In this compelling account of life and death in a Russian province under Nazi occupation, Johannes Due Enstad challenges received wisdom about Russian patriotism during World War II. With the benefit of hindsight, we know how hopelessly destructive Germany’s war against the Soviet Union was. Yet ordinary Russians witnessing the advancing German forces saw things differently. For many of them, having lived through collectivization and Stalinist terror in the 1930s, the invasion created hopes of a better life without the Bolsheviks. German policies on land and church helped sustain those hopes for parts of the population. Drawing on Soviet and German archival sources as well as eyewitness accounts, memoirs, and diaries, Enstad demonstrates the impact of Nazi rule on the mostly peasant population of northwest Russia and offers a reconsideration of the relationship between the Soviet regime and its core Russian population at this crucial moment in their history.
- A clear and readable account of the Russian experience under Nazi rule
- Draws on both Soviet and German archival sources, as well as eyewitness accounts, diaries, and memoirs
- Reconsiders the relationship of ordinary Russians to Stalinism and to the German occupation