Soviet Women under the German Occupation: Facets of Social Adaptation

 
PIIS013216250009819-3-1
DOI10.31857/S013216250009819-3
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
Occupation: Prof.
Affiliation:
Belgorod State National Research University
National Research Technological University “MISiS”
Address: Russian Federation, Belgorod
Occupation: Lecturer
Affiliation: Belgorod State National Research University
Address: Russian Federation, Belgorod
Occupation: Assoc. Prof.
Affiliation: Belgorod State National Research University
Address: Russian Federation, Belgorod
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 9
Pages38-47
Abstract

This article is devoted to one of the least studied problems to date –  strategies and practices for the social adaptation of women remaining on the USSR territory occupied by German troops and their allies during the WW2. Despite a significant number of diverse publications devoted to the occupation period, social everyday life of civilians in times of war is still bearing imprints of considerable myth-making. The facts show that a most numerous groups of Soviet citizens in the territory occupied by German troops were women and children. It was these two social groups of the population that were in the center of attention of both the German invaders and the collaborative power structures they created. A comparative analysis of a wide array of archival documents of the territorial state security bodies of the USSR, memoirs of direct witnesses of that period of time, reveal three most common strategies for social adaptation and individual behavior in the territory occupied by German troops. These are: two extreme forms - active rejection (participation in anti-fascist underground, partisan movement) or active cooperation with the invaders (German intelligence services, commandants, Russian auxiliary police). The most common tactic features social rejection of the surrounding reality without entering into an open conflict. Each of the identified social adaptation practices under extremely adverse conditions - mass terror by the German occupation authorities, forcibly imposed German “new order”, unlimited autonomy of German proteges from among local collaborators - was based on individual motivations and priorities of personal habits and moral values.

KeywordsGerman occupation, soviet women, practices of social adaptation, individual attitude to the German “new order”
Received23.05.2020
Publication date21.09.2020
Number of characters32791
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