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Russia's Jews and the Myth of Old Odessa
Old Odessa, on the Black Sea, gained notoriety as a legendary city of Jewish gangsters and swindlers, a frontier boomtown mythologized for the adventurers, criminals, and merrymakers who flocked there to seek easy wealth and lead lives of debauchery and excess. Odessa is also famed for the brand of Jewish humor brought there in the 19th century from the shtetls of Eastern Europe and that flourished throughout Soviet times. From a broad historical perspective, Jarrod Tanny examines the hybrid Judeo-Russian culture that emerged in Odessa in the 19th century and persisted through the Soviet era and beyond. The book shows how the art of eminent Soviet-era figures such as Isaac Babel, Il'ia Ilf, Evgenii Petrov, and Leonid Utesov grew out of the Odessa Russian-Jewish culture into which they were born and which shaped their lives.
As a force that had to serve two masters, both the Jewish population of the Kovno ghetto in Lithuania and its German occupiers, the Kovno Jewish ghetto police walked a fine line between helping Jews survive and meeting Nazi orders. In 1942 and 1943 some of its members secretly composed this history and buried it in tin boxes. The book offers a rare glimpse into the complex situation faced by the ghetto leadership and the Jewish policemen, caught between carrying out the demands of the Germans and mollifying the anger and frustration of their own people. It details the creation and organization of the ghetto, the violent German attacks on the population in the summer of 1941, the periodic selections of Jews to be deported and killed, the labor required of the surviving Jewish population, and the efforts of the police to provide a semblance of stability. The secret history tells a dramatic and complicated story, defending the actions of the police force on one page and berating its leadership on the next. A substantial introduction by distinguished historian Samuel D. Kassow places this powerful work within the context of the history of the Kovno Jewish community and its experience and fate at the hands of the Nazis.
Migration, Environment, and Health in the Former Sudetenland
In this innovative study of the aftermath of ethnic cleansing, Eagle Glassheim examines the transformation of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland from the end of the Second World War, through the Cold War, and into the twenty-first century. Prior to their expulsion in 1945, ethnic Germans had inhabited the Sudeten borderlands for hundreds of years, with deeply rooted local cultures and close, if sometimes tense, ties with Bohemia’s Czech majority. Cynically, if largely willingly, harnessed by Hitler in 1938 to his pursuit of a Greater Germany, the Sudetenland’s three million Germans became the focus of Czech authorities in their retributive efforts to remove an alien ethnic element from the body politic—and claim the spoils of this coal-rich, industrialized area. Yet, as Glassheim reveals, socialist efforts to create a modern utopia in the newly resettled “frontier” territories proved exceedingly difficult. Many borderland regions remained sparsely populated, peppered with dilapidated and abandoned houses, and hobbled by decaying infrastructure. In the more densely populated northern districts, coalmines, chemical works, and power plants scarred the land and spewed toxic gases into the air. What once was a diverse religious, cultural, economic, and linguistic “contact zone,” became, according to many observers, a scarred wasteland, both physically and psychologically. Glassheim offers new perspectives on the struggles of reclaiming ethnically cleansed lands in light of utopian dreams and dystopian realities—brought on by the uprooting of cultures, the loss of communities, and the industrial degradation of a once-thriving region. To Glassheim, the lessons drawn from the Sudetenland speak to the deep social traumas and environmental pathologies wrought by both ethnic cleansing and state-sponsored modernization processes that accelerated across Europe as a result of the great wars of the twentieth century.
The Interaction of Climate and Agricultural Policy and Their Effect on Food Problems
Between 1900 and 1990 there were several periods of grain and other food shortages in Russia and the former Soviet Union, some of which reached disaster proportions resulting in mass famine and death on an unprecedented scale. New stocks of information not previously accessible as well as traditional official and other sources have been used to explore the extent to which policy and vagaries in climate conspired to affect agricultural yields. Were the leaders' (Stalin, Krushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev) policies sound in theory but failed in practice because of unpredictable weather? How did the Soviet peasants react to these changes? What impact did Soviet agriculture have on the overall economy of the country? These are all questions that are taken into account. The book is arranged in chapters representing different time periods. In each the policy of the central government is discussed followed by the climate vagaries during that period. Crop yields are then analyzed in the light of policy and climate.
Vacation Travel and the Soviet Dream
The Bolsheviks took power in Russia 1917 armed with an ideology centered on the power of the worker. From the beginning, however, Soviet leaders also realized the need for rest and leisure within the new proletarian society and over subsequent decades struggled to reconcile the concept of leisure with the doctrine of communism, addressing such fundamental concerns as what the purpose of leisure should be in a workers' state and how socialist vacations should differ from those enjoyed by the capitalist bourgeoisie.
