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ARMAGEDDON REVISITED: SOVIET FILM AND MEMORY OF THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR

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The Soviet Union suffered immensely as a result of World War II. When the dust settled and Soviet citizens began to rebuild their lives, the memory of the social, economic, and human costs of the war still remained. The Soviet

The Soviet Union suffered immensely as a result of World War II. When the dust settled and Soviet citizens began to rebuild their lives, the memory of the social, economic, and human costs of the war still remained. The Soviet state sought to frame the conflict in a way that provided meaning to the chaos that so drastically shaped the lives of its citizens. Film was one such way. Film, heavily censored until the Gorbachev period, provided the state with an easily malleable and distributable means of sharing official history and official memory. However, as time went on, film began to blur the lines between official memory and real history, providing opportunities for directors to create stories that challenged the regime's official war mythology. This project examines seven Soviet war films (The Fall of Berlin (1949), The Cranes are Flying (1957), Ballad of a Soldier (1959), Ivan's Childhood (1962), Liberation (1970-1971), The Ascent (1977), and Come and See (1985)) in the context of the regimes under which they were released. I examine the themes present within these films, comparing and contrasting them across multiple generations of Soviet post-war memory.

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2014-05

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ARMAGEDDON REVISITED: SOVIET FILM AND MEMORY OF THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR

Description

The Soviet Union suffered immensely as a result of World War II. When the dust settled and Soviet citizens began to rebuild their lives, the memory of the social, economic, and human costs of the war still remained. The Soviet

The Soviet Union suffered immensely as a result of World War II. When the dust settled and Soviet citizens began to rebuild their lives, the memory of the social, economic, and human costs of the war still remained. The Soviet state sought to frame the conflict in a way that provided meaning to the chaos that so drastically shaped the lives of its citizens. Film was one such way. Film, heavily censored until the Gorbachev period, provided the state with an easily malleable and distributable means of sharing official history and official memory. However, as time went on, film began to blur the lines between official memory and real history, providing opportunities for directors to create stories that challenged the regime's official war mythology. This project examines seven Soviet war films (The Fall of Berlin (1949), The Cranes are Flying (1957), Ballad of a Soldier (1959), Ivan's Childhood (1962), Liberation (1970-1971), The Ascent (1977), and Come and See (1985)) in the context of the regimes under which they were released. I examine the themes present within these films, comparing and contrasting them across multiple generations of Soviet post-war memory.

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Created

Date Created
2014-05

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Soviet Displaced Person in Germany After World War II: An Analysis of the Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System

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This thesis is based on the responses of Soviet Displaced Persons collected by the Harvard Study on the Soviet Social System (HPSSS), an oral history conducted in Munich and New York from 1950 to 1951 in which former Soviet citizens

This thesis is based on the responses of Soviet Displaced Persons collected by the Harvard Study on the Soviet Social System (HPSSS), an oral history conducted in Munich and New York from 1950 to 1951 in which former Soviet citizens were interviewed. They were primarily interviewed about daily life within the Soviet Union. A total of 331 displaced persons were interviewed over the course of the study, with most individuals receiving multiple interview sessions. These sessions were divided broadly as A and B sections. The A-section, which the majority of interviewees received and was viewed by the compilers as a broad sociological inquiry, was divided into subsections focusing on Soviet work, government, family, education, communication, philosophy of life, and ideology. The B-sections were used for deeper anthropological inquiries and are potentially more controversial due to the use of Rorschach tests and situational responses. Fewer respondents were continued on to the B interviews which contained a variety of subsections, though most respondents were only asked questions from one or two sections of the greater whole. A portion of the B section interviews do provide valuable insight to my thesis for their focus on the Displaced Person status of the interviewees. The project consisted of 764 separate interviews of the 331 respondents. The interviewers for the HPSSS were primarily graduate students, ranging from history, sociology, psychology and economics departments, with varying degrees of fluency in Russian and Ukrainian. Some of the interviewers went on to become leading experts in Soviet Studies in the years to follow. Others stopped publishing, following the major publication of the HPSSS in the late 1950s, which may indicate a move to the private sector or employment within the federal government rather than academics. While not possible to include within my analysis, the major publications of the study also included the insights garnered from nearly ten thousand written questionnaires of DPs that were tabulated and discarded prior to publication.

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Date Created
2015-05