Brother or Other? East European Students in Soviet Higher Education Establishments, 1948-1956

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European History Quarterly




After World War II, bilateral agreements within the Eastern bloc brought youth from the newly established satellite states of Eastern Europe to study in higher education establishments in the USSR. Designed to impart Soviet knowledge and practices in the countries of people’s democracy as well as to create a sense of solidarity within the bloc, the training of East Europeans in the center of world communism proved a tension-filled affair. Spurred by the xenophobia and chauvinism of the Soviet home front during the early Cold War, Soviet administrators, faculty members and students related to the foreign students, despite their socialist credentials, as outsiders and sometimes as carriers of unwanted influences. For this reason, the educational agreements deepened the sense that fundamental differences existed between the Soviet Union and its client states in Europe.