Qualls’s discussion on instill a local legacy within Sevastopol in the post-World War II world seemed quite compelling, as it deviated from the narrative generally presented about cities within the Soviet Union.
Most cities and locales within the Soviet Union, it appears, followed a particular school of thought, which exalted Lenin and other important thinkers involved with the history of Communism, and integrating their own histories with the collective history of the USSR. In Sevastopol, however, local officials paid more attention to local heroes and history, highlighting the importance of Sevastopol throughout Russian history (not just the history of the Soviet Union).
My main question, I suppose, is why was this able to become successful within the context of the Soviet Union–I’m not quite sure I fully understand how Sevastopol successfully achieved its local legacy, essentially rejecting the (perceived) more important legacy of the USSR as a whole.
You make a good point about Sevastopol possessing a historical narrative that deviates from the other Soviet cities. I think creation of a local history that seeks to praise its heroes of the past, especially from the Imperialist eras, mirrors the changes occurring in broader Soviet society. Qualls’ article focuses on post-WWII Sevastopol and its response to WWII and the Crimean War. Both during and after WWII the trend of hailing former non-Soviet heroes existed. It follows the creation of a non-Soviet identity, one that puts the country before the party, or in this case the region before the party.
Victoria mentioned in her comment that throughout the Soviet Union, different groups frequently put the country- the Soviet Union- before the party. Similarly, as Professor Qualls mentioned in class, during World War II Soviet nationals fought not for communism and Stalin, but instead for the “Motherland.” As with Sevastopol, I do not think that the people are rejecting the USSR, but instead are loyal first to their region, and then to the state as a whole.