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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 East: Friends and Enemies

Going East: Friends and Enemies

(p.247) 7 Going East: Friends and Enemies
Showcasing the Great Experiment

Michael David-Fox

Oxford University Press

This chapter contrasts the Soviet relationship with prominent visitors who were ideological sympathizers with little-known, covert Soviet outreach to far-right nationalists, German “National Bolsheviks,” and fascist intellectuals. At the center of attention, in the first instance, are the sensational journeys of André Gide in 1936 and Lion Feuchtwanger in 1937 during the era of the Moscow show trials. In the second instance, the chapter gives an in-depth case study of a hybrid left-right German organization founded in 1932 to study the Soviet planned economy (ARPLAN), and more broadly Soviet-German political and cultural relations on the eve of the Nazi Revolution. Showing how foreign friends of Stalinism could suddenly become enemies and those considered enemies could potentially be converted into friends, the chapter ends by contrasting the emotional identification of many Western intellectuals with the socialist homeland with the foreign fellow-travelers of the fascist right, who were by definition excluded from the Nazi racial community.

Keywords:   André Gide, Lion Feuchtwanger, ARPLAN, planned economy, National Bolsheviks, fascist, Nazi, Soviet-German, Stalinism, fellow-travelers

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