REVIEW ARTICLE: Contemporary historiography of the GULAG: new approaches (in Russian)

Published in Sotsial’nye i gumanitarnye nauki. Otechestvennaia i zarubezhnaia literatura. Seriia 5, Istoriia, no. 4 (Moscow, 2016), 112–129 (in Russian).

Continue reading ‘REVIEW ARTICLE: Contemporary historiography of the GULAG: new approaches (in Russian)’ »

A Collection of Annotations on Russian History

This year, our Department of History began to publish, along with detailed abstracts of new publications, which used to be our main ‘product’, also shorter annotations. We are still working at their format, but it is already clear that they will only contain the most important information about an article or a monograph, without any detailed retelling of its contents. We hope it will allow us to reflect in our abstract journal much more new publications than we were able to do previously. Such an opportunity seems to be quite significant, as in the Soviet time there were some thirty employees at our department, and twelve issues of the abstract journal were printed a year, whereas now we have only fifteen researchers and are only able to publish four issues of the journal a year, so the selection of sources for abstracts is actually rather far from following any regular criteria. Writing annotations along with detailed abstracts is still an experimental work, its perspectives are rather unclear, but the annotations which I have already written are worth to publish them in the Internet.

As the annotations are rather short, I will post all of them in a single PDF file with a set of bookmarks instead of a table of contents. As soon as new annotations appear, I will update the file and announce this in the blog.

My own main field of research interest is the history of the Soviet Union, especially before and in the time of the Second World War; so here I am going to post mostly annotations of books on the Soviet history or on history of post-Soviet Russia. I also decided to limit myself to annotations of books published in Russian. There are quite a lot of reference resources in the English part of the Internet, and they are much more informative than my personal Web site. On the other hand, the most part of Russian academic literature still remains almost unknown for the international research community because only a small part of papers is translated into English. I hope my collection of annotations will become one more bridge, although a bit narrow, between Russian historians and their colleagues in other countries.

Download the collection of annotations (PDF, 79 Kb).

My Collection of Abstracts and Reviews on the USSR in World War II Has Been Published

My collection of abstracts and reviews on the USSR in World War II was published this spring (in Russian):

WW2-title

It was printed after the fire at our Institute; luckily the typography has survived.  Theoretically, the collection may be ordered here, but it looks like it’s not at stock yet.  Some of the materials were prepared by my colleagues from our Department of History.

Initially we were going to show the current situation in historiography, but so many publications have appeared in recent years that we had to limit our work to a relatively small set of the most interesting works standing out for their subjects or research methods.  As a result, most of materials in the collection are based on works of Western historians who still much more often use different methodological innovations than their Russian colleagues.  Yet there are also abstracts of several Russian books that deal with some insufficiently explored aspects of the history of the Soviet Union in the Second World War.  We used almost no works on history of military operations or of the Red Army as, in spite of their importance, they are not so interesting from the viewpoint of methodology.  Instead, we devoted special attention to publications that deal with ‘non-military’ subjects, that investigate a human dimension of the Second World War, its long-term consequences and historical context.

As the work at the collection has shown, there was little change in the situation with stocking the library funds by foreign literature in Moscow since I was preparing my previous collection Nachalo Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny: sovremennaia istoriografiia [The beginning of the Great Fatherland War: recent historiography].  Even the biggest libraries can only buy rather a few books in comparison with the Soviet period, many books are available only at one of the libraries in one copy.  Along with the library of the Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences, we used books from the Russian State Library (‘Lenin Library’) and the library of the German Historical Institute in Moscow, and also a lot of books, electronic copies of which had been published illegally in the Internet.  Piratical libraries continue to collect new literature—luckily for researchers, although to growing displeasure of the publishers’ community which can’t however offer any acceptable alternative.  Michael David-Fox (Georgetown University) has brought us a copy of the book The Holocaust in the East that he had edited with Peter Holquist and Alexander Martin.  Fortunately, the book was at my colleague’s home when the fire began at the institute.  Everything else that had been at our department is at the dump now along with remains of the roof 🙁

The contents of the abstract collection:

