The exhibition "Perm Krai - the Land of Labor Valor"

The exhibition "Perm Krai - the Land of Labor Valor" is dedicated to the largest industrial enterprises of the Perm region during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

The Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 is one of the most significant events in 20th century Russian history. The Great Patriotic War was the most crucial and decisive part of the Second World War of 1939-1945. It was a war of liberation involving the peoples of the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany and its allies. The Great Patriotic War began on June 22, 1941 with an attack by Germany and its European allies on the Soviet Union and ended on May 9, 1945 with victory and the liberation of the territories of European countries.

The war is called “Great” as it had a tremendous impact on the life of the whole country. The entire people of the Soviet Union stood up to defend the Motherland: men and women, old people and children fought at the front and worked on the home front in the name of Victory. Everything in the USSR (economy, politics, culture, education, medicine, etc.) was reoriented to meet the needs of wartime. Victory in the Great Patriotic War demanded tremendous efforts involving all the physical and spiritual strength of the people. The war killed 27 million Soviet citizens. It had a significant impact on the further development of the USSR. The war is called “Patriotic” because it was a liberation war to defend the Motherland. It was called the Second "Patriotic" war since the first "Patriotic" war was the war of 1812 against Napoleon.

During the Great Patriotic War, the city of Perm was called "Molotov" and the Perm region was called "Molotov Oblast". The city and region were given the name in 1940 in honor of Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, a Soviet politician and Chairman of the USSR government from 1930 to 1941. In 1957, the city and the region reverted to its historical name "Perm".

By the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the Molotov region had well-developed industrial production with a variety of enterprises, primarily in heavy industries including metallurgical, metalworking and chemical plants.

During the war, the Molotov region was one of the home-front regions. It was here that a significant number of industrial enterprises were concentrated which manufactured products to supply the front. More than 180 industrial enterprises were evacuated to the region from the territory of the Soviet Union occupied by the Nazis and from regions threatened by occupation. As a result, the industrial potential of the region grew significantly. All this ensured that the Molotov region made a significant contribution to Victory.

The largest industrial enterprises in Molotov produced cannons, aircraft engines and gunpowder required by the Red Army.

Plant No. 172 named after V.M. Molotov in the city of Molotov, produced more than 48 thousand artillery systems during the war years, i.e. every fourth one produced in the country. 40% of all tube artillery for the Red Army was produced at Plant No. 172.

The J. Stalin Engine-building Plant No. 19 in the city of Molotov manufactured up to 20% of the total number of aircraft engines produced in the USSR in the same period.

In total, during the war years, the country's gunpowder industry produced more than 14 million rocket charges for all types of jet systems. Two-thirds of them were manufactured at Kirov Plant No. 98 in Molotov.

The cities of Lysva, Solikamsk, Berezniki and Kizel were also large industrial centers in the Molotov region, producing helmets, gunpoder, metal, chemical products, coal amongst other things for the needs of the front.

Most of the enterprises were numbered, i.e. the name was a number. The system of code names for defense plants was introduced in the USSR in 1927 as a result of increased requirements for the secrecy of defense production.

All the achievements of the industry were realized through the heroic labor of workers and employees. Most of the workers joined the "two-hundred" movement committing themselves to fulfill at least 200% of the production plan – doing work for themselves and for a comrade who had gone to the front. Overfulfillment of the production plan by 300-400% became the norm. Some workers overfulfilled the plan by 600% - 1200%.

Industrial plants and individual workers took part in socialist competition. Socialist competition was competition in labor productivity between factories, workshops, brigades, and individual workers.

There were several forms of socialist competition. One form was the Stakhanovite Movement. Historically, the Stakhanovite Movement was a mass movement of the followers of the coal miner Aleksey Grigorievich Stakhanov, who in 1935, working with two coworkers (propmen) in one shift, extracted 14.5 times more coal than the norm for one miner. Stakhanovite movement participants strived to exceed the established norms of productivity many times over in their work.

During the Great Patriotic War, Stakhanovite movement methods such as multi-station working and the combination of professions were widely used, as well as technology to speed up productivity and construction.

Another form of socialist competition was “shock work”. It began in the USSR in the mid-1920s, when industrial plants began to create shock groups, and then brigades. The main characteristic of shock work was the fulfillment of obligations over and above planned quotas. During the Great Patriotic War, new forms of "shock groups" became widespread ("dvukhsotniki", "tysyachniki", "mnogostanochniki", etc.).

The industrial achievements of individuals and entire enterprises were marked by state awards. Since money was of low importance in the USSR, non-material incentives acquired particular importance. The award of Order was considered a special honor. Rewarding the enterprise with the Challenge Red Banner was of slightly less importance.

Challenge Red Banners were awarded for success in All-Union socialist competition for increasing labor productivity. Challenge Red Banners were awarded to winners by the State Defense Committee, the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks, the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions and the People's Commissariats (ministries).

Plants which were repeatedly successful in socialist competition retained the Challenge Red Banners indefinitely, and this was the most prestigious sign of recognition of the plant’s leadership in work towards Victory.

The exhibition "Perm Krai, the Land of Labor Valor" provides information about the work of industrial plants in the Perm region during the Great Patriotic War. Pages covering the history of individual plants contain brief information about the enterprise and photographs reflecting its activities during that period. The exhibition contains photographs from state and municipal archives and museums, as well as from museums of individual plants in the Perm region. Information about the work of plants has been supplemented by personal stories that contain information about people, their work and the struggles they faced in difficult and heroic war times.

The exhibition focuses on those industrial centers of the Perm region, whose citizens took the initiative to award their city at the federal level with the title "City of Labor Valor" for their heroic work during the Great Patriotic War and their great contribution to the Victory. The city of Perm was one of these and was given this title in 2020.

Authors of the exhibition: Sergei Neganov, Marina Starkova, Ilia Papulov, Inna Fedotova, Tatiana Grigorieva, Natalia Nefedova, Christine Richardson, Robin Carr, Thomas Dumstorf, Victor Novokreschennykh, Anton Ponomarev, Ilias Gafurov, Irina Demina, Mikhail Leshev.

Go to exhibition