 3 p.m. Besides the revolutionary hymns, the musicians also played a march written specially for the centenary of the Expedition; the audience asked to repeat it.
G.E. Zinoviev, Head of Petrosovet - the supreme authority in Petrograd, arrived at about 5 p.m. He spoke about problems important for the workers of the Expedition – about mobilization, about “the greatest counter revolutionist” – the hunger and the food groups.
A.I. Potiayev, commissar of finance of the association of local authorities of the North Province directly in charge of the enterprise, also delivered a speech. His speech was dedicated to the future, when the currency units would be canceled and the Expedition of Storing State Papers would need to pay attention to the “production of artistic works related to cultural education”. A chronicler of The North Commune echoed him, “When socialism prevails over capitalism and imperialism completely, the currency units will become needless. However, so far it is impossible to do without money, and the printing machine of the Expedition is on”. In his opinion, the Expedition would be of use during socialism too, for making paper for the editions of the classical and modern literature.
Not all prophecies of the participants of the festive meeting have come true – after 1918, the enterprises of Goznak have issued a lot of editions of the Russian and world classics, however, the demand for currency units has not disappeared. Banknotes and coins still remain the most distinctive and demanded products of Goznak.
The Exhibition Complex of Goznak
Translated by Tatiana Ugryumova
G. Rheindorf, M. Antonov.
A sketch of the commemorative token for the centenary of the Expedition of Storing State Papers. 1918.