All-Union Society for Foreign Cultural Exchange

All-Union Society for Foreign Cultural Exchange

 

(VOKS), a public organization, whose many branches brought together Soviet scientists, writers, artists, educators, and sportsmen. The society was founded in April 1925. Its purpose was to acquaint the people of the USSR with cultural achievements of foreign countries and to make known abroad the cultures of the peoples of the Soviet Union. The work of the society contributed to the development and strengthening of friendship and mutual understanding between the peoples of the USSR and those of other countries. The society cooperated with foreign societies for the promotion of friendship and cultural ties with the USSR—societies which were created on the initiative of progressive public figures, scientists, and persons active in cultural affairs in many countries of the world. The society also cooperated with other progressive foreign public organizations advocating friendship and the development of a cultural exchange with the Soviet Union. At the invitation of VOKS, delegations from foreign societies, as well as prominent scientists and cultural figures, came to the USSR, among them P. Langevin, R. Rolland, M. Andersen-Nexo, and R. Tagore. In turn, the society sent delegations and individual representatives of Soviet science and culture to foreign countries so that they might participate in congresses and conferences. It also sent abroad theater and dance companies and orchestras, and it organized the exchange of literature and exhibits for various expositions. The society’s many branches held discussions about the lectures given by foreign visitors and Soviet cultural figures who had been abroad. The society’s informational Biulleten’ VOKS was published in English, French, and German. In 1958, VOKS was dissolved, and the Union of Soviet Societies for Friend-ship and Cultural Exchange with Foreign Countries was organized.

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