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Category: History

World War II and historical memory: an image of the past in the context of modern geopolitics **



a. S. Senyavsky, E.S. Senyavskaya *

WORLD WAR II AND HISTORICAL MEMORY: The IMAGE of the PAST in the context of MODERN GEOPOLITICS **

Summary: Article is devoted to a problem of evolution of historical memory of World War II in Russia and in the West in connection with change of an international situation, folding of new geopolitical realities as a result of the collapse of the USSR and "the camp of the socialist commonwealth", to revaluations of historical events in the context of the subsequent processes in the former Soviet Union and a modern ideological and political environment. Features of perception of war by winners and defeated, a participation problem to events of the past and evolution of an image of the former opponents in consciousness of new generations of the people - participants of war are considered. Keywords: World War II, historical memory, modern geopolitics, ideological and political environment, revaluations of the past

The boundary of the 1980-1990th was large, the international value a turning point of dynamics of historical memory of wars of the XX century. Owing to disintegration of "a socialist system" and the Soviet Union all military events of century and especially - World War II underwent revaluations. This process affected all countries: both the leading powers of the West, and the former countries of "socialist camp" in Eastern Europe, and the new states which before were a part of the USSR including Post-Soviet Russia.

It should be noted that the historical turn of the end of the 1980th years had a number of components which differently affected the different countries and, respectively, historical memory of their people. First, it is about capitalist restoration in the countries of the being "socialist commonwealth" with all that it implies, including in the field of ideology, promotion, impact on mass consciousness. In it a game -

Alexander Spartakovich Senyavsky is a doctor of historical sciences, the chief researcher of Institute of the Russian history of RAS, the head of the "Russia and the USSR in the history of the XX Century" Center; Elena Spartakovna Senyavskaya is a doctor of historical sciences, the leading researcher of Institute of the Russian history of RAS, the winner of the State award of the Russian Federation, the full member of Academy of military sciences Article is prepared with assistance of the Russian humanitarian scientific fund. Project No. 08-01-00496a.

the text interpretation of many events which were especially concerning the socialist period in these countries inversions naturally underwent: speaking simply, signs of plus and minus traded places. So, in the Russian Federation the interpretation of history of revolution of 1917 and Civil war in many respects changed. Essential amendments also were introduced in assessment of a foreign policy of the Soviet era, including military events though here changes were not so radical. Similarly in the former socialist countries history, especially the periods of "revolutionary transitions" and the related or preceding them military events was adjusted them.

Other layer of changes since the end of the 1980th affected geopolitical changes on the world map, a ratio of forces between the states and their coalitions. Respectively, on the one hand, winners in "Cold War" got clear advantage and in the current policy, and in an opportunity to advance such interests which were unreal in the system of the international relations which developed historically earlier. On the other hand, the geopolitical interests of the countries disappearing before - the splinters of "sotssodruzhestvo" and the new states which arose on ruins of the USSR that naturally led to attempts of audit of many historical events and the legal investigations following from them changed or came to light (in the form of the borders fixed by the international standards, etc.). Advance of NATO to the East was the powerful factor supporting these claims. At last, from the third party, the geopolitical successor of the USSR - the Russian Federation - it appeared in a situation of new geopolitical realities and opportunities, it is essential to it cut down. At the same time it became an object and powerful pressure from the countries of the West imposing it a role of the country defeated "Cold War" and subject to various claims and claims by neighbors, - both the new Post-Soviet states, and the former allies on "socialist camp". And

here the interest of new Russia in many respects consists in preservation, perhaps fuller deduction of those elements of a system of the international relations which promotes ensuring its geopolitical safety, and it was historically created during the Soviet era, mainly as a result of World War II. In such, very difficult situation there was also a transformation of historical memory including about wars of the XX century in the specified categories of the countries with very different "historical" interests.

