Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Showcasing the Great ExperimentCultural Diplomacy and Western Visitors to the Soviet Union, 1921–1941$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2022

Rise of the Stalinist Superiority Complex

Rise of the Stalinist Superiority Complex

(p.285) 8 Rise of the Stalinist Superiority Complex
Showcasing the Great Experiment

Michael David-Fox

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces Soviet cultural diplomacy through three radically divergent periods: the mid-1930s height of the Popular Front, the Great Terror and show trials from 1936–38, and the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939–41. Although the Soviet system for receiving foreigners that had emerged in the 1920s was not fundamentally reworked in the 1930s, prewar Stalinism was marked by sea-shifts in ideology and attitudes toward the outside world. The first was the rise of a “superiority complex,” in which virtually everything Soviet was deemed the best in the world, at least officially. The second was a decisive internal Soviet tilt, underway already at the height of European anti-fascism in the mid-1930s, away from the optimistic Soviet quest to engage and dominate Western cultural politics in favor of “vigilance,” ideological xenophobia, and the hunt for hidden enemies. During the Great Terror, international contacts that had previously brought prestige to Soviet cultural mediators suddenly became the grounds for mass physical annihilation as VOKS and Soviet international organizations were decimated; during the Pact period of Soviet cultural diplomacy, reduced to a shadow of its former self, became largely a matter of sending symbolic signals to the Nazis.

Keywords:   Popular Front, Great Terror, show trials, Nazi-Soviet Pact, vigilance, anti-fascism, xenophobia, superiority, cultural diplomacy, VOKS

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .