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is a passionate patriot and, especially, a good soldier. Here we see a mixture of
disdain and respect, of fear and admiration. The sentimental attitude toward
Russia and the Russians had a long and well established tradition in Ger-
many. This tradition starts with the national psychology (Volkerpsychologie)
of the nineteenth century, if not with Leibniz™s and Herder™s admiration for
the bright prospects of the young Slavic peoples. The tradition reached a high
point around the turn of the century with the pilgrimages of Rilke and others
to Russia, with a later echo in the Russophilia and Dostoyevsky cult of Thomas
Mann and others.42 This tradition was still alive in Nazi Germany, and it was
only after the atrocities of the war in the East that the long tradition of empathy
for Russia died, and probably for all time.43
russia beyond europe. Russia is perceived as non-European, Asiatic or
semi-Asiatic. Russian power and culture are excluded from certain European
traditions. A wide range of positions exists. One ¬nds the purely racist dis-
crimination against Asia and Russia, as well as more sophisticated cultural
theories by ¬gures such as Chaadaev, Kireevskii, and the Eurasian ideologues.
But there was a positive understanding of the “Russian soul” too, as in the then
well-known anti-Nazi book Europa und die Seele des Ostens (1938) by Walter
Schubarth.44 Different positions were stressed in different periods. The “Asi-
atic” concept obviously prevailed during the period when Nazi Germany was
pretending to “defend Europe in the ¬nal battle.”45 It is often overlooked that

On the “Ex oriente lux” spirit in Germany, cf. the contributions in Gerd Koenen and Lew

Kopelew, eds., West-ostliche Spiegelungen. On the young Joseph Goebbels, his fascination for
Russia and the Russian revolution, and his fascination with the “Ex oriente lux” idea, see Gerd
Koenen, Der Russland-Komplex: Die Deutschen und der Osten 1900“1945 (Munich: C. H.
Beck Verlag, 2006), 398“401.
Heinrich Stammler, “Wandlungen des deutschen Bildes vom russischen Menschen” in

¨ ¨
Jahrbucher fur Geschichte Osteuropas, Neue Folge [new series] 5 (1957): 271“305.
Walter Schubart, Europa und die Seele des Ostens (Luzern: Vita nova Verlag, 1938).

On intra-Nazi controversies in dealing with Russia/Soviet Union, see Alexander Dallin, Deutsche

Herrschaft in Rußland, 1941“1945: Eine Studie uber Besatzungspolitik (Dusseldorf: Droste,
1958); Ekkehart Klug, “Das ˜asiatische™ Rußland: Uber die Entstehung eines europaischen ¨
Vorurteils,” in Historische Zeitschrift 245 (1987): 265“89; Leonid Luks, “˜Eurasier™ und ˜Kon-
servative Revolution™: Zur antiwestlichen Versuchung in Rußland und in Deutschland,” in
Deutschland und die russische Revolution, 219“39.
Katerina Clark and Karl Schlogel

the War in the East was accompanied by Europeanist rhetoric: The Wehrmacht
defending the Occident against the barbarous hordes of Huns, Mongols, and
the colossus made of clay, the shaky colossus. According to the
German perception, Russia had immense resources, above all physical and
human ones. But its might was based on physical power and on numbers,
whereas the strength of Germany, Europe, and the West was seen as based
on rational organization, intelligence, and cleverness. One could thus defeat
the colossus with a quick, strategic strike, or “Blitz.” The image of the weak
colossus originated in the long period of occupation in the eastern lands (Land
Oberost) during World War I. The use of this image, of course, depends on
circumstances. Hitler ¬nally recognized in his last days in the Reichskanzlei
that “his people” proved to be inferior to other, “stronger peoples.”47
“the masses.” In Nazi ideology, “the” Russian never has individual fea-
tures, only collective ones. The Bolshevik revolution intensi¬ed these features
by liquidating the old elites and uprooting millions of Russian peasants from
their private allotments and farms. As an element of the proletarianized masses,
the Russian became the victim of demagogy and manipulation. The Russians
lost their leading stratum and were now, so to speak, decapitated. In the stereo-
typed image, Russians do not have their own will. “The masses” never acquired
the distinct features of a nation, have lost any speci¬c physiognomy, and are
likely to be a Volkergemisch, that is, an amalgamation of different nations
and races. Soviet Russia is perceived in many ways like the United States, as
a melting pot, destroying a more or less ethnically homogeneous society. The
Soviet New Man is a mixtum compositum.48
the “jewish face” of bolshevik russia. For Hitler and his entourage
and in Nazi propaganda, Jews ruled postrevolutionary Russia. Nazi propa-
gandists tried to demonstrate this in every way possible: “unveiling” the real
names “behind” the Russian names (so they always referred to Litvinov as
Finkelstein,49 Trotsky as Bronstein, and so forth). They declared public ¬gures
to be of Jewish origin, or, if no relation to Jewishness existed, they declared
Russians to be under Jewish in¬‚uence. They had entire branches, institutes,
experts who produced this kind of analysis.50 In Nazi propaganda, the visual-
ization of politics played an important role. They used every chance and any
medium (cartoons, photography, exhibitions) to accuse Jews of in¬ltrating the

