Economic apologies for Francoist repression, 1937 and 2017

During a research trip to Madrid in April this year, a Spanish friend poked fun at my MA research on Nationalist propagandists in Seville during the Civil War (1936-1939). ‘In Spain,’ he said, ‘the Second Republic [1931-1939] and everything that comes after is still practically journalism’.

His tongue-in-cheek comment referred to what Helen Graham has called Spain’s ‘memory wars’.[i] During the transition to democracy following Franco’s death in 1975, Spanish politicians of all stripes preferred to engage in a ‘pact of forgetting’ or ‘pact of silence’ rather than to pursue a collective reckoning with the crimes of Francoism. Subsequent moves towards such a reckoning have been viewed with suspicion if not outright hostility by some on the Spanish right. The result is that the historical meaning of the Second Republic, the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship is still intensely and very publicly contested.

This summer again saw ‘historical memory’ dominate the headlines, courtesy of the revelation in July that the Fundación Nacional Francisco Franco – an organisation whose ‘primary objective is to promote the memory and works’ of the dictator, to quote its Twitter profile – had been managing visits to the Pazo de Meirás, formerly Franco’s summer residence in his native region of Galicia. The house is owned by the dictator’s descendants but has been designated a ‘site of cultural interest’, obliging the owners to accommodate public visits on at least four days per month.

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The Pazo de Meirás. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

If the controversy caused by this revelation was not enough, on 31 July the Fundación stated that managing the visits would be ‘an excellent opportunity to show the general public the greatness of … Franco’. These comments in turn led to a fractious interview with the Fundación’s spokesman Jaime Alonso on Thursday 3 August’s edition of the current affairs talk show Al Rojo Vivo. (Excerpts from the interview can be viewed here and here, and includes violent footage).

While Alonso’s bizarre claim that ‘Franco didn’t shoot people’ – based on the specious reasoning that he merely acceded to death sentences passed by the courts—[ii] is refuted by a large and ever-growing body of historical research,[iii] another point which caught my attention was his challenge to the presenter, Cristina Pardo. Alonso demanded of the presenter, ‘Who instituted social security? Who created the public health service? Who … industrialised the country? and made state pensions and paid holidays possible?’

It is not uncommon for Franco’s apologists to make such arguments. A very limited welfare state did exist in Spain before the outbreak of the Civil War, but it is true that – as throughout Western Europe – this expanded somewhat during the decades following the Second World War. None of this is to say that a liberal-democratic regime in Spain would not have presided over economic prosperity and expanded welfare provision, a point which those making arguments similar to Alonso’s conveniently tend to overlook.

Although my MA dissertation did not address the post-war era to which Alonso was referring, this use of social policy and economic prosperity to obscure or minimise the use of terror and physical repression was only too familiar. Nationalist propagandists in Seville often used these themes in apparent attempts to appeal to the city’s generally left-leaning workers. These attempts were, however, so deeply inscribed with the logic of terror and authoritarianism that it is often difficult to separate them.

One of the major social-policy initiatives in Seville at the time was the construction of affordable homes, intended especially for the families of Nationalist soldiers killed or wounded at the front, or families with numerous children and only modest means to support them. These projects allowed Nationalist propagandists to claim to be helping working-class sevillanos, yet the provision of affordable housing specifically to these two groups also shows how social provisions cannot be neatly separated from the authorities’ ideological concerns.

The local Nationalist commander, General Gonzalo Queipo de Llano, opined that ‘hygienic housing’ would allow workers to ‘fulfil their duties as citizens and as patriots’.[iv] These duties, as defined by Franco’s supporters, implied a stark loss of political agency. Paternalistic social policy pursued, by different means, similar aims to physical repression: the demobilisation of political opposition, and the definition of an apolitical class identity through which Spanish workers could be integrated into the nascent regime in a subordinate position.

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General Gonzalo Quiepo de Llano (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Another policy which the Nationalist authorities in Seville used to appeal to the interests of the city’s workers was imposition of price controls on staple foods. Regulating food markets in this way was, of course, a sensible wartime policy. Yet Nationalist propagandists – including Queipo, in his infamous radio broadcasts – repeatedly asserted that this was indicative of the alleged ‘normality’ of life in the Nationalist zone, which protected ordinary Spaniards’ access to food and general prosperity. The frequent publication in the local press of lists of business owners fined for violating these controls was not only a deterrent to others who may be tempted to do the same; they were also intended to demonstrate that the authorities were taking action to defend Seville’s workers.[v]

Of course, stable food prices were only one aspect of Nationalist ‘normality’ which affected working-class Spaniards’ lives. One of the key measures through which the military rebels hoped to impose their vision of economic ‘normality’ at the start of the conflict was an ‘absolute prohibition’ on strike action. Unlike price-hiking merchants, the leaders of striking unions would not be liable for a fine; they could expect to be condemned to death by a summary court martial.[vi] Although Nationalist propagandists during the Civil War claimed – disingenuously –[vii] that their management of the economy prevented working-class sevillanos from being negatively affected by the economic costs of war, this disparity in punishment is demonstrative of how measures such as price controls functioned within a wider discursive framework in which ‘normality’ meant brutal and often deadly repression for many of these workers.

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‘Happiness of wheat, hope for tomorrow’. The Nationalist press often carried stories purporting to show that food was abundant under Franco. F.E., 18/7/1937 (special edition), n.p Held at the Hemeroteca Municipal de Madrid.

These are just two examples of wartime propaganda which pursued the same goal as Alonso’s comments on Al Rojo Vivo: to justify Francoism in terms of the economic wellbeing of Spain and its people. Yet economic and social policy in Civil-War Seville was comprehensively intertwined with the repressive discourse and practices which underpinned the birth of Franco’s dictatorship. This should not be forgotten, whether in reference to the Civil War or to later Francoism.

Joel Baker is a first-year PhD student at the University of Sheffield’s Department of History. His research is funded by the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities, and examines social housing and infrastructure projects under Spain’s Primo de Rivera dictatorship (1923-1930) as expressions of the regime’s ‘anti-political’ populism. You can find him on Twitter at @joelrbaker.

References:

[i] Helen Graham, ‘Coming to Terms with the Past: Spain’s Memory Wars’, History Today 54.5 (2004), pp. 29-31.

[ii] In the immediate post-war period, these were often summary courts martial which tried and found guilty multiple defendants on flimsy evidence in proceedings sometimes lasting mere minutes. Defence lawyers were usually junior military officers who were given little time to prepare by their superiors, who sat as judges. See Peter Anderson, The Francoist Military Trials: Terror and Complicity, 1939-1945 (London, 2010); ‘In the Interests of Justice? Grass-Roots Prosecution and Collaboration in Francoist Military Trials, 1939-1945’, Contemporary European History 18.1 (2009), pp.25-44; ‘Singling Out Victims: Denunciation and Collusion in Post-Civil War Francoist Repression in Spain, 1939-1945’, European History Quarterly 39 (2009), pp. 7-26.

[iii] For a relatively recent synthesis of this research, see Paul Preston, The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain (London, 2012).

[iv] F.E., 16/3/1937, p. 11.

[v] See, e.g., F.E., 1/2/1938, p. 6.

[vi] See Queipo de Llano’s bando de guerra (declaration of martial law) of 18 July 1936. Auditoría de Guerra de la Segunda División Orgánica y del Ejército del Sur, Bandos y órdenes dictados por el Excmo. Sr. D. Gonzalo Queipo de Llano y Sierra, General Jefe de la 2.a División Orgánica y del Ejército del Sur (Seville, 1937), pp. 5-6.

[vii] In fact, ordinary citizens throughout Spain saw their living standards decline drastically during the Civil War as a result of ‘economic repression’, and during the 1940s because the regime’s rationing and autarky policies forced many to accept inflated black-market prices for staple goods in order to survive. See Miguel Ángel del Arco Blanco, ‘Hunger and the Consolidation of the Francoist Regime (1939-1951), European History Quarterly 40.3 (2010), pp. 458-483; Hambre de Siglos: Mundo rural y apoyos sociales del franquismo en Andalucía oriental, 1936-1951 (Granada, 2007); Rúben Serém, A Laboratory of Terror. Conspiracy, Coup d’ état and Civil War in Seville, 1936-1939: History and Myth in Francoist Spain (Brighton / Portland / Toronto, 2017), pp. 147-189.

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The ‘Garrotted Renaissance’: language and nationalism in the 1930s

Almost exactly 80 years ago, on 3 November 1937, the NKVD executed the renowned Ukrainian theatre director Les Kurbas. Kurbas was not alone that day – a large group of Ukrainian writers and intellectuals were executed alongside him. The loss of so many of Ukraine’s cultural community resonated deeply with their compatriots, and those who had been executed became known in Ukraine as the ‘garrotted renaissance’.[1]

This execution was a tiny part of one of the most significant moments in Soviet history, a chain of events often referred to as the Great Terror.[2] As the Terror swept through Soviet society hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens were arrested and executed, from

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Les Kurbas, in his official ‘mug shot’ taken by the NKVD shortly after his arrest in 1933

the political elite down to the most humble worker.[3]

It was not uncommon for writers and thinkers to be executed or imprisoned during this period, although it was unheard of for so many to be executed together. To grasp why this was so, we need to understand a little more about the complex and varied reasons why writers were arrested or imprisoned.

For some Russian writers, it really was the words that flowed from their pen that were their undoing. Perhaps most famously Osip Mandelstam’s poem – characterising Stalin as ‘the Kremlin crag-dweller’ and comparing his eyes to cockroaches – led to his arrest and sentence to the Gulag. Mandelstam died en route to his destination.

