The issue of relocated archives and preservation of historical and documentary heritage discussed at RSUH

The issue of relocated archives and preservation of historical and documentary heritage discussed at RSUH

On May 22, 2020, RSUH hosted the international interactive round table “Archives and War: Issues of Relocated Archives and the Preservation of Historical and Documentary Heritage”, dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War.

The Table was attended by scholars specializing in history, document management and archival research from the Russian Federation, the Republic of Belarus, and France. Among the Russian participants in the Conference there were representatives of RSUH, St. Petersburg State University, European University in St. Petersburg, Tuva State University, Russian State Military Archive, etc.

The work of the Table began with a greeting and a presentation by Dr. Tatyana Khorkhordina, Head of the Department of History and Organization of Archival Affairs of RSUH, who noted the importance of the collection of documentary heritage about the Great Patriotic War, especially the memoirs of its participants. She talked about how that work had begun during the years of the Great Patriotic War, continuing in 1960 - 1970, and how it is developing at the present stage. A special place in the presentation was given to the activities of professors and students of RSUH in collecting letters, memoirs and memoirs of War veterans.

Considerable attention was paid to the issues of relocated archives. Dr. Victoria Prozorova, Head of the editorial board of “Bulletin of the Archivist” in Europe, spoke about the archives of displaced and relocated persons and archives in France. Dr. Popov, Professor of RSUH, spoke on the archives of relocated persons at the Hoover Institute on War and Peace.

Several interesting and informative presentations were dedicated to the activities of archives during the Great Patriotic War. Dr. Mikhail Shumeyko, Professor at the Department of Source Studies of the History Department of the Belarusian State University, spoke on the Belarusian archives during World War II. Dr. David Raskin, Professor at the Institute of History, St. Petersburg State University, described the evacuation of especially valuable materials from the St. Petersburg archives.

Dr. Lidia Kostareva, Chief Specialist of the Department for the Use and Publication of Archival Documents of the Military Archive, spoke about the work of the Central State Archive of the Red Army during the War.

The organization of the work of archives in the Tuvan People’s Republic in 1941-1945 was described in the presentation of May Maadyr, Senior Lecturer of the Department of World History, Archeology and Documentation of Tuvan State University.

Dr. Igor Nagaev, Chief Specialist of the Higher Military Administration, Member of the Management Board of the Russian Society of Archivists, spoke about the work of the Military Archive in the post-War period. 

Of great interest was the report of Dr. Yulia Yumasheva, expert of the Russian Archives, on archives and the Internet.

The participants put forward interesting academic proposals. In particular, Dr. Prozorova and Dr. Nagaev proposed creating a database of all participants in the Resistance Movement in Europe. The authors of other presentations expressed an idea about the need to create Inter-Archive guide to the personal info of participants of the Great Patriotic War.

On the whole, the Table expressed a common opinion that the preservation and objective study of the historical and documentary heritage of the Great Patriotic War was extremely important especially in our time, when many Western politicians and politicians of some former countries of the socialist camp and post-Soviet republics seek to belittle the decisive role of our country in the Victory over Germany, as well as distort many episodes of our military past in a favorable light for ourselves.

A correct and objective analysis of the historical and documentary heritage of the War proves that the Soviet people bore the brunt of the fight against fascism, and the fate of Europe and the world was established on the Soviet-German front.