My friend was a young engineer, he just graduated from St. Petersburg State University and returned to Kiev, began working at Kievgorstroy in the sixties of the last century. He received a letter in the mail in which an absolutely unfamiliar person told him that he had also received it once, then sent 5 rubles in envelopes (pyatirublevka) to five specified addresses, then he put the same letter and wrote down his postal address in the place of the fifth person, all he honestly put it up a notch, bought 50 envelopes with stamps and began to fill at random.

After sending them, after a week, he began to receive the first answers with five-rubles from strangers. Of course he told friends, and they exchanged bills even personally and honestly kept a list of five people.

It is not clear where this game came from, but it quickly gained a massive character, someone wrote that it started in Bulgaria, someone said it came from Europe.

I am still pleasantly surprised by the mentality of the Soviet people who honestly starting the game put themselves in the fifth place, and in fact could write all their addresses or relatives, well, no – they conscientiously kept records and sent 5 rubles to five addresses starting the game. But you could not send, just write, buy stamps, make a newsletter – wonderful people, probably there will be no such people anymore …

The sixties of the last century were marked by the acquaintance of Soviet workers with the financial game. Inhabitants sent  pyatirublevka in large quantities, queues were being collected at the post office, many were deprived of sleep and rest — the Stakhanov post movement began. It is not clear what was more ambitious – the network business of the countries of the capitalist camp or the new Soviet financial game. People felt the taste of money, excitement, earnings of thousands of rubles a month with a salary of 120, and …

The authorities were involved in the process when it reached a global scale. They invented a pretext — an overload of a mail job that was really well overloaded. The authorities asked the townspeople not to send pyatirublevka, which later advertised the game, after which all the KGB began to take out of the boxes envelopes with bills.

What are the authorities afraid of? I think that they were afraid that people would stop going to work, many rich people would appear, which is absolutely unacceptable for the Union.

My friend, the hero of our article, received 321 letters with pyatirublevka, and his income was 1605 rubles. Yes, in the beginning he spent a little: he honestly sent 25 rubles to five addresses indicated in the text and bought fifty envelopes with stamps, although as he says, he could manage with personal communication when he began to tell what was happening with his mailbox his friends the list gave him 5 rubles  into the hands and sent to the four with enthusiasm rewrote the text already with their data in fifth place and life went on.

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12 thoughts on “The Soviet mail pyramid almost stopped the work of the post office 50 years ago.”

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