Estimates practically of all wars of the XX century to a degree underwent audit or "adjustment". But ideas of World War II and the Yalta and Potsdam system underwent the most furious attacks. The reason is that this system recorded results of war and was under construction on the basis of the ratio of forces which developed then in the world. Radical changes of this ratio by the beginning of the 1990th years, naturally, were called into question not only the system, but also interpretation of World War II which consequence it was. The criticism began to be distributed from outside not only the main defeated countries and their allies, but also the USA which remained the only superstate and apply for essentially new post in the world.

And as for Russia, in the majority of the countries practice of double standards is used. The USSR which worked within the standard practice of the international relations is accused of all mortal sins whereas similar or even much less "correct" actions of other countries are recognized as lawful. For example, responsibility of the western powers for the Munich conspiracy which frankly trampled on rules of international law and pushed Hitler to territorial expansion in Europe is suppressed, but the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which was for the USSR only the response to the Anglo-Saxon strategy of pushing of fascist Germany to a campaign on the East "is demonized". At

it and in many respects comical the position of some countries which are actively convicting this pact, but at the same time received from it an obvious prize looks paradoxical. For example, Lithuania exactly thanks to the confidential protocol to this pact received territorial increments in the form of the Vilensky region with the modern capital of Vilnius, and at that moment - in October, 1939, that is in two months after signing of the protocol, having received Vilno, Lithuania exulted, noting it festive demonstrations, and was not indignant with "shameful conspiracy" 1 at all. Condemning results of World War II, the same Lithuania for some reason does not refuse also other territorial increments, including the port of Klaipeda.

Also Poland which got Silesia and a part of East Prussia does not refuse, at the same time bringing numerous charges to the USSR and a claim to Russia. Poles forget how their management on the eve of World War II conducted active negotiations with fascist Germany regarding accession to the Anti-Comintern pact and a joint campaign on the East if that supports claims of Poland to Ukraine. Poland which tries to present itself the innocent victim of two aggressors now was not that at all. Accusing the USSR of "the fourth section of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth" today, it in 1938 readily used the Munich conspiracy to put forward own territorial claims at the partition of Czechoslovakia, having demanded the Teshinsky Region of Silesia. Meanwhile, the USSR under this pact only returned territories of pre-revolutionary Russia which were taken away from it during Civil war and intervention, including aggression of Poland in 1920. In 1939 I.V. Stalin was by no means no more cynical, than the Polish politicians of that time, to be exact - is pragmatic, protecting the natsionalnogosudarstvenny interests of the country and trying to ensure its safety in the conditions of aggressive threat including from Poland arranging to Hitler about the partition of the USSR.

It is worth to remember also about a pro-German position of the Baltic states in the late thirties so their attempts to appear the innocent victim of Stalin expansion also do not maintain criticism. And rehabilitation and even construction in a rank of national heroes of helpers of Hitler in these countries, installation of monuments by it and holding marches of veterans of CC are absolutely frankly cynical.

Especially visually trends of strengthening of profascist moods in the Baltics were shown in a year of the 60 anniversary of the end of World War II. So, presidents of Lithuania and Estonia refused to arrive to Moscow on the celebration of the Victory Day. Several months before, at the beginning of February, 2005 the president of Latvia Vaira Viki-Freyberga publicly offended veterans of war, having said that it is impossible to change consciousness of elderly Russians who "will put on May 9 a vobla on the newspaper, to drink vodka and to sing chastushkas and also to remember how they heroically conquered the Baltic", and on March 15 published the official statement in which urged Latvians to refrain from celebration on May 9. On March 16 with the connivance of the president in Latvia there took place the Nazi meeting. In the capital of Estonia the opening of a memorial to Hitlerite Wehrmacht and the Estonians who were at war on side of fascist Germany, to participants of "defensive actions against the Red Army" took place on May 8, 2005, and at a ceremony there was a prime minister of the country Andrus of Ansip4. On the night of May 9 in the center of Tallinn the monument to the Soviet soldier liberator was profaned, and the day before the city administration forbade veterans of the Great Patriotic War to light on the Victory Day at this monument eternal ogon5. Two years later, on April 27, 2007 according to the decision of the government of Estonia the monument to "The bronze soldier" was sorted and postponed from the downtown for the military cemetery of Tallinn. Dismantling of a monument and demolition of a memorial wall caused a turmoil in Tallinn and other cities of Estonii6. At the same time the Baltic states demand from

