Professor Leibovitch: Social tensions in the Soviet hinterland: the case of Molotovskaya oblast’ (region of Molotov) in 1941 – 1945

The 14th of March our Centre hosted Professor Leibovitch as a keynote speaker with whom our guests discuss the intricate and complex relationships in the Soviet backstage during the World War II. The speaker defines social tensions as any latent conflict in a territorial community which is not able to transform into open constructive conflict (Coser). The reasons are weakness of communication between people, perceived anxiety due to expected problems in future, underdevelopment of language by which interests are expressed, lack of space for dialogue.

The sources of social tensions in the Soviet hinterland are following:

  1. the lack of resources for population;
  2. the cultural clash: evacuated vs locals (Yankovskaya);
  3. «unbearable» vertical social differentiation;
  4. Destruction of the local paternalistic mechanisms.

Social tensions are manifested in weakening of the social order: mutual rejection of various groups of population, anti-Semite moods, feeling of despair and apathy, aggressive behaviour. During the presentation Professor Leibovitch has also depicted the power attempts to alleviate the social tensions through repression, care and propaganda.

Oleg L. Leibovitch – Ph.D. in History, Professor of Cultural Studies at the Perm State Institute of Art and Culture

Key publications by Oleg L. Leibovitch:

  • “In a city M. Essays on the political of everyday life in Soviet province in the 1940-50s”. Moscow: 2008. / «В городе М. Очерки политической повседневности советской провинции в 40 – 50 –х гг. XX века» (2-е изд., М.: РОССПЭН, 2008),
  • «Включен в операцию… Массовый террор в Прикамье в 1937 – 1938 гг.» (2-е изд. М.: РОССПЭН, 2009).