In Club Red, Diane P. Koenker offers a sweeping and insightful history of Soviet vacationing and tourism from the Revolution through perestroika. She shows that from the outset, the regime insisted that the value of tourism and vacation time was strictly utilitarian. Throughout the 1920s and '30s, the emphasis was on providing the workers access to the "repair shops" of the nation's sanatoria or to the invigorating journeys by foot, bicycle, skis, or horseback that were the stuff of "proletarian tourism." Both the sedentary vacation and tourism were part of the regime's effort to transform the poor and often illiterate citizenry into new Soviet men and women.
Koenker emphasizes a distinctive blend of purpose and pleasure in Soviet vacation policy and practice and explores a fundamental paradox: a state committed to the idea of the collective found itself promoting a vacation policy that increasingly encouraged and then had to respond to individual autonomy and selfhood. The history of Soviet tourism and vacations tells a story of freely chosen mobility that was enabled and subsidized by the state. While Koenker focuses primarily on Soviet domestic vacation travel, she also notes the decisive impact of travel abroad (mostly to other socialist countries), which shaped new worldviews, created new consumer desires, and transformed Soviet vacation practices.
A critical issue in the origins of the Cold War—the development of Soviet—American conflict over Eastern Europe from 1941 to 1945—is the subject of Lynn Etheridge Davis's book. Disagreeing with those writers who argue that conflict arose from the determination of the United States to obtain economic markets in Europe or from imprecise assessments of Soviet security interests, the author describes how the United States made an initial commitment to the Atlantic Charter principles in 1941, then continued to promote the creation of representative governments in Eastern Europe without clearly identifying American interests or foreseeing the consequences of these actions.
Using recently released documents of the Departments of State and War, Professor Davis explains how the views of U.S. officials on postwar peace precluded approval of Soviet efforts to establish a sphere of influence in Eastern Europe through the imposition of Communist regimes. She describes how American officials interpreted Soviet actions as intent to expand into Western Europe and how the subsequent undermining of Allied cooperation around the world led to the Cold War.
Originally published in 1974.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
International Travel and Exchange across the Soviet Bloc, 1940s-1960s
Comparison and Entanglements
This book explores the interrelated campaigns of agricultural collectivization in the USSR and in the communist dictatorships established in Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe. Despite the profound, long-term societal impact of collectivization, the subject has remained relatively underresearched. The volume combines detailed studies of collectivization in individual Eastern European states with issueoriented comparative perspectives at regional level. Based on novel primary sources, it proposes a reappraisal of the theoretical underpinnings and research agenda of studies on collectivization in Eastern Europe.The contributions provide up-to-date overviews of recent research in the field and promote new approaches to the topic, combining historical comparisons with studies of transnational transfers and entanglements.
Collectivization of agriculture is an essential feature of the Communist program for the satellite countries of Eastern Europe. It is a means of extending state control of agriculture as well as the basis for developing large-scale industrial and military power. Irwin T. Sanders has edited this excellent group of papers by specialists on Eastern Europe and American rural social scientists, which collectively serve as an analysis of efforts to regiment the East European peasant.
To those for whom the terms "collective farm" and "collectivization" have little meaning, this book will provide an actual picture of Communist effort to organize millions of peasants into a standard pattern of production and control. Such regimentation, these writers show, has led to less efficient agriculture from the standpoint of total production although it facilitates the delivery of produce to state economic enterprises.
"This book represents the most sophisticated historiographical approach to understanding nation-building. Patrice Dabrowski demonstrates tremendous erudition... making brilliant use of contemporary newspapers and journals, as well as archival material." -- Larry Wolff, Boston College, author of Inventing Eastern Europe
Patrice M. Dabrowski investigates the nation-building activities of Poles during the decades preceding World War I, when the stateless Poles were minorities within the empires of Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary. Could Poles maintain a sense of national identity, or would they become Germans, Austrians, or Russians? Dabrowski demonstrates that Poles availed themselves of the ability to celebrate anniversaries of past deeds and personages to strengthen their nation from within, providing a ground for a national discourse capable of unifying Poles across political boundaries and social and cultural differences. Public commemorations such as the jubilee of the writer Jozef Kraszewski, the bicentennial of the Relief of Vienna, and the return to Poland of the remains of the poet Adam Mickiewicz are reconstructed here in vivid detail.