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Jul
1
comment Why did the Soviet Union close its borders and restrict travel abroad?
@Popup en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propiska_in_the_Soviet_Union
Jul
1
comment Why did the Soviet Union close its borders and restrict travel abroad?
@Greg I meant Soviet citizens.
Jul
1
comment Why did the Soviet Union close its borders and restrict travel abroad?
@Bookeater I don't think you are silly at all. But you are quite wrong about the issue discussed - the eastern bloc countries were not monolithic and had different circumstances and policies - therefore one can't just make a inference from Germany to SU. OP's question was emphatically about the Soviet Union itself. The Soviet Union did not experience any (numerically, at least) significant brain drain from the early 1930s till its demise. There was (and still is) a big brain drain from post-Soviet Russia to the West - but that's a whole different story.
Jul
1
comment Why did the Soviet Union close its borders and restrict travel abroad?
@Bookeater Your reference is about East Germany. The question is about the Soviet Union.
Jul
1
comment Is there any evidence that WW2 pilots lead a swinger's lifestyle to ensure that their friends would take care of their family if they died?
Close as fast as possible. Let skeptics deal with this nonsense.
Jul
1
comment Why did the Soviet Union close its borders and restrict travel abroad?
Re:2. For ordinary people, travel even to eastern bloc countries was almost out of the question.
Jul
1
comment Why did the Soviet Union close its borders and restrict travel abroad?
@Bookeater What brain drain? I am afraid you are working with a faulty chronology.
Jun
28
comment Why was Lithuania not colonized by Soviet Union?
@Michael Oh, forgot one more thing: Veller's story is funny bot totally bogus. This and some others of his stories (about Zorin and the ship with the drunken crew are two I know of for sure) have been debunked, or rather shown to be total fictions, unrelated to actual events. This is not to say Veller is not an entertaining author (he is) or a decent person (it seems to be). But he seems to be working in such a creative genre - fictional stories about real people/places/events, with no disclaimer - that the use of his material as historical evidence is very ill-advised.
Jun
28
comment Why was Lithuania not colonized by Soviet Union?
@Michael (8) To re-iterate: I am as far from being an apologist for the late Soviet Union as one can be. But I don't want people to get a cartoonish view of daily life there, as if it was a sort of North Korea writ large in a monolithic fashion. Clearly it varied across periods, nationalities, classes, locations, etc., in some cases and aspects being almost unbearable and in others being not that different from what people in normal countries experienced.
Jun
28
comment Why was Lithuania not colonized by Soviet Union?
who started as country doctors in God-forsaken places and eventually were able to move (after some years, yes) to big cities and become specialists at leading hospitals.(7) Once again, I am not speaking about peasants here. They got the worst deal and the whole system was based on exploiting them the most (see e.g. my answer here - history.stackexchange.com/a/16644/1569)
Jun
28
comment Why was Lithuania not colonized by Soviet Union?
of serfs by Stalin, are irrelevant to OP's question since we are talking here about immigration to the Baltics and that was not likely to include peasants. (5) Re: job assignments. True, but one must have in mind that the choice of a profession to begin with was free. This is a major point. (6) One thing more abut job assignments - the severity of their impact on one's career and life varied with the profession, I think. Doctors and teachers were most liable to be assigned to a total backwater; qualified engineers probably less so, for obvious reasons. Still, I've personally known people
Jun
28
comment Why was Lithuania not colonized by Soviet Union?
@Michael (3) I know about propiska; in fact I had obliquely alluded to it in my comments: "ne had to first secure an appointment to a position in City X before being officially allowed to reside there." It was indeed a very serious restriction people's freedom. Still, one must differentiate between the two major cities (M and L), propiska where was highly coveted and hard to obtain, and between other cities, residence where was not cnsidered a particular privilege and therefore was not so strictly monitored. (Much like today in Russia, btw...) (4) Peasants, who indeed were reduced to the level
Jun
28
comment Why was Lithuania not colonized by Soviet Union?
@Michael I appreciate your points. However, I have a number of clarifications and counter-points to make. Apologies in advance for pedantry. (1) I was not referring to the 1930s. I thought his was obvious as OP was asking about the post-1945 Baltic republics but in retrospect I ought to have made that clear. (2) I had indeed in the mind the 1980s for which I have first-hand information from my parents. I tacitly assumed things were not that different in the 1950s and 1960s which is when most Russian "colonists" would have moved to the Baltic republics. CONTINUING IN MORE COMMENTS
Jun
28
comment Why was Lithuania not colonized by Soviet Union?
@Bregalad To make sure, I am not being a starry-eye Soviet nostalgist (I think I've sufficiently established my "anti-Soviet credentials" here anyway by now). But it'd not do to describe the USSR (or any other place) in terms of a caricature - surely as (amateur) historians we must strive for more than that.
Jun
28
comment Why was Lithuania not colonized by Soviet Union?
@Bregalad Same thing goes for jobs, however surprising you might find it. People could look for another job. Of course, the process was not easy and required mostly personal connections, there not being a proper "job market" in the Western sense. But some people did change jobs sometimes (and I mean regular people, not cadres). The decision where to live was usually constrained by the job - just as in the free world, but more so because one had to first secure an appointment to a position in City X before being officially allowed to reside there. Still, people did move around.
Jun
28
comment Why was Lithuania not colonized by Soviet Union?
@Bregalad You might find it funny, but, yes, even in the USSR people had some degree of choice over the course of their lives. A moment's reflection will convince you it cannot have otherwise - even a totalitarian regime cannot physically plan everything for anybody. Take a trivial example, for starters: to join or to not join the Party? That's a decision people usually made for themselves. Here's another example: a young person graduates from school. It's up to them to choose a professional calling and to apply to a university of their choice (or to choose not to pursue higher education).
Jun
27
comment Why was Lithuania not colonized by Soviet Union?
@dmit Nevertheless, if Lithuania became known as a more dangerous place, it'd take a long time for the image to disappear. If you were a Russian willing to move to the Baltic states and able to choose to which one, would you go for the erstwhile trouble spot or for the more pacific places? Especially, if you're taking a family with you. So the demographic effect might well have lasted a long time after the rebels were all put down.
Jun
27
comment Was slavery really on the way out in the antebellum USA?
@Oldcat But properly managed breeding was sufficient to maintain a slave population, wasn't it?
Jun
24
comment Why was there no solution found to Soviet famines and near-famines?
@mart Yet, another answerable question is "what did the SU do that caused the famines?". Questions of intent aside, it's very clear that this famine (like almost every famine in history) was essentially man-made, not due to some natural disaster.
Jun
24
revised Why was there no solution found to Soviet famines and near-famines?
edited body