the collapse of the USSR

  • Upadek Związku Radzieckiego w świetle rosyjskich podręczników do historii

    Author: Anna Kadykało
    Year of publication: 2017
    Source: Show
    Pages: 31-49
    DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/kie.2017.01.02
    PDF: kie/115/kie11502.pdf

    The aim of the article is to point out how in contemporary Russian school history textbooks the collapse of the Soviet Union and its consequences for Russia, Europe and the whole world are shown. By combining this information with public opinion polls, aimed at analyzing Russian attitude to this controversial period in history, an attempt was made to find an answer to the question of how in the cultural memory of Russians, transmitting the experience of the older generations to the younger, this groundbreaking change in the political system operates nowadays. The conducted analysis has shown that many Russian history textbooks present a balanced, unemotional picture of the process the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, there are also such textbooks, which include emotional negative opinions about the collapse of the Soviet superpower, considering this event as one of the most tragic moments in the history of the 20th century. The article cites excerpts from history textbooks for history, juxtaposing them with public opinion surveys (regarding the evaluation of the last CPSU Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev; an opinion about the possibility of avoiding the collapse of the USSR, the factors that cause the greatest sorrow for the state union). This juxtaposition has revealed that despite the passage of time, there is lack of one, acceptable to the general public version of events that took place a quarter of a century ago. Just as Russians evaluate events focused around the collapse of the USSR and its consequences differently, so authors of textbooks offer students interpretations of groundbreaking events very diverging from each other. Therefore, the article shows that the historical education of young Russians in relation to this specific period will be the sum of the family stories, reading textbook recommended by the teacher and teacher comments. This leads to the conclusion that the collapse of the USSR is an event affecting the cultural memory of Russians, though the evaluation of this period are still evolving.

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