Cover Osteuropa 12/2007

In Osteuropa 12/2007

Tatarstan: the myth surrounding Musa Dzhalil
A projection surface for identity

Ilshat Gimadeev, Jan Plamper

Deutsche Fassung


Musa Dzhalil fought as a soldier on the German side in the Second World War in the Volga Tartar Idel-Ural prisoner of war legion until he joined an underground group. In 1944, he was executed in Plötzensee. From 1953, Dzhalil was named national poet of Tatarstan, and became a mythical figure in which the history and identity of Tatarstan were reflected. It was because of him that the Tatars were able to shake off the collective suspicion of collaboration and live as full Soviet citizens. Today, his myth has been Islamised and Tatarised. In each case, the issue is the construction of identity and social and political integration.

(Osteuropa 12/2007, pp. 97–116)