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The Sixtiers (Russian: Шестидесятники) were representatives of а new generation of the Soviet Intelligentsia, most of whom were born between 1925 and 1945, and entered the culture and politics of the USSR during the late 1950s and 1960s — after the Khrushchev Thaw. Their worldviews were formed by years of Stalin's repressions and purges, which affected many of the Sixtiers' immediate families; and World War II, where many of them had volunteered to fight.

Sixtiers were distinguished by their liberal and anti-totalitarian views, and romanticism that found vivid expressions in music and visual arts. Although most of the Sixtiers believed in Communist ideals, they had come to be strongly disappointed with Stalin's regime and its repression of basic civil liberties.

Many of the Sixtiers were intellectuals of roughly two strains: the "physicists" (those involved in the technical sciences) and the "lyricists" (writers, theater and film professionals, and otherwise liberal arts representatives). Bard (singer-songwriter) culture, poetry, disillusionment in politics, and love for camping trips to the farther regions of the Soviet Union were some of the common attributes and pastimes of the Sixtiers.

The Sixtiers had some parallels to the New Left and hippie movements in the West but had more in common with the more intellectual-oriented Beat Generation.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Zubok, Vladislav (2009). Zhivago's Children: The Last Russian Intelligentsia. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-03344-3.