Maslova Irina Ivanovna, Doctor of historical sciences, professor, sub-department of real estate cadaster and law, Penza State University of Architecture and Construction (28 Germana Titova street, Penza, Russia), email@example.com
Sukhova Olga Alexandrovna, Doctor of historical sciences, professor, dean of the historical and philological faculty, Penza State University (40 Krasnaya street, Penza, Russia), firstname.lastname@example.org
Jagov Oleg Vasilyevich, Doctor of historical sciences, professor, sub-department of Russian history, regional ethnography and history teaching methods, Penza State University (40 Krasnaya street, Penza, Russia), email@example.com
Background. The Second World War, being an event of planetary scale, continues to attract the attention of the world of science and the public. In the postwar years mixed assessments of the lessons of the war and the role of Russia in the struggle against fascism have spread, also there have been attempts to revise the results of the global military conflict of the 20th century. The purpose of the work is to analyze the texts of German generals’ memoir sources to confirm the historic role of the Soviet Union during the Second World War and to define main reasons for the collapse of fascism.
Materials and methods. The research tasks were implemented on the basis of the analysis of memories of participants of the Second World War, as well as on the analysis of scientific literature. The methodological basis of the research stands on the principle of historicism, which allows to analyze the process of changing in the value judgments of the enemy. The research used the method of content analysis of memoir source texts in order to identify the content and frequency of value judgments of Wehrmacht representatives about the Soviet army, strategy, tactics, weapons level, national mentality. Special historical methods were also used in the research. The diachronic method allowed to analyze processes and events of the war period in historical sequence against the general historical background. The synchronous method helped to establish causal relationships between events and phenomena taking place at the same time not only at the front, but also in the economy, domestic and foreign policy, social relations.
Results. The value judgments of German generals about the lessons of Hitler’s Eastern campaign, such as the causes of the defeat of the Wehrmacht, as well as the features of the ideology, the army and the national mentality of USSR, were identified, systematized and analyzed.
Conclusions. The analysis of German memoirs allows to confirm the historical significance of the role of the Soviet Union during World War II, to determine main reasons for the collapse of fascism from the point of view of the enemy. These sources are advisable to be widely used in educational activities in secondary and higher educational institutions for the formation of the historical memory of youth on the basis of reliable facts and judgments.
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