This article is an attempt at a synthetic presentation of the changes occurring in the social life of the post-Soviet Russia (i.e. from the collapse of the USSR to the present). The first part of the article discusses a number of problems preventing Russian society from transiting from Sovietism to Europeism, the issue of so-called social justice, as well as the mentality of Homo Sovieticus and Homo Europeus. The second part of the article presents an analysis of the economic aspects of the life of the Russian society, including the problems of poverty and social strata, economical stagnation and the lack of reforms. Apart from diagnosing problems, the author also attempts to show possible roads for the development of the Russian society.
J. Gontmacher, Współczesna Rosja: szkice o życiu społecznym, „Rocznik Instytutu Euro-py Środkowo-Wschodniej”, 14 (2016), z. 2, s. 9-34.
In the USSR, including Lithuania, which was annexed in 1940, repression was the key tool used by the establishment to eliminate from the society any potential threats to the system. One of the key services was the KGB (eng. CSS = Committee for State Security). Its operation is presented with the Trotsky Region as an example. This administrative unit was characterised with a multinational population, and somehow peripheral location, yet still close to the capital of the Republic. Its unique character was emphasised by higher touristic activity resulting from the appeal of its cities and its position on the main route from Poland to Vilnius. As the possibilities to visit the country by people of other nationalities were limited, this was a very important factor for the secret services. The period which was analysed is 1980-1984. This was a particularly specific time as frequent changes in the key positions in the Communist Party took place at that time. During this period a slow change in the defined spheres of threat can be observed. Although the KGB activity was initially focused largely on surveillance of people who had been involved in anti-system activities decades earlier and most of whom had served jail sentences and on searching for the activity of the western intelligence, it later became a response to the challenges of the current times. They resulted largely from the effect of the changes taking place in Poland on the attitudes of the Russian citizens. This concerned the issues of achieving better working conditions through protests, the emerging criticism of the system and the aspirations to gain more civil liberties.
A. Bobryk, KGB wobec zagrożeń systemu radzieckiego. Przykład rejonu trockiego w LSRR (1980-1984), „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej”, 14 (2016), z. 2, s. 35-65.
This article discusses the so-called Ukraine issue in Russia’s policy towards the Republic of Poland (between the 60’s of the 17th century and the early 18th century). The article offers an in-depth analysis of the Polish-Russian relations (military conflicts, peace treaties, diplomatic strategies) in broader time frames than those assumed by scholars so far. In this context, motives and targets of Russian foreign policy towards Ukraine were pointed out and discussed. The article shows that the conflict of Ukraine, which constitutes the main axis of Polish-Russian relations, hinders the possibility of Russia and Poland forming warmer relations.
K. Koczegarow, Polityka rosyjska wobec Rzeczypospolitej (lata 60. XVII wieku – początek XVIII wieku). Kwestia ukraińska, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej”, 14 (2016), z. 2, s. 67-91.
Four Decades of Orthodoxy. The Former Eastern Catholic Parish in Warsaw under the Moscow Patriarchate, 1876-1917 is an attempt to reconstruct the history of the Warsaw-based church and community of ex-Uniates following their absorption into Russian Orthodoxy. It starts with a brief historical account on the formation of this group initiated by the Basilian Order. Then it describes the Russian policy that removed the Basilians from the parish. It goes over the process of adapting the parish to Orthodoxy in terms of architecture, area, demography, staffing and ideology. It discusses the parish clergy in terms of social and geo-ethnic backgrounds, education and worldviews. It lists the most active parishioners, i.e. Russians belonging to the city’s military and executive elite. The most significant episodes of the Orthodox parish are enumerated, i.e. the involvement of the parish priest in the 1882 Hnylychky controversy, the 1892 failed bomb attack on Governor-General Iosif Gurko, and the 1906 political murder of an agent provocateur, son of the parish priest. Some thought is given to the 1905 Edict of Toleration that did not result in giving former Greek Catholics back their confiscated Warsaw church. The narrative ends with the evacuation of the Orthodox clergy in the summer of 1915, followed by the entry of German troops into the city, and the official act of handing over the church to its original owners, i.e. a group of now-restored Greek Catholics and a Basilian Father, thus concluding the Orthodox period of the parish.
