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Oh, That! Myth, Memory, and World War I in the Russian Emigration and the Soviet Union

Aaron J. Cohen
Slavic Review
Vol. 62, No. 1 (Spring, 2003), pp. 69-86
DOI: 10.2307/3090467
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3090467
Page Count: 18
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Oh, That! Myth, Memory, and World War I in the Russian Emigration and the Soviet Union
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Abstract

Historians of Russia have not analyzed the roles that the memory of World War I played in Russian life, and Russia remains largely absent from comparative studies of the war and its legacy. Russian people did have "sites of memory" where they expressed myths, displayed symbols, and mobilized public opinion around the memory of World War I. Outside the Soviet Union, a non-Soviet Russian memory of the Great War flourished in the interwar years, and the war became an important memory that military émigrés used to overcome the rupture from the past (imperial Russia) and the present (Russian territory) caused by revolution and life in emigration. The war had a different expression in Soviet Russia, where journalists and publicists evoked its image, but not its historical content, to break the USSR from the Russian past and separate the first socialist society from its enemies in the present.

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