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mates were commissioned to support small farmers and their families in one of
the Eastern provinces. Here, she recalls how “physical exhaustion . . . changed
suddenly into a feeling of unquenchable joy.” “Profound respect for all those
who perform physically hard work” became, so she recalls, crucial to her. Also
important was the experience of a working community of mixed social back-
ground, as the BDM camp was at that time. Inspired by this, she volunteered for
a job in occupied Poland, where in 1942 she was assigned the position of leader
of a work camp. A strong “fanaticism of work,” as she puts it, informed her
activity organizing young German women there. However, in her recollection
this fanaticism turned into “cold contempt” for the occupied Poles, especially
when she met them suffering as in the case of a devastating ¬re in a neighboring
Polish village.



others. Memoirs like those of the Stakhanovite Ivan Gudov show what it could
feel like to be an outsider in the factory collective, and how outsider resent-
ments might fuel Stakhanovite norm busting.60 But the hostile reaction to
overachievers like Gudov is in its own way also testimony to workplace soli-
darity. The individual “quality work” motif of the Germans is largely absent
on the Soviet side, where the emphasis is either on collective overcoming of dif-
¬culties to meet the Plan or on individual record breaking (as in the Stakhanov
movement).

The information is drawn from Melitta Maschmann, Fazit: Mein Weg in der Hitler-Jugend
59

(Munich: DTV, 1963).
Ivan Gudov, Sud™ba rabochego (Moscow: Politizdat, 1970).
60
¨
Sheila Fitzpatrick and Alf Ludtke
292

There can be little doubt of the depth and signi¬cance of the bonds of
comradeship forged between soldiers (German and Soviet alike), in particular
at the front and in combat zones during World War II. These bonds, however,
must surely be of a fundamentally different kind because of the different level
of trust involved. Members of a work brigade are not generally entrusting
their lives to each other; they probably also do not share with each other
certain emotions and opinions for reasons of prudence or simply a sense of
appropriateness. Front line brotherhood61 or comradeship, on the other hand,
is often described as a relationship of total trust, involving not only trusting
one™s life but also entrusting to one™s front line brother thoughts and emotions
that are not usually shared with anyone. This still leaves the question of whether
such front line comradeship in the German and Soviet armies during World
War II differed in kind from that prevailing in, for instance, the British armed
forces or the U.S. Army at the same time, or from the German and Russian
armies in World War I. Even more, the general emphasis on comradeship in
the war propaganda on both sides makes it dif¬cult to assess the actual range
and pro¬le “ even the very existence of relationships of mutual trust among
rank and ¬le as between them and their superiors.62 Especially in the war
theaters in the Soviet Union various forms of comradeship were increasingly
fueled by encounters with and practices of killing. Closeness to one™s buddies
increasingly relied on and, in turn, opened one up for brutal action against the
“enemy.”63

sociability outside the workplace
This is an area in which the German and Soviet cases are very different from
each other, largely as a result of the striking restriction of associational life
(outside the workplace and youth organizations, the Komsomol and Young
Pioneers) in Russia in the Stalin period. In Germany, in contrast, existing
forms of association survived, though often at least super¬cially recast into the


This term was speci¬c to the Red Army; it did not play any role in and is not even mentioned
61

for the German military.
On Soviet soldiers, see Catherine Merridale, Ivan™s War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939“
62

1945 (New York: Henry Holt, 2006). For the German side Theo Schulte, The German Army
and Nazi Policies in Occupied Russia (Oxford: Berg, 1989); Thomas Kuhne, “Kameradschaft “
¨
˜das Beste im Leben des Mannes™: Die deutschen Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkriegs in erfahrungs-
und geschlechtergeschichtlicher Perspektive,” Geschichte und Gesellschaft 22 (1996): 504“29;
Thomas Kuhne, Kameradschaft: Die Soldaten des nationalsozialistischen Krieges und das 20.
¨
Jahrhundert (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2006), 140“71.
Christopher Browning, “German Killers: Behavior and Motivation in the Light of New Evi-
63

dence,” Nazi Policies, Jewish Workers, German Killers, ed. Christopher Browning (Cambridge
and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 143“69; Hamburger Institut fur Sozial-
¨
forschung, ed., Verbrechen der Wehrmacht: Dimensionen des Vernichtungskrieges 1941“1944
(Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2002); Ben Shepherd, War in the Wild East: The German Army
and Soviet Partisans (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004). On the Soviet case, see
Catherine Merridale, Ivan™s War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939“1945 (New York:
Metropolitan Books, 2006), 78, 230“1, 308, 357, and passim.
Energizing the Everyday 293