In the case of the ‘garrotted renaissance’ it was not what they wrote so much as their Ukrainian nationality that was the key to their fate. This is confirmed when we examine the interrogation files of the writers in question. Within the pages of Mandelstam’s interrogation file, the focus was very much on the content of the writing, and possible interpretations. During his interrogation, Mandelstam’s interrogator, N.K. Shivarov, actually asked him to compare different drafts of his poem about Stalin and comment upon them.[4]

Even in the interrogation file of Isaac Babel, who was accused of conspiring with Trotskyists, there is much discussion of the former’s writing, and of the effect that his regular meetings with anti-Bolshevik editors and writers had on his work.[5] Babel was executed in January 1940.

In the interrogation files of Ukrainian writers, the focus on the actual creative output of the writers is almost entirely absent. Instead, these interrogations are largely focused on the possibility of the Ukrainians being members of anti-Soviet nationalist groups. The opening statement written by Kurbas in his interrogation file begins: ‘ I hereby… admit that I belonged to the counter-revolutionary terrorist organisation the UVO.’ His

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1924 Poster from the Berezil Theatre

statement goes on to detail how his work at the Berezil theatre in Kyiv led him to join the UVO (in Ukrainian, the Ukrayins’ka Viys’kova Orhanizatsiya or Ukrainian Military Organisation).[6]

Why this change of emphasis? What was so different about the Ukrainian intelligentsia? Were they really all members of underground nationalist organisations, writing poems and plays by day, and plotting to murder Stalin by night? The answer lies in the broader context of the 1930s.  As the decade opened, Ukraine had become a problem for the Soviet leadership.

During the 1920s, Ukrainian language and culture had been recognised and positively encouraged by the Soviet leadership, as part of the policy of ‘Ukrainisation’, a pragmatic attempt to win over the peoples of the former Russian empire to the Bolshevik cause. However, by the early 1930s the policy was reversed, amid rising fears of anti-Soviet forces working within the Soviet Union.[7] Bordering Poland, Ukraine was considered both a conduit and breeding ground for spies, and as such allowing Ukrainian language and culture to thrive was seen as too great a risk.

Those who had held prominent roles in the creation of a confident, articulate Ukrainian culture – many of them writers, critics, and university professors – were now identified as enemies.[8] Their crimes were not rooted in their writing as such, but in their supposed nationalist aims. And on that day in November, this supposed threat was extinguished with one brutal blow – not just as a punishment, but as a warning to any other Soviet citizen who might be quietly nurturing nationalist hopes.

Does the nature of the execution matter? Is it even possible for us to compare the manner of one execution to another? Hardly. However, these subtle differences do shed a little light on the dynamics of the Terror: reminding us that it was not just one homogenous act of state violence but a complicated process, with small but important variances.

Polly Corrigan is a PhD candidate in the Department of War Studies, King’s College, London, where she is currently writing her thesis on the Soviet political police and their relationship with writers. She studied history at the University of Liverpool, and then completed an MA at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL. You can find her on Twitter at @pollycorrigan

References

[1] Lavrinenko, Y, Rozstriliane Vidrodzhennia: Antolohiia, 1917-1933. Paris, 1959.

[2] For a useful discussion of the term ‘Great Terror’ see Ryan, J, The Sacralization of Violence: Bolsheviks Justifications for Violence and Terror during the Civil War, Slavic Review 74, no. 4 (Winter 2015), pp. 808-809.

[3] See Conquest, R. The Great Terror, London, 1968; Getty, JA, Origins of the Great Purges: The Soviet Communist Party Reconsidered, 1933-1938, Cambridge, 1985; Getty, JA & Naumov OV, The Road to Terror: Stalin and the Self-Destruction of the Bolsheviks, 1932-1939, London, 1999.

[4] Shentalinsky, V, The KGB’s Literary Archive, London, 1995, pp. 172-173.

[5] Ibid, pp. 30-31

[6] Archives of the SBU, F6, Op1, Spr75608, pp. 38-39.

[7] Harris, J, The Great Fear: Stalin’s Terror of the 1930s, Oxford, 2016, pp. 178-179.

[8] Shkandrij, M, Ukrainian Nationalism: Politics, Ideology and Literature, 1929-1956, Yale University Press, 2015, p. 272.

 

 

 

The Soviet Court as a Propaganda Instrument

By Anna Lukina

“The Soviet court should, above all, persuade, prove and subordinate the public attention to its moral influence and authority.”

Andrei Vyshinskii, “Theory of Evidence in the Soviet Law” (1946)

It is well-known that the Soviet court procedure, especially in the 1930s, can be characterized by its lack of due process, judicial independence, and fair outcomes. It remains unclear, however, why these legal institutions were preserved and, on the surface, respected at all. The core of Marxist-Leninist philosophy was suspicious of legal formalism, with early 1920s legal scholars such as Pashukanis and Krylenko advocating for the ‘withering away’ of the state and hence law.

Yet this position was fundamentally reversed in 1930s. This can be explained by the fact that Stalin saw the courts’ hidden potential as a political tool: not as an explicit source of power (since coercion could be, and was, applied via extralegal procedures), but as a mode of communication with the population.

Even before the 1930s “conservative shift”, Soviet society recognized this hidden meaning of judicial procedures. Some of the 1920s trials such as the Trial of the SRs (1922) and the Shakhty Trial (1928) were more like “trial-lectures” addressed to a wide audience of spectators. In the 1930s, however, this function was enhanced since the state, aided by the Show Trials prosecutor Andrey Vyshinskii as a chief reformer, invested in legal education, legal scholarship, and the reorganization of judiciary and related institutions. This was followed by a “refetishisation of the law” – an explicit acknowledgment of legal order as the cornerstone of socialism and a building force in Soviet society.

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A photo from the trial of Semenchuk and Startsev (1936), which was characterised by strict adherence to Soviet legal narrative canons. Here, the defence attorney (who really acted as a ‘second prosecutor’) is addressing the court.

This, in turn, has increased the use of Soviet court for propagandistic purposes, creating what I call a “Soviet legal narrative”. It can be briefly described as a chronological account of the facts of a specific case, which was presented as the primary ‘story’ in the Soviet court. Even though the notion of a legal narrative is not unique to the Soviet legal system, and has been used to describe legal procedures in a variety of jurisdiction, its Soviet form was characterized by a number of distinct features.

Firstly, as mentioned above, the Soviet legal narrative was addressed to an unusually wide audience. While ordinarily a story presented in court is intended to influence the judge and the jury, the Soviet court was officially designated a function of educating wider population. This “education” did not only extend to ideologically neutral values such as respect for law, but covered instillation of more specific Marxist-Leninist values. It was disseminated via the openness of trials themselves, wide reporting in the (state-controlled) media, and even novels and short stories based on real-life trials. It can be partly attributed to the lack of adversarial procedures, which diminished the role of the court in the decision-making: when the outcome is pre-determined, there is no one to persuade.

Secondly, it can be viewed as an official agenda. The Soviet legal doctrine furthered an extremely idiosyncratic role of the court: educating the population as synonymous with establishing an objective truth. However, unlike similar (but more legitimate) concepts in contemporary civil law systems, the latter meant construing impressions as reality using materialistic dialectics – a strong ground for creating a narrative deviating from facts. Therefore, it can be argued that propaganda appeared to be an implied goal of the Soviet court in that period.

Thirdly, the Soviet narrative was characterized by a specific type of content. For instance, it presented the mens rea (the “mental” element of the crime – such as motives and intentions) as more important than the unlawful act itself. Anti-Soviet motives were considered as aggravating factors and therefore actively discouraged when the narrative was disseminated to the legal audience regardless of the objective impact of the defendant’s actions.

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A Soviet propaganda poster from 1948. “Bourgeois court is the court of the rich, while the Soviet court is the court of the people!”

Moreover, many distinctly colourful assertions were made about the defendant’s character and their class standing, as well as the victim’s relative characteristics. These “portraits” created a story which was easily digestible by the audience, with clear protagonists and antagonists: a cautionary tale designed to shape the existing social norms. In addition, it represented class struggle, turning the trial not only into a battle of personalities, but a tension between the oppressor and the oppressed. This provided both a justification for coercion and a political lesson for the spectators to learn from.

Finally, the omnipresence of this particular variety of narrative was cultivated by the fact that the Soviet court structure was far from the “storytelling contest” seen in adversarial trials: both the court and the prosecution followed the same line from the very start. Even the defence was not exempt from repeating the official line, as defence attorneys were considered the servants of the state as much as prosecutors, and so were compelled to advance similar goals and ideas. In this sense, the Soviet legal narrative was hardly challenged by any competing stories, which solidified it in the audience’s minds.

Therefore, the Soviet legal narrative phenomenon and the use of the court as a propaganda device can explain many peculiarities of trials in that period. Even though the rule of law would have presented a challenge to the totalitarian leadership, a pretense of the rule of law was, ironically, central to its strengthening.

Anna Lukina is a 3rd year BA in Jurisprudence student in the University of Oxford. Her research has so far focused on legal narratives in the Soviet criminal case and Soviet conceptions of human rights(1). She plans to combine Soviet legal history, socio-legal studies and legal theory in her work. This blog post is partly based on her article:

Anna Lukina, “The Semenchuk Case of 1936: Storytelling and Propaganda above the Law in the Soviet Criminal Trial”, Review of Central and East European Law, Volume 41, Issue 2, 2016, 63-116. http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/15730352-04102001

I can’t speak French: Linguistic oppression in Revolutionary France and the rise of linguistic nationalism

By James Chetwood

Over the next couple of days people all over France will participate in the Fête Nationale. The events of the Revolution it celebrates not only altered the linguistic landscape of France, but it also saw the creation of a language policy which transformed language into a vehicle for nationalism, and means through which states could demonstrate their authenticity, as well as demand loyalty from their people.

