Map Shows How Communism Threatened 1950s Europe

A tilt in the usual orientation shows Moscow in a much more threatening perspective

Perspective and the right choice of colours can help to infuse a map with meaning, this one being a very good example. The map is entitled Europe From Moscow, and was featured in the Time Magazine issue of March 10, 1952.


At that time, the world was dominated by the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. Even though the Nazis were defeated less than a decade ago, it seemed Europe – divided between American allies in the west and Soviet satellite states in the east – could become a theatre of war, if the Soviets were to push into Western Europe and ‘finish the job’ they started by virtually annexing the Eastern European countries they conquered in the Second World War.

Those countries are shaded in a lighter tone of red in this map, thus underlining the image of Communism seeping into Europe from Russia, making the ‘uncontaminated’ parts of Europe look threatened.

“The effective psychological strategy demonstrated by this map is an illustration of the powerfully innovative propaganda work achieved by R.M.Chapin, the primary cartographer for political maps in Time,” says the Newberry Library in Chicago about this map.

Strange Maps #103

Got a strange map? Let me know at strangemaps@gmail.com.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Videos
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less