Introduction

Remembering the Second World War in Post-Soviet Educational Media

in Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society
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  • 1 Senior Researcher, Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, Braunschweig, Germany christophe@gei.de

Analyzing representations of the Second World War in Russian—and in one case, Lithuanian—educational media, the contributions to this special issue respond to three important anniversaries: the eightieth anniversary of the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact in 2019, the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Second World War victory in 2020, and the eightieth anniversary of the German invasion of the USSR in 2021. Moreover, they investigate the commemoration of historical events which clearly gained in significance after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was only in the mid-1990s that post-Soviet Russia first introduced annual parades on Victory Day, 9 May, which used to take place only every five years during Soviet times. And it was again the government of Boris Yeltsin that expanded the Russian mnemonic calendar and introduced the Day of Mourning on 22 June, the day Germany invaded the USSR in 1941. Finally, the articles in this special issue also intervene in a lively academic debate on the political and cultural significance of the single most important affair in post-Soviet memory cultures—a term used here explicitly in order to avoid invoking the idea of a culturally coherent social space, but rather to denote all the different forms and modes of recalling the past enacted by a broad range of different actors, at times openly competing with each other. In an attempt to carve out the specific shape of these interventions, I will begin with an outline of the main achievements and lines of argument in the impressive number of recent studies that have explored the dynamics of remembering the Second World War, usually referred to as the Great Patriotic War in post-Soviet Russia. I will then present an overview of the contributions to this volume.

Analyzing representations of the Second World War in Russian—and in one case, Lithuanian—educational media, the contributions to this special issue respond to three important anniversaries: the eightieth anniversary of the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact in 2019, the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Second World War victory in 2020, and the eightieth anniversary of the German invasion of the USSR in 2021. Moreover, they investigate the commemoration of historical events which clearly gained in significance after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was only in the mid-1990s that post-Soviet Russia first introduced annual parades on Victory Day, 9 May, which used to take place only every five years during Soviet times.1 And it was again the government of Boris Yeltsin that expanded the Russian mnemonic calendar and introduced the Day of Mourning on 22 June, the day Germany invaded the USSR in 1941. Finally, the articles in this special issue also intervene in a lively academic debate on the political and cultural significance of the single most important affair in post-Soviet memory cultures—a term used here explicitly in order to avoid invoking the idea of a culturally coherent social space, but rather to denote all the different forms and modes of recalling the past enacted by a broad range of different actors, at times openly competing with each other. In an attempt to carve out the specific shape of these interventions, I will begin with an outline of the main achievements and lines of argument in the impressive number of recent studies that have explored the dynamics of remembering the Second World War, usually referred to as the Great Patriotic War in post-Soviet Russia. I will then present an overview of the contributions to this volume.

Contours of the Academic Debate

Fortunately, the times when critics could rightfully claim that the field of memory studies suffered from a strong geopolitical bias, focusing mainly on Western processes of remembering the past while largely ignoring the at times peculiar dynamics in other parts of the world, are by and large gone. This is especially true if we look at the considerable progress that has been made in research on the Russian culture of memory in general, and at works dealing with the commemoration of the Second World War in particular.

On the one hand, authors have been eager to adopt the innovative theoretical trends that have dominated the field of memory studies over the last two decades. They have investigated how memory is mediated, focusing on a broad range of different media from literature2 to television3 and the internet.4 They have responded to the performative turn5 in memory research, according to which memory is to be understood as the situated and shifting result of active engagement with the past, investigating practices of remembering that unfold, for instance, at monuments, rather than viewing memory as an object which can be downloaded by passive consumers.6

On the other hand, studies on processes of remembering the past in Russia and other postsocialist countries have yielded their own theoretical innovations. Drawing attention to the fact that historical events often incite political conflicts within and between post-Soviet states, many of which are still engaged in painful processes of nation-building, the concept of memory wars is probably the most prominent among these novelties. Closely related to it is the notion of memory events, which are said to emerge from a clash of competing interpretations of the past and are furthermore credited with the ability to “create ruptures with … established cultural meanings.7 Finally, referring to Freud's distinction between healthy mourning and melancholic grief, researchers who have tried to pin down the peculiarities of Russian approaches to the past have suggested the label of a postcatastrophic melancholic culture compelled to repeatedly reenact the losses of history.8