It was in 1790, barely a year after the Bastille was stormed, that the first ever linguistic survey of France took place. The Rapport Grégoire established that French was the sole language in only 15 of the 83 départements, and that over 12 million citizens – mainly in rural areas – couldn’t speak enough French to carry out a conversation, and that only 3 million people could speak French ‘properly’, with even fewer able to write it. In effect, Paris and its hinterland was virtually an isolated island of monolingual French speakers surrounded by a sea of regional languages.[1]

The initial response of the Constituent Assembly was to have all new legislation

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Fête de la Fédération, woodcut from a picture by C. Monet, 1790, Painter of the King

translated into all the languages spoken in France – a position supported by the federalist Girondins. But with the fate of the Revolution in the balance, the centralising Jacobin faction that took control in 1793 had other ideas. Ruling through the wonderfully Orwellianly-named ‘Committee of Public Safety’, the Jacobin ruling faction acquired far-reaching executive powers, including control of the army and mass conscription, the ability to appoint judges and juries to the Revolutionary Tribunal, the right to set prices, as well as the maintenance of public order.

While it might be a step too far to call this an ‘authoritarian régime’, many of the techniques used by the Committee have been features of authoritarian rule in the centuries that have followed. The ‘Reign of Terror’ they oversaw crushed internal insurrection in the Vendée and eliminated political enemies, executing some 17,000 people along the way. To ‘save liberty’, it was also deemed necessary both to enlighten the people of France and exercise control over their opinions. Liberty of the press was abandoned, patriotic pamphlets and journals were printed, national fêtes were organised, and the theatre was expected to contribute to promotion of the Republic and its ideals.

Language was to play a key role in this re-education of the French people. French, and French alone, was to be the language of freedom and the universal values embodied by the Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme. While it may have, theoretically, been done in the spirit of equality and democracy – a national language ensured that all citizens had equal access to the benefits of the Revolution – the practical application of the policy and the language had a decidedly authoritarian bent.

In 1794 the revolutionary government passed a decree imposing the use of French throughout French territory, private schools were converted into state schools in which the language of instruction was to be French. The revolutionary wish was to see all French citizens understanding ‘the language of liberty’ and using it in their daily lives.

The mastermind of the Rapport du Comité de salut public sur les idiomes – out of which the law of 1794 was produced – was Bertrand Barère. In his report he claimed that, in Brittany:

‘Ignorance perpetuates…they do not even know that new laws exist…The inhabitants of the countryside understand only Breton; it is with this barbaric instrument of their superstitious ideas that the priests…hold people under their sway…and prevent citizens from knowing the laws and loving the Republic.’

Not only was French promoted as the national language of France – the sole means through which to transmit the laws of the Republic – but all other languages were viewed with, at best, derision; at worst, suspicion. To speak a language other than French was to be a potential enemy of the Revolution. Barère proclaimed that the ‘barbaric jargons’ and ‘coarse idioms’ that constituted the other languages of France could only serve fanatics and counter-revolutionaries:

‘The voice of federalism and superstition speaks Breton, the émigrés and those who hate the Republic speak German, the counter-revolution speaks Italian and the fanaticism speaks Basque.’

It wasn’t enough just to teach people French. To secure the future of the Republic, and to silence these dissenting voices, it was necessary to ‘crush’ all other languages and the ignorance and sedition they allowed to flourish.

While the Committee of Public Safety was disbanded a few months later, the nationalist, centralising language policies it created were to last much longer. Throughout the nineteenth century the government stepped up attempts to stamp out minority languages for official purposes. Appeal Court decisions in Corsica in 1830, 1859 and 1875 upheld decisions that only French could be used in legal documents. And in 1881, when universal primary education was introduced by Jules Ferry, it was in large part to ensure that all education was to be carried out in French (even though Corsica hadn’t been part

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Le serment de La Fayette a la Fête de la Fédération, 1791, artist Jacques-Louis David

of France at the time of the Revolution).

The laws weren’t just applicable to the French hexagone either. While Napoleon may have joked that he didn’t care what language his troops spoke as long as their sabres spoke French, the French colonial Empire was also meant to be francophone. The colonies may have been thousands of miles away, but there was (in theory) to be no barrier to their eventual full assimilation into the full nation-state.[2]

While there has been a link between language and ‘peoples’ for millennia, the direct link between nation, people and language as a defining factor in national identity was a new idea, and one that the Revolution helped to create. The role these ideas played in the nationalist movements of the nineteenth and twentieth century would be significant. Language became a tool used to shape the identity of a nation, unite its people and, where necessary, to stamp out alternative identities around which people could unite. It also became a means to influence the people within a state – to mould minds and manipulate opinions – using methods employed so frequently by the authoritarian régimes of the twentieth century, and examined so eloquently by the (other) contributors to this blog.

James Chetwood has recently completed a PhD in the University of Sheffield History Department on medieval personal naming. His research flits about aimlessly between different historical periods and language phenomena in a way that is probably detrimental to his career. He’s organising a conference that you should come to: https://namesandhistory.wordpress.com/.

Selected bibliography:

Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac, ‘Rapport du Comité de salut public sur les idiomes’ (27 janvier 1794), accessed online: http://www.axl.cefan.ulaval.ca/francophonie/barere-rapport.htm 

Abalain, H., Destin des langues celtiques (Gap, 1989).

Ager, D., Language Policy in Britain and France – The Processes of Policy (London, 1996).

Ager, D., Identity, Insecurity and Image: France and Language (Clevedon, 1999).

Fishman, J., Language and Nationalism: Two Integrative Essays (Rowley, 1972).

Judge, A., Linguistic Policy and the Survival of Regional Languages in France and Britain, (Basingstoke, 2007).

Lainé, N., Le droit à la parole (Rennes, 1992).

[1] The numerous minority languages and dialects spoken on its territory effectively carved up the map of France. With Breton in the north-west, Flemish in the north-east, German in the east and Basque, Catalan, Italian and various Occitan varieties in the south.

[2] Language policy today in France is, in practice, only marginally less oppressive than in Barère’s day. It wasn’t until 2001 that the then Minister of Education, Jack Lang, announced that bilingual education would be recognised for the first time in France, and, although France a signatory of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, the French constitution blocks ratification of it, meaning no regional languages have protected status. They usually are taught, if at all, as optional third or fourth languages in secondary school.

Image Attributions:

Image 1: Isidore Stanislas Helman [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Image 2: Jaques-Louis David [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Empire and the articulation of fascism: The British Union of Fascists, 1932-1940

By Liam Liburd

The legacy of the British Empire left indelible marks on the political, social and economic fabric of Britain. This was as true on the political margins as in the mainstream and was no different for Britain’s most prominent fascist movement, the British Union of Fascists (B.U.F.). The experience of the British Empire, either first-hand or vicariously, influenced the B.U.F.’s articulation of their fascism.

Founded in 1932 by Sir Oswald Mosley and outlawed in 1940, the organisation wanted a British Empire reborn along fascist lines. In the words of the title of Mosley’s 1932 book

Sir_Oswald_Mosley,_6th_Bt_by_Glyn_Warren_Philpot
Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Bt (1925, Glyn Warren Philpot)

—essentially the manifesto of the movement— the B.U.F. wanted to build a Greater Britain.[1]

Many prominent members of the organisation had encounters with the Empire. William Joyce (the infamous ‘Lord Haw-Haw’) spent his early years in Galway where his associations with the local Black and Tans eventually led to him fleeing the country in December 1921. Similarly, A. K. Chesterton was born in South Africa and grew up in a ‘racially stratified’ white settler community.[2] J. F. C. Fuller had fought in the Boer War and both he and Francis Yeats-Brown spent a number of years serving India. Beyond these examples, a glance at the profiles of the men and women who served as prospective parliamentary candidates for the B.U.F. shows that those with imperial careers —tea planters, colonial administrators and such— were drawn to the movement.

Alongside those with direct experience of Empire were those who had come into contact with the imperialism that permeated British popular culture particularly during the late Victorian and Edwardian period. Stories of imperial heroes were retold in history lessons, plays, music-hall acts and even pantomime. The B.U.F. maintained this tradition, worshipping imperial heroes in their periodicals.

The imperial heroes of legend became the masculine model for the B.U.F.’s ‘new fascist man’. They considered the men of their movement as the reincarnation of imperial pioneers like Sir Francis Drake and Clive of India.[3] Their fascism would mean the rule of the ‘true aristocrat’; the best kind of man because of his character and abilities.[4] Again based on pioneers like Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh, this ‘true aristocrat’ was classless and above sectional interest, struggling only in the interests of Britain.

The B.U.F.’s enemies such as the ‘Old Gang’ politicians, socialists and pacifists were all compared unfavourably with the ‘Empire Builders’ they wished to emulate.[5] Next to these ‘rough men’, the others were painted as effeminate, indecisive and treacherous.