Russia of official apologies for "the Soviet occupation", "repentances" for the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in spite of the fact that in 1989. The Supreme Council of the USSR gave it an accurate legal and moral treatment. In this regard

V.V. Putin emphasized: "... Similar claims have no reasons, have frankly speculative character. I believe that their purpose is to draw attention to itself, to justify unseemly, discrimination of the governments concerning a considerable part of own Russian-speaking population, to cover shame of former collaborationism. Indignation what in these countries to SS-men is established by monuments causes in each normal person, allow to carry out the gatherings. Decisions of the international community, including the Nuremberg tribunal, unambiguously condemn any forms of cooperation with Nazism - regardless of the place and time".

The appeal to historical events gains the nature of frank pressure upon modern Russia. The fact that at existence of the USSR in the international relations it was impossible and to think turns into reality. For example, in the countries of the West which were partners in construction of the Yalta and Potsdam system those aspects in change of world order which were recorded in the international legal documents for the benefit of the USSR are openly called in question, at the same time changes in which the countries of the West and their present soyuzniki8 are still interested are not affected at all. Inclusion in an orbit of NATO of countries of Eastern Europe, including a number of the former federal republics of the USSR, allows them not only to ask about audit of some results of World War II, to bring charges and claims to Russia, but also to lobby the interests in the leading countries of the West, to use their state institutes for pressure upon Russia for the purpose of revaluation of history and receiving from it real political and other dividends.

A bright example of that - a position of ruling circles of the USA concerning the Baltics. So, May 20, 2005, only 11 days later after the celebration of the 60 anniversary of the Victory over fascism in World War II, the U.S. Senate adopted the resolution with the requirement to the Government of the Russian Federation to recognize and condemn "illegal occupation and annexation by the Soviet Union from 1940 to 1991 of the Baltic countries - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania". In the resolution it was claimed that their inclusion in structure of the USSR was "the act of aggression which is carried out against the will of the sovereign people". On July 23 the similar resolution was adopted by the House of Representatives of congress SShA9.

The memory of World War II all post-war period was the field of ideological collisions and attempts to rewrite history to please to geopolitical and other interests of the countries of the West which tried to attribute themselves the main merit in a victory over fascist Germany also earlier. The reason of ideological collisions around this war consists, along with other, in its special importance for a number of military and post-war generations. So, according to sociological poll of 1985, among the most important events over the past half-century on the first place the Americans called World War II (nearly 30%) 10. And many respondents emphasize that it was "big world collision", "just war in which we battled and won", and war significant which caused "creation of new world structure" 11. World War II took even more essential place and borrows in the Russian historical consciousness. Therefore "battle for minds" in this essentially important question had not only "abstract" character, but also always had political value.

At the same time, during existence of the USSR the attempts "to correct" history were rather limited and did not call into question bases of interpretation of the reasons and the nature of World War II, including the general for allies on the anti-Hitlerite coalition of tasks in

war and results of a joint victory. Now, since the end of the 1980th years the escalation of audit of historical memory began. At the same time initiators and responsible for war, the nature of war for the different parties, the war course, a contribution of its participants to the Victory, the Victory price, a role of the management and people, motives of participation in war of the power and the people who were a winner and whether there was a Victory, and many other things were the subject "reconsiderations". After the collapse of the USSR, accents in estimates not only roles of participants of war, but also in the reasons of its beginning and in its character impudently began to be rearranged. There was a tendency to put on the same level Stalin and Hitler, the Third Reich and the Soviet Union.