At the same time, studies on Russia have also reproduced the fault lines and division that characterize the field of memory studies as a whole. While some authors focus on the politics of history as pursued by political elites,9 others prefer to explore the many dissonant voices articulated in society.10 A third groups calls to move beyond the binaries of public and private, elite and vernacular memory, demanding to investigate the entanglements between them instead.11

Alongside differences in conceptual focus, further empirical studies arrive at outrightly opposed conclusions on a number of crucial issues. Controversial findings mainly refer to three fundamental questions.

First, authors passionately disagree as to whether the developments in Russian memory culture resemble or categorically differ from what have been described as global trends. Some authors argue, for instance, that globally circulating narratives of victimhood and loss that have come to replace war memories of glory and heroism.12 have also started to influence Russian practices of remembering. In terms of evidence, they point to debates on how to remember the horrors of the blockade in Leningrad13 or to the parades of the so-called “immortal regiment,” originally a civil society movement which convenes people to bear in silent mourning portraits of ancestors who fought in the war.14 The latter claim, however, has met with severe objections. Authors were quick to point out how successfully the movement of the immortal regiment had been hijacked and cloned by a regime which skillfully transformed its original message to once again turn grief into triumph, by claiming, for instance, that it was the memory of the heroic deeds of ancestors that inspired new heroic deeds in the recent wars waged in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.15

However, in the search for common features characterizing all memory cultures, vagueness is prominent. In her analysis of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, Maritta Sturken16 has shown, for instance, how the vagueness and abstract nature of the V-shape construction enable different readings and thus serve the mnemonic needs of groups with rather different political agendas. Olga Malinova,17 in her research on Russia, maintains a comparable approach. On the basis of a frame analysis of numerous speeches given by Russian officials commemorating the Second World War, she has identified versatility as a key feature, “capable of fitting various cultural frames, ranging from ‘heroic sacrifice,’ ‘national glory,’ ‘defense of freedom,’ and ‘salvation of civilization’ to ‘mass suffering,’ ‘unrecoverable losses,’ and ‘national victimhood.’” Ekatarina Makhotina18 has arrived at similar conclusions. A telling example she provides is the case of the Wall of Grief in Moscow, dedicated in 2017 to the millions of innocent people who fell victim to state terror during Stalinism. This monument, she argues, invokes the rather vague idea of a national catastrophe. Avoiding ascribing responsibility for the Stalinist crimes, it strives for the impossible: to alienate neither the liberals who openly condemn Stalin nor the neo-Stalinists who no less openly glorify him.

Second, we can identify rival definitions of the features that account for the otherness emphasized by those who insist that Russian dealings with the past are different to the memory cultures of the West. Some authors point out that in clear contrast to the institutionalization of the memory of the Holocaust in the West, memories of traumatic experiences in Russia are still more subject to forgetting than to commemoration.19 The regular production of heroic war narratives in the Soviet Union and in post-Soviet Russia alike, they maintain, have served and continue to serve the purpose of silencing trauma.20

