First edition album (Belgium) published in 1930.
Tintin travels to the Soviet Union to gather news about the effects of Communism on the population and the economy. From the very moment he sets off, however, an agent of the Soviet secret service, the OGPU, tries to get rid of him. Despite this nuisance, the young reporter manages to penetrate the heart of the Bolshevik state.
Tintin witnesses a government official handing out bread to any homeless child who pledges allegiance to the Marxist ideology, but denying it to those who refuse. He goes on to witness a local election, where the Bolsheviks aim their guns at the voters to ensure their votes. Tintin even discovers “how the Soviets fool the poor idiots who still believe in a Red Paradise” — by burning bundles of straw and banging metal in order to trick visitors into believing that Soviet factories are productive, when in fact they are not even operational. Throughout this adventure, Tintin is hunted by Soviet agents. Will he manage to make it back to Belgium in one piece?
The USSR is the first nation-state that Tintin visits outside of Belgium. This choice can be explained by the anti-Communist sentiment that was then prevalent in Western Europe, particularly at the newspaper where Hergé worked. The paper’s managers wanted to warn readers about the evils of Bolshevism.
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