Choreographing Correspondence: How Chaplains and Political Workers Shaped Soldiers’ Mail in WWII
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During the Second World War, the Soviet Union and United States both embedded specialists among soldiers to explain the meaning of the war and offer spiritual comfort. The U.S. Army relied on chaplains representing a variety of faiths, while the Red Army sent representatives of the Communist Party. Because mail was often soldiers’ only connection to family and friends at home, it became central to the work of both chaplains and commissars. In this talk, Title VIII Research Scholar Brandon Schechter will explore the ways in which chaplains and political workers inserted themselves into—and in many ways, helped shape—soldiers’ correspondence with loved ones.
The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the surrounding region though research and exchange. Read more