The article examines the population exchange between Poland and the Soviet Union in 1944–1947, its role in the shaping of modern Ukraine, and its place in the evolution of the Soviet nationality policy. It investigates the factors involved in the decision-making of individuals and state officials and then assesses how people on the ground made sense of the Soviet population politics. While the earlier scholarship saw the transfer as punitive national deportation, the article argues that it was neither punitive nor purely national nor was it a deportation. The article shows that the party-state was ambivalent about the Polish minority and was not committed to total national homogenization of Western Ukraine. Instead, the people themselves were often eager to leave the USSR because of the poor living conditions, fear of Sovietization, and ethnic conflict. Paradoxically, one of the largest Soviet nation-building projects was not the product of coherent nationality policy.
This subchapter deals with the medial and communicative functions of Soviet cinema during the interwar period. More specifically, it explores how the concept of Soviet viewership articulated within the framework of public discourse influenced the form of cinematic communication between the audience and the Soviet regime during the 1920s and 1930s. Giving a brief overview of the discussions on Soviet viewership during the 1920s, this paper next addresses the transformations, both on the level of the film industry and on the level of the cinematic message, brought to the Soviet film industry with the coming of sound. Special emphasis is paid to the history of sound recording technology and how new tools of expression expanded the ideological and political power of audiovisual media. Finally, this paper determines how the legacies of the avant-garde were appropriated by the cinema of Socialist Realism.
This study raises the problem of the degree of influence of Sovietization on the climate of inter-ethnic relations in the annexed territories of Eastern Poland on the eve and in the first months of the Holocaust. The article focuses on two aspects of Sovietization – first, the Soviet economic policy and the transformation of trade in the Western regions of the BSSR in 1939-1941; second, the change in the social status of local merchants, especially Jewish merchants. In this publication, the author comes to the conclusion that the Soviet economic transformations in the annexed Polish territories were contradictory. Due to the lack of Soviet trade infrastructure, supply channels, and retail personnel, the new administration resorted to the experience of "former" merchants, among whom were a large number of Polish Jews. As a result of this policy, many "former" merchants managed to get a job in state-owned trade institutions, which was considered very prestigious in the unfavorable economic situation. Under the circumstances, the impressive number of Jews among the employees of the state trade organization contributed to the increase in inter-ethnic tensions. On the other hand, in 1939-1941, most of the "former" traders actually continued their activities on the black market. The wide representation of local Jews in the illegal economy contributed to the fact that the struggle of the official authorities against speculators often looked like a struggle against some Jews. Thus, the acute economic crisis in the annexed Polish regions, as well as the inconsistent Soviet socio-economic policy in these lands, caused an escalation of inter-ethnic tensions and an increase in anti-Semitic sentiment. The socio-economic situation that developed in 1939-1941 under the influence of Soviet policy was one of the factors that provoked a surge of anti-Jewish violence in the summer of 1941.
This paper is devoted to war spoliations and cultural transfers in the USSR after the Second World War. More specifically, it examines the representation and reception of Western movies seized from occupied Germany in 1945 by the Red Army and distributed in the Soviet cinemas during the 1940s and the 1950s as spoils of war ["trophy films"]. Through collecting and analyzing governmental correspondence, official reports, publications in the Soviet press and ego-documents, this research considers the reception of "trophy films" on the interfaces of ideological discourse, personal background and shaping the Self. The obtained results reveal how the official norms formed a certain optic of film perception and caused an ideological approach to entertainment cinema.
The outbreak of the Great Patriotic War led to an unprecedented evacuation of the Soviet population to the East as well as a significant growth of social conflicts. Consequently, open manifestations of anti-Semitism increased greatly, which were often connected with defeatism and anti-Soviet moods. This article analyzes the reasons for this phenomenon and is based on the materials of judicial investigative cases of the Chelyabinsk Regional Court. This article focuses on the state struggle against anti-Semitism, which was considered by the judicial authorities as quasi-anti-Soviet activity and aid to the enemy. This perception was determined by the catastrophic situation of the Red Army, Nazi propaganda against “Judeo-Bolshevism,” and the beginning of the Holocaust in the occupied territories. In these conditions of socio-political instability, mass anti-Semitism required severe punishments. This article’s conclusions allow a revision of the policy of the Soviet state toward the “Jewish issue” during the Second World War.
