Preserving the Memory of the Great Patriotic War: Regional Practices (1941–1945)
IZVESTIA Ural Federal University Journal Series 2 Humanities and Arts
The perpetuation of the feat of the Soviet people during the Great Patriotic War through monuments, museum displays, and artistic texts has been going on for three-quarters of a century now. Perpetuation strategies at various stages have been determined by official interpretations of events, processes, and commemorative practices. Referring to the analysis of the situation in Krasnodar Krai, this article reconstructs the initial stage of war commemoration and the mechanisms of historical memory
... production that were formed synchronously with the events of 1941–1945. The sources for the reconstruction are various documents of central and local Soviet bodies and the Communist party, creative unions, cultural institutions, periodicals, memoirs, and artistic texts. The main directions of the war commemoration were the combination of all-Union recommendations as well as regional peculiarities. The work was developed mainly after the liberation of the region in 1943. Military and labour exploits of the Kuban population were actualised. The merits of the Cossack formations were specially highlighted, while information about the facts of collaboration was minimised. Resistance to fascism during the occupation of Kuban was represented by the partisan theme. The main print source of the partisan movement in the region was the books by P. K. Ignatov, commander of the partisan detachment, that were promptly published and replicated in the USSR and abroad. The exploits of his dead sons, Heroes of the Soviet Union, became a classic example. Memorial spaces, a system for recording military monuments were formed. The artistic chronicle of the war was created as a set of victorious stories. The theme of the ongoing war was added to the repertoire of professional and amateur art groups, as well as exhibitions of local museums. The calendar of holiday dates included anniversaries of the liberation of territories from the Nazis. The memory of the war was reflected in the local toponyms.