The iconography of early anti-Bolshevik patterns was revived in the election campaigns in Cold

War West Germany after 1945.
Characteristic for this mixed attitude is a text by Karl Notzel, Die Grundlagen des geistigen

Russland: Versuch einer Psychologie des russischen Geisteslebens (Jena: Diederich, 1917).
On represenative exhibitions for 1934 and 1943, see Das Sowjetparadies: Ausstellung der

Reichspropagandaleitung der NSDAP: Ein Bericht in Wort und Bild (Berlin: Zentralverlag der
NSDAP, Franz Eher Nachf., 1943).
The Bolshevik leader and diplomat known as Maksim Maksimovich Litvinov (1876“1951) was

born Meir Henoch Mojszewicz Wallach-Finkelstein.
On the Anti-Komintern see Walter Laqueur, 209“36; Gabriele Camphausen, op. cit.
Mutual Perceptions and Projections 411

party, the state, and other organizations. Books and booklets in huge numbers
were distributed in order to show a deep gap between the so-called Jewish
ruling elite and the broad masses.51 The classical gallery of Sturmer caricatures
included Trotsky, Kamenev, Zinoviev, and again and again Kaganovich, “the
man behind Stalin.”52 We are convinced that the mass circulation of these
portraits and cartoons had an immense impact in forging the image of the
“Jewishness of Bolshevism,” the identi¬cation of Jews with revolution. Nazi
propagandists used much Russian emigr´ material and the emigr´ s™ own inter-
e e
´ ´
pretations of the radical turnover of elites in Russia and the total difference
in the “physiognomy” of power.53 According to this rhetoric, even the Palace
of Soviets, then under construction, represented a revival of King Solomon™s
kulturbolschewismus, gefahr fur europa. The old regime in Russia
had many links to elites in the West. Under the conditions of severe economic
crisis and radical instability in the Weimar Republic, the Nazis utilized the tra-
ditional stereotypes of Russia to mobilize fear and resentment among portions
of the German public, especially the middle class, by pointing to Soviet atroc-
ities: the expropriation of and labor duty for members of the bourgeoisie, the
closing or demolition of churches, the persecution of clergymen, the dissolution
of libraries, the destruction of palaces, the atrocities of the Russian Civil War,
and so on.55 Many men in leading positions in the 1930s (in the party and in
state administration) had been shaped by their experiences of brutal warfare in
the eastern lands and by their experiences with the Freicorps in the immediate
aftermath of World War I.56
None of these images were purely Nazi inventions, as their emergence
can be traced further back in history. These clich´ s represented deeply rooted

On Nazi perception of “Jewish rule” in Russia, see Johannes Baur, “Die Revolution und ˜Die

Weisen von Zion™: Zur Entwicklung des Rußlandbildes in der fruhen NSDAP,” in Koenen
and Kopelew, 165“90; Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein, “Judischer Bolschewismus”: Mythos
und Realitat (Dresden: Antaios, 2002); Gerd Koenen, “Hitlers Russland: Ambivalenzen im
deutschen ˜Drang nach Osten™” in Kommune: Forum Politik, Okonomie, Kultur, no. 1 (2003):
Representative is Rudolf Kommoss, Juden hinter Stalin: Die judische Vormachtstellung in der

Sowjetunion auf Grund amtlicher sowjetischer Quellen dargestellt (Berlin: Nibelungen, 1944).
Bianka Pietrow-Ennker, “Das Feindbild im Wandel: Die Sowjetunion in den nationalsozialis-

tischen Wochenschauen 1935“1941,” Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 41 (1990):
On the Palace of Soviets (Dvorets sovetov) under construction, seen as “temple of the interna-

tional Jewry,” see Rudolf Kommoss, Juden hinter Stalin, 135“7.
On “Bolshevik danger,” chaos, etc., see Donald O™ Sullivan, Furcht und Faszination: Deutsche

und britische Rußlandbilder, 1921“1933 (Cologne and Weimar: Bohlau, 1996); on Kultur-
bolschewismus (cultural Bolshevism), see Eckhard John, Musikbolschewismus: Die Politisierung
der Musik in Deutschland, 1918“1938 (Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 1994); Karl Notzel, Gegen den
Kultur-Bolschewismus (Munich: Paul Muller, 1930).
For instance, Rudolf Hoss, the commander of Auschwitz, was a member of a Freikorps in the

