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Soviet Soft Power in PolandCulture and the Making of Stalin's New Empire, 1943-1957$
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Patryk Babiracki

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469620893

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469620893.001.0001

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Soviet Soft Power and the Polish Thaw

Soviet Soft Power and the Polish Thaw

(p.187) 5 Soviet Soft Power and the Polish Thaw
Soviet Soft Power in Poland

Patryk Babiracki

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the changes in Soviet-Polish cultural contacts during the immediate post-Stalin years of 1953–57. Stalin's death, “collective leadership,” and Khrushchev's ascendance to power offered new possibilities for reciprocal cultural relations and a more flexible Soviet approach in Poland. But the cautious de-Stalinization in the USSR together with the rapid Polish Thaw complicated the work of Soviet international outreach institutions. The new Soviet “hands-off” approach to East European affairs also meant that a number of institutions that hitherto had intervened in the cultural affairs of the Soviet Union's East European satellites were suddenly deprived of Moscow's support. Though many Soviet cultural outreach officials toyed with ingenious ideas about how to run these operations more effectively, the state of limbo negated their best efforts—and they were forced to leave.

Keywords:   cultural interactions, Soviet Union, Poland, Polish Thaw, de-Stalinization, cultural affairs

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