Behind the frontlines : war, genocide and identity in the Kherson Region of Ukraine, 1941-1944 / by Oleksandr Ivanovych Melnyk.
The thesis explores the impact of the Second World War and the German occupation on the social processes in Ukraine's Kherson region from 1941 to 1944. Combining methods of history of the everyday life with those of cultural history, the case study purports to untangle the ways in which ideologically framed experiences of the war affected formation of political identities in the region. The paper opens with the discussion of the significance of Soviet military defeats and German propaganda in summer 1941 for the fragmentation of the heretofore fairly monolithic Soviet body politic. It then looks at the ways in which the German authorities were able to exploit the existent tensions and social divisions, as they proceeded with the implementation of genocidal policies. The final section of the thesis examines cultural processes leading to popular re-discovery of past political loyalties in the region in the years 1942–1944, with particular emphasis placed on the interplay of experiences of the German rule with the realm of ideology, consisting of the nostalgia for the Soviet past, Soviet propaganda and popular narratives of victimization. Sources consulted include but are not limited to documents of the German occupation authorities, Soviet underground reports, and materials of the Soviet Commission for the Investigation of Crimes of German Fascists and their Helpers, as well as memories, diaries and a number of oral interviews.
Record last modified: 2018-05-24 14:02:00
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