Stalinist Identity from the Viewpoint of Gender: Rearing a Generation of Professionally Violent Women-Fighters in 1930s Stalinist Russia

TitleStalinist Identity from the Viewpoint of Gender: Rearing a Generation of Professionally Violent Women-Fighters in 1930s Stalinist Russia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsKrylova, Anna
JournalGender & History
Volume16
Issue3
Pagination626-653
Date Published11/2004
Abstract

Before the outbreak of World War II, a generation of young women in the Soviet Union grew up in anticipation of the imminent outbreak of war and participated in arms and flight training encouraged by the All-Union Young Communist League (Komsomol) and provided by the Society for the Promotion of Defense, Aviation, and Chemical Development (Osoviakhim). Soviet press coverage accustomed the public to the sight of women in uniform training with weapons but never addressed the possible participation of women in combat. In August 1937, 'Komsomol'skaia Pravda' published quotations from women's letters expressing their ambitions for military careers and protesting exclusion from military schools. Women volunteered for service and served in large numbers when war came in 1941, but the history of their participation was largely buried by the public's reluctance to think of women as voluntarily engaged in combat.

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