Russia After the War: Hopes, Illusions and Disappointments, by Elena Zubkova

By Elena Zubkova

Translated and edited through Hugh Ragsdale

The years of past due Stalinism are one of many murkiest classes in Soviet historical past, top identified to us during the voices of Ehrenburg, Khrushchev and Solzhenitsyn. this can be a sweeping historical past of Russia from the top of the conflict to the Thaw via considered one of Russia's revered more youthful historians. Drawing at the assets of newly opened records in addition to the new outpouring of released diaries and memoirs, Elena Zubkova provides a richly distinctive portrayal of the elemental stipulations of people's lives in Soviet Russia from 1945 to 1957. She brings out the dynamics of postwar renowned expectancies and the cultural stirrings set in movement by way of the wartime adventure as opposed to the regime's choice to reassert command over territories and populations and the mechanisms of repression. Her interpretation of the interval establishes the context for the liberalizing and reformist impulses that surfaced within the post-Stalin succession fight, characterizing what will be the formative interval for a destiny new release of leaders: Gorbachev, Yeltsin and their contemporaries.

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By Elena Zubkova

Translated and edited through Hugh Ragsdale

The years of past due Stalinism are one of many murkiest classes in Soviet historical past, top identified to us during the voices of Ehrenburg, Khrushchev and Solzhenitsyn. this can be a sweeping historical past of Russia from the top of the conflict to the Thaw via considered one of Russia's revered more youthful historians. Drawing at the assets of newly opened records in addition to the new outpouring of released diaries and memoirs, Elena Zubkova provides a richly distinctive portrayal of the elemental stipulations of people's lives in Soviet Russia from 1945 to 1957. She brings out the dynamics of postwar renowned expectancies and the cultural stirrings set in movement by way of the wartime adventure as opposed to the regime's choice to reassert command over territories and populations and the mechanisms of repression. Her interpretation of the interval establishes the context for the liberalizing and reformist impulses that surfaced within the post-Stalin succession fight, characterizing what will be the formative interval for a destiny new release of leaders: Gorbachev, Yeltsin and their contemporaries.

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Extra resources for Russia After the War: Hopes, Illusions and Disappointments, 1945-1957

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They had nothing in common with us. We proceeded from the assumption of this absolute antagonism and consequently included within our ranks absolutely all members of our society, enlisted personnel or officers, both front and rear. The border between us and them did not pass within the societies but around their exteriors. The assumption of the psychological unity and harmony of society (in which there were no internal enemies) among many of our countrymen gave birth to the distinct hope that this feature of the military world would transfer to the civilian world.

One other kind of source material especially dear to me is a series of interviews with people who lived through the postwar period and who now offer their testimony on the events of that time. Among my interview subjects were journalist Iurii Apenchenko, historian Pavel Volobuev, journalist and literary critic Igor Dedkov, journalist and economist Otto Latsis, writer Viacheslav Kondratiev, historian Iurii Sharapov, and dozens of people who wished to remain anonymous but whose assessments, opinions, judgments, or life stories helped me to understand, and, especially, to feel that dramatic and far from simple time.

While we have statistics, however imprecise, on the wartime losses, until this day we lack figures on those who died of wounds and illnesses after the war. 18 The invalids, more even than the other veterans, were in need not only of surgery or medication but of psychological treatment as well. 19 Much more complicated for the invalids than for the other veterans was the search for work, and the situation of those who had lost their sight was practically hopeless. Without supplementary income, it was very difficult, almost impossible, to live on a single invalid’s pension.

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