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Objects of WarThe Material Culture of Conflict and Displacement$
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Leora Auslander and Tara Zahra

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781501720079

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501720079.001.0001

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Embodied Violence

Embodied Violence

A Red Army Soldier’s Journey as Told by Objects

(p.139) 5 Embodied Violence
Objects of War

Brandon Schechter

Cornell University Press

This chapter shows how objects constitute the story of Red Army soldiers' dramatic movement and participation in violence during the Great Patriotic War and hints at how these experiences impacted what it meant to be Soviet, detailing how one soldier from the hinterland attained status through successful mastery of violence. It focuses on Bato Damcheev, a sniper and later scout who killed nearly ninety German soldiers, took ten more as prisoners captured for interrogation, and destroyed three tanks and several enemy bunkers. The chapter examines several things that Damcheev would have used or acquired during the war in order to show how a particular violent subjectivity was made possible by key material objects such as identity booklets and weapons, and embodied in the form of others such as medals and trophies.

Keywords:   material objects, Red Army soldiers, violence, Great Patriotic War, Soviet, Bato Damcheev, violent subjectivity

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