|Text on Button||SOVIET YOUTH|
An illustration of two faces outlined in blue looking forward and smiling. There is a white hammer and sickle symbol below the faces on a blue hill line at the bottom of the button. The text arches above the faces in a blue arch on the top of the button. There are three green, yellow, and red waves that are separated by white stripes below the two faces.
Organized in 1918, various youth organizations involved in the Russian Revolution banded together to create Komsomol. Later children were recruited to join Komsomol (ages 14-28) and its counterparts, Young Pioneers (9-14) and Little Octobrists (9 and under), where they were taught to prioritize Communism above all else. These groups provided politically driven education and recreation, conditioning children to be loyal and remain loyal to the socialist party while engaging members in healthy activities, sports, education, and various services and industrial projects in an effort to rebuild post-war Soviet Russia. Under the direction of Stalin this vision shifted toward becoming an auxiliary arm of the Soviet State. At its largest, during the 1970s, Komsomol had about 40 million members; about two-thirds of the present population of Russia is believed to have once been a member. Following the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union, the Komsomol disbanded in 1991.