Historisches Institut, Osteuropäische Geschichte
- Belarus zwischen den Ersten und Zweiten Weltkriegen
- Alltagsgeschichte/Sozialismus in Osteuropa
- Kulturpolitik der Sowjetunion und BSSR
Arbeitstitel: "What The State Gave the People: Belarussification and Socialist Construction in Interwar Minsk"
My research project investigates how the Soviet Union fostered a pro-Soviet Belarusian national culture within the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic. My project focuses on how national communists selectively transplanted attractive elements from the "Bourgeoisie Nationalism" of the Nasha Niva movement and attempted to inscribe a new Soviet Belarusian Culture upon the face of largely ruined Minsk following the First World War. Creating a Soviet Belarusian culture was not without its paradoxes. First, Minsk was a predominantly Jewish city. Furthermore, Minsk lacked the heavy industry or the Russian speaking proletariat that characterized St. Petersburg, Moscow or Central Russia. Writing about interwar Minsk presents a historiographical challenge too, as so much of the city, its people, and the records of its existence were destroyed during the Second World War. This dissertation explains how the interwar construction of Minsk was entangled with the creation of socialist as well as national spaces. I argue that in spite of the long odds, this Soviet nation-building project was mostly successful and identify how before World War II a Belarusian public was created.