NS mold, while new forms of association were created, especially via regional
tourism under the banner of the KDF.
In Germany, the effort to reorganize shooting associations, sports and ath-
letic clubs, dancing circles, or singing clubs in the context of Gleichschaltung
in 1933/4 often meant little more than changing the name and incorporating
¨
the swastika into the arms and proper volkisch terms into the charter. Still, the
expulsion of Jewish members or sometimes their (mostly silent) withdrawal
was part of the process. In other words, the efforts of reorganization did not
affect the inner workings of these associations very much. The parallel to
the (Selbst)-Gleichschaltung of the wide array of professional organizations is
striking: most people made a smooth transition, often without even realizing
that an important change had occurred. The government-ordered immediate
shutdown of all associations attached to the political left, including the SPD
and KPD, was a different story, as were efforts to monitor and inhibit much
of church-related associational life, especially when they affected children and
young adults (an area where the NS organizations were supposed to exercise
an unrestricted monopoly). Still, in many areas members of “left” associations
and church groups on the parish level adjusted to the imposed changes without
much ado: in most cases they were familiar with their new buddies or asso-
ciates from neighborhood and kin networks even across rigid political divides
as those between the “camps” of political Catholicism and Communism.
Other arenas of the pre-Nazi German world of sociability “ the male
Stammtisch in corner pubs, the female Kaffeeklatsch in a cafe or a neigh-
borhood restaurant “ were in no way directly affected by the Nazis™ coming
to power. In fact, the spread of radios and the emphasis of the new regime on
broadcasting the rapid emergence of an “Aryan Volksgemeinschaft” expanded
such semipublic arenas of conviviality into the neighborhood: people became
rapidly accustomed to neighbors™ “listening along with them” and, thus, antic-
ipated they would also be “listening in on them.”64
In Russia, by contrast, associational life was sparser and often of more recent
development than in Germany. With the end of the New Economic Policy in the
late 1920s, neighborhood bars, cafes, and restaurants that had formerly been
in private hands were closed down, and it was decades before the state created
substitutes (the state did create cafeterias, mainly workplace-based, where most
urban working people ate once a day, but conditions in them were so substan-
dard that they can hardly have furthered enjoyable social interactions). Social
life centered on the Orthodox Church was sharply restricted after 1929 (with
the mass closing of churches and arrest of priests). People sometimes responded
to this by holding religious observances in their homes, with or without a priest
in attendance; often these groups drifted away from Orthodoxy into sects, and
always such activity was regarded as anti-Soviet and those who participated
risked arrest. Thus for a not insigni¬cant minority of the population, especially
rural, sociability and illegal meeting acquired a close connection.

Andrew Stuart Bergerson, “Listening to the Radio in Hildesheim, 1923“53,” German Studies
64

Review 24 (2001): 83“113, 102.
¨
Sheila Fitzpatrick and Alf Ludtke
294


FRITZ KIEHN65 was informally acclaimed as the new “king” of Trossingen, a
center of specialized industries in the Protestant part of Upper Swabia. Kiehn,
owner-entrepreneur of a company producing cigarette paper by the brand of
“Efka” (i.e., his initials F.K.), who also held multiple posts in the NSDAP,
replaced the former “king” Hohner, whose family had for decades run the domi-
nant company in town. Kiehn had literally been a nobody when he entered town
in 1908 as a traveling salesman, at the age of 23. But in the early 1920s Kiehn
had successfully capitalized on the hyperin¬‚ation by producing cigarette paper
to meet a skyrocketing demand. However, the local elites led by the Hohner
family kept him at bay socially throughout the 1920s, despite his marriage to the
daughter of a well-established local family.
The Nazi movement seemed to offer an arena to this social outcast. Kiehn
took the opportunity and became an active organizer in both his town and the
county, even winning election to the German Reichstag of July 1932; thus, in
1933 this company owner ¬gured among the “old ¬ghters” of the Nazi movement
and swiftly accumulated posts and relations. He used both to expand in¬‚uence
and power, especially in industry in Southwest Germany; at the same time he
ruthlessly took advantage of his networks and made a fortune by speculatively
trading stocks and, not the least, exploiting of the “Aryanization” in the late
1930s.
Being awarded an of¬cer™s rank of the SS and, in 1938, co-opted to the per-
sonal staff of Heinrich Himmler, Minister of Interior and head of the SS, Kiehn
appeared regularly in public in SS uniform and his car ¬‚ew the SS emblem. He
organized local rallies and parades, which the town™s old elites, including the
Hohner famliy, were forced to attend. Still, Kiehn™s boisterous self-aggrandizing
and reckless moneymaking did not go unchallenged, although a party court
¬nally acquitted him in 1939 of accusations of violating “Nazi ethics” for having
business contacts with Jews and putting individual interest above that of the
party.
As a company owner, Kiehn showed concern for the well-being of his employ-
ees, including former Social Democrats and, so the rumor went, individual Jews.
After 1945, Hohner did not try to take revenge; thus, Kiehn continued to oper-
ate his company. Throughout the 1950s, local politicians treated Kiehn as a
most honorable member of the community and even designated public space and
buildings in his honor.