Others have singled out volatility and fluidity as the most distinctive features of post-Soviet cultures of memory, claiming a heavy contrast with the more consolidated and consensus-oriented mode of making sense of the past found to be typical of the established nation states and democracies of the West.21 This difference is even said to have influenced the preferred choice of media used as a means to store memories. While Western European countries are seen as inclined toward fixing consensual interpretations of the past by literally setting them in the stones of monuments, Eastern European countries are perceived as being engaged in ceaseless processes of negotiating rival versions of the same events in novels, films, and public debates.22 Eastern Europeans are thus said to be much more obsessed with a history they apparently cannot agree upon and which they thus fail to enshrine. The lack of consensus, some have argued, has even left its traces in the official politics of memory. In 2015, an official textbook commission convening historians from the Academy of Science, as well as representatives from both the Ministry of Education and the Society for Russian History, suggested not only unified standards for teaching Russian history, but also a list of thirty-one “difficult questions,” most of which addressed Stalinism. Teachers were to provide students with rival sets of answers and opportunities to engage in controversial discussion.23 However, the recent outbreak of controversies in countries like the UK or Germany over monuments dedicated to public figures involved in colonial crimes may undermine the rigid distinction between “settled” cultures of memory in the West and their much more fluid counterparts in the East. At the same time, official politics of history in postsocialist countries, including Russia, have without doubt seen more radical turnarounds on a number of key issues. The many shifts in the official Russian position toward the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact that have occurred over the last thirty years are a good case in point here. While the treaty was openly condemned both by the second Soviet congress of people's deputies in 1989 and also in an influential article written and published by Putin in the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborca in 2009, only ten years later government officials could not have been more outspoken in justifying the same document as an absolutely legitimate and necessary step.24 In particular, the secret protocols attached to the treaty were deemed a violation of international law and thus legally null and void in 1989, but conversely they were celebrated as a significant diplomatic achievement in 2019.

A rather different idea of where to look for differences between the Russian and Western cultures of memory is suggested by researchers who reconstruct in detail the manipulative ways in which the Putin administration, unhampered by any serious concern for the truth, puts practices of recalling the past into the service of its increasingly authoritarian policies. Ilya Kalinin,25 for instance, argues that the Russian state cannot but strive to secure its monopolistic control, including over interpretations of the past, because it perceives the latter as being a limited resource like oil and gas.26 Julie Fedor27 and Andrej Kolesnikov28 describe how the Putin regime exploits the memory of the Second World War in order to invoke the image of Russia as a besieged fortress, now and then encircled by enemies. They emphasize how even the distinction between past and present becomes blurred when Putin blames the governments of Ukraine and Poland for pursuing fascist policies as they did in collaboration with Nazi Germany during the war. As convincing as many of these arguments are, they seem to ignore the fact that the Russian politics of blaming its neighbors are at times nothing less than inventive but somewhat vulgarized reprints of allegations that had previously been voiced in the West. Kolesnikov29 himself reminds us that when Putin spoke in 2019 of Poland as a hyena which shamelessly participated in the division of Czechoslovakia initiated by Hitler in 1938, he was literally quoting Churchill. And to continue in the same vein: when Russian officials describe Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Latvians, and Poles as accomplices of the Nazi extermination policy, they say nothing that has not been said countless times by Western European politicians.

Finally, rival views on Russian practices of remembering the war also concern the extent to which official Russian politics of memory can be seen as socially effective. Some observers go as far as to claim that the image of history held by ordinary people is largely identical with ideas propagated by Putin and his followers.30 To prove how successful the government was in its recent efforts to justify the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Kolesnikov quotes, for instance, from opinion polls showing that the share of people who have never heard about the existence of the secret protocols to the Pact rose from 31 percent in 2005 to 40 percent in 2019. Anna Shamanska31 draws attention to the many mothers who happily dress their babies in khaki onesies in the style of a Red Army uniform on the occasion of Victory Day. However, we also find opposing voices on this issue. Makhotina32 argues that many Leningraders’ private memories of the blockade unearth stories of death and despair which heavily contrast with the officially endorsed myth of the city of heroes that bravely withstood all hardship. Thanks to numerous civil society initiatives, she continues, these memories increasingly go public and may eventually even influence the narratives offered in a new blockade museum. From yet another angle, Malinova33 reminds us that the official politics of history in Russia still speaks with many different voices. Even today, she notes, the memory of the war is invoked for many different purposes, from invoking grief and mourning to discrediting domestic and foreign policy opponents as fascists or justifying military aggression in Ukraine. At the same time, Gabowitsch34 points to the many different patterns we can observe in the relationship that has emerged between the political and the societal, and between official and private memories of the war in Russia. Like in all other places in the world, he maintains, these memories can sometimes contradict, sometimes complement, and sometimes simply give each other the benefit of ignorance.

