Chapter

The Liberator State? The Crisis of Official Soviet Identity during the Pact Period 1939–1941

Timothy Johnston

in Being Soviet

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604036
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731600 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604036.003.0001

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

The Liberator State? The Crisis of Official Soviet Identity during the Pact Period 1939–1941

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Official representations of Soviet diplomatic identity became increasingly incoherent in the months between the Nazi‐Soviet Pact (August 1939) and the German invasion of the USSR (June 1941). Despite official boasting about the success of Stalin’s ‘peace’ policy, rumours of war were extremely widespread and successful in this period. The cultural identity of the USSR in this period focused on the greatness of Soviet civilization and the extension of Stalinist liberty to the newly occupied borderlands. However, the occupying soldiers passed back large volumes of luxury goods and also stories of capitalist wealth from the new Polish and Finnish territories. Alongside Pravda’s refusal to admit to the losses of the Winter War, these changes led many Soviet citizens to rely more heavily on the tactic of bricolage, fusing information obtained via official and unofficial sources, in order to make sense of international affairs.

Keywords: 1939; 1941; diplomacy; rumours; Nazi-Soviet Pact; Winter War; occupation; capitalism; Pravda; borderland

Chapter.  16318 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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