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(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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That these brief impressions make no claim to
be exhaustive in any direction, goes without saying ;
the immense Russian problem is far too involved
and complex for that to be possible. Their aim is
to help in laying the foundation for a more objective
comprehension of present-day Russia and her future
During the last decade the attitude towards
Russia has changed in a very remarkable Way.
Before the Great War she figured as the huge
menacing bugbear of the East, the barbaric des
potism, the aggressive power, the great Slav peril
to Western Europe and its civilisation. In par
ticular, the treacherous oppression of the Finnish
people gave Scandinavians a warning of what they
could expect if they came under the iron Russian
France’s alliance with the " barbaric despotism "
of the East was regarded as treason against the
traditions of France, representing as she did the
fight for liberty and the rights of man. Nowhere
was this view more commonly prevalent than in
Then the World War broke out, and the Germans
proclaimed that Germany’s armies were really
championing the cause of Europe, and the Scandi
navian nations in particular, against the barbarism
of the East.
But the points of view have veered round. No
longer do we detect in Germany any widespread
feeling that Russia is the great menace to be kept
at bay ; if anything, the opposite view is held, and

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