The B.U.F. expressed their vehement opposition to Indian nationalism in terms of this imperial masculinity, and when discussing India regurgitated almost unreconstructed the colonial hierarchies of race. When B.U.F. members wrote or spoke of India they employed the language of martial race theory dating back to the 1857 Indian Mutiny. This theory ordered the various ethnic groups of India according to how many qualities they shared with the ‘manly Englishman’. For the B.U.F., the culprits behind Indian nationalism were Western-educated Bengali Hindus. The latter were at the bottom of the martial race scale, referred to by the epithet ‘effeminate babus’.[6]

The B.U.F. made extensive use of this racist colonial stereotype to oppose independence and to advocate fascist leadership of India. For them, an independent India would be a

Clive
‘Clive of India’ was one of the imperial ‘pioneers’ admired by men of the BUF.

country of docile people run by effeminate and cunning ‘Babu lawyers’.[7] They argued that, culturally and psychologically, Indians were better suited to an authoritarian ruler than they were to democracy. In the B.U.F.’s vision of a fascist future, India was to be governed not by way of negotiation and concession, but in the strong and decisive style of the ‘Empire Builders’.

The history of British imperialism was also used to frame the B.U.F.’s support for the Italian invasion of Abyssinia in October 1935. The invasion was discussed in terms of a colonial rebellion in need of quelling. Abyssinians were not simply repelling an invasion but, in the eyes of the B.U.F., were ‘Black Murderers’.[8] A. K. Chesterton described the action taken by the Italians as ‘the heroism of Empire warriors’.[9] Mussolini’s actions were compared with Kitchener’s reconquering of the Sudan in the 1890s and both were found to be simply ‘put[ting] down slavery and barbarism with a strong hand’.[10] The Abyssinia crisis was portrayed as part of an ongoing race war, the fulfilment of the white man’s imperial ‘Destiny’. In this conflict, William Joyce asserted, fascism represented the defender of white civilization against the ‘Oriental and African barbarian’.[11]

Imperialism was not simply a past glory for the B.U.F.; it was a political model for the future. One fascist described the ‘direct object of fascism’ as the revival of ‘the pioneering spirit upon which the magnitude of the British Empire is founded’.[12] From stories of Britain’s imperial past, such as the exploits of Clive of India, as well as from the direct experience of Empire some of their number possessed, fascists took two lessons.[13] One was that imperialism worked best where a suitable person was appointed and given a free hand. And the other, that mistakes were down to the inference of elected party politicians. British imperialism became an object lesson in the qualities of fascist leadership when compared with its democratic counterpart.

Roger Griffin has written of fascism as one of a number of anti-Enlightenment ideologies seeking to give birth to an ‘alternative modernity’.[14] The B.U.F.’s use of the language of imperialism shows that they sought an alternative modernity based on their conception of British imperialism. In imperialism they saw a model of masculinity and a system of government that was anti-liberal, authoritarian, white supremacist and aggressively nationalistic. In short, they saw reflected in Britain’s imperial past their imagined fascist future.

The relationship between Britain’s far-right and the British Empire casts further light on the nature of fascist ideology and is an area ripe for study. The study of the far-right, a collection of nationalistic and racist movements, necessitates an examination of the engagement of these movements with the British Empire, an important aspect of both British nationalism and racism.

Liam Liburd received a BA in History and Sociology from the University of Sheffield, before going on to complete an MA in Modern History. Liam is now in the first year of a PhD, also in Sheffield, exploring constructions of race, gender and empire on the extreme Right in Britain from the 1920s to the 1960s. He has previously written blogs for History Matters, and was heavily involved in the organisation of the ‘Gendering Peace’ conference which took place in Sheffield earlier on this year. Find Liam on twitter @Liburd93

References:

[1] The phrase itself has imperialist roots, originating in the 19th century, as the title of a popular 1868 book by Charles Dilke. It became a shorthand term for the Empire and the imperial ideal.

[2] D. Baker, Ideology of Obsession: A. K. Chesterton and British Fascism (London; New York, 1996), pp. 24-25.

[3] O. Hawks, ‘Revolution is a National Characteristic’, Blackshirt, 87 (December 21, 1934), p. 6.

[4] A. Raven Thomson, ‘Aristocracy of Worth’, Fascist Week, 13 (February 2-8, 1934), p. 4.

[5] “Lucifer”, ‘Pink Dreams in a Yellow Jacket – Sobbing Away the Empire: The Intellectual Noxiousness of Bloomsbury Socialists’, Fascist Week, 2, (November 17-23, 1933), p. 7.

[6]M. Sinha, Colonial Masculinity: The ‘manly Englishman’ and the ‘effeminate Bengali’ in the late nineteenth century (Manchester; New York, 1995), p. 2.

[7] T. Lang, ‘The Albert Hall Rally’, Blackshirt, 101 (March 29, 1935), pp. 1, 2, 5.

[8] E. D. Hart, ‘The Bleating Wolf of Ethiopia: Britain’s Press Pets’, Action, 11 (April 30, 1936), p. 7.

[9] A.K. Chesterton, ‘The End of a Stupid Story – Let Eden Follow Selassie’, Action (12, May 7, 1936), p. 11.

[10] A.R.T., ‘With Kitchener to Khartoum’, Action, 2 (February 28, 1936), p. 3.

[11] W. Joyce, ‘The Forces of Darkness Arrayed Against Fascism’, Blackshirt, 119 (August 2, 1935), p. 2.

[12] J. Rudd, ‘Fascism’s Mission to British Youth, Blackshirt, 75 (September 28, 1934), p. 6.

[13] E. D. Hart, ‘Men Who Built the British Empire: A Survey of the Great Colonists’, Action, 65 (May 15, 1937), p. 9.

[14] R. Griffin, ‘Studying Fascism in a Postfascist Age – From New Consensus to New Wave?’, Fascism: Journal of Comparative Fascist Studies, 1 (2012), p. 15.

Full Image Attributions:

Image 1: Glyn Warren Philpot [Public domain], currently at NPG London, via Wikimedia Commons

Image 2: Francis Hayman [Public domain], currently at NPG London, via Wikimedia Commons

1989, Memory and Me

By Carmen Levick

RomanianFlag-withHole
Romanian flag with emblem of the socialist cut out (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Memories are funny things: they come and go, they seem true but you discover they are rather fabricated, they haunt you when you least expect it. A few years ago I embarked on a quest to piece together my own history and to outline a road to a truth, to my truth which, according to Jean Baudrillard, ‘has vanished into the virtual through an excess of information’.[1] What follows are my own, individual memories of the days before and immediately after the 1989 Romanian revolution.

16 December 1989

School holidays. It is unusually warm outside and my grandmother tells me that when the trees are in bloom in winter that means a new beginning. I have recently turned 14 and I am really looking forward to changing from a pioneer to a young communist because when you are a young communist you don’t have to wear your tricolour tie to school. I have been waiting for eight years for this moment and I cannot wait to go back to school! This must be the new beginning my granny is talking about! But we have to get through the winter holidays first…

17 December 1989

Exciting morning! I am getting ready to go out and get in the queue for my winter holiday presents from the Party. Every winter, just before what people in the West call Christmas, but we just call winter holidays, kids my age and younger have to queue in front of the universal shop (not the only shop in the village, but the only one where there is actually something on the shelves) for our yearly presents: five oranges, a piece of chocolate and a tin of Globus meat.

It is the only time in the year when we are supposed to see oranges and eat real chocolate but we live on the border with Hungary so it’s easier to get hold of this stuff during the year. I have been queuing for about four hours now and I am glad it’s not snowing. The queue is advancing slowly and this is usually a lively affair but today things are different. The parents who joined their children in the line are whispering. In the evening, Ceausescu is on TV telling us that hooligans in Timisoara are destroying the city but that he has everything under control. Well, that’s good.

18 December 1989

Mum and Dad start whispering too. I feel that something important is happening and I would like to know what it is but nobody is talking to me. I am not allowed to use the phone as especially today it has more ears than usual. We visit some friends in the evening and I finally find out that Ceausescu does not seem to be that much in control as he said on TV. Apparently people are dying in Timisoara and corpses are thrown into the river Bega and into sewage canals. But nobody has really seen anything as the city is in lockdown. People are making stories up!

21 December 1989

Ceausescu is back from Iran and a large assembly of people is brought together in Bucharest in front of the Party’s Central Committee building. We are watching on TV as he addresses the crowd from the balcony, condemning the hooligans in Timisoara and talking about our bright future. But something is wrong! We start hearing boos and Ceausescu is flustered. He stops talking and tries, clumsily and without success, to calm the people. Suddenly the TV programme is cut. White noise.

The following days we are glued to the TV. On 22 December, at 12.08 Ceausescu and his wife flee Bucharest. The army is firing into the people. Tanks are crushing people in the streets. But then, suddenly, there are flowers on the tanks and in the barrels of the guns and the army is with us. Hugs and kisses. Ceausescu is gone! At night people are still dying. Who is shooting? The army are fighting ghosts. But people are dying so somebody must be shooting. The night is lit by tracer bullets. It is Christmas indeed!

On Christmas day Ceausescu and his wife are caught. After a mock trial they are executed. It’s horrible they did this on Christmas day and live on TV. But we are still happy and go on with our Christmas dinner. Democracy is looming on the screen. We will have proper elections and it’s going to be so good. Like in the West. And hopefully now the Americans will finally arrive. In early January there is a small miracle: the shops are full of food and other wonderful objects. We don’t have the money to buy any of them but we are window-shopping and loving it. From here things can only get better!

