Jump to content

Is the curtain closing on good new EF historical writing?


Recommended Posts

Last week, Russian President Putin signed a new law that carries a five-year jail term and heavy fines for anyone who tries to denigrate Russia's WWII record.

Without getting into the politics of current events, I think there's legitimate cause to wonder what this could do to chill the work of Western historians like Glantz, who have used the post-1991 opening of Soviet archives to tell a more accurate and detailed --and unvarnished -- story of that country's war experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting. I'd like to hear more of what 'denigrating' means and how the law will be applied. Based on the few lines I have read about it (you post :) ) I would say that there is a chance of that. But then again, I know absolutely nothing of the details of the law.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting. I'd like to hear more of what 'denigrating' means and how the law will be applied. Based on the few lines I have read about it (you post :) ) I would say that there is a chance of that. But then again, I know absolutely nothing of the details of the law.

Here's the story about it in today's New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/12/world/europe/russia-revisits-its-history-to-nail-down-its-future.html?_r=0

No one knows exactly what "denigrating really means," and that's just the point: It's whatever the state says it is. And this quote from a Russian historian predicts it will have a chilling effect:

“The law is not about Nazism, it is about establishing an historical canon, a historical narrative written by the state,” said Ivan I. Kurilla, a historian at Volgograd State University. “It would criminalize historical research.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you expect from a former KGB operative?

For so many years the story of the Great Patriotic War told from the Russian side was cloaked in secrecy, and very few unvarnished accounts were published. Looks like we are headed back to the xenophobic ways of the old USSR under the Putin regime.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rather than restricting the amount of what comes out of the archives, the last 5 years have seen a tightening of particular subject areas while at the same time a huge amount of material has been released on other subjects, for instance individual soldiers records.

So you will see a further tightening of access on a limited number of subjects which are sensitive, defeats, war crimes, etc but the broad scope will remain fairly open compared to the Soviet era.

With regard to the law, as with all these things, it depends how it is interpreted but it probably does represent a clear attempt by the current Russian regime to manage its history and people who step out of line will fall foul of the law.

But then what did you expect? The West has been talking about the "the defeat of communism and Soviet Russia" for years, regarding Russia as defeated and powerless and European politicians were trying to drive alliances right up to Russia borders - which now lie on the Don not the Bug. But Russia is till a large, economically powerful country and is now flexing its muscles, turning the gas tap to Europe, setting up 'friendly' regimes along its borders such as Belorussia and now seemingly a Eastern Ukraine proto-state. To put it in an American context - would the USA sit idly by while China forged a close alliance with Mexico and turned Mexican labour and trade away from the US?

If the West continues to regard Russia as an enemy, things will simply get worse, they will become increasingly xenophobic. You need to hold your friends close and your enemies closer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its another measure to bootneck neo-nazis by stopping them from making bull**** claims about Jews tricking or interfering with the Red Army, setting it against its "brothers and natural allies" of the Third Reich or sometimes claiming that cowardly Jews led Soviet forces which is why they took such high casualties, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On another note reading Battle for Budapest

http://www.amazon.com/Battle-Budapest-100-Days-World/dp/1848859732/ref=sr_1_20?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400084085&sr=1-20&keywords=budapest+1944

According to it Malinovsky handed out 115 Hero of the Soviet Union medals after the fiasco of crossing the Danube at Ercsi. Only 12,000 were handed out in the entire war. The suggestion is Malinovsky was unwilling to share the "glory" of taking Budapest with Tolbukhin who's forces were advancing up the western side of the Danube having crossed further south.

Nice, hey thanks for dying for my ego Have a medal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saddening but not surprising. I remember a military magazine here that had been publishing since the early 90s. Once it published the combat history of US/Chinese forces in the battle of Chosin reservoir in korea, 3 parts in 3 successive issues. It was eye opening. Apparently the chinese didn't do so good but that was historical.

Later that magazine was banned by the culture bureau. It re-emerged about a year later but there was no longer anything worth reading in it. Same for every other publications that's openly issued since then. Freedom of speech/press has a long way to go in these socialist states i fear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...