The historical memory of war underwent the attacks as from within the country, and from the outside. The most radical Russian politicians, publicists, historians not only opened "white spots", raising questions forbidden earlier and declassifying documents, but many of them unreasonably rearranged accents in estimates and even frankly forged history by the principle "the worse, the better", considering that destruction of historical memory is a necessary condition of destruction of "totalitarian regime" and its ideology. But the fact is that in the activity they were closed with external critics of Russia who are guided far not only formal and ideological reasons, but also own geopolitical interests hostile to the interests of Russia per se including Novaya Gazeta. And today to her to assert the legitimate rights which are earlier provided with rules of international law and the conventional contracts with other states signed as a result of historical, including military events it is necessary to remind often of the historical truth and to be spaced it from the numerous encroachments dictated not only by abstract "universal values", but also quite mercenary purposes.

At the same time, the Russian historical consciousness shows very considerable stability. As well as earlier, the Great Patriotic War is recognized social researches of the beginning of the 1990th as the most important event of the XX century, winning first place, and this order in assessment of events did not change also in the next years. According to representative inspection the VCIOM in 1989 the most outstanding event of the XX century it was called by 77%, and in 1994 - 73% of respondents. Importance

this war for the history of the country noted 70% of youth aged to 25

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than years and 82% of people 50 years are more senior. In November, 2004 the all-Russian social research "The Great Patriotic War in historical memory of the people" during which more than 90% of respondents specified that events of the Great Patriotic War to a degree interest them was conducted, and the Victory Day is on May 9 for them prazdnikom13. Thus, the Great Patriotic War is considered as positive symbolical value, and in all generations of Russians. In the conditions of a value and ideological disorientation of modern Russian society it actually remains one of the few support of national consciousness which tore away the numerous attempts made in the 1990s on audit of estimates of events and results of this voyny14. For Russia the historical memory of the Great Patriotic War and the Great Victory plays a special role, acting in the demoralized society as a factor of its unification and mobilization of moral forces of the people on promotion of the positive and constructive scenario of future development.

Perhaps, the peak of interest in the historical memory of World War II and at the same time massive attacks on a role of the USSR in it fell on 2005 - year of the 60 anniversary of the Victory. Especially actively the western mass media reacted to this information occasion. In the special review of RIA Novosti prepared on the basis of monitoring TV and an air of 86 foreign radio stations and TV companies 19 ap-

relya 2005, it was noted: "Information fuss concerning historical interpretation of the Great Patriotic War does not do without arsenal of promotion of horrors. The support of journalists for subjective memoirs memory, personal experience of the former participants of battles and frank conjectures of gebbelsovsky promotion leads to the fact that to the forefront there are images connected with revenge, hatred and violence, which are a little promoting consolidation of public opinion and reviving former foreign policy installations. Existence of "dark side" of a liberating feat of the Red Army which is allegedly suppressed in modern Russia" 15 is postulated.

Thus, accents in estimates are consciously rearranged, negative emotions concerning the country and army liberator are excited, their negative image introduced in mass consciousness is fabricated. At the same time the main thing - the fact that the USSR and the Soviet people were saviors of Europe from the misanthropic strategy of Hitler on destruction of the whole states and the people, and at the huge cost of tens of millions lives and enormous material losses is not even mentioned. Also the fact that Slavic and other people, including the Soviet Union, became object of fascist genocide is forgotten. Do not remember also that the USSR saved from destruction not only the people of Europe, but also the western democracies which try to put on the same level an aggressor and his victim, Hitlerite Germany and the Soviet Union now.

And already charges that the USSR "not so" tried to delay fascist aggression that "badly was at war" sound from all directions, getting a victory at the high price, "badly freed" Eastern Europe, seeking not to allow repetitions of invasion from the West creation of a barrier from friendly to itself the countries subsequently. The West formulates these claims so: it demands from Russia "to confess" "for invasion into Eastern Europe and the violent statement there of the puppet modes, prosushchest-

vovavshy to a boundary of the 80th - the 90th years" 16. At the same time the policy of double standards is shown more and more openly. Bringing the insubstantial accusations, "the democratic modes of Europe demanding from Russia repentance for the totalitarian past do not seek to apologize for sobstven-

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ny crimes".

