• Michael Laxer

Soviet Gomel 1976: 13 Soviet Postcards



This packet of 13 postcards of Gomel was released in 1976 just a few years after the city celebrated its 730th anniversary.


Gomel, in the Byelorussian SSR, was a city of around 330,000 people at the time and was an industrial centre, though, as with all Soviet cities, it had many social and cultural facilities.


As the liner text notes:


The workers of Gomel are marching in the same ranks with the entire Soviet people into the communist tomorrow.
In 1969, the State University was opened, and the city hosts also the Belarusian Institute of Railway Engineers, the General Technical Faculty of the Belarusian Polytechnic Institute, a branch of the Moscow Cooperative Institute, research institutes, technical schools, vocational schools, secondary schools.
Among the services of Gomel residents are a drama theater, a philharmonic society, a circus, Palaces of culture, public libraries, a museum of local lore, and children's music schools.

Gomel was also almost entirely rebuilt after being 80% destroyed during WWII and the Nazi occupation. The city's population during the war fell from around 150,000 to just 15,000.


The rebuilding of cities like Gomel was one of the great accomplishments of Soviet socialism.


Many great shots here from the "Chabarok" Restaurant to things like the futuristic looking circus building (circuses were hugely popular in the USSR) and the planetarium.


The packet was meant for a domestic audience and was in Russian. We have translated the liner notes and the individual card descriptions.


Liner Text:


In 1972, the city of Gomel celebrated its 730th anniversary. We find the first mention of it in the annals of 1142. Before the Great October Socialist Revolution, it was a small county town. The population was slightly more than 70, 000 people.


In 1897, the first Social Democratic group appeared in the city, and in 1904, on the initiative of V.I. Lenin, the Polessky Committee of the RSDLP was created, which became one of the main centers of social democratic organizations in Belarus.


In the years of the first five-year plans, thanks to the efforts of the Gomel residents, a glass plant, a Gomselmash plant [agricultural machinery. ed.}, a woodworking and fat plant, a total of 40 industrial enterprises, were built. In the pre-war years, Gomel became a large industrial center of Belarus.


Today Gomel is one of the largest industrial, cultural and scientific centers of the Belorussian Republic. Currently, the city is home to over 330,000 people. The leading industries are mechanical engineering and machine tool building, food, chemical and woodworking. In recent years, such industries are becoming more and more widespread as are radio engineering and others.


The products of the Gomel enterprises are known far beyond the borders of our country, they are supplied to more than 50 countries of the world, and 29 products have been awarded the State Quality Mark.


The workers of Gomel are marching in the same ranks with the entire Soviet people into the communist tomorrow.


In 1969, the State University was opened, and the city hosts also the Belarusian Institute of Railway Engineers, the General Technical Faculty of the Belarusian Polytechnic Institute, a branch of the Moscow Cooperative Institute, research institutes, technical schools, vocational schools, secondary schools.


Among the services of Gomel residents are a drama theater, a philharmonic society, a circus, Palaces of culture, public libraries, a museum of local lore, and children's music schools.


The city's Palace of Sports is a sports complex of the plant Gomselmash with stadiums, sports grounds and swimming pools.


In the center the city is a green massive park named after A.V. Lunacharsky with architectural monuments that are the creation of Russian architects.



Monument to Lenin


Soviet street in the evening


"Chabarok" Restaurant


Chemistry Palace


Gomel University


Regional Drama Theater


Monument in honor of the liberation of the city from the fascist invaders


Regional library


Institute of Mechanics of Metal-Polymer Systems of the Academy of Sciences of the BSSR


Road construction technical school


Planetarium


Circus building


Belarusian Institute of Railway Engineers



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