Almost Soviet: Integration of the Liberated Territories of the USSR, 1942–1944
On the basis of documents from the Department of Propaganda and Agitation of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party, this article investigates the first stage of the political integration into the Soviet political fold of regions liberated from occupation. The author concentrates on the status of the preponderance of citizens, rather than on repressed social groups as is traditional in the historiography. The authorities did not bring criminal charges against these citizens for their behavior during the occupation, but they occupied marginal positions in postwar society. The article aims to ascertain how survivors of occupation regarded their downgraded social status. To do so, it analyzes the first contacts between those who had been under occupation and their liberators, both legal and unauthorized acts of violence, and the gathering and interpretation of information about the population by organs of the state.