OSA / Highlights
Celebration of Christmas, or The New Year The Old Way
Left: Caricatures from "Ogoniok" (Dot of light), a Soviet official magazine.
Right: speech by the Prime minister of the Czechoslovak government, December 24, 1952, (transcript below).
Speech by the Prime minister of the Czechoslovak government
In my Christmas speech I would like to speak first of all to those gathered at the Christmas Eve table: our children and youth. You, who are growing up, do not even notice how many things have changed recently. Not even the legendary Christmas has remained unchanged. The Christmas trees are still shining, everyone is waiting for gifts, but the creche that used to be an indispensable part of the celebration is disappearing. The creche with baby Jesus had to be present in every household even if only cut out of paper and placed on moss. Baby Jesus, lying in the stable on the straw beside a donkey and an ox and the star of Bethlehem above, were the symbols of the Christmas of past times. Why? They were supposed to remind the miserable working people that the poor belong in a stable. If Jesus could be born and live in a stable, then why could you not live there and your children be born there? This is how the rich and powerful spoke of the poor and the working people.
That is why, in the times of the capitalist domination, when the rich were in power and the poor worked hard, workers lived in pigsties and their children were born there. But times have changed. Many things changed. Baby Jesus grew up and got old, he turned into Father Frost with the beard. He is no longer naked and in rags, but he is dressed up in a fur coat and fur cap. Our workers and their children are no longer naked and in rags.
Father Frost comes from the East and his road is illuminated not only by the Star of Bethlehem but also by many stars which shine on mines, steel mills, factories and construction sites. It is with pride that these red stars announce that your fathers and mothers have fulfilled the goals set up in Gottwald's five-year plan...
HU OSA 300-30-22
Fonds 300: Records of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Institute
Subfonds 30: Czechoslovak Unit
Series 22: Czechoslovak Monitoring
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