PozeRevolutia1989clujByRazvanRotta02
Photo of the Romanian Revolution of 1989 in Cluj-Napoca, of the kind of images remote from many but via TV screen. (Source: Răzvan Rotta/Wikimedia Commons)

This was my revolution: the way I experienced it as a 14-year-old. But did we actually have a revolution? Nothing happened where I lived. We watched all the gruesome stuff on TV. It was as if this was happening in another country, in another reality. It is almost impossible to try and piece together what happened that December in 1989. Subsequent representations of the Romanian Revolution have all struggled with the construction of their narrative and many of them needed to turn to surreal imagery in order to fill in the empty spaces between death and politics.

In his chapter The Timisoara Massacre, Baudrillard notes that many Romanian eyewitness accounts speak of being dispossessed of the revolution by only seeing voluntary traces of it on screen. They are ‘deprived of the living experience they have of it by being submerged in the media network, by being placed under house arrest in front of their television screens. Spectators then become exoterics of the screen, living their revolution as an exoticism of images’.[2]

While there was at least one factual event —at 12.08 Ceausescu left the building of the national parliament— almost everything else should have been questioned and challenged by us, the armchair revolutionaries. And, although at first we got stuck in the mirage of the image of freedom —which, if deep-frozen before, was now over-spilling its banks— the years following the revolution prompted an abundance of questions about truth and authenticity.

We preferred ‘the exile of the virtual, of which television is the universal mirror, to the catastrophe of the real’.[3] But what was real? After the revolution, stories started to pop up everywhere: about what happened, who got killed, who escaped and if they were heroes or collaborators, who shot all those people, who were the terrorists? The more intellectual faces of the previous regime were now ready to take over and give us freedom and democracy.

One of the first plays to question the official events of the revolution and attempt a reconstruction based on the reactions of ordinary people to the events of 1989 was, interestingly enough, not a Romanian play but a ‘play from Romania’: Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest. It was written in the first months of 1990 when Churchill went to Romania with a group of theatre students from London’s Central School of Speech and Drama to work with acting students in Bucharest and to try and find out more about the events of December 1989.

Structured in three acts, Mad Forest presents a before and after event, two weddings (Lucia and Florina’s) enclosing a rendition of what happened in December 1989, through seemingly unmediated (although English) voices of ordinary people, many accidentally involved in the events. What is fascinating about this work, is that even this very early play uses as a basis for its second act the narrative and imagery of the media revolution.

The characters telling the story: doctor, translator, housepainter, flowerseller, student, painter, soldier, Securitate man[4] and bulldozer driver, are all impersonal types, set against the main characters of the play, who give a sometimes painful but extremely visual account of the events. They piece together what everybody knows as being the official version of the revolution, with more personal, unseen events: ‘STUDENT: Then I saw students singing with flags with holes in them and I thought, surely this is the end’.[5]

Churchill gives voice to a Securitate man without turning him into a villain or a victim. Much like the other witnesses, he relies on the TV for his truth, which is now ruled by disorder as he himself notes: ‘Until noon on 22 we were law and order. We were brought up in this idea. I will never agree with unorder.’[6] His view of order and disorder challenges but also reaffirms Baudrillard’s conclusions about instating ordered democracy in Eastern Europe: ‘In Eastern Europe, where there was something (communism, but this was precisely disorder from a global point of view), today there is nothing, but there is order. Things are in democratic order, even if they are in the worst confusion.’[7]

Bio: Dr Carmen Levick is a lecturer in Theatre at the University of Sheffield’s School of English, having previously taught at University College Dublin following the completion of her PhD in their Theatre Studies programme. Carmen’s research focuses primarily on representations of revolution in theatre, Shakespeare in performance and physical theatre. She is currently working on a monograph mapping the performative representations of revolution in Eastern Europe, and recently presented a talk at the University of Sheffield’s Festival of Arts and Humanities entitled ‘Performing Stones: Memory, Forgetting and Communist Monuments’. You can follow her on Twitter at @Carmen_Levick.

Full photo attributions:

CC BY-SA 2.5 pl, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1237708

Photo of the Romanian Revolution of 1989 in Cluj-Napoca taken by Răzvan Rotta, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Photos_of_the_Romanian_Revolution_of_1989_in_Cluj-Napoca_taken_by_R%C4%83zvan_Rotta

References

[1] Jean Baudrillard, The Illusion of the End, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994, p. 54.

[2] Jean Baudrillard, The Illusion of the End, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994, p. 56.

[3] Ibid., p. 57.

[4] ‘Securitate’ refers to the secret police agency of the Socialist Republic of Romania.

[5] Caryl Churchill, Mad Forest, London: Nick Hern Books, 1990, p. 36.

[6] Ibid., p. 42.

[7] Jean Baudrillard, The Illusion of the End, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994, p. 29.

Redefining the national community during the Spanish Civil War: Queipo de Llano’s radio propaganda broadcasts

by Joel Baker

On 18 July 1936, the army in mainland Spain followed the colonial troops in Morocco and rebelled against the government of the Second Spanish Republic. The coup was only partially successful, and the resulting division of the country marked the start of the Spanish Civil War.

The leader of the uprising in Seville was General Gonzalo Queipo de Llano, commander of the Carabineros (border guards). Queipo’s success in Seville was key to the Nationalists’ rapid advances in the early stages of the war – providing a base for the airlift of Franco’s Army of Africa from Morocco – and is notable for the horrendous scale of violence unleashed in the city and the areas of southern Spain under Queipo’s command.[i]

Queipo is also noted for his vulgar propaganda broadcasts from Radio Sevilla – a nightly occurrence until Franco forced him off air in February 1938. While few recordings of these speeches survive, they were reproduced every day in newspapers published in Seville and elsewhere in the Nationalist zone.

Queipo
Queipo de Llano (centre) during commemorations in Seville’s Plaza de Triunfo marking the first anniversary of the Nationalist rebellion, 18 July 1937 (Source: GGnaomi, Wikicommons)

Aptly, certain fragments from these speeches have often been used to demonstrate the brutality of the Nationalist war effort and repression. However, their regularity and wide coverage in the press, as well as the fact that the Seville transmitter was capable of broadcasting to most of mainland Spain, mean we should see them as an important part of wartime culture and discourse in the Nationalist zone.[ii]

Indeed, one junior Nationalist officer, Domingo Pérez Morán, refers on a number of occasions in his memoirs to troops regularly listening to and discussing the General’s broadcasts. At one point, Pérez Morán refers to Queipo de Llano as ‘Don Gonzalo’; despite the honorific title Don, this reflects a feeling of familiarity one would not necessarily expect for a junior officer referring to a senior commander, suggesting that Queipo’s broadcasts made him a figure with whom the rank-and-file felt they could identify.[iii]

Queipo’s broadcasts can therefore be considered an important element in the formation of a Francoist discourse during the civil war, and so are clearly worthy of more detailed study. This reveals broader themes within them, beyond the familiar and frequent incitements to gratuitous violence. One way in which we can see Queipo’s broadcasts fitting into the broader development of a Francoist discourse is in the redefinition of what Spanish nationality and identity meant.

Queipo-hemeroteca
One of Queipo’s charlas, reproduced in the local press. (Source: La Union (Seville), 21/1/1938, held by the Hemeroteca Municipal de Madrid)

In one particularly notable instance, Queipo praised the foreign legionaries and Moroccan regular troops fighting among the Nationalist forces, telling his listeners that ‘despite their being foreigners, they have much more love for Spain than all the Marxist scum, and they’d give their lives for us rather than defect to that rabble.’[iv] His rhetoric later elevated the general population of Morocco to a higher level of ‘Spanishness’ than the Nationalists’ opponents:

Very many of them are more Spanish at heart than all the Marxist scum put together … They are incapable of betraying Spain and … if we wanted to remove even the last soldier from Morocco, they would guard it themselves, with exemplary fidelity.[v]

Leaving aside the implausibility of this final claim – it was only ten years since the Spanish and French armies had concluded a bloody and unpopular counterinsurgency campaign in the Protectorate – these examples demonstrate an attempt to reframe Spanish national identity as being determined by one’s politics above all else. In Queipo de Llano’s view, left-wing Spaniards lost any right to claim that national identity, while foreigners who shared the military rebels’ values could consider themselves Spanish.

This logic for excluding political enemies from the national community had been forming in right-wing Spanish circles for some time. During the 1934 Asturias rebellion, the Falangist leader José Antonio Primo de Rivera wrote to General Franco that ‘a socialist victory constitutes a foreign invasion … because the essence of socialism, from top to bottom, contradicts the permanent spirit of Spain.’[vi]

Gonzalo_Queipo_de_Llano_en_Berlín_en_1939
Queipo de Llano during a visit to Berlin in 1939 (Source: Wikicommons)

The broadcasting of such opinions to a mass audience during the civil war was an attempt to legitimise Nationalist violence by excluding its victims from a shared identity with its perpetrators. Similar notions can be seen in later Francoist legislation, particularly the February 1939 ‘Law of Political Responsibilities’ (Ley de Responsabilidades Políticas).

This statute provided the pseudo-legal basis for Francoist post-war repression by retroactively criminalising membership of the Popular Front parties as far back as 1 October 1934. The law carried through the logic evidenced in the examples above by establishing penalties for those who fell foul of it, including not only the forfeiture of property but also of Spanish citizenship.

