A friendship forged by war: the transnational legacy of the Soviet liberation of Czechoslovakia, 1945-1991

A friendship forged by war: the transnational legacy of the Soviet liberation of Czechoslovakia, 1945-1991

Monday, 22 May 2017 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Venue: 
Nissan Lecture Theatre
Speaker(s): 
Dr Rachel Applebaum (Tufts University)
Convenor: 
Dr Claire Knight (St Antony's)
Series: 
Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre Monday Seminar

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and its satellite state of Czechoslovakia were entwined in a far-reaching "friendship project," which significantly impacted cultural and social life in both countries. The Soviet Army's liberation of Czechoslovakia from German occupation at the end of World War II provided the basis for this postwar friendship. This talk will examine how the legacy of the liberation evolved over the course of the postwar period, from the friendship project’s foundation to its fault line. In particular, I will discuss the impact of the liberation's legacy on war memorials and commemorations; film and mass media; and relations between Soviet veterans and the Czechoslovak civilians they encountered in 1944–45.