SCHOOL AS A MEANS OF THE WORLD WAR II HISTORICAL MEMORY CONSTRUCTION, 1965-1991

Keywords: historical myths, out-of-school upbringing, history of the USSR, methodical recommendations, legislation, the Soviet Union, school education, historical memory, national identity, self-identification

Abstract

Based on the concept of historical memory as a crucial part of the national identity construct, the article explores the means and tools the Soviet school system applied to impose the ideologically charged vision of the WWII on the students of various age groups. The primary source base for the study covers the periods of Stagnation (1970-ies to 1982) and Perestroika (1982 to 1991). Since the Soviet school system functioned under the full control of the state, the national and state-wide legal framework of school education has been studied alongside the structure of school curriculum, the “Teaching histo ry at school” guidelines for teachers and the textbooks on USSR history for the graduates. Following Y. Kaganov, K. Bakhanov, V. Balakhtar, L. Berezivs ka, O. Drach, Urie Bronfenbrenner and other Ukrainian and foreign scholars’ reflections on the Soviet school’s social impact, we consider the Stagnation period as a starting point for the Great Patriotic War mythology construction. This great metanarrative, in its turn, encompassed the whole range of smaller narratives, i.e., denying the 1939 –1941 Soviet-Nazi cooperation, canonizing June 22, 1941 as the first day of the war, positioning USSR as a peacemaker, considering the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact as a forced move and blaming the Dnieper Hydroelectric Dam explosion (as well as ruining Khreshchatyk Street and the Assumption Cathedral in Kyiv) on Nazis. To secure the integrity of the newly-established mythology, the Soviet state changed the legislation in the field of education and unified the content of teachers’ guidelines, textbooks, visual aids and supplementary sources, such as films and TV products, in line with the official point of view. Since the formal, in-class school education was obligatory for every Soviet citizen, it is obvious that the common historical memory of the WWII in Ukraine was to a great extent shaped by Soviet pro paganda, thus hampering the process of the national identity construction

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Published
2022-06-07
How to Cite
KukhtarievО., & Kahanov, Y. (2022). SCHOOL AS A MEANS OF THE WORLD WAR II HISTORICAL MEMORY CONSTRUCTION, 1965-1991. Zaporizhzhia Historical Review, 4(56), 133-141. Retrieved from https://istznu.org/index.php/journal/article/view/2313