Ukrainian textbooks to remove “Great Patriotic War” designation for WWII

 

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New textbooks in Ukraine will replace the Soviet term “Great Patriotic War” with the phrase Second World War, which is used worldwide, said Education Minister Serhiy Kvit, November 26, before a Cabinet meeting.

Kvit said he supports the position of the Institute of National Memory to restore the phrase Second World War as a replacement for the term Great Patriotic War, which was reintroduced in Ukraine during the Yanukovych government

Serhiy Kvit

Serhiy Kvit

“Personally I support it because the world treats it as a tragedy. It is World War II. The term ‘The Great Patriotic War’ was used from the perspective of the great Soviet state. This was not a ‘great patriotic war’ for Ukraine. Ukraine was the victim of the struggle between totalitarian states. One of these states has survived till now, and Putin is the reincarnation of Stalin, or if you prefer, Lenin,” Kvit said.

Kvit explained that the changes would be implemented in new textbooks.

“The textbooks such as they are will remain. We’re talking about new textbooks. And that is a matter for historians, of course, and not a question of what one official tells another official to avoid. We will have competitions and new textbooks,” he said.

Controversy around the terminology used to describe the history of World War II has raged in Ukraine for the past several years. During the reign of Viktor Yanukovych, the former Minister of Education, the widely reviled Dmytro Tabachnyk, insisted on using the term “Great Patriotic War” and actively promoted the sovietization of Ukrainian historiography. He also pursued plans with his Russian counterpart to issue a joint Russian-Ukrainian history text to be used in both countries.

USSR entered World War II on the side of Nazi Germany in 1939. According to Soviet historians, the “Great Patriotic War” began in 1941.

However, President Poroshenko in a speech marking Ukraine’s Independence Day, August 24,  suggested another use for the term “Patriotic War” — the events taking place this year.

“The events of recent months have become for us a real war, even if undeclared. Perhaps it will enter history books as the Patriotic War of 2014. A war against foreign aggression, for Ukraine, for her freedom, for honor and glory, for independence. It is a Patriotic War because all have risen up for the defense of the country: from children to the elderly. The war for freedom has become a national movement. I am convinced that the battle for Ukraine will end successfully for us thanks to the national solidarity multiplied by the courage and heroism of our soldiers,” he said.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych

Source: RBC

Source: Dzerkalo Tyzhnia

Source: Ukrainian News

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Comments

  1. Avatar Michel Cloarec says:

    With respect for the russians who died during WW2. It is absolutly correct to change.
    Patriotic war was a Stalin propaganda, so the soldiers went to war with 1 gun for two.

  2. Avatar Joni Pelkonen says:

    In Finland it is called the Second World War in general, with Finnish participation coming during two periods: first, the Winter War between Finland and Soviet union from 12/1939 to 3/1940, and the so called Continuation War from 7/1941 to 5/1945.

    Second World War lasted from september 1939 to May 1945. The so called Great Patriotic War covers the German assault against Soviet Union from July 1941 until German capitulation in May 1945.

    So, Second World War and Great Patriotic War are not the same thing. However, there has been a consistent trend of diminishing the Soviet fault in starting the war and participation in the war during the time before German assault. Winter War, with altogether over 200 000 casualties and an unknown number of wounded, for example, was called just a “border incident”.

    In Finnish historywriting the war starts in 1939 with Soviet assault against Finland and continues with completely justifiable Finnish counter attack during the summer of 1941. Thus, Second World War, not “Great” patriotic war.

  3. Avatar Dirk Smith says:

    Ukraine lost more lives than nearly Poland and Russia combined. Back then, and to some degree today, Ukraine represented the gatekeeper defense against Nazi/Bolshevik aggression. As Stepan Bandera understood, both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia simply subjugated Ukraine for their totalitarian needs. The KGB thief Putler represents the last remaining dinosaur of that train of thought.

  4. Avatar Murf says:

    With every symbol that is cast aside Ukraine becomes more of it’s own nation.
    Don’t diminish the courage and sacrifice of the soldiers that fought in the war. I can’t imagine the the hardships losses they faced not even the Russians. However it YOUR peoples war and not the “SOVIETS” that should be honored.

  5. Avatar JisLor says:

    FACTS that Ukrainian textbooks soon will contain. (as Ukraine further digs itself out from Russian lies and libel)

    UKRAINE, NOT
    “russia” defeated Germany as Churchill wrote.

    67% of ALL German
    forces including elite and SS forces were fighting in …UKRAINE, not
    “russia”.

    UKRAINE LOST 14
    MILLION POPULATION IN WW2.

    As of late 1942 the
    German war effort had UKRAINE not “russia” as its priority.

    NO NATION ON EARTH
    GAVE AS MUCH TO DEFEAT THE AXIS POWERS AS DID UKRAINE.

    For every American
    killed in WW” FIFTY TWO UKRAINIANS not “russians” died.

    It was UKRAINIANS WHO
    LIBERATED AUSCHWITZ AND ALL THE NAZI DEATH CAMPS IN POLAND …

    There are 2570
    “RIGHTEOUS” UKRAINIANS HONORED IN JERUSALEM WHO RISKED AND GAVE THEIR
    LIVES TO SAVE JEWS… there are only 250 “russians.”

    NO NATION ON EARTH
    GAVE AS MUCH TO SAVE THE JEWISH PEOPLE FROM THE HOLOCAUST AS DID …UKRAINE,
    (NOT…”russia”)

    “russia”
    lost at most 9 million people in WW”

    UKRAINE, was the
    VICTOR against Germany NOT…”russia” as Churchill wrote and as the
    facts declare. ENOUGH OF THIS “russia” bs. …

    UKRAINE is NOT
    “rUSSIA.”

    THESE FACTS WILL
    PREVAIL as “russia” shrinks to a mere insignificant muscovite state
    and the TRUTH finally comes to light.

    1. Avatar Misha says:

      These are not facts at all. During WWII, Russia had 6,750,000 military deaths and 7,200,000 civilians deaths, with a total of 13,950,000 deaths. During the same period, the Ukraine had 1,650,000 military deaths and 5,200,000 civilians deaths, with a total of 6,850,000 deaths. Both countries lost a significant portion of people in WWII, it is sad that to praise the contribution of the Ukraine, you feel the need to degrade the contribution of Russia.

      1. Avatar caap02 says:

        Well, Putin started the “denigration” with his statements that Russia could have won the war without Ukraine. And, by the way, with the death tolls you quote, Ukraine still lost a higher percentage of its population than Russia did as a result of WW2.

        1. Avatar Misha says:

          Please give me a link to the source of where Putin said this, I doubt that it exists. Yes you are right, the Ukraine did lose a higher percentage of people, its significant contribution in WWII is not forgotten and no Russian claims otherwise.