The Soviet Home Front: Work, Life, and Loyalty during World War II

Collaborative Group

Professor Wendy Z. Goldman, Professor Donald A. Filtzer


School of Humanities & Social Sciences


This collaboration focuses on the Soviet home front and the epic of human sacrifice that sustained the Red Army and helped to win World War II. Unlike World War I, which created social strains that led to revolution, there were no mass uprisings against Stalinist rule. There are many conflicting explanations for this phenomenon, yet almost no research has been done on conditions and the moods of the population. Using archival and other sources, the project focuses on six areas: the evacuation of factories and people; restructuring, reinstallation, and staffing of industry; living and working conditions; improvisation and popular responses; rebuilding industry in liberated territories; and power conflicts among the military, soviets, and Party organizations.

Goldman and Filtzer collaborated previously on organizing an international conference on Russian/ Soviet labor history, and editing a volume from its proceedings: A Dream Deferred: New Studies in Russian and Soviet Labour History (Peter Lang, 2008). Both have extensively studied Soviet labor with Filtzer focusing on famine, mortality, diet, and health and with Goldman focusing on women and gender, and political terror in the earlier Soviet period. Employing this complementary expertise, the collaboration will produce an article, and, ultimately a co-written book.

Award period: January 1, 2011 – December 31, 2012