Thursday, July 26, 2007

Young and Beautiful Red Cross Lady!

Join the society of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent!
Koretskij V. B., 1947

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement whose stated mission is to protect human life, health, and alleviate human suffering across the world.

In Russia the history of IRC goes back to 1854, when Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna of Russia established a nurse community in Saint Petersburg – the capital of Russian Empire.

Later the original IRC split into several independent organizations, which shared the name, common basic principles and objectives.

In Russia IRC was performing well by providing aid during armed conflicts, disasters and major accidents, including Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878), plague and diphtheria epidemics, famine of 1891, Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) and WW1.

After the October Revolution of 1917 Bolsheviks abolished almost all foreign noncommercial social organizations, suspecting them of spying against young Soviet regime. However, IRC remained although its property had been nationalized by state.

Of course, under a communist dictatorship like USSR no organization could separate itself from the principal intentions and ideology of the society, so IRC in Russia was busy building first soviet medical airplane, organizing first-aid study groups for communists, fighting epidemics.

During the WWII more than 790 000 of medical personnel was trained, 1 700 000 liters of donor blood sent to battle-fronts. This was a substantial help to Soviet war-medical services.

The poster above is a fine example of Socialist realism art, which main purpose is to present communist ideas in realistic manner. In this very case it did attract attention to a very positive and health-giving movement - the International Red Cross Society.