Contours of “Suvorov” Historiography: Discussion on the Issue of the Second World War in Russia’s Historical Press Cover Image

„Suvoroviškosios“ istoriografijos kontūrai: diskusija Antrojo pasaulinio karo tema Rusijos istorinėje publicistikoje
Contours of “Suvorov” Historiography: Discussion on the Issue of the Second World War in Russia’s Historical Press

Author(s): Ramūnas Trimakas
Subject(s): History
Published by: Lietuvos edukologijos universitetas
Keywords: the Second World War; ideologeme of “the Great Patriotic War”; ideologeme; historical social and political journalism; “suvorov” conception.

Summary/Abstract: In the contemporary historiography as well as in social and political journalism, the Second World War („The Great Patriotic War“, rus. Великая Отечественная война) remains, on the one hand, one of the most important but, on the other hand, painful and politicized topics of the 20th century. Soviet historiographic canons of the Second World War were formulated in the 5th decade of the 20th century and remained unchanged throughout the whole Soviet period. Only when in the middle of the 9th decade the policy of гласность was shaped, many of historical topics received critical evaluation and discussion. Nevertheless, the topic of “the Great Patriotic War” remained a taboo of some kind for both professional historians and publicists. Works by Viktor Suvorov (real name – Vladimir Rezun) and, first of all, his “Ice-breaker” became a turning point after the downfall of the USSR and evoked heated discussions. Consequently, there appeared many articles which severely criticized V. Suvorov’s concepts; on the other hand, many publicists defended these ideas and went deeper into them. Representatives of the “suvorov” trend, who opposed pro-Soviet position, were of the opinion that the Molotov- Ribbentrop Pact evoked a catastrophe, the consequences of which can hardly be estimated even today. Supporters of this conception claim that it was not the policy of England,France or Poland which provoked Germany’s military aggression against the Soviet Union and, consequently, the Second World War. Aggressive plans of Nazi regime would have remained only plans if not the active support of the USSR. Viktor Suvorov and his supporters present the negation of the collaboration between the USSR and Nazi Germany as an example of the Soviet propaganda and a historiographic lie. Only the division of Middle and Eastern Europe created favourable conditions for the conflict between two totalitarian regimes and, consequently, the beginning of the Second World War. The initial stage of Germany’s military operation against its former ally in the Eastern Front remains a very sensitive issue. A crushing defeat, countless victims, the loss, though temporary, of gigantic territories will remain the apple of discord between the representatives of two historiographic trends. Numerous numbers of “antisuvorovs” reiterate neo-Stalinist mantras about the unexpected attack of Nazi Germany, manifold Wermacht’s advantages as well as the triumph of the Red Army despite great losses. Meanwhile, the authors of “suvorov” social and political journalism claim that catastrophic failures of the Red Army were determined by the totalitarian regime of the Soviet Union itself. On the one hand, the main failure factors were the rejection of defensive military doctrine, chaos in the Red Army, absolute incompetence of military leaders. On the other hand, the first months of the war witnessed actual collapse of the USSR military system and, what is more, e

  • Issue Year: 80/2010
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 59-74
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Lithuanian