Membership Badge of the Detkomissiya (Children Agency)
at the Central Executive Committee of the USSR, early to mid
Brass, enamel; measures 23.9 mm tall at the flagpole, 26.6
mm wide. The badge bears striking similarity to membership
badges of the TsIK (Executive Committee) or the later
Supreme Soviet badges.
In fine condition. The enamel has been repaired in the lower
left corner of the flag. There is also minor surface flaking
around the first letter and at the right edge of the flag.
The red enamel nevertheless still looks impressive, with
attractive luster. Much of the original silver finish on the
reverse is present. The screw post is original, over 8.5 mm
in length. The unmarked screw plate is of the period and
probably original to the badge.
The Children Agency at the VTsIK (Central Executive
Committee) was established on Lenin's orders in January
1921. Also known as "Committee for Improvement of the Lives
of Children", it had as its primary goal rounding up and
rearing the scores of homeless children that roamed Soviet
Russia at the time (their numbers reportedly reached 5
million in the wake of the Civil War). The head of the
committee was none other than Feliks Dzerzhinsky, the
infamous founder of the Soviet Cheka / OGPU secret police
and one of the chief architects of the Red Terror. Not
surprisingly, the Soviet state security was heavily involved
in the activities of the committee and actually ran at least
some of the orphanages and "labor communes".
/ "Avers 8", p. 345, fig. 1686/