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Hero of Socialist Labor

The title of Hero of Socialist Labor was the highest degree of distinction of the USSR, like the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, and in many respects it is similar to it. Both titles had similar provisions, insignia, order of presentation and awarding, as well as a list of benefits. But the title of Hero of Socialist Labor was not conferred on foreign citizens, unlike the title of Hero of the Soviet Union and on all other Soviet awards. In the history of assigning the title of Hero of Socialist Labor, there are clear trends in encouraging and encouraging work in areas of science, technology and production where the Soviet state was lagging behind the "capitalist environment".

The title of Hero of Socialist Labor and the Statute of the title were established by Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of December 27, 1938. The text of the Provision stated that "the title of Hero of Socialist Labor is conferred to persons who, with their particularly distinguished innovative activities in industry, agriculture, transport, trade, scientific discoveries and technical inventions, showed exceptional services to the Soviet state, contributed to the advancement of the national economy, science and culture , the growth of power and glory of the USSR ". The provision also established that "The Hero of Socialist Labor is awarded: the highest award of the USSR - the Order of Lenin; a diploma of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR".

It must be said that the term "labor hero" appeared in 1921, when hundreds of the best workers in Petrograd and Moscow were so named. This term was met in newspapers, affixed to diplomas awarded to advanced workers, and in 1922 was placed on the sign of the Order of the Red Banner of Labor of the RSFSR (see the section "Awards of the Soviet Republics"). In 1927, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the October armed uprising, by the Resolution of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR (CEC - the then parliament of the country) and the Council of People's Commissariats of the USSR (the so-called government) of July 27, the Title "Hero of Labor" was established, which could be awarded " to persons who have special merit "and have worked for at least 35 years. This title was conferred by the Presidium of the CEC of the USSR or the Federal Republic.

The title of Hero of Socialist Labor grew out of the two previous ones, but along with the diploma was awarded the Order of Lenin, as well as the Hero of the Soviet Union, while the Heroes of Social Work also did not originally have a special distinction. Such a sign - the "Hammer and Sickle" gold medal - was established by the Decree of May 22, 1940 "On additional insignia for Heroes of Socialist Labor". As in the similar title document of the Hero of the Soviet Union dated October 16, 1993. This Decree determined the possibility of awarding the Hero of Socialist Labor with this medal for the second and third time (no more), and found that a bronze bust was constructed twice in the homeland of the Hero of Social Work. and in honor of the three times Hero of Socialist Labor, a bust is installed near the Palace of Soviets, which was then constructed in Moscow and was not completed.

In 1973, the Decree of 14.5 approved the Regulations on the ranks of the Hero of Socialist Labor and the Hero of the Soviet Union in a new edition. The provision determined that "the title of Hero of Socialist Labor is the highest degree of distinction for merits in the field of economic and socio-cultural construction" and "is assigned to persons who have shown labor heroism, with their particularly distinguished labor activity made a significant contribution to improving the efficiency of social production, promoted the rise national economy, science, culture, growth of power and glory of the USSR ". The limitation in the number of re-awards with the Hammer and Sickle medal that has existed since 1940 (not more than 3 times in all) was removed, but this step remained unused: no one became the Hero of Socialist Labor four times. At the same time, the Regulations introduced the procedure for awarding the Order of Lenin with each awarding the Sickle and Hammer medal. The latter was clearly done under the then party and state leaders who loved to decorate themselves with all sorts of awards. The provision also affirmed that if the Hero of Socialist Labor is also a Hero of the Soviet Union, then a bronze bust is also being built in his homeland, as if he were twice the Hero of Social Work. In addition, the Regulation approved the list of benefits to Heroes established earlier.

In the summer of 1949, the USSR successfully tested its first atomic bomb, and the title of Hero of Social Work was awarded to a group of its creators. In 1954, the first Heroes of Socialist Labor who were awarded three times for the successful first hydrogen bomb in the world — all the same six people who were first awarded in 1949 for creating an atomic bomb. At the same time, along with them, his first medal "Hammer and Sickle" (of the future three) was given to A.D. Sakharov. In the same year, another new tendency was outlined: the assignment of the title of Hero of Social Labor to a party leader for his birthday. None other than N.S. Khrushchev, who received the first Sickle and Hammer medal for his 60th birthday. Perhaps he simply repeated the experience of Stalin (1939). But subsequent awards Khrushchev second (1957) and the third (! ) (1961) the “Hammer and Sickle” medals were clearly “pioneering”: before it, none of the party leaders was not only three times, but twice a Hero. Assigning to him the title of Hero of the Soviet Union in 1964 turned Khrushchev into a operetta figure, which in the 70s LI became. Brezhnev, who, apparently, was not the first chronologically hunter to awards.

The disintegration of the communist ideology under Brezhnev was expressed, in particular, in the practice of conferring the title of Hero of Socialist Labor. Thus, there has been a tendency to have a Hero of Social Labor at every mine, at every factory, at every large collective and state farm. These people often had real merits, but, since they were supposed to be the "beacons" of the next five years, they were selected according to personal data, often leaving no less deserving candidates without awards. The party nomenclature received gold stars almost automatically: to the 60th (or) 70th anniversary of the birth.

This Decree on conferring one of the most honorable awards of the USSR turned into a farce, humiliating for all who had a true idea of the contribution of these people to the development of jet technology and to the meaning of such a notion as the "highest degree of difference" of the state. In 1991, this title was permanently abolished along with the USSR award system.

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