The book is devoted to the phenomenon of terrorism in the Russian Empire in the second half of the 19th - early 20th centuries. The history of this phenomenon in a time perspective is given in a concise form, the motivation of various terrorist groups, the psychology of their individual representatives is traced. An explanation of the reasons for the transition of radicals to terrorism is offered, it is found out why the authorities reacted to terrorist acts in one way or another, how the authorities' reaction changed the trajectories of terrorist activity.
The article examines the commemorative events of the 100th anniversary of the German and Austrian revolution, the role of various discursive actors and those key toposs that were emphasized or left in the shadows at various levels of discourse. The official festivities, with the participation of federal presidents and chancellors, reproduced the consensus narrative of the republican period in the history of both countries as a path to liberal democracy, where radical alternatives to the right and left were mentioned in the context of Nazism, and their own communist movements were practically not mentioned. National media do not show significant differences, with the exception of the emphasized involvement of experts in their memorial products, when political historians (Austria) and constitutional lawyers (Germany) took center stage. Regional aspects were present in Weimar and Kiel, but the Bavarian Soviet Republic was virtually excluded. Thus, the spread of “knowledge-power” was characterized by the unification of a centralist narrative, in which the path to modern parliamentary democracy stood out at the expense of radical alternatives.
Conçu comme un moyen de rapprochement franco-autrichien, le déploiement des musiques et musiciens français en Autriche s’inscrivait dans la politique d’occupation et d’expansion culturelle. Cette diplomatie musicale, partie intégrante de la diplomatie culturelle, visait à créer un sentiment de communauté avec la France au détriment du nationalisme germanique, à établir une position de prestige dans le pays de la musique et à accumuler un capital symbolique pour la France. Malgré ses succès, la politique française s’est heurtée aux ambivalences du projet national autrichien entamé sous l’occupation alliée et aux images de l’autre que les interlocuteurs autrichiens construisaient autour de la France de la musique, comme la chorégraphie à la fois néoclassique et transnationale promue par Serge Lifar. À la place d’un exercice du pouvoir unilatéral, la diplomatie musicale française s’intègre ainsi dans un contexte sociopolitique autrichien transformant son message au gré des critiques et publics locaux.
Following the German invasion of the USSR on June 22, 1941, murderous violence against local Jews broke out in many localities of the territories it had occupied in the wake of the 1939 Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact. In particular, organizers demanded revenge for the recent Stalinist repressions and deportations. Participants claimed that the “Jewish Soviet state,” the “Jewish NKVD,” or local Jews had been responsible for those crimes. Even now, the legend of prewar Jewish responsibility figures in the dubious “double genocide” thesis animating nationalistic historiographies in Eastern Europe and its international diasporas. The following study counters that mythology, addressing the story of actual Jews in the NKVD at the end of the 1930s. It draws on the archives of the Ukrainian security services, especially records that document Stalin’s effort to divert blame for the recent Great Terror onto senior and mid-level officials. Stalin’s green light to criticize the bosses gave other NKVD officers the opportunity to address many issues, including that of antisemitism among NKVD cadres. These sources suggest that antisemitism was in fact a potent force within the NKVD in Ukraine and elsewhere.
In August 1935, a group of intellectuals who gathered in Vilna at a jubilee conference of the Jewish Scientific Institute, YIVO, announced the founding of a movement called the Yiddish Culture Front (YCF), whose aim would be to ensure the preservation of Yiddish culture. The article focuses on the congress convened by the YCF in Paris. The congress, a landmark in the history of Yiddishism, opened on September 17, 1937, before a crowd of some 4,000 attendees. 104 delegates represented organizations and institutions from 23 countries. Radically anti-Soviet groups boycotted the convention, considering it a communist ploy. Ironically, the Kremlin cancelled the participation of a Soviet delegation at the last moment. From the vantage point of the delegates, Paris was the only logical center for its World Yiddish Cultural Association (IKUF or YIKUF) created after the congress. However, the French capital was not destined to become the world capital of Yiddish intellectual life. Influential circles of Yiddish literati, still torn by ideological strife rather than united in any common cultural “Yiddishland,” remained concentrated in America, Poland, and the Soviet Union.