Another attempt by Queipo to impose his understanding of Spanish identity can be seen in one broadcast in which he ‘apologised’ for having previously suggested that Catalans were all cowards. ‘If I said that’, explained the General, ‘it was in reference to the cowards who serve Marxism in Catalonia’. He insisted that ‘I cannot call the Catalans cowards, because they are Spaniards, and no Spaniard worthy of the name can be a coward.’[vii]

Queipo’s logic here is less circular than labyrinthine, but what is perhaps most striking about it is the unambiguous claim that ‘Catalans … are Spaniards’. Given the Nationalists’ implacable hostility to any kind of regional nationalism within Spain, this can be read as an attempt to impose a national identity which some Catalans may not have wanted – alongside an implication that those who refused it were Marxists, and thus beyond the national community.

Queipo’s speeches were thus part of a wider Nationalist effort to redefine the Spanish nation at the same time as building a new state. They also demonstrate a function of wartime propaganda that is, perhaps, specific to civil wars. Whereas propaganda in a war between two nation states may focus on promoting the essential justice of the relevant party’s cause,[viii] a deeply political civil conflict like the Spanish Civil War can also lead to attempts to cast the enemy rhetorically beyond the pale of the national community in order to legitimise, in this case, a military rebellion and shocking violence behind the lines. Nationalist propaganda such as Queipo’s, which arrogated the right to define Spanish identity, helped lay the ideological foundations for exclusionary and repressive practices for decades to come.

Joel Baker is currently studying an MA in Historical Research at the University of Sheffield, where he will be conducting PhD research on public works and welfarism in Spain under the Primo de Rivera dictatorship (1923-1930) from September 2017. He previously graduated with a BA in Modern Languages (Spanish, Dutch, French) from the same University in 2014, and has also worked as a translator at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He tweets on and off at @joelrbaker.

[i] See Paul Preston, The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain (London, 2012), pp. 131-178.

[ii] Alan Davies, ‘The First Radio War: Broadcasting in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939’, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 19.4 (1999), p. 474.

[iii] Domingo Pérez Morán, ¡A estos, que los fusilen al amanecer! (Madrid, 1973), pp. 36, 45, 47, 163-164, 189-190.

[iv] ‘… no obstante su condición de extranjeros, tienen mucho más amor a España que toda la canalla marxista, y dan su vida por nosotros antes de pasarse a esa chusma.’ La Unión de Sevilla, 25/08/1936, pp. 9-10. Translations are my own.

[v] ‘… muchísimos de ellos son mucho más españoles a corazón que toda la canalla marxista junta; […] son incapaces de hacer traición a España, y […] si quisiéramos sacar de Marruecos hasta el último soldado, lo guardarían ellos solos, con ejemplar fidelidad.’ La Unión de Sevilla, 28/08/1936, pp. 9-10.

[vi] ‘Una victoria socialista tiene el valor de invasión extranjera […] porque las esencias del socialismo, de arriba abajo, contradicen el espíritu permanente de España.’ Quoted in Sheelagh Ellwood, Historia de Falange Española, trans. Antonio Desmonts (Barcelona, 2001). p. 57.

[vii] ‘Yo no puedo llamar cobardes a los catalanes, porque son españoles, y todo español digno no puede ser cobarde. Conste, pues, que si eso dije, era refiriéndome a los cobardes que en Cataluña sirven al marxismo …’ La Unión de Sevilla, 24/08/1936, pp. 5-7.

[viii] See, for example, David Welch and Jo Fox (eds), Justifying War: Propaganda, Politics and the Modern Age (New York, 2012).

The Political Language of Celebration: The Anniversary of the October Revolution, 1918-1932

By Jon Rowson

‘It is impossible to build socialism in white gloves’ – Mikhail Kalinin, 7 November 1930[1]

The Anniversary of the October Revolution was the apogee of public politics in the young Soviet state. The celebrations, lasting 2-3 days in all areas of the USSR, were a means of honouring the previous year’s achievements, and increasing the morale of the populace. Despite Petrograd being the centre of events during the October Revolution, Moscow- and in particular Red Square – soon became the axiomatic centre of celebrations after being named the Soviet capital in 1918.

The culmination of the annual Anniversary event was a joint military and civilian parade through Moscow and Red Square, where Soviet soldiers and citizens caught a glimpse of the political elite, and heard speeches delivered by a range of politicians. Over time, the nature of the celebrations changed, turning from a spontaneous outburst of civilian celebration, to a rigid, militaristic pageant. Nonetheless, the importance of the written and spoken word remained.

Political speeches were ubiquitous throughout the Anniversary event. Lenin delivered at least six speeches during the 1918 holiday, with his address on Red Square being published verbatim in the Pravda and Izvestiia VTsIK newspapers.[2] These speeches reveal crucial insights into how the Soviet state addressed and sought legitimation from its citizens, and how these processes changed during the turbulent first fifteen years of Soviet rule.

‘Kolarov is an amazing person. Did you hear the way he talks? He never says: fight. He says, to fight and win. Generally, the Bolsheviks were the kind of people that like to dot their i’s’ – Unnamed audience member, 9 November 1923[3]

As the above quotation indicates, clarity and understanding were of vital importance to the Anniversary’s political message. This was often reflected in the choice of speaker,

jon-blog-1
Soviet leaders including Lenin (centre) and Trotsky (saluting) observing the Second Anniversary of the October Revolution celebration on Red Square, 1919.

particularly for the Red Square speeches which were always published in Soviet newspapers in the days that followed. During the War Communism years, Lenin and Trotsky, noted respectively for their speeches’ ‘iron logic’ and ‘drama’, both appeared frequently, reflecting their status at the head of Soviet politics.[4]

 

After Lenin’s death in 1924, a multiplicity of voices characterised the Anniversary celebrations. Two of the most audible figures were Mikhail Kalinin, often hailed as the “All-Russian Village Elder” [Vserossiiskii starosta] and, as the military began to play a greater role in festivities, Kliment Voroshilov.[5]

Problematically, many of the Soviet political elite were not proletarian in origin. However, Kalinin and Voroshilov, sons of a peasant and railway worker respectively, were figures that the Soviet populace both rural and urban, could draw commonalities with, especially during the reading of the revolutionary oath which began with the proclamation, ‘I, the son of the working people’.[6] This made them a savvy choice for inclusion in the annual celebrations .

The Anniversary celebrations were a means of mythologizing the achievements of the Soviet state. During the Civil War years, this took the form of celebrating the ‘unprecedented, incredibly difficult struggle’ of the Red Army troops.[7] Vague statements of success, such as Trotsky’s 1919 retort that ‘our army, which is fighting against the White gangs of Yudenich, is successfully moving forward’, were said to have drawn cheers from the crowd.[8]

During the years of the First Five-Year Plan, this myth-making project was directed towards the economy. Political speeches became replete with statistics, an example being Voroshilov’s 1930 parade speech, which featured the claim that ‘gross industrial output has reached 196.9% of the pre-war level’.[9]

Between 1928 and 1932, statistics such as these became evidence of socialism’s ‘extraordinary achievements’, and proof that, as Kalinin stated at the 1930 Red Square parade, ‘we have left behind many of the difficulties’ of the War Communism years.[10] Yet, at the same time as these statements of success, workers’ real wages had fallen 52% from their 1918 level, with the continued decrease in meat and dairy consumption another indicator of falling living standards.[11]

Legitimacy for this myth-making project was sought by demonstration of the Bolshevik elite’s ability to predict the future. Lenin’s 1919 statement of the Party’s ‘firm belief in the imminent victory of Soviet power’ was justified following the 1920 capitulation of the White forces.[12] After his death, Anniversary speeches contain references to the ‘great teacher’ Lenin, whose ‘great ideas’, such as the smychka, the union of proletariat and peasant, would help the USSR ‘overcome all difficulties’.[13]

By 1932, Lenin’s name was not only being used during the Anniversary celebrations to

jon-blog-2
Military Review at the Fifth Anniversary Celebrations on Red Square, 1922.

legitimise Bolshevik economic and political policy, but also Stalin’s personal rule. Kalinin declared that Stalin was ‘leading the way for the Party’s implementation of Lenin’s testament’, whilst Voroshilov hailed ‘Long live the faithful follower of Lenin, the Bolshevik of Bolsheviks, Comrade Stalin’, during his speech on Red Square.[14]

 

Concurrent with these attempts to legitimise Soviet rule was the de-legitimisation of Soviet enemies, both internal and external. Speeches outlined, on the one hand, positive identities, such as ‘shock-workers’ [udarnik] and ‘collectivised peasant’ [krest’ian-kolkhoznik], and on the other, ‘enemies of the people’, including ‘truants’ and ‘kulaks’ .[15]

Humour was also used as a de-legitimisation tool. Kalinin’s damning portrayal in 1932 of American President Herbert Hoover as an ‘ignorant peasant, who raises his eyes to the sky and prays for the heavenly rain during a drought’, was a confident jab by a Soviet state which had fulfilled the First Five-Year Plan, whilst the American economy was still reeling from the Great Depression.[16]

The Anniversary of the October Revolution was a national holiday for all Soviet citizens, meaning that it had great nationwide exposure, This made it the ideal site for the dissemination of political messages. The dual processes of legitimising Soviet politics, both with regards to policy and personnel, and de-legitimising ‘enemies of the people’, were crucial to inculcating a spirit of festivity, achieved by demonstrating the achievements of the Soviet state, and the promise of a better future.

Jonathan Rowson is a first-year ESRC-funded PhD student at the University of Nottingham in the Department of History. His thesis, entitled ‘Out-migration from the Russian village: Perm’ province 1890-1914’, examines migration networks in the late-Tsarist period at a local level, analysing the causes and effects of rural-to-urban migration within Perm’ province, and the growth of rural-to-rural migration from Perm’ province to Siberia. This province-level study is also an attempt at documenting the regional socio-economic idiosyncrasies of late-Tsarist Russia’s industrial and economic modernisation, and how this impacted, and was impacted by, population movement. Other research interests include the concept of legitimacy in the Soviet state, and the socio-cultural means by which the Soviet Union sought to legitimise itself in the 1920s.

