Journal article

Violence from Below: Explaining Crimes against Civilians across Soviet Space, 1943-1947

Mark Edele, Filip Slaveski

EUROPE-ASIA STUDIES | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2016

Abstract

The end of World War II brought little relief to the lands it ravaged most. Mass wartime violence continued in the Soviet space beyond the ‘false peace’ of 1945. Historians have sought to explain this violence in terms of the ‘wartime brutalisation’ of state and citizens alike, though this approach is limited in explaining how and why violence continued after 1945. This article shifts focus from psychology to social history to argue that the disintegration of Soviet state control is central to explaining the enduring violence after 1945 and understanding its emergence as much ‘from below’ as ‘from above’.