The Contributions to This Issue

The articles in this special issue bring new nuances and complexities to these ongoing conversations. Making use of the special advantages that the study of educational media offers to the researcher of memory practices, they moreover bring into the conversation an intimate knowledge of a source that has rarely been taken into account so far.

Conceptualizing museums, which are regularly visited by school classes as educational media, two of the articles not only focus on exploring the content offered in the exhibitions but, to varying degrees, also attend to how this content has been either produced or received. Both thus respond to the demand often voiced in memory research to go beyond the analysis of the objects of memory and to explore the social practices of engaging with these objects as well.

In her archive-based research on the first Soviet museums dedicated to the Great Patriotic War in Moscow and in Minsk between 1945 and 1948, Anne E. Hasselmann looks into the preparatory work done by mostly female museum workers, who at times were sent to the front in order to collect items for musealization. She provides us with a careful reading of visitors’ books and thus allows us to gain insight into how people reacted to, and at times even participated in, the creation of the war narratives they encountered in the museums. She presents interesting and surprising findings with respect to both aspects. She shows how museum workers were fairly responsive to the local contexts in which they were operating, in a time when the homogenized Soviet war narratives of later years had yet to materialize. And because these contexts in Moscow and Minsk could not be more different, the exhibitions in the two museums also differed significantly from each other. While the museum in Moscow focused on the first victory over the Nazis in Europe, won by the Soviet troops in the Battle of Moscow in 1941 and 1942, the museum in Minsk represented the partisan war and the traumatic experiences to which the population in occupied Belarus was exposed. Despite Stalin's open contempt for prisoners of war, whom he declared to be traitors, we even find a tableau with POWs. This heterogeneity, in the light of the debates outlined above, proves that even during Stalinism—a period not usually known for encouraging societal participation—the official politics of history were not only the result of skillful manipulation from above, but from time to time included diverging local experiences in order to gain credibility. Hasselmann shows, for instance, how eager curators often were to respond immediately to criticism raised by visitors. This further supports the thesis that, albeit to a limited extent, museum exhibitions between 1945 and 1948 were to some extent inclusive of different voices.

Olga Konkka's article takes us back into the present. Examining representations of the Second World War in the multimedia “history parks” of the Russian educational project “Russia My History,” which opened in 2017, she raises two interrelated questions. She investigates the extent to which the logic of commodification and the digital mode of presenting content have brought a breath of fresh air to the war narratives offered in the exhibitions. According to Konkka, the parks are not only a tool to transmit the official politics of history, but are also visitor-centered institutions that have attracted several million customers since they opened and can be expected to generate considerable profits as soon as the high investments in the digital technologies have been redeemed. At the same time, she argues, the sophisticated digital technology, which can be assumed to have done its share in fascinating visitors, does not seem to have altered the rather traditional ways of presenting the history. The history of the war in particular bears the heavy traces of a state-centered nationalism and displays a high degree of conformity with official versions of the story. It picks up typical Soviet catchphrases like the “unconquered people,” justifies the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, remains silent on the Katyn massacre, places great emphasis on the contribution of the Orthodox Church to the victory, hardly mentions collaboration in the occupied territories, glosses over the Holocaust with a brief mention of “monstrous atrocities” and genocide without mentioning the Jews as the prime target of a racist policy of annihilation, and largely ignores the global dimensions of a war which the USSR appears to have waged alone against Nazi Germany. However, if we take seriously Konkka's arguments on the commodification of history which to a large extent seems to drive the parks, this not only testifies to skillful manipulation on behalf of an authoritarian regime, but also speaks to the dominance of conservative attitudes among the visitors to which the curators apparently cater. These two perspectives, Konkka claims, in line with calls to overcome binaries, do not contradict each other. Here, the presentation of history in the genre of a national romance seems to satisfy the needs of both the authoritarian regime, which looks for a source of legitimacy, and large parts of the population, who seek a source of pride.

