The Image of the Second World War in History Textbooks in Years 1945–2015 Cover Image
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Pohled na obraz druhé světové války v učebnicích dějepisu z let 1945–2015
The Image of the Second World War in History Textbooks in Years 1945–2015

Author(s): David Papajík
Subject(s): History
Published by: Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci
Keywords: The Second World War; history textbook; The Soviet Union; Communist Party; Josif Vissarionovič Stalin; Klement Gottwald; Reinhard Heydrich; Edvard Beneš

Summary/Abstract: The author analyses the development of perspectives on events of the Second World War in history textbooks published in Czechoslovakia and since 1993 in the Czech Republic in years 1945–2015. The examined time period is divided into three phases according to logical political milestones (1945–1948, 1949–1989 and 1990–2015). In the first examined phase (1945–1948), only one history textbook was published. The celebratory tone as well as the relief with the end of war might be seen there. It is not written by an offensive language but rather it praises everybody – politicians from the West as well as from the East. Its interpretation may be considered such as a transitional phase to the Communist explanation of the Second World War history, however it emphasizes certain events and personalities diff erently than later textbooks. The second analysed period (1949–1989) has broughta relatively cohesive concept which has not been transformed for the whole time. In the case of the Second World War, it can be spoken about the imperialistic war that was started by capitalists. Only at the moment, when the Soviet Union entered into the war, it became the rightful war. It was the Soviet Union which carried the weight of the war on its shoulders, the role of the Allies was marginal. The crucial role in the victory was played by the Communists and the winner was the Soviet Union. Textbooks have been holders of a lot of false information: intentional falsification of history, misinterpretation of the meaning of events, concealment of important processes or conversely, overestimation and accentuation of events of lesser importance. Textbooks have been written in an off ensive style, attacking other political parties besides the Communist Party. The primary force in human history have been people, also in Western Europe. The third and last examined era (1990–2015) has offered a completely different view on the war – a balanced, structured and inoffensive perception of events that happened. Texts are lack of Communists such as the primary forces, authors reveal Stalin’s dictatorship, including the cult of his personality. Still concealed and falsified event are described on the basis of the actual state of knowledge (the complicated role of partisans, domestic and foreign resistance movement, image of holocaust, everyday life in the Protectorate, the Prague uprising, the role of Vlasovci, etc.).

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 50
  • Page Range: 245-269
  • Page Count: 25
  • Language: Czech