Building a Pan-Soviet Past: The Soviet War Cult and the Turn Away from Ethnic Particularism

Building a Pan-Soviet Past: The Soviet War Cult and the Turn Away from Ethnic Particularism Th e Soviet and Post-Soviet Review 38 (2011) 149–171 © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI 10.1163/187633211X589114 brill.nl/spsr Building a Pan-Soviet Past: Th e Soviet War Cult and the Turn Away from Ethnic Particularism* Jonathan Brunstedt* * St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford Abstract Th is article examines the evolution of offi cial Soviet remembrance of the Second World War in the decades that followed 1945. Focusing on elite discourse and Komsomol military-patriotic curricula associated with the state cult of the war, the article argues that Soviet remembrance promoted the war as a fundamentally supranational experience and the basis for a transcendent, pan-Soviet imagined community. Th e article questions an infl uential scholarly position that emphasizes the party leadership’s reliance on pre-socialist, russocentric imagery for popular mobilization. In fact, offi cial remembrance practices after Stalin were most striking in the extent to which they consistently downplayed Russian exceptionalism for the sake of the paramount Soviet whole. Th e article proposes that this tendency should be viewed as part of a larger, inter- nally contested eff ort to move away from a distinct ethnic hierarchy, and toward a picture of non-ethnic, pan-Soviet uniformity. Keywords WWII remembrance ; commemoration ; http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Soviet and Post Soviet Review Brill

Building a Pan-Soviet Past: The Soviet War Cult and the Turn Away from Ethnic Particularism

The Soviet and Post Soviet Review, Volume 38 (2): 149 – Jan 1, 2011

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2011 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1075-1262
eISSN
1876-3324
D.O.I.
10.1163/187633211X589114
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Th e Soviet and Post-Soviet Review 38 (2011) 149–171 © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI 10.1163/187633211X589114 brill.nl/spsr Building a Pan-Soviet Past: Th e Soviet War Cult and the Turn Away from Ethnic Particularism* Jonathan Brunstedt* * St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford Abstract Th is article examines the evolution of offi cial Soviet remembrance of the Second World War in the decades that followed 1945. Focusing on elite discourse and Komsomol military-patriotic curricula associated with the state cult of the war, the article argues that Soviet remembrance promoted the war as a fundamentally supranational experience and the basis for a transcendent, pan-Soviet imagined community. Th e article questions an infl uential scholarly position that emphasizes the party leadership’s reliance on pre-socialist, russocentric imagery for popular mobilization. In fact, offi cial remembrance practices after Stalin were most striking in the extent to which they consistently downplayed Russian exceptionalism for the sake of the paramount Soviet whole. Th e article proposes that this tendency should be viewed as part of a larger, inter- nally contested eff ort to move away from a distinct ethnic hierarchy, and toward a picture of non-ethnic, pan-Soviet uniformity. Keywords WWII remembrance ; commemoration ;

Journal

The Soviet and Post Soviet ReviewBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2011

Keywords: SOVIET IDENTITY; SOVIET UNION; WWII REMEMBRANCE; COMMEMORATION; SOVIET PEOPLE; RUSSOCENTRISM; LEONID BREZHNEV; STATE CULTS

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