Sevastopol – Mythmakers

The extreme hubris of  municipal and naval officers created difficulties faced by party officials who tried to redefine the traditional Russian past of Sevastopol and conform it to a more acceptable past dictated by the central authority.  Professor Qualls argues that party members were unable to force conformity among the people of Sevastopol, at least in their traditions, and instead the city held fast to its roots to the motherland. His use of the word “mythmakers” to describe party official designated to re-invent Sevastopol’s past is absolutely applicable because they tried to do exactly that.  The main idea behind Soviet mythmakers was to create saint-like civilian heroes, who were saved by party intervention, for the people to rally behind.  Sevastopol’s municipal and naval officers however were instead able to draw on wartime heroes who were attached to a Russian past, which allowed the history of Sevastopol to retain its Russian qualities.  “Heroism, resistance, and self-sacrifice became synonymous with Sevastopol.” How were the people of Sevastopol able to escape their primordial ascription?  In my opinion, their reliance on a distinctly Russian past especially during a time of war, as to avoid complications with the Soviets, allowed them to do so.

 

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  1. The party was bamboozled by its own decrees. Not that it necessarily agreed with the local officials that used the Soviets own decrees against them. Qualls brings this out when he says “At some point in Trautman’s education, he had learned how to use the regime’s discourse against itself in order to fight homogenization” ((Karl Qualls, Who Makes Local Memories?: The Case of Sevastopol after World War II) The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review 38, (2011), p. 140))). As Qualls brings out that lack of money following the war also aided in Trautman’s ability to convince party leader to go along with his plan.

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