Baltic. See Ljulevicius, Kriegsland im Osten, 297.
Katerina Clark and Karl Schlogel

layers and discourses. They bridged the gap between prejudices and percep-
tions of the petty bourgeoisie and aggressive racism. “Russian space” was a
fascination for many theoreticians and ideologues. However, some features
also ¬t into European discourses on America: American space, absence of class
restrictions and borders, absence of aristocratic elites. These notions had an
impact not only on minor and marginal intellectual communities, but also in a
broader sense. Some notions re¬‚ected a remarkable experience “ and fear “ of
modernization: the processes of proletarization, migration, urbanization, and
destruction of traditional bonds. Such fear was commonplace among experts
and emigr´ s and was not limited to right-wing or right-extremist views. “The
Russian” was an ambivalent and multidimensional ¬gure: he or she repre-
sented “Holy Russia,” the “common man,” the “noble savage.” The same
can be said about the topos of Russia as a country and culture “in between.”
The ambiguity allowed everyone to identify and to construct his or her own
Russia, the “Other.” Russia the “Other” was simultaneously the holy, the Asi-
atic, the barbarian, the simple, and the enigmatic. Nazi ideologues pro¬ted not
least from this overwhelming elasticity by exploiting the multiple commonplace
images of Russia. But these images were open to evolve, as they later did, in
a racist direction, open to degrees of brutalization and dehumanization that
were unthinkable before 1933, even within the most conservative of political

the russian-german connection: prehistory, genealogy,
and agents
In order to understand how the ideological background for the perception and
production of images of Soviet Russia in the 1930s was shaped, it is necessary
to go back to the formative years “ that is, to the time before 1914“1917 and,
certainly, before 1933.
Ilya Ehrenburg, commuting between Moscow and Berlin, coined the phrase
that Berlin and Moscow belonged to eine Zeitheimat: that is to say, Berliners
and Muscovites were embedded in the same and simultaneous experiences “
two different hometowns but the same “hometime.”57 This “common ground”
is the precondition for all further analysis. In order best to characterize the high
degree and intensity of cooperation and rivalry, however, an even stronger term
may be appropriate: “negative intimacy” in the European framework of “war
and revolution.” The following is an abbreviated account of why German-
Russian relations were probably the most intense between any European pow-
ers in the period 1914“1945.
links and networks under the old regimes “ the prehistory of
1914“1917. For centuries, the “German connection” was an intensive one,
both culturally and economically, even in the last decades before the outbreak

Ilya Ehrenburg in Visum der Zeit (Leipzig: P. List, 1929), 70.
Mutual Perceptions and Projections 413

of the Great War. Big German companies (Siemens, Schuckert, AEG, Oren-
stein, and Koppel, and others) very actively promoted the modernization and
industrialization of the Russian empire.58 Elements of longue dur´ e include the
impact of German language and culture in Russia. There was a clear and rec-
ognizable German element in certain occupation groups, such as pharmacists,
engineers, craftsmen, brewers, and publishers. There were important commu-
nities of Germans as subjects of the tsar and large groups of German “expats.”
Many of these conducted their studies in Germany; others went for recreation
to German spas. There were strong and in¬‚uential German minorities along
the Volga River, in the Black Sea region, on the Crimea, and in the Caucasus.
There was a strong orientation of Russian democratic movements toward the
German Social Democrats. This impressive network was disrupted by World
War I and the Russian revolution. This physical, organizational, and mental
network can be illustrated in many ways. (Lenin™s enthusiasm for the German
Post as an example of advanced modern organization and logistics is a good
instance.) The result is that the image of Russia existing in the interwar period
had been created in the prewar period, all images rooted in the prerevolution-
ary, imperial space. All actors of the interwar period “ on the left or on the
right “ were products of this prehistory. This is a very important point. These
old-line elites were challenged, in both postwar Germany and Russia, by the
rising classes of the new “movements”: by upwardly mobile groupings inspired
by the national-revolutionary idea in Germany and by the new cohorts of the
vydvizhentsy in the Soviet Union. In the 1930s, a turnover of elites in both
countries took place in diplomacy, party politics, and academia.59
the great war “ chaos and revolution. Germany and Russia had a
joint and parallel experience of war, revolution, and civil war. Millions of
Russians and Germans fought in the eastern battle¬elds, some for months,
and some for years. Millions came into contact with the other country and its
people as occupation forces or in POW camps. Tens of thousands took part in
the domestic struggles and civil war. World War I was called the German War;


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