  • Foreword
  • Preddverie i nachalo Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny: Problemy sovremennoi istoriografii i istochnikovedeniia [The eve and the beginning of the Great Fatherland War: Problems of recent historiography and source criticism] (Abstract)
  • David M. Glantz about the Red Army in World War II (Joint abstract)
  • A. B. Orishev, V avguste 1941 [In August 1941] (Abstract)
  • The Blockade of Leningrad (Joint abstract)
  • Karel C. Berkhoff, Motherland in Danger: Soviet Propaganda during World War II (Abstract)
  • D. D. Frolov, Sovetsko-finskii plen, 1939–1944: Po obe storony koliuchei provoloki [Soviet-Finnish Captivity, 1939–1944: On Either Side of the Barbed Wire] (Abstract)
  • Jörn Hasenclever, Wehrmacht und Besatzungspolitik in der Sowjetunion: Die Befehlshaber der rückwärtigen Heeresgebiete, 1941–1943 [Wehrmacht and the Occupation Policy in the Soviet Union: The Commanders of the Army Groups’ Back Areas] (Abstract)
  • Igor’ G. Ermolov, Tri goda bez Stalina: Okkupatsiia: Sovetskie grazhdane mezhdu natsistami i bol’shevikami, 1941–1944 [Three years without Stalin: Occupation: The Soviet citizens between the Nazis and the Bolsheviks, 1941–1944] (Abstract)
  • Bogdan Musial, Sowjetische Partisanen, 1941–1944: Mythos und Wirklichkeit [The Soviet partisans, 1941–1944: Myths and Reality] (Abstract)
  • Evacuation and the Rear (Joint abstract)
  • V. N. Krasnov, I. V. Krasnov, Lend-liz dl’a SSSR, 1941–1945 [Lend-lease for the USSR, 1941–1945] (Abstract)
  • Irina V. Bystrova, Potselui cherez okean: ‘Bol’shaia troika’ v svete lichnykh kontaktov (1941–1945 gg.) [A kiss across the ocean: the Big Three in the light of personal contacts, 1941–45] (Abstract)
  • Anna Krylova, Soviet Women in Combat: A History of Violence on the Eastern Front (Abstract)
  • Soviet Jews in the Years of War and Holocaust (Joint abstract)
  • A. Iu. Bezugol’nyi, N. F. Bugai, E. F. Krinko, Gortsy Severnogo Kavkaza v Velikoi Otechestvennoi voine 1941–1945: problemy istorii, istoriografii i istochnikovedeniia [Mountain-dwellers of the Northern Caucasus in the Great Fatherland War 1941–1945: problems of history, historiography and source criticism] (Abstract)
  • Warlands: Population Resettlement and State Reconstruction in the Soviet–East European Borderlands, 1945–50, ed. Peter Gatrell and Nick Baron (Abstract)
  • The Veterans of World War II in the Soviet Union (Joint abstract)
  • The Significance of World War II for the History of the Soviet Union and the Post-Soviet States (Joint abstract)
  • Notes on Contributors

ABSTRACT: Kostyrchenko G. V. Khrushchev’s Secret Policy: The Soviet Authorities, Intelligentsiia and the Jewish Question (in Russian)

G. V. Kostyrchenko, Tainaia politika Khrushcheva: Vlast’, intelligentsiia, evreiskii vopros (Moscow: Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, 2012).  The abstract was published in Sotsial’nye i gumanitarnye nauki. Otechestvennaia i zarubezhnaia literatura. Seriia 5, Istoriia, no. 4 (Moscow, 2014), 125–130 (in Russian). Continue reading ‘ABSTRACT: Kostyrchenko G. V. Khrushchev’s Secret Policy: The Soviet Authorities, Intelligentsiia and the Jewish Question (in Russian)’ »

ABSTRACT: The Baltic States and the Soviet Union on the Eve of World War II (in Russian)

Obraz Drugogo—strany Baltii i Sovetskii Soiuz pered Vtoroi mirovoi voinoi, ed. R. Krumm, N. A. Lomagin, D. Khanov (Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2012). The abstract was published in Sotsial’nye i gumanitarnye nauki. Otechestvennaia i zarubezhnaia literatura. Seriia 5, Istoriia, no. 4 (Moscow, 2014), 117–121 (in Russian). Continue reading ‘ABSTRACT: The Baltic States and the Soviet Union on the Eve of World War II (in Russian)’ »

Finished a New Collecion of Abstracts on the Soviet Union in World War II

Yesterday sent a new collection of abstracts on the Soviet Union in the Second World War, Velikaia Otechestvennaia voina v sovremennoi istoriografii [The Great Fatherland War in recent historical writing] to our publishing department, they are to print it in spring.  The chronological borders are not strict, there are materials on the Winter War and on the postwar period as well.  The sources are mostly in English and German, but several Russian monographs are also used.  I decided not to use any publications on the history of the armed forces and of military operation (with little exception).  Hope the result will be good—at least the books I used were very interesting.  The contents will be like this:

