Using travel accounts to the Soviet Union as a source, this article explores the ambiguous position of Russia in Germans' global imaginary between the wars. The article first discusses the ways in which German travel accounts redefined Russia's location between Europe and Asia in the interwar years. It then focuses on travellers' fascination with Soviet internal colonization and attempts to mobilize society. Finally, it turns to the ways in which stereotypes about the Soviet rulers' and people's ‘Asiatic’ nature shaped German travellers' observations about violence and coercion in the Soviet state.

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Keywords Germany, global imaginary, interwar Europe, rhetoric of colonization, Soviet Union, travel writing
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Journal Cultural and Social History
Casteel, J. (2015). Searching for the ‘New World’, Finding ‘Asia’: The Rhetoric of Colonization in Interwar German Travel Accounts of the Soviet Union. Cultural and Social History, 12(2), 255–272. doi:10.2752/147800415X14224554625316