The power of persuasion: remembering the battle of Stalingrad during the Thaw, 1958-1966 Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Haanstad, Vadim John
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • This essay examines how memoirists of the thaw period following Josef Stalin's death in 1953 collaborated with the state to represent morale as a positive force that acted to persuade Red Army soldiers fighting the Wehrmacht at the Battle of Stalingrad in the justness of their cause. Morale also served as a counterbalance to the threat of violence associated with Stalinism. As a system that justified its rule using morally sanctioned language, the Soviet state desperately needed to revitalize itself after a brief crisis of legitimacy that followed de-Stalinization and the growth of a dissident movement. Although Stalinism presented coercive measures as an acceptable means of disciplining the population, de-Stalinization made it necessary to emphasize the use of persuasive methods in the process of molding good citizens. The Communist Party acted through high-ranking officers to articulate how the power of persuasion had motivated Soviet soldiers to achieve victory.
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  • In Copyright
  • Raleigh, Donald
  • Master of Arts
Graduation year
  • 2014

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