A powerful information reason for the next appeal to the historical memory of World War II, for activization of discussions about the past and its assessment, for correlation of an image of war with modern diverse political and other interests was 60-year anniversary of the Victory in 2005. The official celebration of the Victory Day with the invitation to celebrations of heads of states and political leaders of many countries even more excited the interest of world community in this event in the Russian Federation, having forced both mass media, and public opinion "to synchronize watches" according to it and assessment. The importance of this anniversary is emphasized also that a circumstance that it was the holiday first of all for veterans - for the leaving generation from which very few people will be able to live up to the next anniversary. In essence, it is the last anniversary which was celebrated during lifetime of direct carriers of memory of that war. The fact that the center of celebration of this date was in Russia where there arrived leaders of almost all largest states, emphasized a certain link of times, communication of historical memory with the political importance of this event in world history even today. It objectively emphasized also de-facto recognition of a crucial role of the USSR in defeat of the German fascism though a number of the states (first of all Baltic) used this occasion to emphasize the rejection of this holiday and a historical role of the Soviet Union in World War II.

Due to the numerous attempts of audit of the historical truth about World War II it was necessary to Russian government napomi-

to nat about it and to place adequate accents in interpretation of the course of events, their causes and effects, roles of the USSR in the Victory and many other questions. So, on May 7, 2005 article of the President of Russia V.V. Putin "Lessons of a victory over Nazism was published in the French newspaper Figaro: Through judgment of the past - to joint construction of the safe humane future" 18. The Russian President emphasized that "... this historical date still remains sacred for each nation, each country to which ideals of freedom and humanity are expensive.... Infinitely long and difficult four years our people battled for future Victory. On the way to Hitler's bunker our soldier crushed 600 enemy divisions. Nazis suffered three quarters of losses in World War II on East front. Having freed own territory in 1944, the Soviet Army crossed frontier of the USSR to save eleven more European countries from the Nazi evil". Having emphasized a crucial role of the USSR in the Victory over Nazism and release of the people of Europe, it noted that "World War II was won by all allies on the anti-Hitlerite coalition. It is our general holiday. The Victory Day belongs to all of us, this event of universal scale". Further the Russian President emphasized the importance of memory of war: "Giving estimates to events of those of years, we have to feel fully our shared responsibility before new generations. Therefore not only the historical truth about war, but also understanding of its moral lessons is important for the present". Having reminded the meaning of the Munich agreement, Putin emphasized that nobody managed ""to sit out aside" "to pacify" Hitler at the expense of the interests of other countries", "to pay off from the evil "at the expense of the neighbor"". And therefore the memory of World War II serves all of us as caution against repetition of past mistakes. At last, the President emphasized that ".uchebnik of history are designed to be objective. They have to inform our citizens of the indisputable truth on events of those of years" 19.

The President of Russia had to defend this truth more than once on holidays, answering numerous, including sharp and even loaded questions of foreign media. So, in an interview to the Bild newspaper of May 7, 2005 Putin once again reminded that Russia "made the main contribution to a victory over Hitlerism", having lost nearly 30 million lives and a third of a national wealth. And absolutely inadmissibly to put an equal-sign between two different modes - Hitlerism and Stalinism, an aggressor and the victim. ". I cannot agree with Stalin's equating with Hitler, - he said. - Yes, Stalin, certainly, was a tyrant. But he was not a Nazi! And not the Soviet troops crossed on June 22, 1941 the border of Germany, and absolutely on the contrary" 20.

In recent years some circles in the West actively call into question the Liberating mission of the Red Army in Europe and also the emphasis on cruelty of conducting by the Soviet troops of combat operations in the territory of Germany is placed. In the Russian president answered it so: "Certainly, the Soviet troops exempted Germany from national socialism. It is a historic fact. Naturally, also the civilian population of Germany during the war suffered, but it is not wine of the Soviet Union or the Red Army. Not the Soviet Union began this war. For the rest and our western allies did not differ then in special humanity. To me it is still absolutely unclear why it was necessary to destroy Dresden. In terms of maintaining in -

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unlimited actions in it then no need was absolute".

