In connection with the 70 anniversary of the beginning of the liberation of the Ukrainian SSR from the German invaders, the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Kiev gave a presentation of the monograph of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISI) “I will tell you about the war ...” The work is devoted to displaying the Second World War in textbooks and in the consciousness of high school students post-socialist states. The results of the work can not but alarm everyone who is not indifferent to the worldview of generations entering adulthood.
At the first stage, scientists considered textbooks storiesthen there were school essays and youth polls about the popularity of various war films (Soviet, American, Russian, etc.), computer games based on World War II, etc.
"Ordinary fascism" we will not see?
The results of the research were presented by the deputy director of RISI, the head of the Center for the Study of the Problems of the CIS Countries, Doctor of Historical Sciences Tamara GUZENKOVA. 2000 was able to talk to her immediately after the presentation.
— Tamara Semyonovna, Professor Gennady Matveyev, Head of the Department of History of Southern and Western Slavs of Moscow State University, who, along with Natalia Narochnitskaya, acted as a reviewer of labor, called it “a signal and the greatest know-how - to show how children see war in conditions of a dangerous situation for historical consciousness in our country” . For Ukraine, where the heroes of the past days become villains in textbooks and vice versa, this danger is obvious. Are such problems just as relevant for other states?
- More-less. In general, textbooks can be divided into 3 groups.
The first is conceptually close to the late Soviet version, according to which the USSR contributed to the victory thanks to the socialist system, the communist ideology and the moral and political unity of the Soviet people. Here there is a positive image of the Soviet leadership in its depersonification (with regard to the activities of Stalin). And the result of victory, apart from salvation from the “brown plague”, is the people's democratic revolutions in the countries of Eastern Europe and the emergence of a socialist camp.
— Are such textbooks still available?
- Imagine being released. In this respect, Belarus and Transdniestria are closest to the Soviet tradition, in many respects - Armenia, in part - Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
The following group (these are a significant part of textbooks from Russia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Tajikistan, and the aforementioned Kazakhstan with Uzbekistan) we have attributed to the so-called. transformed concept. This includes most war history manuals. They already have new themes (life in the war years, the role of women in war, relations between people and authorities, the Holocaust, etc.) and previously forbidden (Katyn, repression, critical attitude to the Soviet socio-economic system, condemnation of the actions of the Soviet leadership in the early stages of the war). Collaboration is viewed sympathetically or neutrally. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact is condemned.
And finally, a radically revised concept. Here an equal sign is put between Hitler and Stalin. Both are regarded as dictators who have unleashed a war in their own interests. Consequently, equal responsibility for it rests with the USSR and Germany. In these textbooks, the contribution of the Soviet Union to victory — toward increasing the role of allies — is substantially revised. The determining factors that the USSR resisted were enormous human resources (the formula was “abandoned with cannon fodder”) and climatic conditions (the notorious “General Frost”). The latter is very characteristic of Polish, Czech and Ukrainian textbooks.
The role of the Soviet Union is interpreted differently depending on the periods of the war: until 22 June 1941, the USSR was an invader; then, in the spring of 1944, the leading defensive (sometimes domestic) war; and as soon as the Red Army crosses the border of its state - again the invader. In one of the Ukrainian textbooks 2007 (Tatyana Ladichenko), even Germany’s ally Romania appears among the victims of Soviet aggression. As for collaborators, in many countries they are turning into national heroes, "true fighters against fascism."
Previously, this group included all Ukrainian textbooks from the beginning of 2000's. Approximately at that time Ukraine refused to use the term “Great Patriotic War”. Moreover, in many textbooks, he signs in detail why for Ukraine this war "was not domestic." Especially - in the textbooks for teachers. If for the Belarusians the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact is a necessary measure, for the Ukrainian educational system it is an agreement that hastened the outbreak of war. The Soviet Union is a totalitarian state along with Germany and Italy.