  • Foreword
  • Preddverie i nachalo Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny: Problemy sovremennoi istoriografii i istochnikovedeniia [The eve and the beginning of the Great Fatherland War: Problems of recent historiography and source criticism] (Abstract)
  • David M. Glantz about the Red Army in World War II (Joint abstract)
  • A. B. Orishev, V avguste 1941 [In August 1941] (Abstract)
  • The Blockade of Leningrad (Joint abstract)
  • Karel C. Berkhoff, Motherland in Danger: Soviet Propaganda during World War II (Abstract)
  • D. D. Frolov, Sovetsko-finskii plen, 1939–1944: Po obe storony koliuchei provoloki [Soviet-Finnish Captivity, 1939–1944: On Either Side of the Barbed Wire] (Abstract)
  • Jörn Hasenclever, Wehrmacht und Besatzungspolitik in der Sowjetunion: Die Befehlshaber der rückwärtigen Heeresgebiete, 1941–1943 [Wehrmacht and the Occupation Policy in the Soviet Union: The Commanders of the Army Groups’ Back Areas] (Abstract)
  • Igor’ G. Ermolov, Tri goda bez Stalina: Okkupatsiia: Sovetskie grazhdane mezhdu natsistami i bol’shevikami, 1941–1944 [Three years without Stalin: Occupation: The Soviet citizens between the Nazis and the Bolsheviks, 1941–1944] (Abstract)
  • Bogdan Musial, Sowjetische Partisanen, 1941–1944: Mythos und Wirklichkeit [The Soviet partisans, 1941–1944: Myths and Reality] (Abstract)
  • Evacuation and the Rear (Joint abstract)
  • V. N. Krasnov, I. V. Krasnov, Lend-liz dl’a SSSR, 1941–1945 [Lend-lease for the USSR, 1941–1945] (Abstract)
  • Irina V. Bystrova, Potselui cherez okean: ‘Bol’shaia troika’ v svete lichnykh kontaktov (1941–1945 gg.) [A kiss across the ocean: the Big Three in the light of personal contacts, 1941–45] (Abstract)
  • Anna Krylova, Soviet Women in Combat: A History of Violence on the Eastern Front (Abstract)
  • Soviet Jews in the Years of War and Holocaust (Joint abstract)
  • A. Iu. Bezugol’nyi, N. F. Bugai, E. F. Krinko, Gortsy Severnogo Kavkaza v Velikoi Otechestvennoi voine 1941–1945: problemy istorii, istoriografii i istochnikovedeniia [Mountain-dwellers of the Northern Caucasus in the Great Fatherland War 1941–1945: problems of history, historiography and source criticism] (Abstract)
  • Warlands: Population Resettlement and State Reconstruction in the Soviet—East European Borderlands, 1945–50, ed. Peter Gatrell and Nick Baron (Abstract)
  • The Veterans of World War II in the Soviet Union (Joint abstract)
  • The Significance of World War II for the History of the Soviet Union and the Post-Soviet States (Joint abstract)
  • Notes on Contributors

ABSTRACT: Slava Gerovitch, ‘Parallel Worlds: Formal Structures and Informal Mechanisms of Postwar Soviet Mathematics’ (in Russian)

Slava Gerovitch, ‘Parallel Worlds: Formal Structures and Informal Mechanisms of Postwar Soviet Mathematics’, in Historia Scientiarum 22, no. 3 (2013): 181–200.  Published in Nauka v SSSR: Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia istoriografiia: Sbornik obzorov i referatov [Science in the USSR: Contemporary foreign historiography: A collection of reviews and abstracts], ed. Ol’ga V. Bol’shakova (Moscow, 2014), 177–180.

The text of the abstract (in Russian).

JOINT ABSTRACT: Why the Soviet Union Was Unable to Surpass the USA in Computing Engineering and Information Technology (in Russian)

Published in Nauka v SSSR: Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia istoriografiia: Sbornik obzorov i referatov [Science in the USSR: Contemporary foreign historiography: A collection of reviews and abstracts], ed. Ol’ga V. Bol’shakova (Moscow, 2014), 167–176.

The text of the abstract (1.3 MB, in Russian).

REVIEW ARTICLE: Soviet Cosmonautics in Contemporary Western Historiography (in Russian)

Published in Nauka v SSSR: Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia istoriografiia: Sbornik obzorov i referatov [Science in the USSR: Contemporary foreign historiography: A collection of reviews and abstracts], ed. Ol’ga V. Bol’shakova (Moscow, 2014), 145–166.

The text of the review article (2.9 MB, in Russian)

Escape from Besieged Leningrad and Perilous Journeys

This letter has been found in the papers of my Washington housing owner Lisa Ritchie. Its author experienced not only the hell of besieged Leningrad, but also imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp, an escape from it and then a journey along Germany in the last months before the collapse of the Third Reich. The original text is a typescript in English, in British spelling. It has five pages, but since the third page, the pagination starts from the beginning. The letter is not signed, but Lisa thinks it was sent to her grandmother Elizavietta Hartmann Artamonoff by one of her friends soon after the Second World War had finished (the Artamonoff family moved from Russia to the USA in the early 1920s, but Lisa’s grandmother could leave the USSR only in 1933).

Below is the text of the letter with Lisa’s introduction and my comments (all of them are put in square brackets or placed in the endnotes). The author’s spelling and punctuation are kept without any change except obvious misprints. I kept also the original paragraphs, although in a newspaper publication of the letter, Lisa divided some of them into more short ones (she mentions this in her introduction).

Continue reading ‘Escape from Besieged Leningrad and Perilous Journeys’ »