Cover Osteuropa 2-4/2014

In Osteuropa 2-4/2014

100 Years and No End in Sight
(Post)Soviet Historians and the First World War

Boris Kolonickij

Deutsche Fassung


In the Soviet Union, historical research was a means of propaganda. This applied also for the rather seldom considered First World War. In the 1920s, the imperialist warmongers were supposed to be exposed; under Stalin, the heroic Russian army had to be glorified. In the 1960s, there was leeway for less ideologised research, but this disappeared again under Leonid Brezhnev. After a phase of freedom in the wake of Perestroika, memory of the First World War is now supposed to serve the construction of a national identity. The struggle for truth of earnest historians is not yet over.

(Osteuropa 2-4/2014, pp. 369–388)