Kimerling A. S. The 1946 Elections to the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union in the Molotov region as an example of the mobilization political campaign (.pdf)


The article deals with the 1946 elections as a form of Stalin's political campaigns. Scenario of mobilization and repressive political campaigns was the same after the war. The first postwar elections to the Supreme Soviet had a ritual character and developed the tactics of mass mobilization in support of government’s initiatives. In the first stage of the campaign, the authorities published a directive article and a series of articles in central and local press; during the second phase, the agitators and members of election commissions were prepared to the elections; the third stage wasaimed at initiating activity of the people; in the fourth phase, the aims of the campaign were implemented when the election day was turned into a national holiday. After that, the government presented the public summary of the event. People reacted to the campaign in different ways. Based on the response, the author highlights four groups of the population: “the activists’ who supported the authorities completely and were actively involved in the campaign; “the activists from self-interest” who participated in the campaign for their own profit, believing it would help them to solve everyday problems; “the deviators” who avoided participation in the elections and expressed negative attitudes towards the elections in a hidden or open form; and “the conformists” who came to the electoral districts and voted as it was supposed to, but without showing their activity.


Key words: political campaign, the late Stalin era, the Soviet press, propaganda, elections, mass mobilization, the agitators.


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