May 19, 2015

1943. The Stalin Prize

The Stalin Science Awards
A Stalin Prize medal
 (For more, see the complete 1943 Moscow reports.)
Bill Downs

CBS Moscow

March 23, 1943

The Soviet press revealed today that, during the past year, Russian scientists and engineers have developed a whole new series of weapons for the Red Army. These new weapons include three new types of planes, a new type of artillery weapon, a new development in naval artillery, three new developments in airplane motors, and a new type of fighting ship for the Red Navy.

These inventions, for the first time at least, will be put at the top of Russia's "secret weapon" list. The newspapers published no details.

The occasion for even hinting that these things exist was the first annual list of Stalin science awards. These awards range from $18,000 to $5,000, and are given to engineers, professors, and scientists who have distinguished themselves in Soviet science and industry for the past year.

Such prizes went to Russian physicists, such as Professor Alexandrov for his research in the field of fluid helium. Another group of professors got awards for completion of a history of the Russian Civil War. The Soviet Union's famous aircraft designers Ilyushin, Yakolev, and Tupolev all received honors, as did several Red Army generals, in the engineering section for their development of new weapons.

However, also included in the group of five hundred awards were a group of people very much like you and I. There was an oil driller who helped develop a new field near Baku, a lathe worker who simplified production of gun barrels, and a steel peddler who reorganized his furnace gang to turn out an increased amount of steel.

Best of all was the award to ten Russian women, all of them farmers. All together they got about $10,000 for developing a process on their farm in the Urals which produced more potatoes per acre than any other farm in that whole region.

These Soviet government awards to the ordinary factory worker and farmer throw an interesting light on Russia's entire war effort. This is not only a war of scientific theory, the laboratory, and the test tube. It is also a war of the ordinary plow, persistence, and patience.

News of the Stalin science awards, which went to the highest as well as the lowest citizens of the Soviet Union, almost pushed news of the war clear out of the Russian newspapers today.

It is evidence of just one more reason why Hitler, if he kidnaps all the labor in Europe and forces it into his factories, will never be able to defeat this nation.

You see, the Russian people feel that they have something to work for, and it is more than an annual prize contest.