Soviet Women under the German Occupation: Facets of Social Adaptation
Dr. Sci (Hist.), Prof., Belgorod State National Research University, National Research Technological University “MISiS”, Belgorod, Russia firstname.lastname@example.org
Lecturer, Belgorod State National Research University, Belgorod, Russia. email@example.com
Cand. Sci. (law), Assoc. Prof., Belgorod State National Research University, Belgorod, Russia firstname.lastname@example.org
This article is devoted to one of the least studied problems to date – strategies and practices for the social adaptation of women remaining on the USSR territory occupied by German troops and their allies during the WW2. Despite a significant number of diverse publications devoted to the occupation period, social everyday life of civilians in times of war is still bearing imprints of considerable myth-making. The facts show that a most numerous groups of Soviet citizens in the territory occupied by German troops were women and children. It was these two social groups of the population that were in the center of attention of both the German invaders and the collaborative power structures they created. A comparative analysis of a wide array of archival documents of the territorial state security bodies of the USSR, memoirs of direct witnesses of that period of time, reveal three most common strategies for social adaptation and individual behavior in the territory occupied by German troops. These are: two extreme forms – active rejection (participation in antifascist underground, partisan movement) or active cooperation with the invaders (German intelligence services, commandants, Russian auxiliary police). The most common tactic features social rejection of the surrounding reality without entering into an open conflict. Each of the identified social adaptation practices under extremely adverse conditions – mass terror by the German occupation authorities, forcibly imposed German “new order”, unlimited autonomy of German protégés from among local collaborators – was based on individual motivations and priorities of personal habits and moral values.