Three articles cast a clearer light on how the history of the war is dealt with in school. Two investigate textbooks, which lend themselves especially well to diachronic as well as synchronic comparisons, for textbooks are competing products marketed by rival publishers, and volumes of series that are constantly being reissued over time.

Serguey Ehrlich analyzes fifteen Russian textbooks published during the presidency of Boris Yeltsin and the extent to which they either continue or break with Soviet traditions of telling the story of the war. Compared to previous studies, which have only rarely encompassed more than two books, he is thus basing his findings on a far more solid empirical foundation. Moreover, he applies a carefully crafted methodological design which operates at three levels. Paying special attention to catchwords, clichés, and metaphors, he looks into how textbooks realize content linguistically. Seeking to unveil deep-rooted cultural patterns of meaning-making, he reconstructs narrative templates which inform the representation of a large number of different historical events. Finally, focusing on a number of contested moments, he explores specific narratives as suggested by the textbook authors. This approach enables him to arrive at nuanced findings. While both continuity and discontinuity are evident on the level of language, and continuity mostly at the level of narrative templates, it is on the level of representing contested events that we come across limited change. Framing his article as an intervention into the debate between the supporters of presentism, according to whom reconstructions of the past are always contingent on interests and beliefs in the present, and the adherents of path dependency, who claim that the long mnemonic history of crafting certain images of the past severely limits our ability to radically alter these images, he argues that both approaches offer some truth depending on the concrete structures of a text—language, narrative templates, or specific narratives—that are under examination.

Analyzing an impressive sample of twenty-two Russian textbooks published since Putin came to power in 2000, Dagmara Moskwa is primarily interested in the impact that politics of history in general, and the process of standardizing history in particular, have on educational media. However, she is also concerned with the question of how socially effective these media are in shaping minds. To this end, she moves beyond a content-informed study and illuminates the contexts of the production and reception of textbooks. She starts with a close look at the actors who have taken part in standardizing and unifying history education since 2013, moves to a diachronic and synchronic comparison of textbooks for Russian and world history published by two different publishing houses, and concludes with some insights into what the teachers she interviewed think about the presentation of the war. As a result of her analysis of the Russian textbook market, which has recently seen a significant increase in the concentration of ownership, she reminds us that the changes which started with the unification process in 2013 were not only driven by an interest in ideological control, but also by the economic interest in gaining larger shares in this lucrative market. With regard to content issues, she describes how what she calls a narrative of success has taken especially deep roots in almost all textbooks issued after the start of the standardization program. The obligation to write about the nation's significant victories and achievements seems now to be so compelling that authors even frame events commonly regarded as tragic or shameful as triumphs. However, Moskwa also mentions that four textbooks still describe the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact as the final trigger that unleashed the war, and thus resist the general tendency to justify the alliance between Hitler and Stalin. Furthermore, in line with the studies which doubt the pervasiveness of state ideology in Putin's Russia, Moskwa gives ample voice to teachers who are more than critical with regard to the biased stories they encounter in textbooks.

While she also addresses the Putin years, Julie Fedor concentrates on the official discourse on the falsification of the Second World War narrative as a key element in the current politics of history. Referring to a broad range of different materials, from speeches given by key actors of the Putin establishment to documents and material developed for history teachers, she explores how this campaign was instrumentalized to strengthen the state's control over what was happening in the history classroom. At the core of this campaign, she argues, lies the claim of defending the historical truth about the war against the distortions propagated by Russia's enemies in order to diminish the role and blacken the reputation of the Red Army. In her conclusion she describes the Russia of our days as a hybrid-authoritarian regime which observes some of the principles of pluralism and intellectual freedom while simultaneously securing a firm grip on the interpretation of history as an important source of legitimacy. However, she also draws attention to the cracks and fissures that emerge in that discourse, especially in the course of translating it into concrete guidelines for history educators. On the one hand, authors struggle with the task of reconciling the fight against falsification with the officially still-endorsed teaching objectives of critical thinking and multiperspectivity. On the other hand, they have a hard time distinguishing between myths that are patriotic and therefore useful and myths that are invented by Russia's enemies and are therefore harmful. Apparently, even in increasingly authoritarian Russia, not everything works as smoothly as intended.

