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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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Epilogue

Epilogue

The Old and the New

Chapter:
(p.226) Epilogue
Source:
Soviet Soft Power in Poland
Author(s):

Patryk Babiracki

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469620893.003.0006

This chapter discusses the changes in Soviet-Polish cultural relations, starting in 1956, that embodied a synthesis of old and new trends. Journalists, for instance, could speak their minds on controversial issues without the fear of reprisal that characterized the past years. Nikita Khrushchev's denunciation of Stalin increased popular hopes for concrete transformations in Polish society. For the first time since the war, the Soviet and Polish governments developed a concrete, detailed legal framework for cultural relations between the two countries. “The Agreement on Cultural Cooperation between Poland and the USSR,” signed on June 30, 1956, in Warsaw, stipulated robust development of cooperation in the fields of science, education, literature, fine arts, music, theater, film, press, radio, television, sport, and tourism. Both parties pledged to exchange mutual experiences in the popularization of culture. But while the new Soviet leaders may have abandoned Stalinist methods of rule, they did not relinquish empire. When Soviet soft power had an inadequate effect, due to its lack of cultural appeal, ongoing Soviet rule ultimately became dependent on force.

Keywords:   Soviet Union, USSR, Poland, cultural relations, Nikita Khrushchev

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