Заполярный интернатовец. Письма Б.Г. Меньшагина к В.И. Лашковой
Epistolary B.G. Menshagin is an integral part of his literary heritage. His personal letters were written in 1971-1984, upon his release from prison. Two large corps of letters are addressed to V. I. Lashkova and G. G. Superfin, several more to N. G. Levitizkaja. This publication includes letters to V.I. Lashkova only.
Recently, the name of Boris Georgievich Menshagin (1902-1984), an interesting person with a unique fate, is increasingly found in historiography. A successful Smolensk lawyer in the pre-war years, the burgomaster of Smolensk and Bobruisk during the summer German occupation, sentenced for this to 25 years in prison, the author of interesting historical testimonies left both during the investigation and in prison, and upon release. Written memoirs, audio interviews, and Menshagin’s letters form the core of the book and, together with a selection of unique documents, are a monument to the era and a true treasure for the historian, first of all, for the researcher of the German occupation regime in the USSR and Soviet collaboration.
The discussions on the nature of inter-ethnic relations, and the degree of the various ethnic groups` involvement in the process of establish the Soviet regime in the Eastern Polish territory in 1939-1941 do not lose its relevance. Dividing the local population on the ethnical basis, we can conclude, that while the Polish population certainly suffered from the Soviet repressions a lot; and while Belarusians suffered from repression significantly less; the local Jews were victims and executioners at the same time. This article deals with highlighting of that phenomenon basing both on personal and Soviet archival accounts.
The article is an overview of the life and work of Boris Menshagin, the mayor of Smolensk during the German occupation.
The third зфке is devoted to the events of the first and second periods of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. It reveals political, economic and military-strategic conditions and prerequisites, which became a watershed event in a radical change in the war in favor of the Soviet Union and other countries of the anti-Hitler coalition. The main attention is paid to the decisive battles and battles that changed the course of the Great Patriotic War and the Second World War. The greatness of the heroism of the Soviet people, the dramatic events of 1941 and 1942 are shown. The activities of the Soviet and German political and military leadership, military art of confrontation are analyzed.
This paper presents the intermediate results of the research on post-soviet historical memory and soviet war memorials dedicated to the Second World War, known as the Great Patriotic War in Russia. The authors introduce a comparative analysis of a site of memory, lieux de memoir according to Pierre Nora, Poklonnaya Hill where there was no real fighting during the Battle of Moscow in 1941 – 1942, and a place of remembrance, lieux de souvenir according to Aleida Assman, Mamaev Kurgan where, during the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942 – 1943, violent fighting took place.
However, both memorials play particular roles in reproducing and sustaining memory about the Great Patriotic War in Russia. We will reconstruct social practices of using war memorials in Russia through comparing various contexts in which Poklonnaya Hill and Mamaev Kurgan exist nowadays and through analyzing the celebrations of the Victory Day in these locations from the perspectives of ideology, emotionality, geographical symbolism, and spatial differentiations.
Our paper is based on various empirical data. Firstly, we use materials of involved observations and short street interviews conducted by the authors on the 9th of May in 2014 (Victory Day in Russia) at two significant memorials: on Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow and Mamaev Kurgan in Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad). Secondly, we analyze documentary and historical sources as well as texts and messages from media and social networks which contain information and public debates on these memorials. Thirdly, we appeal to interviews with experts who work in the historical museums located in these memorial complexes.
Mamaev Kurgan and Poklonnaya Hill are popular and sacred sites in the mentality of Russian people. It can be explained by their symbolic history and spatial structure. Victory Park in Moscow contains many monuments. On the 9thof May people organize prayers, rallies and celebrations there, while Mamaev Kurgan includes not only monuments but also common graves where soldiers killed in 1942-1943 are buried.
Both memorials are similar in thematic and spatial scopes. They translate a heroic discourse about the victory and courage of soviet people, they are national symbols. Female images are used in the main sculptures of both memorial complexes. The Motherland Calls by Yevgeny Vuchetich was constructed in socialist realistic style in 1967 while obelisk with the Goddess Nike by Zurab Tsereteli is characterized by abstractive forms combining religious and civic motives.
Classical social practices on Victory Day celebrations that honor veterans such as laying flowers and wreaths, participating in mass rallies and folk festivals, are similar in both memorial complexes. Mamaev Kurgan and Poklonnaya Hill are embedded in the space of uncontroversial memory about the Great Patriotic War in Russia. They are the means of constructing and reproducing a united nation. State politics of 2010-s in relation to these war memorials is oriented to sustaining their infrastructures and maximal usage on the 9th of May and other significant national days. The government makes allocations for their reconstruction and restoration. They are regularly represented and promoted in Russian mass media as national symbols.
The members of the Sonderkommando to whom this book is devoted are auxiliary workers brigades composed almost exclusively of Jews whom the Nazis forced to assist in mass conveyor killing of tens and hundreds of thousands of other people, both Jews and non-Jews, in gas chambers, in the cremation of their corpses and in the disposal of their ashes, golden teeth and female hair. The fact that they will survive the Shoa, the Nazis could not imagine. Nevertheless, about one hundred and ten people from about two thousand two hundred survived, and several dozen of them either wrote about what they themselves experienced or gave detailed interviews. But many of the dead left behind written evidence, and some of them were discovered after the war in land and ashes near the crematoriums of Auschwitz-Auschwitz. These scrolls - undoubtedly the central documents of the Holocaust - are firstly collected in this book.