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Behind the Iron Curtain

Soviet Estonia in the Era of the Cold War


Edited By Tõnu Tannberg

During the Cold War, Estonia lay behind the Iron Curtain. Even in the grip of Soviet rule, the country underwent many important developments. This volume brings together fourteen papers on the political, economic, and cultural history of Estonia during the Cold War. Their topics range from international relations and the border regime to tourism and the media. The papers are based on extensive archival research and make use of many previously unexamined documents. The resulting book offers new insights into the history of Estonia and of the Cold War on a local level.
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National Self-Determination, Modernization, and the Estonian-Soviet Propaganda Contest in the Early Cold War Era


← 34 | 35 →Kaarel Piirimäe

Abstract: This article deals primarily with the expatriate question and the production of propaganda as the primary tasks of the newly-founded Estonian SSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The article examines the propaganda battle between expatriate Estonians and the Soviets in the postwar years taking place in Western countries.

The topic of this paper, the propaganda contest between the Estonian exiles and the USSR in the early Cold War period, has never before been rigorously researched. There are surveys of Estonian propaganda written by activists involved in those activities, such as Eesti Vabaduse Eest: Eesti rahvusfond 1946–1951 (For the Freedom of Estonia: The Estonian National Foundation 1946–1951), published in Sweden in 1952, or Estonian Information Centre Ten Years, published in 1956.1 These are important documents on the early Cold War campaigning of the exile community, but written by the participants themselves, and not from an impartial point of view. There are numerous studies on the theory and practice of Soviet propaganda and agitation inside the USSR,2 but surprisingly, the foreign propaganda of the Soviet Union has not been discussed much, even though it formed an important component of the Cold War struggle between East and ← 35 | 36 →West.3 One of the best analyses of the Soviet effort in the first two decades of the Cold War is Soviet Foreign Propaganda, written in 1964 by Frederick C. Barghoorn. Barghoorn tried to pinpoint the main attractions of Soviet propaganda to the...

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