The Soviet partisan movement and the UPA are regarded as equivalent currents in the resistance movement in Ukraine, but if the former was directed against fascism, then the latter was against fascism and against communism. The members of the SS division “Galicia” are not war criminals (here it is the exact opposite of the Belarusian approach, where all collaborators are definitely traitors). On the basis of all this, Ukraine has made a huge and invaluable contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany.
— One of the chapters of your authorship is called “Ukraine. The greatest sacrifice.
- Exaggeration of the contribution of its people to the victory over fascism or the losses suffered by their country in the war is what is common to textbooks of all groups.
In general, the appearance of such a national version is characteristic of the modern period: each state seemed to have had its own war. There is a feeling that it was not the Soviet Union that fought, but Ukraine, Belarus, Russia separately.
If we talk specifically about Ukraine, then textbooks began to appear in 2011, which allow it to be included in the second group. Thus, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova remain the third, and - with the toughest approach to the Great Patriotic War - Poland (the corresponding head of the doctor of historical sciences Oksana Petrovskaya is called "Poland. The Concept of Two Enemies". - D.S. .
Although, of course, the second and third groups have a lot in common. In particular, there is a continuous de-heroization and even "demilitarization" of the war (description of great victories and, say, tank battles are replaced by the social and cultural and moral sides of the war). This is observed in the EU and in the world in general.
It is considered politically incorrect to describe the horrors of war, suffering and atrocities. Less information about the concentration camps and what happened there. Therefore, now we can’t see Ordinary Fascism documentary by Mikhail Romm, shot in 1965. Authors of textbooks and textbooks are advised to avoid dating events. Thus, the usual periodization, built on the dates of key battles, is destroyed.
And this, of course, is reflected in the writings.
In a number of countries we asked to ask the essay “I will tell you about the war. Letter of the descendants of the Second World War / Great Patriotic War. And without warning, without prior consultation with teachers and parents, without training in the library. Schoolchildren wrote on a given topic the first thing that came to mind. We were not particularly interested in the accuracy of the dates indicated by them, the name of the battles - the images, the characters with which the children operate, the feelings that they convey, what matters most to them, and what is secondary, were important.
Maybe because I am a lady, I cried over some essays as many times as I read them. However, there were a lot of indifferent, empty works.
In any case, we really got unique, completely phenomenal materials. Due to this, we came to a number of principal conclusions. I hope many will become familiar with them in detail by reading the book.
— Share at least the most common, basic.
- In all countries, students perceive World War II as the largest and most terrible event of the twentieth century, and in all of history. It should be noted here, I would say, the existential fear of the new world war. Hence the rejection of the escalation of conflicts in the modern world, which are increasingly unleashed in different parts of the globe.
Most schoolchildren, by the way, are still convinced that it was the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany that saved their people from slavery and physical annihilation. They regard the hypothetical victory of Nazism as a universal catastrophe. But I would have cursed my soul if I had said that there are no other opinions on this subject.
Some writings (of course, the overwhelming minority of them) expressed regret that Nazi Germany was defeated: if the Nazis had seized, for example, Ukraine, it would now be much richer and more prosperous. Here is an example:
“I believe that during the war, all self-respecting Ukrainians would have to go for the Germans. For, in my opinion, it would be better with the Germans. Under the Soviet regime, both before the war and during the war, the people lived poorly, even the minimum subsistence level was not enough. The German command wanted to destroy the Bolshevik power and give people a free life and have their own personal property, that is: unlimited freedom of choice, land, their business, and do what they want. I condemn the USSR because it carried devastation, pain, suffering, bullying, and also I am glad that the USSR is no longer! ”
— Do children raise the Third Reich in this way?
- I can not say for sure, but the fact that such works indicate our serious problems today is for sure. And these problems, of course, are largely generated by the textbooks.
— How much do the assessments and preferences of schoolchildren in Ukraine differ depending on the part in which the essay was written?
