Tag: thaw

Soviet Russia and the Prisoners of Stalin

The death of Stalin in March 1953 sent a wave of revolutionary change across Russia, including the release of prisoners being held at labor camps. According to the Seventeen Moments in History source, “the first post-Stalin action of this kind was the amnesty issued by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on … Continue reading Soviet Russia and the Prisoners of Stalin

Virgin Lands Campaign

Agriculture had always been a problem for the Soviets. Thus, after Stalin died in 1953, Khrushchev became the head of the communist party and decided that Russia needed to solve its agriculture problems. As a result, Khrushchev came up with the Virgin Lands Campaign and he launched it in 1954. Khrushchev was trying to solve […]

Zoot Suiters and the Wicked West

  The death of Joseph Stalin in 1953 created a culture vacuum in which the anti-communist styles and values of the West attracted the millennial generation of the Soviet Union. The uniformity of the Stalinist era focused on collective accomplishment, whereas the new wave of the Stilyaga revitalized the idea of individualism for both men and women.… Continue reading Zoot Suiters and the Wicked West

Deadly Cake

In the years immediately following the death of Joseph Stalin (1953), two ‘trends’ or ‘shifts’ in particular took place throughout the Soviet Union.  For starters, a de-Stalinization of sorts was set into motion throughout the motherland (Freeze, 413).  In addition to attempts to diffuse and/or move away from the ‘cult of personality’ following his death, … Continue reading “Deadly Cake”

A Friendly Fellow Traveler?

In 1957, Virginia Tech’s own Homer Hickam was just a 14 year old kid looking up at a October Sky. On the night of October 4, 1957, he was amazed. Doubt, he may not have felt the same as some of his fellow town folk. Just take a look: From the dawn of America’s atomic bomb in 1945,…

Freedom for Some

After the death of Stalin, the government freed many prisoners in gulags.  Amnesty was given to those under the age of 18, women who had children under 10 years old, pregnant women, men older than 55, women older than 50, and those suffering from incurable diseases like cancer.  In addition to this, if a prisoner’s…

The Virgin Lands Campaign

The post-Stalin Soviet Union changed politically, culturally, and economically in countless different ways. Politically, Stalin’s cult of personality was denounced and his name was intentionally forgotten and excluded from Soviet daily life. Even his body, on display next to Lenin, was removed after divine intervention appealed to a woman at the 21st Party Congress, asking […]

Peeking under the Iron Curtain

The year is 1957 and the cold War is in full swing, but the streets of Moscow are filled with smiling foreigners and extremely intrigued Muscovites.  This is thanks to Nikki Khrushchev’s “thaw” which allowed for the 6th World Festival of Youth and Students to be held in the city of Moscow.  Excitement for this event didn’t begin during […]