“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs
in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
George Orwell, 1984
In the prewar Soviet Union, ordinary people became skeptical of official media outlets as up‑to‑date purveyors of information. Rather, they were perceived as regime propaganda tools for shaping public opinion. To keep current in this “fog of peace,” citizens turned to informal channels such as word of mouth.
With the Soviet‑German war in June 1941, Soviet media might have undertaken a new role to inform the public in a timely fashion about frontline developments. But that prospective mission was counterbalanced by censorship concerns lest military secrets be leaked. Consequently, one could anticipate that there continued to exist a gap between media serving as propaganda instruments and their role as information supplier. This discrepancy could prove detrimental for such a vulnerable group as Jews who were specially targeted by the invaders a...