Libmonster ID: BY-1538
Author(s) of the publication: Vladimir VASILYEV

by Vladimir VASILYEV, RAS Corresponding Member, Chairman of the RAS Scientific Council for Complex Problem "History of the Russian Academy of Sciences"

On the eve of the 65th anniversary of the victory of our people in the Great Patriotic War, we must recollect those heroic pages of its history, which found reflection in academic books of that period as the most important stage in the history of publishing activities of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The war affected all spheres of the life of our society. It also greatly affected publishing activities and printing of the country*. For instance, the number of books published by 1943 decreased almost thrice as compared with the pre-war 1940.

In the years of the Great Patriotic War the publishing potential of the Academy of Sciences was subordinated, first of all, to the interests of our country's defense, strengthening of its defense potentiality, rendering of assistance to national economy, maintaining and restora-tion of morale among soldiers and rear workers. The slo-gan "Everything for the front, everything for the victory!" was a law for all academic publishers, printers and book-sellers.

Besides, in the war years the Academy of Sciences not only satisfied requirements of our country's defense indus-try and national economy for books on special subjects but also, alongside with performing its statutory functions, was actively engaged in publication of scientific works and peri-odicals actually in all fields of science (certainly, taking into account war time resources), education and culture, reflecting their achievements and contribution to the development of fundamental and applied sciences. Apart from publication of research results (this activity was actu-ally not interrupted), the Academy of Sciences issued a considerable number of publications in support of the front and the rear: "Exposure of the Essence of Fascism"; "Academic Book for the Front"; "In Support of the Country's Population and National Economy"; "Military Leaders and Heroes of the Past"; "The Heroic Past of Our People and Fight Against Fascism"; "The Heroic Deed of Rear Workers"; "Great Scientists, Writers and Thinkers".

The Academic Publishing House, which was transferred to Kazan in 1941 with other organizations of the Academy, made a major contribution to publication of research results of the Academy institutions as well as of literature of all kinds in support of the front and the rear.

Within the framework of this article we shall consider several publications devoted to the subject under consider-ation, which were printed under the logo of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2006-April 2010 according to the plan approved by the RAS Department of Historical and Philological Sciences and the Scientific Publishing Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences.


See: V. Vasilyev, "From the History of a War-Time Book". Science in Russia, No. 5, 2005.-Ed.

стр. 45

The fourth book of the selected works by an outstanding historian and a veteran of the Great Patriotic War Academician Tikhvinsky is devoted to the war events, for-eign policy and international relations of that period. The book begins with an essay on the activities of Soviet diplo-mats in the war years, in particular, the meeting of a dele-gation of the Mongolian People's Republic with Marshal Zhukov on the Western front in March of 1942.

The collection of articles "Physico-Technological Institute in the Years of the Great Patriotic War", compiled by Dyakov, acquaints readers with recollections of its staff members and its contribution to creation of production methods and military-technical means, which surpassed those available in fascist Germany. They include studies carried out in 1941-1945, which were of considerable importance for the Victory, namely, preparatory work for atomic project (Kurchatov), creation of a defense system for the Navy from magnetic mines (Alexandrov, Kurcha-tov, Regel), radiolocation (Kobzarev), armored protec-tion (Kuprienko, Vitman), creation of thermoelectric generators for radio equipment of partisan detachments (Maslakovets, Ioffe), participation in backing the ice "Lifeline" across the Ladoga, creation of new gangrene antibiotics, etc.

The book by V. Shoshin Writers-Correspondents at the Fronts of the Great Patriotic War is devoted to military corre-spondents, who worked and fought at the fronts. The author described their selfless work against the background of sor-rowful defeats at the initial stage of the war and the following offensives. The articles and materials of writers, published in hundreds of newspapers on the heroism of Soviet soldiers, were characterized as a great contribution to the Victory.

стр. 46

N. Bugay in his book The Peoples of Ukraine in "A Special Portfolio of Stalin", based on the rich archive materials, kept for many years under the seal "Top Secret" and on documents of existing archives, described the tragedy of Ukrainians, Russians, Germans, Poles, Jews, Crimean Tatars, Greeks, Turks, Armenians and other ethnic com-munities in the 1930s-1950s, who were forced to move from the territory of Ukraine and Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

The collection of articles "USSR, Eastern Europe and World War II, 1939-1941: discussions, comments, reflec-tions", compiled by S. Sluch on the basis of materials of "round table" discussions carried on at the RAS Institute of Slavonic Studies in 1989-1990 and 2000-2002, is devot-ed to the USSR foreign policy and international relations on the eve and at the beginning of World War II.

Besides, the same institute prepared the work "Experi-ence of History-Experience of Literature. World War II: Central and South-East Europe" based on materials of another scientific forum and devoted to the description of the war in editions of the regions mentioned in the book.

The authors tried to acquaint readers with many unknown literary facts and different attitudes of contemporary crit-ics, which makes it possible to imagine more deeply and adequately the current situation in culture and ideology of our neighboring European region.

