the money and valuables voluntarily given by the population of the USSR to meet the needs of the front during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45. The idea for the fund came from the people themselves, and all the peoples of the Soviet Union contributed. The Central Committee of the Communist Party and local party organs lent their support. Workers at many enterprises donated one day’s wages each month; kolkhoz members sowed extra hectares (defense hectares), and people did voluntary work on Sundays.
In December 1942, the peoples of the USSR began donating to the Red Army Fund to finance tank units, air squadrons, and other combat matériel. Special commissions were set up to accept the donations, and information on contributions to the Defense Fund and on current totals was regularly reported in the press.
The Defense Fund and Red Army Fund together comprised 16 billion rubles, 13 kg of platinum, 131 kg of gold, 9,519 kg of silver, and 1.8 billion rubles’ worth of precious stones; in addition, more than 4.5 billion rubles were raised through the sale of government bonds, and 0.5 billion rubles were deposited in savings accounts so that the state could have temporary use of the money (1941 prices). The funds paid for more than 2,500 combat planes, several thousand tanks, eight submarines, 16 military boats of various types, and many other items.
REFERENCESSinitsyn, A. M. “Vsenarodnaia pomoshch’ frontu.” In Sovetskii tyl v Velikoi Otechestvennoi voine, book 1. Moscow, 1974. Pages 182–89.
Narodnoe khoziaistvo SSSR v gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny (Hun’ 1941-mai 1945 gg.): Bibliografich. ukazatel’. Moscow, 1971. Pages 20–24.
N. A. PETROVA