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Communist subbotniki (Communist Volunteer Saturday Workers) were shockworkers who volunteered their free Saturdays for the Bolshevik cause.

Subbotniki were lauded as heroes of socialist labor, as prototypes of the new unselfish man, and role models for the working class. Their actions may have reflected spontaneous enthusiasm among some workers, but they were also encouraged by the Communist Party to mobilize effort. The phenomenon was a mixture of socialist idealism and coercion.

The KS (Communist subbotniki) movement is said to have started by the communists on April 12, 1919 at the Moscow-Kazan railway depot, and was praised by Vladimir Lenin in an article entitled " Velikii pochin, " July 28, 1919. During the summer and autumn of 1919, KS mobilized to defeat Denikin, and surmount the "fuel crisis."

During World War II, the KS and voskresniki (Sunday volunteers) are said to have inspired the war effort. Celebrations commemorating their achievements and encouraging the movement's continuation were held frequently during the seventies.

See also: soviet man; stakhanovite movement

Steven Rosefielde