Timur Movement

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Timur Movement


a mass patriotic movement of Pioneers and schoolchildren that embodies civic concern for people in need of help. The movement, born in the USSR in the early 1940’s under the influence of A. P. Gaidar’s novella Timur and His Team, was organized to help the families of servicemen. With its game-like aspects, the Timur movement is an effective form of socially useful activity for children, contributing to their moral upbringing and furthering their initiative.

During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, the Timur movement’s teams and detachments worked in schools, in children’s homes, at the Palaces and Houses of Pioneers, and in other extrascholastic institutions as well as in residential areas. In the RSFSR alone the movement had more than 2 million members, called timurovtsy. They were active in hospital work, assisted the families of Soviet Army soldiers and officers, worked in children’s homes and kindergartens, helped harvest crops, and contributed to the defense fund. Since the end of the war, they have given aid to invalids and veterans—both of war and of labor—and to the aged; they also tend the graves of the war dead.

In the 1960’s the timurovtsy undertook a research study on the life of Gaidar, and this work gave impetus to the opening of museums in Arzamas and L’gov memorializing the writer. Money collected by the timurovtsy was used to open the Gaidar Library and Museum in Kanev in the Ukrainian SSR.

In the early 1970’s, the practical directorship of the various organized bodies of the Timur movement was assumed by the All-Union Timur Headquarters, established as an adjunct of the editorial offices of the magazine Pioner by the Central Council of the Lenin Ail-Union Pioneer Organization. Local headquarters were also established at the republic, oblast, raion, and city levels. The timurovtsy hold traditional assemblies on a regular basis. Approximately 3,500 delegates gathered in Artek in 1973 for the first all-Union Timur rally and adopted a program for the development of the Timur movement.

Carrying on the traditions of the Timur movement, children and adolescents voluntarily participate in such activities as the improvement of cities and villages, the preservation of nature, and assistance to adult workers’ groups.

Timur teams and detachments have been created within the Pioneer organizations of the German Democratic Republic, the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, the Polish People’s Republic, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.


Ukh”iankin, S. P. Pionery-timurovtsy. Moscow, 1961.
Kamov, B. K. Obyknovennaia biografiia: Arkadii Gaidar. Moscow, 1971.
Furin, S. A., and L. S. Simonova. lunym timurovtsam. Moscow, 1975.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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