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Motherland in Danger - Soviet Propaganda During World War II [Anglais] [Relié]

Karel C. Berkhoff

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Soviet Propaganda during World War II

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 5.0 étoiles sur 5  2 commentaires
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Saving the Motherland at Any Price 8 septembre 2012
Par Paul Gelman - Publié sur
This book is among the first to address an overlooked issue regarding WW2, namely: the way the Russian authorities prepared their people on the home front during the war.
In fact, most Russian propaganda was mainly directed by Stalin.
Mr. Berkhoff uses a lot of new and hitherto untapped sources, including documents of the Soviet censor and memoirs to explore this neglected and vast area of research. The most important message the Russian citizen were getting throughout the Great Patriotic War was that each one of them had to be willing to accept death, no matter what. In Berkhoff's words, " in dying was needed to avoid German captivity or simply contribute to the war, then there was nothing else to do or say". The key was obedience, not individual initiative. Dying heroes did as they were told, and they were not called special. The propaganda allowed for little grief and in many cases opposed it.
Early on, Moscow decided to publicize the Nazi atrocities extensively, however the media did not highlight the Nazi killings against the Jews, because of the rampant anti-Semitism which was to be found in Russia.
Stalin wanted his citizens and soldiers to hate theit enemy, which suggests that he realized that loyalty and discipline were not plentiful and strong enough.
The first chapter describes the structure of the Soviet media apparatus, emphasizing the fact that all newspaper editors faced highly unrealistic demands from the official propagandists.
Another part of the book shows how it was decided to let the people know about the Nazi atrocities-and this mainly with the help of Nazi policy documents, photographs and testimonies. Chapter Seven shows that hate propaganda blurred and occasionally erased the distinction between fascists and Germans. The Soviet propaganda willfully neglected the suffering of the citizens in the hinterland and showed open support for the view that everyone had to hate the invader.
In itself, the term "propaganda" remains problematic. Th reason is because some Russian views hold that it did not matter very much, since from the very beginning people were patriotic and willing to sacrifice themselves, thus the term "holy war" expressed a preo-existing mentality. Other historians are of the view that the propaganda played a large and crucial role.
Most Soviet citizens thought that the propaganda did not inform them, but told them what to do or think. The key word for this huge task was "centralization" and most Soviet citizens came to believe that their life under the Nazis would be worse than under Stalin. Mr. Berkhoff offers an excellent analysis of the decisions Stalin and his cronies made and also chronicles the many contradictions and confusion which resulted from their most ill-conceived directives.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Controlling the Message for the Good of the Homeland 9 avril 2013
Par Ian Gordon Malcomson - Publié sur
Many modern war historians have a tendency to focus on analyzing battle strategies as a way of determining the ebb and flow of war. While this approach is reasonable because battle strength, on so many different levels, is normally where ultimate victory or defeat happens, there is also a need to examine the use of government propaganda in rallying the nation behind its fighting forces. Berkhoff, in this study on the Soviet propaganda machine during the Great Patriot War, shows how the political leadership under Stalin attempted to control the propagation and consumption of critical information in the prosecution of the war effort. Every conceivable means was used to rally Russians to defend the nation against 'insiduous' Nazi invaders intent on harming the Motherland. Bureaucracies were created and order to control this message so that over 170 million people would put the defence of the nation as a cause worth dying for. Stringent and comprehensive censorship of the press, radio, and book publishers became the main means the Kremlin used to turn public sentiment against the enemy. The author supplies numerous examples of how government agencies like Agitprop distorted the savagery of this protracted war to rally common folk to joining its ranks: anecdotes about superhuman acts of patriotism were fabricated; certain references about the enemy suddenly became popular or fell out of vogue; and certain critical pieces of news were suppressed because of their potential negative impact on public morale. Above all else, Stalin and the NKVD made every effort to make sure that the Russian people(and not its numerous minorities)knew who they were fighting and were prepared to sacrifice everything for their ultimate extermination. Anything short of this commitment would result in summary execution or substantial time in the Gulag.If that meant the government redefining heroism and controlling the dissemination of public information in the form of news, the end definitely justified the means. The Soviet Union was a huge country with numerous ethnic groups that may have initially sympathized with the Hitlerite invaders, and it was the job of the regime to make sure they were neutralized as much as possible by taking over complete control of people's lives. Stalin would only use non-Russian material such as reports of Nazi genocide in the Ukraine to intensify hatred against them as the Wehrmacht drove further into Russia in late 1941 to early 1942. Berkhoff's thesis includes the belief that these concerted efforts to intensify national fury against the German invaders had a terrible consequence later when the tide turned and the Red Army started to overrun much of eastern Europe.
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