M. S. Jasiński, Cztery dekady prawosławia. Warszawska parafia pounicka w strukturach Patriarchatu Moskiewskiego w latach 1876-1917, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej”, 14 (2016), z. 2, s. 93-117.
The work explores the paths of Stepanov’s career as a teacher in Province Junior High School in Warsaw, Lublin, Local School in Łęczyca. The memoirs of the former pupils of the Lublin Junior High picture him as a man of great European culture, rare righteousness and the softest of hearts. He was respected and liked by the students, who held him in a much higher esteem than many Polish teachers. Of all the Russian teachers of Lublin Junior High School, only Stepanov settled in Lublin. He was married to Paulina Konarska, with whom he had a son and three daughters. After retiring, he became one of the more established photographers in Lublin in the second half of the 19th century. This is also where he passed away in 1878. He was buried at the cemetery on Lipowa Street in Lublin.
I. Sadurski, Działalność pedagogiczna Eugeniusza Stepanowa – profesora języka i literatury rosyjskiej w Gimnazjum Lubelskim w latach 1856-1863, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej”, 14 (2016), z. 2, s. 119-133.
Museums of the Holocaust appeal to powerful emotions, since their objective is to offer a moving experience that confronts visitors with difficult questions, or even takes them to the limits that defy comprehension. These exhibitions do not deal with affirmative history but with events that no one would like to identify with. One of the most important problems is the representation of the victims without using drastic and brutal images. Paradoxically, the difficulties and doubts related to the necessary task of representing the Shoah force museums of the Holocaust to embrace new forms of portraying the past and resort to the latest exhibition strategies capable of emotionally involving the public. In my paper, I would like to show how Polish exhibitions create new forms of narration, combine multiple discourses, search for new modes of communication (including artistic expression) and confront viewers with difficult knowledge. I would talk about two examples: so-called Central Sauna in Auschwitz-Birkenau and The Primer installation at Majdanek Museum.
A. Ziębińska-Witek, Victims of the Holocaust in Museum Exhibitions. New Ways of Re-presentation, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej”, 14 (2016), z. 2, s. 135-152.
L. Wojciechowski, Wśród źródeł do historii Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej. Dzieła Liudpranda z Kremony w przekładzie na francuski, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej”, 14 (2016), z. 2, s. 155-170.
The paper is a peculiar sketch overview of some most important problems, clear understanding of which is indispensable to a successful disclosure and understanding of the processes of the Communist reconstruction of the higher humanitarian education in 1920-30-s on the basis of scientific, educational and organizational ideas which came from the Russian scientific and political ruling communities. These ideas, if necessary, were to be taken by the other nations of the USSR. The development of the higher humanitarian education is presented in the paper by the example of Belarus where the repeated institutionalization of the higher education and science took place after October 1917. In fact, it was a socialist reconstruction of all elements of culture in the context of all-out socialist modernization of the state and society. There is accentuated in the paper the need to consider the appropriate processes against the background of the changeable context of socio-economic and political situation of the interwar period in the Byelorussian SSR as an integral part of the USSR.
I. Szauczuk, Edukacja humanistyczna w szkołach wyższych na Białorusi w okresie międzywojennym: szkic historyczny, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej”, 14 (2016), z. 2, s. 173-202.
A. Sobol, W odpowiedzi na artykuł Ihara Szauczuka Wyższa humanistyczna edukacja na Białorusi w okresie międzywojennym: szkic historyczny, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej”, 14 (2016), z. 2, s. 203-205.
A. Kuczyńska-Zonik, Rosja w (nie)bezpiecznym środowisku informacyjnym Zachodu. Recenzja Politycznej mediametrii Igora Nikolaychuka, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej”, 14 (2016), z. 2, s. 209-214.