The “Great Patriotic War” in the Politics of Memory in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine

In the late 1960s, the “Great Patriotic War of Soviet people against the German-Fascist invaders” virtually replaced the “Great October Socialist Revolution” as the founding myth of the Soviet Union. Since 1965, Victory Day – May 9 – has been an official public holiday. Also during that period, the Hero City honorary title was established, the memorial medal was issued, and large museum complexes dedicated to the war began to spring up across the USSR.

In particular, the Brest Fortress, which in the summer of 1941, was defended by the Red Army against the Wehrmacht, became an iconic site in Belarus; in Soviet Ukraine, the Hero City title was awarded to Kyiv, Odessa and Sevastopol. Numerous literary works and films (many of them masterpieces) created an exemplary picture of the war with appropriate highlights and omissions. The sacralisation of the victory, inextricably linked to the pride of the country, also served to legimise the Soviet regime and the ruling Communist Party.

Автор: Андрій Портнов

 

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