The significance of assistance of the allies under the Lend-Lease Agreement during the Great Patriotic War was belittled at the "cold war" stage. After a lapse of 65 years, the objective coverage of war history becomes more topical, including the problem of rendering the allied assistance. This problem was handled by V. Krasnov and I. Krasnov in their book Lend-Lease for the USSR, 1941-1945. It describes the history of allied assistance to the USSR, which was provided on lend-lease conditions in the war years from the USA, Great Britain and Canada. The book discusses such problems as the volume and range of supplies of weapons, military equipment, in-dustrial machinery, raw materials and foodstuffs to the USSR as well as transport routes of appropriate cargo by northern convoys, via "the Persian corridor" and the Pacific Ocean.

стр. 47

Materials of another scientific forum were used for pre-paration of the literary work "War. People. Victory", devot-ed to the most significant aspects of the armed confrontation at the fronts, activities of Soviet diplomats, internal policy of the Soviet state and the relationship between power and society in the war years. Among its authors are S. Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, John R. Beyrle, Deputy Head of the US Mission to the Russian Federation, Academician V. Myasnikov and others.

The second volume of the three-volume collection "War and Society in the 20th Century" is devoted to the war and society on the eve and during World War II. The book begins with an analysis of socio-political processes, which took place on the eve and during the war in the leading countries of the anti-Hitler coalition and in the aggressor bloc. The activities of the League of Nations and causes of its inefficiency in the elaboration of effective measures on safeguarding peace are also considered on its pages. The monograph focuses on the shocks experienced by society in the years of World War II. The authors emphasize social and political events in the countries invaded by Germany (collaboration, the Resistance movement) and also in neu-tral countries of Europe such as Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Sweden.

Among the publications on the subject under considera-tion a special place is occupied by the fundamental work of Academician A. Chubaryan The Eve of the Tragedy: Stalin and International Crisis: September 1939-June 1941. Using a multi-factor research method in presentation of the com-plicated and dramatic period in the 20th century history, the author evaluates the foreign policy of the USSR against a broad international background with account of specifics of guiding principles of Stalin: "The subject of our research deals, first of all, with the policy and activities of the Soviet Union, which are considered in close contact with the gen-eral situation in the world and with the position of other states as active participants of the historic drama of that time." The book discusses in detail secret protocol to the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact of August 23, 1939, which gives rise to keen discussions up to now.

The book evoked a wide response in the press and in sci-entific community, which was clearly demonstrated at its presentation within the framework of the Moscow International Book Fair 2008. The RAS Presidium award-ed Ye. Tarie prize to A. Chubaryan for this scientific work.

Based on new documents from the archives of Russia, Germany, Austria and Great Britain, as well as on the analysis of works of historians of the aforesaid countries, A. Filitov (in his monograph Germany in Soviet Foreign Policy Planning. 1941-1960) examined the process of devel-opment and adoption in the USSR of plans on solution of the German problem, which made it possible to come down to the problem of contradictions and conflicts in Soviet leadership on matters of international policy and to disclose the reasons of many unclaimed developments and initiatives, which could have reduced the scale of tension and dispute situation in the post-war Germany.

Under the plan of preparing publications dedicated to the 65th anniversary of Great Victory, there was published The Diary of Diplomat. London. 1934-1943 by I. Maisky (compiled by Yu. Nikiforov, L. Pozdeyeva, O. Rzheshevsky and edited by Academician A. Chubaryan) within the framework of the general academic series "Scientific Heri-tage" (Vol. 33) in 2 books (Book 2 in two parts). Part 2 of Book 2 discloses a new material on military cooperation of two countries, interaction and disagreements of the allies, especially on the question of the Second Front.

The RAS Archives (St. Petersburg branch) prepared for publication a complete version of daily records of the wartime diary (1941-1945) kept by G. Knyazev (1887-1969), director of the Archives of the USSR Academy of Sciences, a historian and an archivist. This work is a unique document, which includes information on the situation at the fronts, the way of life and sentiments of the citizens, the work of the Academy of Sciences and its institutions, and the Commission on the History of the Academy of Sciences. The author describes, how the archives of the Pulkovo Observatory and the Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House) and also the hand-written her-itage of the scientists, who died during the war, were saved.

In early 2010, the fundamental work of Academician A. Chubaryan The 20th Century: Viewpoint of the Historian (Institute of General History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, M.: Nauka, 2009) was offered to Akademkniga. The extensive material is devoted to problems of the inter-national crisis of 1939-1941, to "blind spots" in the war history, problems and tasks of its studies.

As a whole, the role of a printed word in the war years is reflected in the monograph by RAS Corresponding Member V. Vasilyev The Great Patriotic War: Book and Book Culture of War Years. Based on the analysis of histori-ography, the author evaluated overall indices of publication and the wartime publishing program, the role of Leningrad books, mass media and academic publishing in the history of the Great Patriotic War. It was established that the aca-demic book not only became a weapon, which helped forge victory over the enemy, but also reflected the results of sci-entific work and achievements of 1941-1945 in science, culture and education. The book is illustrated by a great number of unique editions of the war years, published mainly under the logo of the Academy of Sciences.