Shifting the geographical focus to Lithuania, one of those post-Soviet successor states that the Russian government regularly blames for falsifying Soviet history, Barbara Christophe provides a thick description of how the textbooks of two Lithuanian publishing houses portray the first Soviet occupation in 1940, which according to many Balts was one of the key events in the history of the Second World War. By means of a careful analysis, she succeeds in rebutting prejudices against the supposedly backward and nationalistic culture of remembrance of the Baltic republic—prejudices which are sometimes also cultivated in Western Europe. Lithuanian textbooks, she argues, not only live up to the best traditions of pluralism by offering different interpretations of the fateful year 1940, and give voice to opposing positions on this crucial issue of remembering the past; compelled to recognize the contingency of all stories told about the past by the mere existence of rival versions, all of which enjoy equal legitimacy in Lithuanian society, at critical junctures the authors of both textbooks also incorporate aspects of the respective other's position.

Taken together, the contributions to this issue are a far cry from resolving the controversies outlined at the beginning of this introduction on how to make sense of the dynamics characteristic of post-Soviet cultures of memory. However, on at least three levels they contribute further to overcoming the Western bias in memory studies. First, they provide the discussion on the peculiarities of post-Soviet or postsocialist cultures with more empirical data, gathered according to precise methodological standards. Second, the nuanced discussion of their empirical results helps us to move beyond the binaries of state and society or public and private memories in favor of focused attention to interconnections. Third, by engaging in normative discussions, some envisage alternatives to Western cultures or politics of remembering, which have too often and too readily been perceived as representing a “gold standard” of commemorating the past—a perception that has clearly lost its plausibility with the recent upsurge of populism in what we used to call the West written with a capital W, in the tradition of putting emphasis on the elevated status it was said to enjoy in comparison to the East or the South.

Notes

1

Olga Malinova, “Political Uses of the Great Patriotic War in Post-Soviet Russia from Yeltsin to Putin,” in War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, ed. Julie Fedor, Marrku Kangaspuru, Jussi Lassila, and Tatiana Zhurzhenko (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 43–70, here 50.

2

Alexander Etkind, “Stories of the Undead in the Land of the Unburied: Magical Historicism in Contemporary Russian Fiction,” Slavic Review 68, no. 3 (2009): 631–658; Philipp Chapkovski, “We Should be Proud Not Sorry: Neo-Stalinist Literature in Contemporary Russia,” in War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, ed. Julie Fedor, Marrku Kangaspuru, Jussi Lassila, and Tatiana Zhurzhenko (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 189–210.

3

Vera Zvereva, “Istoriia na TV: konstruirovanie proshlogo” [History on TV: The Construction of the Past], Otechestevennye zapiski [Notes from the Fatherland] 20, no. 5 (2004): 160–169.

4

Ellen Rutten, “Why Digital Memory Studies Should Not Overlook Eastern Europe's Memory Wars,” in Memory and the Theory of Memory in Eastern Europe, ed. Uilliam Baker, Alexander Etkind, and Julie Fedor (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 219–232.

5

Astrid Erll and Anne Rigney, “Introduction: Cultural Memory and its Dynamics,” in Mediation, Remediation and the Dynamics of Cultural Memory, ed. Astrid Erll and Anne Rigney (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2009), 1–11; Felicitas Macgilchrist, Barbara Christophe, and Alexandra Binnenkade, “Introduction: Memory Practices and History Education,” Journal of Educational Media, Memory and Society 7, no. 2 (2015): 1–9.

6

Mischa Gabowitsch, Cordula Gdaniec, and Ekatarina Makhotina, eds., Kriegsgedenken als Event: Der 9. Mai 2015 im postsozialistischen Europa [War Commemoration as an Event: 9 May 9 2015 in Post-Socialist Europe] (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2017).