The position of the western allies of the USSR on the anti-Hitlerite coalition during all post-war period was in attributing a crucial role in the Victory to itself, in particular, exaggerating the importance of other battlefields - on the Pacific Ocean (at the same time the main participants of events in this region represent them as the separate war essentially other than the European battleground), in Africa and in Western Europe after overdue opening in 1944

The second front and disembarkation of Anglo-American troops in Normandy. In recent years this position is aggravated with the aspiration to present the Liberating mission of the USSR in Europe not as release, and as "new enslavement the" of the countries which appeared in the sphere of the Soviet influence. From here and frank audits of the Yalta system on which the post-war world in Europe, and even its equating with the Munich conspiracy was under construction. In this regard the statement of the U.S. President J. Bush said by it at celebration of the invitation of Lithuania in NATO on November 23, 2002 is very indicative: "We knew that any borders traced by dictators will be erased, and these borders disappeared. There will be no Munich any more, there will be no Yalta any more" 22. Thereby the current head of the American state identified the Yalta system with fascist aggression, and actually put the great president of the country F. Roosevelt on the same level not only with the leaders of England and France who allowed treacherous Munich conspiracy, but also with Hitler.

Interestingly and how in a year of the 60 anniversary of the Victory leaders of a number of the European states estimated World War II and a role of the USSR in it. Despite a powerful trend in the West to revision of character and results of war, some of them are quite objective and consider it necessary to warn against attempts to rewrite history, warn about danger of oblivion of its lessons. So, the President of the Slovak Republic I. Gasparovic called the Victory over fascism "one of the most important events of the Slovak, European and world history last century. Repetition of historical mistakes, - he emphasized, - waits for any society which is conscious or because of levity forgot about lessons of the history. Nothing similar has to occur - the precept of the Victory over fascism consists in it". The President of Hungary F. Madl also spoke about historical value of the Victory: "We will never be able to forget about those victims which incurred the people of the Soviet Union for the sake of achievement of the Victory.

In honor of it the leading peace policy will gather in Moscow now. This day has the defining value for the history of Europe. If history developed 60 years ago differently, we could hardly use now those values which are perceived as natural now". The Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia V. Kostunica emphasized: "it is convinced that the truth about a heroic feat of your people, your country and their decisive contribution to achievement of the Great Victory for freedom of all mankind will never be forgotten. Today the world would be other and did not enjoy the won freedom, do not block the Russian people tse-

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ache unprecedented millions of the victims a way to fascism.".

Perhaps, most capaciously and convincingly the President of the Czech Republic V. Claus who emphasized that "The victory over Nazi Germany was Great and really historical victory" characterized a modern situation with the historical memory of war. He noted that recently attempts of revision of estimates of results of World War II are more often observed. "History, according to him, cannot be rewritten or corrected". The president, in particular, said in the speech on a case of celebration of the 60 anniversary of liberation of North Moravia: "We often hear reasonings in which the end of World War II is interpreted differently how it was endured by millions of our fellow citizens. The concept of release disappears and the emphasis on the post-war period of history begins to prevail. The end of World War II is considered as the beginning of a new totalitarian era which soon came in our part of Europe for four long decades. I am convinced that similar assessment of this historical event which, beyond all doubt, meant release from Nazism and the end of the German occupation and also, actually, and all World War II, should not prevail... We have no right to look at the past with other position, than from a position historical. We have no right to forget about sequence of the facts, causal

investigative communication. We not can allegedly "humanistically neutrally" analyze tragic events of war and the periods directly after it, that is in terms of certain "symmetry of sufferings". People who come up with the similar ideas today constantly demand from us to do all new and new certain "gestures of reconciliations" which, however, actually

equalize among themselves executioners and the victims, and sometimes even change them места&> & & gt; 24