Many interest-centered associations like that of the Esperantists were closed
down in the early 1930s because of the regime™s fear of their use for political
conspiratorial purposes. The state assumed control of some of the old associ-
ations (for example, chess clubs), though they remained in theory “voluntary”
or, in the case of sports clubs, under trade union auspices. With regard to some
professional organizations “ of writers, composers, artists, and architects “ it
could even be argued that the 1930s saw an expansion of the scope of their

The biographical information is drawn from Hartmut Berghoff and Cornelia Rauh-Kuhne, ¨
65

Fritz K.: Ein deutsches Leben in zwangzigsten Jahrhundert (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt,
2000).
Energizing the Everyday 295

activities, resources, and importance in the life of their members, even though
the organizational diversity of the 1920s had been replaced with one umbrella
union for each profession. As far as the organization of leisure was concerned,
the Soviet state had rhetoric not dissimilar to the Nazis™ with KDF, but its
achievements were smaller.
It cannot be assumed that the elimination of some sites of sociability elimi-
nated extra-workplace sociability; the more likely possibility is that it changed
its forms. Moving beyond the organized, institutionalized venues of sociability,
Soviet people mingled with each other in the open-air bazaars (“kolkhoz mar-
kets”) in towns, which were sites of second-economy transactions as well as
legal trade by collective farmers;66 in queues; at bus and tram stops; and in rail-
way stations waiting for trains and/or drinking. (These venues, together with
workplace cafeterias and the workplace generally, were those that the NKVD
monitored for its “mood of the population” reports.) Men drank together, often
in stairwells or on the street because of the shortage of bars, splitting a bottle
of vodka bought in the state Gastronom. (There was an anti-alcohol strain
in the Bolshevik leadership early on, but by the mid-1920s the leadership had
ended the imperial government™s wartime suspension of vodka production “
a state monopoly “ and by the end of the decade Stalin was ¬rmly commit-
ted to increasing vodka production and sales as a way of raising revenue for
industrialization.)67
Another thing that brought people together was the search for scarce
goods, unavailable in state stores. To get basic goods like shoes, clothing,
and saucepans, and also services like school places, telephone connections at
home, and tickets to the ballet, urban residents needed networks of contacts “
people who had access or “pull” with regard to different categories of goods.
The term blat “ emerging from the criminal world into the regular urban world
in the 1930s “ was used for these contacts. These networks operated on the
basis of reciprocal favors, not the exchange of money, and were conceptu-
alized by participants in terms of friendship and mutual respect. Patronage
networks, serving similar functions and also the function of protection, were
another important locus of social interaction “ certainly no less prevalent, and
probably more, than in the pre-revolutionary period.68

bonds outside volksgemeinschaft
In changed circumstances, new demands and incentives generate, or at least
make possible, new social bonds. This seems to have been the case in both the
Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. At the same time, however, changes in social


On the bazaars, see Julie Hessler, A Social History of Soviet Trade (Princeton, NJ: Princeton
66

University Press, 2004), 252“73.
On early Bolshevik policy, see Laura L. Phillips, Bolsheviks and the Bottle: Drink and Worker
67

Culture in St. Petersburg, 1900“1929 (De Kalb: Northern Illinois Press, 2000), 17“26.
On blat and patronage, see Sheila Fitzpatrick, Everyday Stalinism (New York: Oxford University
68

Press, 1999), 62“6, 109“14.
¨
Sheila Fitzpatrick and Alf Ludtke
296

and governmental practice (for example, with regard to association, marriage,
and policing) weakened or even destroyed bonds that people had long relied
on (and sometimes resented as well). Thus, the impact of “totalitarian” rule on
the two societies was more complex and ambivalent than is often recognized.
On the Soviet side, the Gulag experience is, perversely, an interesting exam-
ple of the generation of new social bonds. Not only do virtually all intelligentsia
memoirs of the camps report sustenance from newly and involuntarily formed
collectives of “politicals” among the convict population, there is even more
striking evidence of the strong community sense of “criminals” in Gulag. In
the post-Stalin period, various versions of Gulag fraternity (Solzhenitsyn™s zeks,
the career criminals known as vory v zakone) became visible parts of a complex
social fabric. In Germany, by contrast, memoirs of survivors from the concen-
tration or labor camps stress the sense that “each stood for himself.” Except
for activists of the Communist Party and of some religious sects or groups,

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