This volume showcases important new research on World War II memory, both in the Soviet Union and in Russia today.
Through an examination of war remembrance in its various forms—official histories, school textbooks, museums, monuments, literature, films, and Victory Day parades—chapters illustrate how the heroic narrative of the war was established in Soviet times and how it continues to shape war memorialization under Putin. This war narrative resonates with the Russian population due to decades of Soviet commemoration, which continued virtually uninterrupted into the post-Soviet period. Major themes of the volume include the use of World War II memory for political legitimation and patriotic mobilization; the striking continuities between Soviet and post-Soviet commemorative practices; the place of Holocaust memorialization in contemporary Russia; Putin’s invocation of the war to bolster national pride and international prestige; and the relationship between individual memory and collective remembrance.
Authored by an international group of distinguished specialists, this collection is ideal for scholars of Russia across a range of disciplines, including history, political science, sociology, and cultural studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Politics of Commemoration in the Soviet Union and Contemporary Russia
David L. Hoffmann
Part I: Soviet Remembrance of the War
1. Wartime Mobilizational Strategies and the Origins of Soviet War Memory
2. Situating Stalin in the History of the Second World War
3. Victory Day before the Cult: War Commemoration in the USSR, 1945–1965
4. Teaching and Remembering the Great Patriotic War in Soviet Schools
5. Representations of Gender in Soviet War Memorials
David L. Hoffmann
Part II: Soviet and Post-Soviet War Memory
6. Veterans Remember the War in Soviet and Post-Soviet Fiction
7. Lend-Lease in War and Russian Memory
8. Politicizing War Memorialization in Soviet and Post-Soviet Sevastopol
Karl D. Qualls
9. World War II Memories and Local Media in the Russian North: Velikii Novgorod and Murmansk
10. Parades in Russian Memory Culture
Part III: Representations of the War in the Putin Era
11. Performing Memory and Its Limits: Vladimir Putin and the Celebration of World War II in Russia
Elizabeth A. Wood
12. Holocaust Discourse in Putin’s Russia as a Foreign Policy Tool
13. The War Film and Memory Politics in Putin’s Russia
Stephen M. Norris
14. Jews, Gender, and Just Wars: Remembering and Rewriting the Great Patriotic War in 2015 War Films
Adrienne M. Harris
15. The 21st-Century Memory of the Great Patriotic War in the “Russia—My History” Museum
David L. Hoffmann is College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of History at The Ohio State University, USA. He is the author of four monographs, Peasant Metropolis: Social Identities in Moscow, 1929–1941 (1994); Stalinist Values: The Cultural Norms of Soviet Modernity (2003); Cultivating the Masses: Modern State Practices and Soviet Socialism, 1914–1939 (2011); and The Stalinist Era (2018). He also edited Russian Modernity: Politics, Knowledge, Practices (2000); and Stalinism: The Essential Readings (2002).