- Geographically, we can talk not even about division, but about antagonism. If schoolchildren from the western regions are closest in their assessments to the views expressed in textbooks, then students from the east and south are extremely far.
— What's in the center?
- When we interviewed Kiev schoolchildren, it happened that the opposite ratings of the Second World War were given by schoolchildren sitting at neighboring desks.
Here is an example of an essay opposite to the views presented in Ukrainian textbooks:
«Now there is an active census of history under the interests of the ruling elites ... The leader of the OUN (UPA) Stepan Bandera was given the title Hero of Ukraine. Whatever wrote in textbooks and the media about the OUN (UPA), remember that they were no different from the fascists and collaborated with them ... My great-grandfather told me that he remembers the "UPA soldiers." Once, his village was captured by Bandera. The head of the village council was hanged in the center of the village, and his seven children were strangled with thread ... Is this heroism ?! Dismiss ... I believe that we should be ashamed of such "heroes."
— You talked about the personification of the creators of victory in different groups of textbooks. And who / what is a symbol of heroism for schoolchildren?
- Unfortunately, we could not interview all students about this. To the full one can only judge who symbolizes the feat in the Great Patriotic War for Russian schoolchildren. But they, like their Belarusian and Ukrainian peers, have one of the highest positions of the people (true, Belarusian and Ukrainian, respectively).
Pay attention to the positions: the Young Guard, Sailors, Kosmodemyanskaya, Gastello ... In 90, the attitude towards these heroes was deformed. There was a "corrosion of memory" about them. You could often hear that these were “made” heroes. They say that Kosmodemyanskaya did not have time to prove herself as a partisan, and the Sailors, instead of rushing to the embrasure, could have made a better decision ... However, it turned out that the mass consciousness of students is much more conservative than those educational versions that are present even currently, and this intergenerational memory is still preserved.
— And yet, at the presentation of the research in Moscow, Vladimir Kuznechevsky, a leading researcher at the Department of Humanitarian Research at RISI, noted that “no other country, except Belarus, was able to organically evaluate and comprehend the legacy of war”.
- This is true, but even the Belarusians could not avoid the ethnocentric view of the war. When I read an essay by a Belarusian schoolgirl, where it was said that the Belarusian partisans defeated the fascists in general, and the Red Army only helped them in defeating fascism, a professor from Belarus said: the main force that crushed Germany. "
Judging by the writings, more or less distinct “national” pictures of war are everywhere ((for example, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine are often regarded as independent subjects, equal parties involved in the Great Patriotic War).
— At the Kiev presentation, Academician Tolochko, who spoke after you, said that “if someone exaggerates his contribution to victory, it is not so scary - it is worse when they deny it.” In this regard, Petr Petrovich was even pleased by the stormy Ukrainian “rebuke” to Putin about his conclusion, we would have won the war without Ukraine (I’d note for readers, by the way, that Tolochko considers Putin’s answer to an incorrect question is also correct - do not humiliate the other 15 republics).
- Of course, the main thing is that Belarusian, Russian and Transnistrian schoolchildren, in any case, realize that they are the heirs of the winners, have elevated patriotic feelings, are proud of the past of the country. Therefore, they mainly describe battles and battles, unlike, say, peers from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria - countries that are in the fascist coalition.
Those describe the war mostly through the realities of the concentration camps located on their territory. For the Czechs, moreover, the betrayal of the West in Munich (the relevant chapter is called “The Czech Republic - the First Victim of Nazism”) remains a national wound, as well as an understatement of the role of their, albeit small, Resistance movement.
— Your chapter on works from the Czech Republic is called “These were years of indescribable grief, illness, fear, depression, anguish ...”
- This, as you understand, is a typical, or rather, indicative quotation from an essay. On the other hand, modern schoolchildren from these countries are so far from reality that they believe that it was possible to call back from labor camps with relatives and friends who are at large.