The Department of Historical and Philological Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences put forward an initia-tive on publication till May 9, 2010, a book of recollections of members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who par-ticipated in the Great Patriotic War. This initiative was sup-ported by the RAS Presidium. The working group, formed by the RAS Presidium and headed by Academician V Tish-kov, coordinated work on collecting recollections, prepara-tion of originals, publication, delivery and distribution of the books of recollections. The book begins with an open-ing article by Academician Ye. Chelyshev, a war veteran and Chairman of the RAS Council of War Veterans. It pre-sents recollections of members and corresponding mem-

стр. 48

bers of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who participat-ed in operations or did military service in military units and institutions from 1941 to 1945, as well as of rear workers and participants of the blockade of Leningrad. The book includes photos of the authors of recollections and war vet-erans outside the building of the RAS Presidium (M.: Nauka, 2010).

The collection of articles Works of Orientalists in the Years of Blockade: to the 65th Anniversary of Great Victory (M.: Vostochnaya Literatura, 2010), prepared for publication by the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg), includes unpub-lished articles of specialists, who worked in the besieged Leningrad in 1941-1944. Materials, rough copies of unpublished works, reports, correspondence and notes, which had been preserved by sheer miracle, were kept in the Archives of the former Leningrad Department of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences and than in the Archives of the RAS Institute of Oriental Studies.

The second enlarged edition by K. Maximov The Great Patriotic War: Kalmykia and Kalmyks has been published on the eve of the 65th anniversary of the Victory. The burn-ing problems of the wartime history of this republic are considered in the book on the basis of the archive and sta-tistical data, and also new scientific sources, which makes it possible to disclose the pre-war situation, to show con-version of the economy to a war footing and a feasible con-tribution of the Kalmyk Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic to the defeat of fascist Germany. For the first time the data are cited on participation of Kalmykia and Kalmyks in the war and also on invasion by German troops of the territory of the republic and its consequences (December 1942-January 1943).

The War of 1941-1945: the Present-Day Approaches (the volume from the series "Russia in the 20th Century", established in 1944), published earlier to the 60th anniver-sary of the Victory, is substantially revised to the 65th anniversary of the Great Victory. It is prepared by the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences (M.: Nauka, 2010). The materials included in this edition reflect the latest achievements and new tendencies in the historiography of World War II and the Great Patriotic War.

The book comprises articles of Russian and foreign researchers on problems of the period of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 and the first post-war years. The authors of some articles describe the contribution of the former union republics (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus) to the victory. Much prominence is given to the Soviet policy towards Poland, which made it possible to reflect the whole complexity of this problem, which arose at the initial stage of World War II. The greater part of the articles broaches the multi-aspect problem "War and Society". It is dis-cussed with account of complicated processes, which take place in economic, political, social, demographic and ide-ological spheres.

Thus, after a brief review of the editions published under the logo of the Russian Academy of Sciences by publishing houses included into the academic publishing complex "Akademizdattsentr Nauka" of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Nauka Publishers, St. Petersburg publishing company Nauka, Vostochnaya Literatura publishing com-pany), we shall mention some figures and academic insti-tutions, which have prepared works on the war theme to the 65th anniversary of the Great Victory: five books have been prepared by the RAS Institute of General History, three books have been published under the logo of the Department of Historical and Philological Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences (one of them was prepared together with the RAS Scientific Council "History of World Culture"), two books under the logo of the RAS Institute of Russian History and the RAS Institute of Slavonic Studies, and one book under the logo of Ioffe Physico-Technological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg), the Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg), Vavilov Institute of History of Natural Science and Engineering of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Archives of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg), the RAS Institute of Oriental Manuscripts (St. Petersburg), and the Kalmyk Institute of Humanitarian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The following main problems shall be emphasized in the aforesaid publications: the eve of the tragedy, the interna-tional crisis (September 1939-June 1941) and its conse-quences, discussions on the secret protocol; foreign policy and international relations in the pre-war and war periods, activities of the Soviet diplomats in the wartime, the League of Nations and causes of its inefficiency in safe-guarding peace; matters of cooperation and disagreements between the allies, problems of the Second Front; research problems of the history of the Great Patriotic War and World War II, "blind spots" in their history; contribution of scientists of the Academy and its institutions to the devel-opment and introduction of new technologies and military equipment; multi-aspect problems "War and Society" and "Power and Society", including measures on the forced population re-settlement; contribution to the cause of Victory of some regions, war correspondents and writers; reflection of the war and achievements of workers of the rear in newspapers, journals and books.

However, it should be pointed out that there are still many "blind spots" left in the studies of the history of the Great Patriotic War, and there is much to explore and make-known to the public at large.


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