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3 - Usable Pasts

The Crisis of Patriotism and the Origins of the War Cult

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 June 2021

Jonathan Brunstedt
Affiliation:
Texas A & M University
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Summary

This chapter focuses on efforts to de-Stalinize the war’s memory and recalibrate Soviet identity in the wake of Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin’s personality cult. It shows that the Khrushchev-era program to create a distinctly Soviet historical mythology was contested and had a number of unintended consequences. The project to eradicate Stalin’s cult prompted a critical engagement with the Russian historical motifs that had been a staple of Stalinist patriotic culture. As Khrushchev picked up his assault on the personality cult in 1961, there emerged what this chapter identifies as a “crisis of patriotic identity,” which centered on renewed friction between the pan-Soviet and Russocentric paradigms. The more overt push to instill a pan-Soviet sense of allegiance raised concerns among Russophile intellectuals about the preservation of unique ethnic identities, histories, and hierarchy. Ideologists attempted to forestall this crisis through the “doctrine of the Soviet people,” which elevated the war victory as an exclusively pan-Soviet achievement, while cordoning off Russocentric themes within prerevolutionary and early Soviet narratives.

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The Soviet Myth of World War II
Patriotic Memory and the Russian Question in the USSR
, pp. 116 - 167
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Usable Pasts
  • Jonathan Brunstedt, Texas A & M University
  • Book: The Soviet Myth of World War II
  • Online publication: 24 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108595773.005
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  • Usable Pasts
  • Jonathan Brunstedt, Texas A & M University
  • Book: The Soviet Myth of World War II
  • Online publication: 24 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108595773.005
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Usable Pasts
  • Jonathan Brunstedt, Texas A & M University
  • Book: The Soviet Myth of World War II
  • Online publication: 24 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108595773.005
Available formats
×