References:

[1] Izvestiia VTsIK (308), 7 November 1930, p. 4.

[2] Graeme Gill, Symbols and Legitimacy in Soviet Politics (Cambridge, 2011), p. 71.

[3] ‘S tribuny’, Izvestiia VTsIK (256), 9 November 1923, p. 5.

[4] Orlando Figes & Boris Kolonitskii, Interpreting the Russian Revolution: The Language and Symbols of 1917 (New Haven, CT., & London, 1999), p. 101.

[5] Pravda (256), 10 November 1925, p. 3.

[6] Pravda (256), 11 November 1924, p. 5.

[7] V. I. Lenin, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, vol. 37 (Moscow, 1969), p. 147.

[8] Pravda (251), 9 November 1919, p. 1.

[9] Izvestiia VTsIK (309), 10 November 1930, pp. 1-2.

[10] Izvestiia VTsIK (261), 10 November 1928: 4; Izvestiia VTsIK (308), 7 November 1930, p. 4.

[11] Jeffrey Brooks, Thank You, Comrade Stalin! Soviet Public Culture from Revolution to Cold War (Princeton, NJ, 2001), p. 55.

[12] V. I. Lenin, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, vol. 39 (Moscow, 1969): 288. Originally published in Pravda (249), 6 November 1919.

[13] L. B. Kamenev, ‘Vos’maia godovshchina Oktiabria’, Izvestiia VTsIK (256), 10 November 1925: 2; Izvestiia VTsIK (261), 10 November 1928, p. 4.

[14] Pravda (310), 10 November 1932: 2; K. E. Voroshilov, ‘Rech’ na parade v Moskve v den’ XV godovshchiny oktiabr’skoi revoliutsii’, in K. E. Voroshilov, Stat’i i rechi (Moscow, 1937), p. 480.

[15] Voroshilov, ‘Rech’ na parade v Moskve’: 477; Pravda (310), 11 November 1932, p. 2.

[16] Pravda (310), 10 November 1932, p. 2.

Full Image Attributions:

Image 1: By L.Y. Leonidov [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Image 2: History of Russia in Photographs

A Bulwark Made of Words: the Francoist Press during the Second World War

By Miguel Rivas Venegas

In the opinion of Sir Samuel Hoare, British Ambassador in Spain, the Spanish press from the 1940s was a toy in the hands of the Third Reich’s Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels. Newspapers were full of terminology described by the researcher Luis Veres as the ‘lexical arsenals’ of authoritarian regimes, and were as Hoare underlined, ‘literally illegible’.[1] The American ambassador, Alexander Weddel, who would accuse the Home Minister, Ramón Serrano Suñer, of organizing a propaganda campaign coordinated by Nazi agitators, shared the opinion of the British diplomat in Spain.

According to Weddel, the German Press Attaché was indeed behind many of the articles and editorials of the Falangist newspaper Arriba, which were ‘clearly translated from another language’. Stanley Payne also discussed translations in reference to the early fascist newspaper El Fascio,[2] promoted by the J.O.N.S member,[3] José María Alfaro, close collaborator of the German Press Attaché Hans Lazar.[4]  Research on Jonsist language reveals possible translations and adaptations of the ‘Lingua Tertii Imperii’ within the language and rhetoric of Spanish Jonsists, Falangists and Francoist propagandists of the late 1930s and 1940s.[5]

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Report in Spanish newspaper, ABC, on Hitler’s activities in Berlin. Source: ABC (Sevilla), 9/4/1943

The enormous power of journalists and Spanish correspondents in Germany under the command of Hans Lazar, as well as the influence of the media in general should not be underestimated. As Weddel would claim, a systematic, coordinated press could be enough to drag the exhausted masses of Spain into a ‘new battle of the same war’ –asserted Franco– against the enemies of the Fatherland.

Spain was represented by the Spanish Caudillo, German propaganda, and General Moscardó (who was in charge of the Deutsch-Spanische Geschellschaft),[6] as the first front of the crusade against bolshevism and its ‘allies’. The press should be, as Home Secretary Serrano Suñer claimed in 1940, ‘Military column, militia, and fundamental backup to the State’.[7] As stated in one Diario Norte article signed by the National-Socialist press agency Arco-SPES, the journalist should become a soldier,[8] and get rid of his civilian clothes. Discipline under a strict chain of command included linguistic discipline:[9] dilettantes or propagandistic improvisation could be more dangerous than enemy counter-propaganda. Arsenals of words, or, ‘purr’ and ‘snarl words’, as Hayakawa would categorize certain political vocabulary,[10] should be cautiously and meticulously chosen.

The so-called ‘New Spain’ needed its journalists on the front lines of combat. Germany would be the best example of the strong power of persuasion of media under a rigid, sophisticated and, according to General Director of Propaganda Dionisio Ridruejo, ‘perverse’ control of the State.[11] Spanish news correspondents were positioned in many European countries, another one of the Generals’ weapons since the First World War.[12]

At first glance, Spanish newspapers showed not only a non-belligerent attitude towards the political and imperialistic aspirations of the Axis, but clear support of their propaganda and propagandistic language. Information relating to Japanese expansionism presented to Spanish readers in the newspaper ABC was similar to the allusions that appeared in Arriba or Levante, in which German imperialism and the offensive against Poland was described as a ‘vital necessity’, clearly supporting the hitlerian principle of Lebensraum. According to these newspapers, the egoism, incompetence, and lack of empathy of the so-called decadent democracies provoked the German reaction and made any pacific solution to the conflict impossible. The newspaper El Norte de Castilla would affirm that German troops were obligated to penetrate the Polish territory, as the Poles rejected any pacific alternative.[13]

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The Falangist daily, Arriba, delivers Hitler’s speeches to a Spanish audience. Source: Arriba, 31/1/1941

Germany was pictured as a proud nation reacting to the constant provocations and warlike offenses of those ‘false democracies’ that according to Franco ‘did not want peace in Spain’. [14] Salvador Merino, Head of the Falangist Trade Unions, would talk about an ‘obliged war’, a defensive war, of Germany against its offenders. The opinion of the prominent Falangist appears in the Pueblo newspaper right after one of his ‘formative trips’ to National-Socialist Germany.[15] According to his own description of these visits, he contacted prominent Nazi leaders and studied (and in many senses reproduced) the structure of the German Labour Front.

The same subjective, laconic, imprecise and propagandistic description can be found in El Alcázar referring to the German offensive in Norway.[16] The position of certain Catholic newspapers towards Nazi racial measures in occupied territories can be easily perceived in the pages of El correo de Andalucía. They exhale the same anti-Semitism found in the pages of Onesimo Redondo´s Libertad:

‘When going down Nawrek Street the citizen formation decreases and changes, turning, degenerating into filthy residences corresponding to the Jewish suburbs. Even the three-floor buildings look nauseating and disgusting. The “doroskas” stroll around streets full of dirty and ragged kids. The Jewish caftan stands out over any other clothing and the beards are legion as the fear of an epidemic disease’.[17]

The Spanish press commonly pointed towards ‘British egoism’, which was described constantly in ABC. The origin of the Japanese occupations was, according to this newspaper, an ‘obliged’ defence against the British manoeuvres:

The fight of Japan against the Anglo-Saxon powers is a transposition of the social war on the international scene (…) the Japanese archipelago is too small for it’s almost one hundred million inhabitants (…) if the Anglo-Saxons would have understood the vital necessities of the Japanese people, the actual conflict could have been avoided.[18]

The first Press Office Director and member of the Office of Press and Propaganda, journalist, and correspondent Luis Antonio Bolín considered, at the beginning of the conflict, that the war should be won by force of arms. Maybe his early contacts with non-Spanish journalists and propagandists in Salamanca changed his mind. Propaganda and the press were, as Bernays claimed in 1928,[19] a fundamental tool in modern times. Weapons were not enough. A bulwark of words, also serving the propagandistic goals of National-socialist propaganda in Spain, was successfully built in the newly-born ‘España Nacional’.

Miguel Rivas Venegas is a second year PhD student in the deparment of Art History and Theory of the Autónoma University (UAM) in Madrid, where he forms part of the research group  ‘Artistic and Audiovisual Cultures in the Contemporary World’. Miguel currently lives in Berlin, where he has spent time as a scholar at the Humboldt University. His PhD research investigates the similarities and differences between the totalitarian language of Nazi Germany, and that of Francoist Spain. 

[1] Ingrid Schulze Schneider, ‘Éxitos y fracasos de la propaganda alemana en España: 1939-1944’. Melanges de la Casa de Velázquez 31-3, (1995), pp. 197-217.

[2] Stanley Payne, Falange. A History of Spanish Fascism (Stanford University Press, 1961), p. 31.

[3] The Juntas Ofensivas Nacional Sindicalistas was the first relevant political movement in Spain.

[4] Schulze Schneider, ‘Éxitos y fracasos’, p. 200.

[5] The German philologist Viktor Klemperer defined the particular use of language and rhetoric of the Third Reich as “Lingua Tertii Imperii”. See Viktor Klemperer, LTI. Notizbuch eines Philologen (Berlin, Aufbau,1947).

[6] Speech by General Moscardó, president of the German-Spanish Society- Quoted in El Alcázar, 6 August 1941.