The article examines the population exchange between Poland and Soviet Union in 1944-1946, its role in the shaping of modern Ukraine, and its place in the evolution of the Soviet nationality policy. Based on archival sources this article examines the factors involved in the decision making of individuals and state officials and then assesses how people on the ground made sense of the Soviet population politics. While much of the earlier scholarship saw the transfer as a punitive national deportation, the argument of the article is that most of the time it was neither punitive nor purely national nor deportation. Contrary to the historiographical thesis about the Soviet transition from class to ethnic categories in its rule, the article shows that during the population exchange the Soviet party-state continued to view the society in class terms and frequently prioritized economy over concerns with national homogeneity.
This paper deals with the issue of trophy films, transported by the Soviet Army to the USSR after the Second World War.
The willed suspension of the pandemic in Moscow provides a moment for the first reflections on the (dis)appearing city in quarantine, capitalist realism, state capitalism and new sensitivities
In November 1963, Aron Vergelis, editor of the Moscow Yiddish journal Sovetish Heymland (1961–1991), visited the United States for the first time. This was the first American voyage of a Soviet Jewish cultural personality since 1943, when Solomon Mikhoels and the Yiddish poet Itsik Fefer famously toured the United States as leaders of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. As it turned out, this would be the beginning of Vergelis’s quarter-century career as a globetrotting Cold War era propagandist. This article analyzes the circumstances by which Vergelis, a figure of modest influence and stature, appeared as a visible figure in the arena of Soviet-Western ideological confrontation.
From 1941 to 1945 thousands of British and American sailors came to the northern Soviet ports of Arkhangel’sk and Molotovsk with Lend-Lease convoys. On the shore they made many casual contacts with local residents, in particular with Soviet women. These contacts came under close scrutiny of the Soviet authorities who tried to limit the alleged subversive influence of foreign nationals on Soviet citizens. Local women who dated Allied personnel faced harassment and repression that ranged from administrative exile to imprisonment in the Gulag. Resentments against women who had intimate relationships with foreigners during the war were widespread throughout the European theater, and not limited to the USSR. Still the Soviet authorities’ treatment of Arkhangel’sk women who dated nationals of ‘friendly’ countries was particularly harsh. They faced not just moral condemnation, but legal prosecution and long prison terms. The severity of their repression is comparable to how the Soviet side treated civilian Nazi collaborators. Ultimately, Soviet reactions to such wartime contacts with Allied nationals shed light on the broader social history of the Soviet home front, inter-Allied relationships on a grassroots level, and Soviet wartime and postwar justice that was arbitrary in nature and largely defined by local initiatives.
The chapter is devoted to the liberation of Soviet territories and Europe from Nazi occupation in 1943-1945.
Architectural practice in the Stalinist USSR saw the sudden and rapid revival of historical forms and styles. One approach interprets this development as part of a reactionary shift in Soviet temporal culture, a “Great Retreat” across all spheres of social and political life. The rival conception sees in historicism an aesthetic of “timelessness” and “perfection,” which expressed Stalinism’s self-characterization as an eternal, utopian present. This paper presents a third perspective, arguing that the revival of historicism stemmed, paradoxically, from a future-oriented impulse. This revolved around the charge that Stalinist architecture "immortalize the memory" of the era, to ensure posterity’s gratitude and admiration. Accordingly, Stalinist architects drew upon supposedly enduring historical styles, which they expected to remain understandable to future generations. Further, time-tested traditional materials, forms, and decorative mediums were employed to ensure the physical durability of Stalinist architectural monuments. The paper concludes by situating this logic in the global context of interwar monumental architecture and considering some implications for our understanding of Stalinist temporality.
Inna Naroditskaya's seminal book has transformed our understanding of Russian opera in several ways. In particular, the relatively underestimated importance of 18th-century operas, the role of women therein, and female protagonists, often coupled with mysoginistic undertones, in several 19th-century classics are examined.
The article offers an analysis of historical politics and political use of the “historical statehood” concept in the unrecognized republics of Transnistria and Donbass. It traces the use of the“historical statehood” by the Transnistrian and Donbass separatist leaders for legitimizing their cause, in their political struggle and expansionist pursuits, and in the appeals to the population of territories under the control of the central governments. A specific strategy of self-legitimization and self-representation, emphasizing multiethnicity and declarative rejection of ethnic nationalism, influences the way these separatist regimes employ historical politics and instrumentalize their “historical statehood.” I suggest naming this approach “internationalist separatism.”