Arktische Kohle. Das sowjetische Engagement auf Spitzbergen, 1928-1949

Frey, Felix (2018). Arktische Kohle. Das sowjetische Engagement auf Spitzbergen, 1928-1949. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Geschichte, 68(2), pp. 274-297. Schwabe

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To diversify the USSR’s energy supply, a major objective of the Stalinist command economy, Soviet workers were sent to Norway’s Svalbard (Spitzbergen) archipelago in 1931 to mine coal. Drawing on archival materials, this paper discusses the complex entanglement this resource extraction meant for Moscow, the Kola Peninsula, and Svalbard. The archipelago was by no means an Arctic sideshow: miners flooded the streets of Murmansk, in far northwest Russia, awaiting their departure to the archipelago, and Svalbard coal fueled the furnaces of the Kola Peninsula Murmansk is located on. Officials in distant Moscow tried to regulate the oft-problematic circulation of coal and workers, in the process reconfiguring the understanding of how coal and miners were interrelated both technically and socially. In 1946, matters reversed due to changed geopolitical objectives. Rather than having miners dig coal to be sent to Russia, the war-ravaged mines were rebuilt; now workers were sent to Svalbard in order to strengthen Soviet claims on the territory.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Modern and Contemporary History
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Modern and Contemporary History > Zeitgeschichte

UniBE Contributor:

Frey, Felix

Subjects:

900 History
900 History > 940 History of Europe

ISSN:

0036-7834

Publisher:

Schwabe

Language:

German

Submitter:

Felix Frey

Date Deposited:

03 Sep 2018 11:06

Last Modified:

03 Sep 2018 11:06

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Sowjetunion, Energiegeschichte, Arktis, Spitzbergen, Svalbard, Norwegen

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.119673

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/119673

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