SOVIET VISIT REPORT - (DELETED)

Created: 3/8/1962

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

said that he did not hear too much about foreign broadcasting exceptew remarks to the effect that BBC is more objective than, and therefore preferable to, VOA. The main objection to VOA seemed to be resentment at hearing foreigners, ormigres, consenting on Soviet affairs. Source felt, however, that foreign radios could comment on Soviet affairs if this were done judiciously. He also suggestedoreign radio might interest listeners in Soviet news culled from the provincial press, whreh had not been printed in the big papers. Source further stated that coldly factual broadcasts on Soviet affairs, especially if the source were Soviet, would not be resented by Soviet listeners.

Source said that Soviet students would be most interested in hearing about the lives of their American counterparts. Source suggestedthe following: curricular and: extra-curricular life of American students; availability of pvibliche fact that almost anyone who deeires'a college degree -can obtain one; the factollegeis not, however, necessary for basic economic security which can be had by people with high school and/or technical training; the great degree of free-choice of-courses exercised by students throughout their education.

ource :concluded his discussion of this topic with the remarkbroadcasts probably has the effect of shaking theof the listeners in their regime.-and its inability to acceptthe

fee

to Information : Y. .

Source discussed this topic with qualifications, pointing out that the subject-touched national pride andoreigner was notood position to 'evaluate whatinformation he did manage to get on thepeaking strictly from his ownrexperience, source reported the followingoviet student, remarked to him.with-great. scorn that there were people who'believed'evcrything. they read in the Sovietan whom hexquestionedabout'the possibilityoviet citizen's goinglibrary and.asking toopy of The Mew York Times said that this is possible^in theory, but mot-in .fact; the Soviet acquaintances of source had access-only to Communist literature of the West. Concerning interest in the copies of The New York Times which source and the other American students received regularly, source said that there was great interest in

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

2 -

the sheer bulk of the paper and ln*tnV advertisements, but that moststudents did not read English well enough to plow through theif they had wanted to. Two or threemall percentagenumber to whom he showed .the paper, asked to borrow itread the .1

ource found that the interest in Western literature of the people he met was limited to those authors whose works had been translated into

Hiicqi

Travel Opportunities

The only complaints heard by source concerning travel were complaints by people *in the provinces that they could not simply move to Moscow and live there.

Soviet Psychology

'

t It was fairly easy, source stated, touperficialpeople^in. Moscow, but extremely difficult to movehe reasons flow*from the barriers of language,mostiofource found that incidents such as the"unfortunate and'not worthy of our'because if they^were-discussed they would cause difficultiesrelationship that probably could hot be vlrhV

Source-found it difficult to meet students outside hisnly other places to meet students, he said, were at-social functions. He did occasionally get into conversationson the street or in restaurants, but these were notlastinc

Source -reported his conviction that patriotism plays an extremely mportant part in'the!thinking and the political attitudes of Sovietthe most;.significant factor-in Soviet history was the success of-the'Soviet; regime in fusing Russianhich hasbeen-an lenduring.feature'-of'.Russian life, with Soviet patriotism. The result; he said,-is a'feeling of strong personal commitment to the

f national patriotism. Source said thisiis particularly;the case-among the Russians. Non-Russians, hehave .equally strong-regionalnd proclaim themselves also loyal^citizens of the' Soviet regime, but one can detect,arcertaln resentment of the Russiansationality.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

3 _

To recapitulate, source'stated that the strongest patrioticment in the USSR is Soviet-Russian patriotism. This, he felt, wasstronger than;plain Soviet patriotism on the part of the Russians,certainly stronger than whatever -Soviet-Russian patriotism is feltthe non-Russians. .

Source ifelt the presencetrong inferiority complexsually resulted in attitudes of truculence and boasting in comparing ;Soviet and Western achievements. This emotion alsoart in the jstrong resentment of Soviet-citizens Jo criticism from foreigners orrreverent'remarks about anything which they consider sacred.

Ideology

Concerning this topic, source reported that actual understanding of the complexities of Marxism-Leninism varied considerably amongifferent' classes of people. However, this does not affect theiritment. to the regime, since--this commitment does not stem fromellectual'assent to-ideology, but rather stems from patrioticn the achievements of the regime which have made backwardorld power in littleears.

