Cover Osteuropa 4-6/2005

In Osteuropa 4-6/2005

Grandmothers and grandchildren
Another perspective on Soviet history

Irina Pruss

Deutsche Fassung


In the official history of the USSR, there was no place for the suffering, humiliation and violence people had to endure. In the perestroika period the manipulated image of history began to change, but old stereotypes remain in place today. A historical competition organized by Memorial has revealed another view of Soviet history. Young people have been writing down what their grandparents and other contemporary witnesses of events have reported. This is the history of ordinary people, of those who witnessed collectivization, repression, and the Great Patriotic War. As depicted by ordinary soldiers, the war acquires a human scale. Out of these thousands of narratives and essays, a special kind of collective memory is coming into being.

(Osteuropa 4-6/2005, pp. 433–443)