The constructive memory of World War II has to be directed not to aggravation of problems and contradictions, and to the statement of value of unity of peace and harmony. However they can be based only on the historical truth, on those values by which the countries of the Anti-Hitlerite coalition in fight against fascism, against Nazi aggression, racism and genocide of the people were guided. Attempts to hold back the truth war, it is favorable to rewrite history, to rearrange accents in its interpretation only to those forces which seek for kindling of discord and confrontation. In this regard the initiative of Russia and group of the CIS countries which also other states joined, to announce on May 8 and 9 in the Days of remembrance and reconciliation was much more positive. The United Nations General Assembly without vote adopted the relevant resolution where it is said that the historical victory in May, 1945 created conditions for United Nations institution, the war designed to save the future generations from disasters and that from now on will be noted on May 8 and 9 annually as day of remembrance of the victims of World War II voyny25.

The celebration of 60-year anniversary of the Victory made the contribution to protection of historical memory, the truth about World War II, and at the same time designated all painful points on this matter both in mass, and in political world consciousness.

Important layer of the problems connected with the historical memory of war is concluded in the subject "War by Eyes of Winners and Defeated". The history of wars from antiquity, as a rule, was written by winners. However after wars of modern and latest times the defeated countries, the states and the people with their consciousness, culture, etc. usually remained. Naturally, they tried to comprehend the lost war too. And images of the same war at winners and defeated always significantly differed.

The memory of war is very differentiated. In case of a victory the war usually lays down in "moneybox" of national memory, becoming a subject of pride of the army, the country, state, etc. In case of defeat try either to forget about war, or to rearrange accents so that to cut the negative emotions caused by it and, on the contrary, to cause positive, and different means are for this purpose used. For example, emphasis of attention on heroic or victorious episodes of war, glorification of certain soldiers and military leaders, search of "the objective reasons" of defeat, etc.

Interesting how the historical memory of Germany of World War II was formed and evolved. The German historian Reynhard Ryurup, arguing on a subject on that, "as Germans managed with the memory of war", noted that "most of the German population apprehended 1945 as defeat, and release from Nazism - as enslavement.... Except for some famous publicists the vast majority of Germans in the first post-war years was not able to criticize openly and ruthlessly what was made by Germany in the Soviet Union.... To the forefront there were own sufferings and losses, pain from the death of relatives, care of prisoners of war and missing persons, flight and daily fight for survival. It seemed that own sufferings made the people incapable of perception of the German crimes and

German fault. Hardly there passed the first fright, began to speak about injustice of others, about "justice of winners" 26.

This trend of a reaccentuation, especially after time, in estimates of war is psychologically natural. As one of participants of a discussion on the Internet passed an opinion on official interpretation of history of World War II accepted today in the countries of the Baltics "the different people have "alternative stories" a little similar at each other", and "the reason of so strange and absolutely different relation to historical events. not desire of the person to learn the truth about yesterday, but desire to live comfortably in today is at all... For this reason interpretations of the same historical event at different people and the different people so differ... In the past of people looks for

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a support and justification for the present". When these psychological regularities are complemented with the state interests, the similar phenomenon of revaluations and even estimated inversions become quite explainable: the policy is closed with mass public moods and leans on them even if "new interpretations" completely contradict the historical truth.

is written Here is how about it by the Russian sociologist A.G. Zdravomyslov: "For each of the states which was involved in war there is own story which appears for the winner countries - means of reproduction of national consciousness, for the countries which got beaten - the factor disavowing a role of the national beginning! Owing to this circumstance the story about the war in these countries, and, first of all, in Germany, is unpopular. It is desirable to force out this "story" from memory!. But as it is impossible so far as there is a temptation to include in it some justificatory arguments, first of all, due to such representation of the won party which disavows value and point of the victory, equates in some relations "to winners

and "defeated", executioner and his victim. The concept of totalitarianism just also provides logical means for identification of "fascism" and "communism". During the Post-Soviet period this identification is finished excessively in "The black book of communism". A basis of this work is some kind of inversion which is carried out by means of change of assessment of real historical events and the facts" 28.

The relation to war got beaten (Germany and its allies) is characterized by attempts of replacement from historical memory most sobyt?

Ralf Tomas
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