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Showcasing the Great ExperimentCultural Diplomacy and Western Visitors to the Soviet Union, 1921–1941$
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Michael David-Fox

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199794577

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794577.001.0001

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Going West: Soviet “Cultural” Operations Abroad

Going West: Soviet “Cultural” Operations Abroad

(p.61) 2 Going West: Soviet “Cultural” Operations Abroad
Showcasing the Great Experiment

Michael David-Fox

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the outposts and activities of Soviet cultural diplomacy in Western countries in the 1920s. It argues that Weimar Germany became the most important testing ground for the Soviet dilemma of choosing between ideological sympathizers and influential yet politically distant “bourgeois” partners. It provides a comparative history of the German Society of Friends of the New Russia and other cultural friendship societies created by VOKS after 1923 in Central and Western Europe and the United States. Finally, it examines the international travel of Soviet intellectuals and the role of the Soviet intelligentsia in cultural exchange, probing the patronage relations between Soviet agencies and intellectuals at home and abroad.

Keywords:   Weimar Germany, cultural friendship societies, VOKS, cultural diplomacy, cultural exchange, patronage, international travel, intelligentsia, intellectuals, sympathizers

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