Back in June, my students and I had the good fortune to receive a guided tour of the Russian State Duma. The highlight for many of the students was a meeting with hockey legend (and Duma deputy) Vladislav Tretyak, but far more of our time was spent participating rather unexpectedly in an opening ceremony for a new institution – the Soviet Lifestyle Museum.
In this week’s book, Michael Kellogg examines the impact of Russian émigrés on the development of Nazism, focusing particularly on an émigré organization known as ‘Aufbau’. Kellogg concludes that ‘The National Socialist movement developed primarily as a synthesis of radical right German and Russian movements and ideas. … White émigré Aufbau members significantly influenced Hitler’s political, military, and ideological views.’ This is an interesting thesis, but I think that it greatly exaggerates Aufbau’s importance. After all, Aufbau believed in Russo-German cooperation against ‘Jewish Bolshevism’, but Hitler never showed any interest in cooperation with Russians, even those who were willing to cooperate with him.
I bought today’s book while researching my doctoral thesis about Russian military emigres in the 1920s and 1930s. It is the first in a series of volumes containing documents from the Russian archives about White Russian military organizations’ activities in that period. The officer circled on the cover is General A.P. Kutepov, the commander of the 1st Army Corps of the Russian Army of General Wrangel. Kutepov is perhaps best known for being kidnapped by the Soviet secret services in Paris in 1930. His exact fate thereafter remains unknown.