; Attitudes Toward the Government- and its Policies

i /: . - -

) '; Source .'did. not. .think there-is any strong 'opposition. In. the" USSR to theHe-felt-that the attitudes toward the regime range -from; active -support'to passive-acceptance depending on'howhe regime had impinged on-the personalf an .individual orAndpeople'-feallboth'.-at-ithe-same* time:ride in-the'nd; resentment .or'passive acceptance ofnjustices or :inconveniences>pf, daily life.

ae 11

-said that the Soviet people he spoke, with emphasized that

the regime had already satisfied some of their most basic needs, such

living and-they.Vould like to catch up.

There is a'certain amoufct of dissatisfaction with the slow rate ofress in this regard,'although, source points out, they are not consumer-

oriented^as-we are and, .they seem to have fewer demands and to be more

satisfied with what they-have than we would think' possible. Source felt tthat many people were also dissatisfied with the regime's control of However, source,-emphasized that Soviets generally do not "letdown"-with'foreigners and'therefore one cannot really cet first

hand information on,such

NOT FOR PUBLICATI ON

Soviet Leaders

Source reported that Lenin is considered the leader who added to the fund of the true faith. Source heard little comment on Stalin,from one man who had spent three yearsorced labor camp during that time- Although bitter about Stalin this man was very stronglyto the present regime. Source felt that Khrushchev has really awakened something in the Soviet consciousness. He is widely regardedman of theot only for his folksiness, but also for his crude belligerence. Source related hearing Khrushchev speak on the radio after his return from Paris and the summit conference that never took place. Although most of the people in the restaurant where they heard the speech were members of the educated snd cultured elite of Sovietsource said that they "lapped up" the crude and vituperous haransue with evident relish.

Source once showed some Russians an article in Life magazineTrotskys assassination. They were willing to accept the gistarticle, admitting that "not everything is published in thebut they would not believe that the assassin had receivedof

Komsomol

Source said that he' tried to determine what percentage of thewere members of the Komsomol, but he never could find out. Hesurprised to find-students he would have classified asshowing up occasionally wearing Komsomol pins. The latter typescornful remarks,-about'-the activists'^ so it can be assumedthat-entires active or even particularly interested inof the

The' United States and the.West'

A tJm. e, would'rank Soviet lack of knowledge about ,the 'economic ,an. and the'West as their greatest misconception aboutgathered from their talk of unemployment in America that theyand starvation In the street. Others' feel that perhapsbetween our econonties and standards of livingittle- higher in the Scviet.Union. But source was surewas:virtually no conception of how much higher the standardis in Europe, much less the- >

Alony with the above, the Soviets consider Western political

cracy and coldness of all aspects of Soviet life. One African told source that he was convinced that the Russians were trying to kill him, and later that they had tried toompromising incidentomen into get himhis African was one of the leaders of thestudent group that sought to protest the discrimination practiced against them by the Soviets. Source added that he may well haveeurotic.

Jews in.the USSR-

Source-discussed this subject with only one or two Jews. They told him that their lot was more difficult and their road to success harderthey were Jews. They also explained that for the same reason, they would curtail their-relationship with source.

Emigres

Source heard very little discussion about emigres,ewto the effect that theywere traitors to the true faith. Source felt that emigres would have to be more careful of what, they said than most other people in broadcasting to the USSR.

-

Non-Russian Republics

i

Concerning his.tour through several non-Russian republics, source was most impressed by the feeling of Georgian and Armenian nationalism. Sourcehat these people were Georgians and Armenians before they were anything else. An English friend of source heard remarkseorgian which expressed .the greatest contempt for the Russians. The Georgians and' Armenians expressed particular pride in their national cultural heritage and were insulted or hurt if the visitors did not know of their leading writers..singers, etc.

It

gave the opinion that atheism seems to have taken strong hold in the USSR. He found mostly bid women,prinkling of younger ones, in the churches. One person told source that "mosthave their children baptized and that is their only relation with the church." There are .crowds in the churches at special times, such as Easter, but source did not know whether thiseligiousor simply an "old custom."

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA