Russia and Germany have had a long history of significant cultural,
political, and economic exchange. Despite these beneficial interactions,
stereotypes of the alien Other persisted. Germans perceived Russia as a
vast frontier with unlimited potential, yet infused with an “Asianness”
that explained its backwardness and despotic leadership. Russians
admired German advances in science, government, and philosophy, but saw
their people as lifeless and obsessed with order.
Fascination and Enmity
presents an original transnational history of the two nations during
the critical era of the world wars. By examining the mutual perceptions
and misperceptions within each country, the contributors reveal the
psyche of the Russian-German dynamic and its use as a powerful political
and cultural tool.
Through accounts of fellow travelers, POWs,
war correspondents, soldiers on the front, propagandists,
revolutionaries, the Comintern, and wartime and postwar occupations, the
contributors analyze the kinetics of the Russian-German exchange and
the perceptions drawn from these encounters. The result is a highly
engaging chronicle of the complex entanglements of two world powers
through the great wars of the twentieth century.