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Everyday Life in Stalinist Estonia


Olaf Mertelsmann

In Estonia, as in other Eastern European countries, the Stalinist era remains in the center of attention of historians. Politics, repression and resistance dominate the historiography, while everyday life is definitely under-represented. This book attempts to close the gap and focuses on different aspects of everyday life in Stalinist Estonia.


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Preface 7 What is Sovietization? 9 The Standard of Living of Estonian Workers, 1938–1955 27 Moonshine in the 1940s: The Story of an Illegal Cottage Industry 41 How the Russians Turned into the Image of the “National Enemy” of the Estonians 53 Resistance and Accommodation in Postwar Estonia 67 Living on a Stalinist Kolkhoz: Peasant Survival Strategies in Estonia 87 The Private Sphere under Stalinism 99 The Media Audience of Soviet Estonia in the Early Cold War 127 Leisure in Stalin’s Estonia 139 1956—A Turning Point in the History of the Estonian SSR? 159

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