7

Uilleam Blacker and Alexander Etkind, “Introduction,” in Memory and the Theory of Memory in Eastern Europe, ed. Uilliam Baker, Alexander Etkind, and July Fedor (London: Palgrave Macmillan), 1–24, here 6.

8

Etkind, “Stories of the Undead.”

9

Ilya Kalinin, “The Struggle for History: The Past as a Limited Resource,” in Memory and the Theory of Memory in Eastern Europe, ed. Uilliam Blaker, Alexander Etkind, and July Fedor (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 255–266; Andrej Kolesnikov, “Erinnerung als Waffe: Die Geschichtspolitik des Putin-Regimes” [Memory as a Weapon: The Politics of History of the Putin Regime], Osteuropa [Eastern Europe] 70, no. 6 (2020): 3–28.

10

Rutten, “Why Digital Memory Studies”; Ellen Rutten and Vera Zvereva, “Introduction: Old Conflicts, New Media: Post-Socialist Digital Memories,” in Memory, Conflict and New Media: Web Wars in Post-Socialist States, ed. Ellen Rutten, Julie Fedor, and Vera Zvereva (London and New York: Routledge, 2013), 1–20.

11

Mischa Gabowitsch, “Are Copycats Subversive? Strategy-31, the Russian Runs, the Immortal Regiment, and the Transformative Potential of Non-Hierarchical Movements,” Problems of Post-Communism 65, no 5 (2018): 297–314; Ekatarina Makhotina, “Ein ‘Victim turn’? Gesellschaftliche und staatliche Formen der Opfererinnerung in Russland” [A “Victim-Turn”? Societal and State Forms of Remembering Victims], Totalitarismus und Demokratie [Totalitarianism and Democracy] 16 (2019): 61–74.

12

Jay Winter, Remembering War: The Great War between Memory and History in the Twentieth Century (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006).

13

Makhotina, “Ein ‘Victim-turn’?”

14

Gabowitsch, “Are Copycats Subversive?”

15

Julie Fedor, “Memory, Kinship, and the Mobilization of the Dead: The Russian State and the ‘Immortal Regiment Movement,’” in War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, ed. Julie Fedor, Marrku Kangaspuru, Jussi Lassila, and Tatiana Zhurzhenko (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017): 307–346.

16

Maritta Sturken, Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, the AIDS Epidemic and the Politics of Remembering (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997).

17

Malinova, “Political Uses of the Great Patriotic War,” 45.

18

Makhotina, “Ein ‘Victim-Turn’?”

19

Rutten and Zvereva, “Introduction: Old Conflicts, New Media.”

20

Alexander Etkind, “Mourning and Melancholia in Putin's Russia: An Essay in Mnemonics,” in Memory, Conflict and New Media: Web Wars in Post-Socialist States, ed. Ellen Rutten, Julie Fedor, and Vera Zvereva (London and New York: Routledge, 2013): 32–47.

21

Rutten, “Why Digital Memory Studies”; Rutten and Zvereva, “Introduction: Old Conflicts, New Media.”

22

Alexander Etkind and Uilliam Blaker, “Introduction,” in Memory and the Theory of Memory in Eastern Europe, ed. Uilliam Blaker, Alexander Etkind, and July Fedor (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 1–24.

23

Makhotina, “Ein ‘Victim-turn’?”

24

Kolesnikov, “Erinnerung als Waffe.”

25

Kalinin, “The Struggle for History.”

26

Ibid.

27

Fedor, “Memory, Kinship and the Mobilization of the Dead.”

28

Kolesnikov, “Erinnerung als Waffe.”

29

Ibid.

30

Ibid.

31

Anna Shamanska, “Kid You Not: Children Playing Controversial Roles in Russia's Victory Day Preparations,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 6 May 2016, https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-victory-day-celebrations-kids-playing-controversial-roles/27719518.html.

32

Makhotina, “Ein ‘Victim-turn’?”

33

Malinova, “Political Uses of the Great Patriotic War.”

34

Gabowitsch, “Are Copycats Subversive?”

Contributor Notes

Barbara Christophe is a senior researcher at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig. Email: christophe@gei.de

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