A Memorial Battlefield: The 1917–21 Civil War in Samara

Manufacturing the Historical Narrative

Today’s Russian society is shaken by multiple controversies related to the interpretation of various historical events. The war of 1941–45 and the period 1917–20 attract even more attention, in a way, than current issues. This phenomenon varies on different geographic scales. The construction and the defence of the memory of the anti-Bolshevik government in Samara during the Russian Civil War, allied with the Czechoslovak Legions, casts light on this collective process of commemorating the past on a regional level. Our analysis underscores the fact that Russian society has not yet managed to build a post-Soviet commemorative language; events from a century ago are therefore interpreted through stereotypes forged by the Soviet view of the Second World War.

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