1st Edition

The Memory of the Second World War in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia

Edited By David L. Hoffmann Copyright 2022
    386 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    386 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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

    Jonathan Brunstedt

    2. Situating Stalin in the History of the Second World War

    Yan Mann

    3. Victory Day before the Cult: War Commemoration in the USSR, 1945–1965

    Mischa Gabowitsch

    4. Teaching and Remembering the Great Patriotic War in Soviet Schools

    Olga Konkka

    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

    Angela Brintlinger

    7. Lend-Lease in War and Russian Memory

    Olga Kucherenko

    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

    Tatiana Zhurzhenko

    10. Parades in Russian Memory Culture

    Yvonne Pörzgen

    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

    Anton Weiss-Wendt

    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

    Karen Petrone


    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, 19291941 (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).