THE MYTH OF SOVIET INNOVATION
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From the moment the German armed forces capitulated on May 8 1945 (Germany’s legitimate government never did so), the Soviets benefited from a surge in production of what appeared to be innovated goods. New products began to appear in the Soviet stores that appeared to be of Soviet innovation and manufacture. However, many people are unaware that Soviet engineers plundered and copied much from the defeated Reich.
Wealthier Russians such as those loyal to the Stalinist regime were in awe of Soviet novelty. Soviet GUM stores boasted Soviet-made cameras, leisure goods, televisions, vacuum cleaners, telephones radios, fridges; everything designed to make life easier. These bore imaginative and appropriate USSR brand features and logos.
Ocean-going ships to pleasure craft, car assembly, pharmaceuticals and advances in transport, railway rolling stock, science, technology, and rocketry. However, following Germany’s defeat the Reich’s factories, workshops, and laboratories, machine tools and design facilities were systematically dismantled and shipped to the Soviet Union. German manufactured products that had once born their internationally recognised corporate logos such as Leica cameras were re-branded with Soviet names.
Understandably many in the post-war Soviet Union, including citizens of the 21 nations gifted to Stalin by Churchill and Roosevelt at the 1945 Yalta Conference, were captivated. Sadly, so were the brands and indeed everything else.
As soon as US President Roosevelt’s Lend-Lease Plan, aided by Churchill’s Murmansk convoys and the Persian Corridor secured a Bolshevik victory the Reds shopping list was composed. Few are aware that engineers from the USSR plundered and copied much from the defeated Reich.
When the Reich fell on May 8, 1945, the assets of Germany, second only to those of the United States, fell into the hands of the victors. Within 36 months, the time taken for Adolf Hitler to create the world’s wealthiest nation, Germany was reduced to a shell.
Everything from a wristwatch to ocean liners, entire contents of factories, tens of thousands of cars, homes, the world’s most precious artworks – and 10 million German slaves mostly civilians, were distributed among the British, the U.S. and Soviet Empires. Such was the scale of looting that it would have been difficult to find a bicycle or a household radio in looted Germany.
Ironically, German trucks, locomotives and rolling stock seized as prize of war were used to transport millions of Europeans from the Baltic States and what was to become the Eastern Bloc to feed the insatiable Gulag appetite for replacement slave labour.
The Soviet Union was granted the lion’s share of plunder from the defeated Reich. The greatest irony is that Poland was one of the 21 nations gifted to the USSR as plunder. Poland was of course the country for whose territorial integrity the war was started after Winston Churchill goaded and bribed the hapless Poles into provoking the Reich to elicit a response, which it did on September 1, 1939.
Britain was left impoverished by the cost of Churchill’s relentless determination to crush the Reich. But at what cost? The British Empire collapsed, Britain was left impoverished, the cost of the war and the cost of the debt that financed England’s war hung around Britannia’s neck like a millstone. The real winners of World War II were the Soviet Union and the United States. It was left to the peoples of the world to pay for the biggest the real price of Churchill’s war.
Soviet products that are blatant copies of patented products sourced in other countries.
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