Between Salvation and Liquidation

Juliane Fürst, a lecturer in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Bristol, wrote “Between Salvation and Liquidation” for The Slavonic & East European Review published in 2008. In this article, Fürst discusses one of the most perceptible and disturbing consequences of WWII for the Soviet Union: vagrant and homeless children. They were unavoidable evidence of the damage the war had caused the Soviet Union- both physically and psychologically. Fürst analyzes the Soviet response to these children and gives us an idea of what this phenomenon looked like. These children were nothing like the perfect picture of Soviet childhood that had been painted. Fürst determines that the disconnect between this idea of Soviet childhood, and the reality of homeless and vagrant children allowed for the overall lack of acknowledgment and neglect these children suffered. The poor, orphaned children on the streets did not fit the established narrative of perfect Soviet childhoods, and were therefore ignored. This unwillingness to acknowledge and ultimate rejection of those who strayed from the narrative of integration and salvation is further indication of the Soviet stratagem that promoted collectivization by means of intolerant marginalization.

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