Senior Theses

Publication Date


Document Type

Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in History



Faculty Advisor(s)

Sharon Bailey Glasco

Subject Categories

Political History | Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies


This thesis examines the Soviet Union’s methods of promoting nationalism during World War II in specific relation to newspapers, film, and poster propaganda. The Soviet Union used traditional and heroic imagery in propaganda with the intention to inspire nationalism during World War II in an effort to unify and strengthen its citizenry. Through the integration of modern language and traditional imagery, Soviet propaganda during World War II sought to reach out to citizens of all ages and unite them in the face of conflict with Germany. Poster and newspaper propaganda centered around individual “extraordinary ordinary” heroes: Soviet citizens who risked or gave their lives fighting for the Soviet Union. Film propaganda ranged from short films to multi-installment sagas that highlighted traditional patriotism from Russian history or recounted heroic and triumphant events in Soviet times. While the true effect of these propaganda efforts cannot be measured, the intention to inspire patriotism is critically analyzed in this thesis through examination of newspapers, poster propaganda, and films in the Soviet Union during the Great Patriotic War.