Stalin, the Russians, and Their War 1941-1945

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    Until the advent of glasnost began to lift censorship in the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s, it was impossible for Russians in Russia to truthfully depict their own struggle against Nazi Germany. Even before World War II was over, the Soviet propaganda machine began to construct an official story: through enormous sacrifice, the Soviet people had gloriously freed themselves and the world from fascism, raising the hammer and sickle higher than ever on the ruins of Hitler’s imperialist dreams.
    In Stalin, the Russians, and Their War, however, Marius Broekmeyer presents the testimony of Russian participants, eyewitnesses, and historians of World War II to reveal not a heroic struggle, but a war marred by catastrophes, errors, and lies. These testimonies openly discuss subjects omitted from official Soviet propaganda or glossed over in popular Western histories of the Allied victory in WWII—from purges within the Red Army and Soviet use of "punitive brigades" to the deployment of millions of poorly equipped soldiers to the front lines.
    These are authentic and often shocking first-hand accounts. Such a vivid report on the day-to-day lives of Russian soldiers, officers, and citizens during World War II does not exist anywhere else in English.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A clear-eyed, uncompromising view of a critical and often disregarded element in the Allied triumph over the Third Reich. Broekmeyer amasses vignettes to create a kaleidoscopic impression of the war, the Stalinist state, and their impacts on the lives of ordinary people. The overall effect is as devastating as it is enlightening."—David McDonald, University of Wisconsin–Madison, author of United Government and Russian Foreign Policy, 1900–1914

"Reads like a living tableau of human suffering, stupidity, and sacrifice in all its aspects. A fascinating and gruesome read."—John Löwenhardt, University for Humanities, Utrecht

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299195946
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 2/15/2004
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Marius Broekmeyer is an independent scholar who was affiliated with the Eastern Europe Institute of Amsterdam University until 1989. He is the author of several books, including The Sorrow of Russia: Everyday Life in the Countryside since 1945 (in Dutch).

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
History and Documentation xiii
Part 1 The Prelude
1 Between Pact and War 3
2 War Approaches 20
Part 2 The War
3 The Beginning of the War 45
4 The Mood in Moscow 60
5 Leningrad 71
6 The Tide Turns 89
7 The Advance to Berlin 112
Part 3 People and Systems
8 The People 133
9 Repression 167
10 The Military 183
11 Ideas and Views 201
12 Generals and Victims 216
13 After the War 229
Part 4 A Provincial Town during and after the War
14 Shadrinsk 251
Abbreviations 279
Sources 281
Index 311
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