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Adhesive Propaganda Stamps of the Spanish Civil War from Special Collections & Archives

Twentieth Anniversary of the Russian Revolution

The second year of the Spanish Civil War coincided with the twentieth anniversary of the Russian Revolution of 1917. As a coalition of left-leaning political parties, the Spanish Popular Front was touted as a government of the proletarian class, a distinction shared with only one other country, the Soviet Union. The Soviet decision to support the Republic as the democracies of Western Europe subscribed to the practice of non-intervention forged another bond between the Spanish and their fellow proletarians. Though some sectors of government opposed the growing influence of the Soviet Union, the celebration of twentieth anniversary of the Russian Revolution was a major event within the Republican zone.

This set of stamps, from the Association of Friends of the Soviet Union (Asociación de Amigos de la Unión Soviética, or AUS) appears with a “de Euskadi” imprint likely meant to allow for circulation within the Basque region. Though only one cyan set appears here, the Southworth Collection includes duplicate sets, without imprint, in black, indigo, red, and cyan.

Also of AUS origin, this set extols the virtues of life in the Soviet Union. In addition to the red ink shown here, the full collection includes duplicate copies in magenta, indigo, cyan, and black, and green.