Cover Osteuropa 1/2013

In Osteuropa 1/2013

Myth and Ideology
1812 and the Idea of a “People’s War”

Vadim Parsamov

Deutsche Fassung


In Russia’s cultural memory, the idea that Napoleon’s forces were crushed in a war with the Russian people is widespread. Leo Tolstoy popularised this concept of a “people’s war”. Stalinist court historians refined this concept with Marxist notions. To this day, this concept dominates Russian historiography. With regard to 1812, it lacks critical distance to sources and ideology. A reassessment is still pending.

(Osteuropa 1/2013, pp. 15–28)