Constructing identity : Kaliningrad and the appropriation of place

Freeman, Jamie (2018) Constructing identity : Kaliningrad and the appropriation of place. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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In 1945, the Red Army marched into Königsberg, beginning the process of it becoming the Soviet city of Kaliningrad. Seventy years later, the contemporary resonance surrounding Russia’s sphere of influence, coupled with the recent centenary of the Russian revolution, has led to a renewed interest in Soviet studies. Yet, Kaliningrad remains largely unexplored, and virtually unknown outside a narrow field of specialists. This thesis thus considers critically how Soviet manipulation of public space was employed in an attempt to ease the complex transition of East Prussia from Königsberg to Kaliningrad. In a departure from current approaches in the field, the thesis places Kaliningrad in the broader Baltic context and provides an examination of the actual ‘spatial’ aspect of this history. In particular, it provides an analysis of how Soviet city planners envisaged the city being ‘embodied’ by citizens - how they were to interact, engage and move within it - to demonstrate that this was just as important as what the built space itself was supposed to represent in terms of its symbolism at the Soviet Union’s westernmost frontier. The thesis further documents how Soviet placemaking techniques - first adopted by the Bolsheviks in their attempt to encourage the new Soviet settlers to assimilate to their new homeland - have continued to hold resonance in contemporary Kaliningrad. In turn, it demonstrates that the Soviet project - although left unfinished - has had a significant and lasting impact on the region and its inhabitants.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2019 14:22
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2022 01:38


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