NAZAROVA T.P. Periodicals оn the Fate of Russian Captives During the First World War

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2014.5.3

Nazarova Tatyana Pavlovna

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, History and Political Science,

Volgograd State Agrarian University

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Prosp. Universitetsky, 26, 400002 Volgograd, Russian Federation


Abstract. The materials of periodicals represent an important source for studying public opinion and the executive policy regarding the fate of Russian captives. The analysis of the periodicals proves that despite the patriotic fervor that swept the press during the First World War, the plight of Russian captives was not widely highlighted. The article analyzes the nature of the publications on the Russian captives and identifies the reasons of journalists’ neglect of their problems.

Among these reasons, the author calls an unprecedented scale of captivity – the millions of war prisoners from each warring sides. The government and their controlled press tried to forget the captives instead of analyzing the causes of mass captivity and correcting the command errors. The theme of captivity was not a separate issue in the national press, and it was used only as the material for the formation of the “image of enemy” to illustrate the violations of the international humanistic principles by the Germans. This was largely due to the attitude of the government and the military toward their captives – they were treated like traitors, they were blamed for the failures that have dogged the Russian army in the first years of the war.

Key words: Russian captives, First World War, periodicals, “image of enemy”, public opinion.

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Periodicals оn the Fate of Russian Captives During the First World War by Nazarova T.P. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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