Andrei Zhdanov’s Cultural Purification

Following the end of WWII, the upper party echelons recognized they needed to strengthen their control over cultural production. Zhdanov was placed in charge of ensuring cultural outlets supported the direction of the Soviet State.

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She Defends the Motherland

During Russia’s Great Patriotic War, films about the war effort dominated Russia’s film industry. With the majority of film production safely moved to Kazakhstan, the studios began to release war films to rally the Soviet people.

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Soviet National Anthem

“God Save the Tsar” obviously was no longer appropriate after the February Revolution of 1917; “The Internationale,” the French piece which replaced the former poetically captures the sentiment of its milieu–that of a permanent, global revolutionary movement towards a better world, founded on socialism.

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Comrades' Corner

Persecution in Russia

Jewish persecution is most typically associated with the Holocaust, but Soviets were brutally victimized as well. The Nazi party wished to push eastward in order to fulfill their dream of Lebensraum, or living space, and forced millions into labor and POW camps in the process. “German treatment of Soviet POWs differed dramatically from German policy … Continue reading Persecution in Russia

Soldier Are Not Equal

World War II saw a lot of atrocities.  The Nazis in particular seemed to favor ill treatment of any person, citizen or soldier, that did not fit in their narrow view of the true and proper race.  Although Jews are

One Step Ahead

Soviet war time brought a unique artistic freedom to the Soviet film and cinema industry. During the war there were over 100 Soviet films produced and half of them had a plot surrounded around the war. The most interesting thing was how many films told the stories of the partisans. The role of women and […]

Not One Step Backwards!

Soviet victory in the epic Battle of Stalingrad was in part due to Joseph Stalin’s notorious Order No. 227, known as “Not One Step Backwards!” Officers who permitted their men to retreat without explicit orders were to be arrested and “treated as traitors,” while rank-and-file “panickers and cowards” were to be shot on the spot … More Not One Step Backwards!

The Allies can Tank the Battle of Kursk for Turning the Tide of the War

In his essay Battle of Kursk, James von Geldern states that this engagement “involved the largest tank battle of the Second World War,” and “was fought on the steppe of Kursk oblast between July 5 and August 23, 1943.” Furthermore, from taking a class on World War Two last Autumn, I know that this was and … Continue reading The Allies can Tank the Battle of Kursk for Turning the Tide of the War

Rosie the {Russian} Riveter

One group that is often overlooked during wartime is women. Traditional values in Soviet  culture told women to stay at home to tend to the children, cook dinner, clean up, and take care of other household issues. However, during the 1940s while men were away at war, women played a very different role in Soviet […]