[7] Speech by Serrano Suñer to the journalists of Valencia. As quoted in Informaciones, 24th April,1940.

[8] ‘La prensa en la guerra’ Norte. Diario de Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las J.O.N.S., 27th February 1940.

[9] The propagandistic possibilities of the press, particularly during armed conflicts, had been obvious to German propagandists since the First World War. For more information, see Almut Lindner-Wirsching,‘Patrioten im Pool. Deutsche und französische Kriegsberichtestatter im Ersten Weltkrieg‘ in Ute, D. (Ed.) Augenzeugen. Kriegsberichterstattung von 18. Zum 21. Jahrhundert (Göttingen, 2006).

[10] S. I. Hayakawa, Language in thought and action (Orlando, A Harvest/ HBJ Original, 1990 [1939]).

[11] Francisco Sevillano Calero, ‘La estructura de la prensa diaria en España durante el franquismo” Investigaciones históricas: Época moderna y contemporánea, ISSN 0210-9425, Nº 17, 1997, p. 316.

[12] Reinhard Stauber, ‘War and public Sphere. European examples from the Seven Years´ War to the World War I.’ in Seethaler, J., Karmasin, M., et al., Selling war. The role of Mass Media in Hostile Conflicts. From World War I to the “War on Terror”. p. 28.

[13] Appeared in the newspaper El Norte de Castilla. Quoted in Virginia Martín Jiménez, ‘La prensa vallisoletana ante el final de la Segunda Guerra Mundial’, in Pena, Alberto (ed.), Comunicación y guerra en la historia, pp. 343-344.

[14] Paul Preston, Franco (1995), p. 415.

[15] ‘La estancia del Delegado Nacional de Sindicatos en Alemania’. Appeared in Pueblo. Diario del trabajo nacional. 5th of May,1941.

[16] The Carlist newspaper would briefly refer to that 1 September ‘in which the democratic powers declared war on the Third Reich (…) on the triumphal Germany (…) that possessed the moral of victory’. In ‘En vísperas de las grandes batallas’, El Alcázar, 10 May 1940.

[17] ‘La paz  no depende de Alemania’, El correo de Andalucía, 11 October 1939.

[18] ‘Los japoneses han ocupado la capital de Tailandia.’ ABC, 10 December 1941.

[19] Edward Bernays, Propaganda. (Brooklyn, 2005 [1928]), p. 54.

Explaining away poverty: Soviet residential childcare and social problems after 1953

By Mirjam Galley

Until Stalin’s death, Soviet children’s homes had been orphanages, housing children who had lost their parents to war, disease, or Stalin’s own terror campaigns. His successor Nikita Khrushchev set out to change that system of institutions for good. Khrushchev renounced his predecessor’s rule of terror in his so-called Secret Speech (1956) and, in some sort of ideological rebooting, promised to lead the peoples of the Union to communism within 20 years.

In order to bring up the generations that would ‘build’ communism, Khrushchev pledged to expand the state education system to educate every child according to socialist ideology in state-run boarding schools.[1] However, lacking financial means – and the simple fact that parents did not want to give their children away – this project was never completely realized.

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Visit of Khrushchev to a television factory, 1963 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

So, Khrushchev’s policies did not result in an all-encompassing network of boarding schools, but in a network of residential childcare institutions (children’s homes, boarding schools, and children’s colonies). These mainly housed and educated children from ‘problem families,’ orphans, and children with disabilities. They were meant for children who, in the leadership’s opinion, were not or could not be properly cared for by their parents.[2]

Yet, because of this complicated formation of the residential childcare system, its practical aims are not easy to make out. Soviet files from central as well as regional administrations mention three of them: the ideological purpose of turning children into productive, useful contributors to (socialist) society; the provision of social welfare, helping children in need; and the enforcement of public order, of removing ‘undesirables’ from the public eye.

Ideology is the most explicitly stated purpose of that childcare system in both legal documents and everyday bureaucratic correspondence. Several texts are quite explicit about the network of boarding schools being set up to raise the younger generations as ‘the most active builders of communism.’[3] Documents about more specific aspects of

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Accepting new Komsomol members on Red Square, Moscow, in 1968 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

institutional education tend to name the values that these schools should convey, such as ‘collectivism’ and a ‘communist attitude towards work’. Children were supposed to work for the common good and help the state,[4] in order to turn out ‘healthy, happy, and useful’.[5]

The second purpose, of isolating unwanted groups of people, tends to be stated more implicitly. This attitude towards the children becomes apparent in different forms of institutionalized neglect. Staff in such institutions worked for much lower wages than teachers or educators in general schools or kindergartens.[6] Agencies in charge of helping ‘difficult’ children individually often just sent kids to reformatory colonies without even meeting them.[7] Explicit statements about isolating children tended to refer most frequently to delinquent children and children with disabilities.

When in the late 1950s a regional Party organization wanted to close a reform colony, they argued that it was too close to an important railway, where tourists and travellers (some of whom were foreign) might see them.[8] In 1961, an internal document from the Soviet Council of Ministers stated that children with a significant intellectual disability should be institutionalized so as not to hinder the parents in raising healthy children.[9]

In terms of these two aims, there is no clear change throughout the years, but the third element of social support for needy families only seemed to occur from the 1970s onwards. A draft law by the Council of Ministers in 1974 mentioned the social function of such institutions, and the Soviet state’s obligation to bring up children whenever their parents could not.[10]

Ten years later, the chairman of the Soviet Children’s Fund Al’bert Likhanov again stressed the responsibility of bringing up ‘state’ children, ‘meaning our common (obshchii) children’.[11] These examples seem to suggest that the Soviet leadership began to admit to the existence of social problems. However, paying attention to the language used by Soviet bureaucrats to describe these problems, it becomes clear that this concession was very limited. For instance, words like ‘poverty’ or ‘social problem’ are never mentioned.

Official documents do not present social problems as a phenomenon concerning society as a whole or at least parts of it, but rather individual families. Awkward formulations like

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‘Sobriety – a norm of life’ 1985 stamp (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

‘families in which bad conditions for raising children prevail’ are used instead.[12] The most common term to label ‘bad’ families is neblagopoluchnyi, which in the context of families means ‘dysfunctional,’ denoting in practice phenomena like poverty, alcoholism, neglect, or domestic violence.[13] Common labels for ‘bad parents’, such as ‘previous offender,’ ‘drunkard/alcoholic,’ or ‘mentally ill,’ also tended to pathologise general social problems, or place the blame on individual shortcomings.[14]

These findings suggest that the Soviet leadership failed to admit to the existence of social problems like poverty in Soviet society and, more importantly, to their responsibility to solve those problems. Instead, state agencies tended to blame individual people (for being alcoholics, for being bad parents) for more general social phenomena and tried to keep such ‘deviant’ people out of sight as much as possible.

Mirjam Galley is a first-year PhD student in Sheffield’s History Department. Her doctoral research deals with children in care in the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death in 1953, exploring both how the Soviet leadership sought to ‘form’ children in institutions into productive workers, and how children coped in these institutions. Her research interests include cultural history, especially the history of everyday life, of violence, and of marginalised groups. She is one of the co-founders of the Sheffield Modern International History Group. You can reach her on Twitter @M_E_Galley.

References

[1] See for example: Polly Jones (ed.), The Dilemmas of De-Stalinization: Negotiating Cultural and Social Change in the Khrushchev Era (London/New York: Routledge, 2006); Melanie Ilic/ Jeremy Smith (eds.), Khrushchev in the Kremlin: Policy and government in the Soviet Union, 1956-64 (Routledge: London, 2009).

[2] Catriona Kelly, Children’s World: Growing up in Russia, 1890-1991 (London/New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), p.267.

[3] GARF, f. A259, op. 42, d. 9624, l. 81.

[4] GARF, f. A385, op. 26, d. 204, l. 63r; GASO, f. R233, d. 1471, l. 35; GARF, f. R5446, op. 145, d. 1258, ll. 33-34.

[5] GASO, f. 1427, op. 2, d. 115, l. 32.

[6] GARF, f. R5446, op. 145, d. 1258, l. 29.

[7] GARF, f. A385, op. 26, d. 203, ll. 6-10.

[8] GARF, f. A259, op. 42, d. 2718, l. 3. Evidently the motive behind wanting to close that institution might have been a different one but the fact that individuals thought that this was a valid point hints to their perceptions of such children.

[9] GARF, f. R5446, op. 95, d. 240, l. 17.

[10] GARF, f. R5446, op. 109, d. 1079, ll. 3-4.

[11] GARF, f. R5446, op. 145, d. 1258, ll. 13.

[12] GARF, f. R5446, op. 109, d. 1079, l. 3.

[13] TsDOOSO, f. 4, op. 69, d. 181, ll. 2, 22, 43-44, 60; GARF, f. A385, op. 26, d. 203, ll. 1-2; GARF, f. 9527, op.1, d. 2124, l. 43. Officials either use the adjective neblagopoluchnyi, or even more complicated formulations like neblagopoluchno v sem’e or semei v kotorykh neblagopoluchno s vospitaniem detei, which makes it sound like a disease.

[14] TsDOOSO, f. 4, op. 69, d. 181, ll. 175-179; GARF, f. R8131, op. 32, d. 5042, ll. 52-54.

Full image attributions

Image 1: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-B0118-0010-027 / CC-BY-SA [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Image 2: RIA Novosti archive, image #705239 / Lev Polikashin / CC-BY-SA 3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Image 3: Scanned and processed by Andrei Sdobnikov (Personal collection) [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons