Writing of History under PERESTROIKA

In USSR and Eastern Europe, the political change has dismantled all the past institutions, and razed to ground the established traditions and values. Attempts are being made to re-structure the whole society on liberal and enlightened bases. The discipline of history is also affected by this change and needs complete revision because, in the past, history was used by the successive governments to propagate their official policies and keep the people ignorant of the real facts. To mould the public opinion, the historical materials was minutely scrutinized, sifted and selected by the official historians. No information regarded injurious to the party and government was allowed to be printed.

Although the whole past history ofRussiawas revised and interpreted after revolution from the party’s point of view, the past was less tampered with than the current history. The people were allowed to know only slanted information. For example, Soviet history books justified the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1937 on the ground that, had the Soviets not made the pact, they would have been invaded by the Nazis with aid of the Western democracies. The Nazi-Soviet pact, the partition ofPoland, and the annexation of theBaltic Stateswere not referred to in the history books.

 Russialost 20 million people in second world war, but this figured was not published inUSSRand the people remained ignorant of the tremendous scarifies they made in the war. Writing on the world War-II, they early phases were omitted and the description was started from 22 June 1941, whenRussiawas invaded byGermany.The history books did not refer to what happened during the Stalin era, Soviet invasion ofHungaryandCzechoslovakiawere not mentioned, and if mentioned, only Soviet point of view was discussed.

The same process was followed in the Eastern European countries. History was used to justify the party’s actions and policies. For example, in Poland, history text books omitted Polish-Soviet war, Molotov-Ribbentrop…

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