— I will again cite Tolochko: “If Ukraine is so offended by the Putin’s response, what does the term“ Great Patriotic War? ”Discard this cognitive dissonance in the Ukrainian schoolchildren’s mass consciousness?
- Ukrainians are really divided in ratings and preferences. For many, a depressive perception of the outcome of the war is characteristic, since it is not clear who is a hero and who is a traitor. For which they fought and who won. They can not be called heroes in full either by Bandera or Kosmodemyanskaya. Some are still indecent to call those, while others no longer have “heroic potential.” I will quote from an essay:
“Ukraine was the main arena of the fight against fascism ... Ukraine has its heroes. Heroes in the ranks of the Red Army, the heroes of the UPA, the heroes of the Carpathian Ukraine.
The people of Ukraine fought for the liberation of their land from invaders. And all the fighters for the independence of Ukraine should be honored on the day of the 65 anniversary of the Victory over fascism.
Ukraine lived very poorly in the post-war period: famine, terror of the NKVD, especially in Western Ukraine, heroic resistance of the OUN and UPA, destruction of villages, families, lack of housing, clothing, transportation, extremely low standard of living and heroic restoration efforts. ”
An attempt to change the scores for very short periods of time is very bad for the psychological state of the students. And in this sense, war heroes remain in that era — they are not transferred to modern soil.
The question “who is a modern hero,” and even in a consumer society, is also relevant for Russian schoolchildren. In their writings, many of them pose the question: if tomorrow is a war, could I protect the Motherland, could I sacrifice my life? Unfortunately, we have to admit that many guys do not find this fuse in themselves. They do not understand what to defend, to fight for, to see the situation of the veterans, what is the attitude of the state towards the participants of the war ...
Patriotism is much more pronounced in the outback and small towns than in large regional centers. And simply the ideological holes in this sense are Moscow and St. Petersburg.
— According to the theory of ethnogenesis of Lev Gumilyov, with the fracture, an ethnos was always saved by immigrants from a province that preserved the inertia of passionarity. So there are grounds for optimism, I think.
- Then I will strengthen your hopes with a fragment from the composition of a Bashkir girl living in a suburb of Yekaterinburg:
“May 9 youth is going to companies and goes" walk ". This year, for example, my friends and I went to the city to stare at the tanks. Go, it means, in front of us are several girls years on 14x15. Overdressed, dressed up, made up, St. George ribbons wrapped, go, laugh. And, damn, it seemed like something had enraged me. One girl has a fishtail sticking out of his pants - well, gum from the strings. And on them, too, ribbons tied. Well is this a thing? !! Our great-grandfathers put their heads! Chest honor defended! And this!!! I have no words! On cowards imposes! This is a tin, comrades, in short! And this is how we live without thinking about whether people like this, who wanted to live like this, who got up to their knees in the blood during the war. ”
I speak to Leonid Petrovich (L.P. Reshetnikov, director of RISI. - D.S.): “And let us invite this girl to the conference. He: "And let's! For the sake of this girl I will not invite two academicians, but she will come! ”
I found it with great difficulty, because the essay was signed with a pseudonym. It turned out that her father was killed when he was an entrepreneur in 90. She lives with her grandmother. She first replied to us, they say, where did she, the “worthless girl,” participate in conferences. We convinced her of the opposite. And then they asked to continue to promote their views. And a year later she entered Yekaterinburg University. Well, at least one soul was saved. And how many such souls need to be saved!
PS At the exit from the Rossotrudnichestvo building, I came across a handful of people who were “decorating” over Academician Tolochko’s phrase “I hadn’t read the book yet, but I can say with absolute certainty that such works can stop the moral decline of generations” (well, remember «Solzhenitsyn was reading..."). It turned out that they were invited to the presentation of the history teacher and director of Kiev schools. They also “save” the remaining souls.
How the Red Army helped Bandera Hitler to win. To the 70 anniversary of the politically incorrect release
- Dmitry Skvortsov