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Региональные Особенности Коллективной Памяти Студентов О Холокосте В Современной Украине

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Regional Peculiarities of Students’ Collective Memory On the Holocaust in Present-Day Ukraine


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This article outlines collective memory about the Holocaust of the contemporary Ukrainian students and its regional features. Empirical data were collected with the help of several methods such as writing essays about the Holocaust and carrying out focus groups the goal of which was to get information about the sources of knowledge about the Holocaust and students’ attitude to it.

The sample was developed with regard for the region, age, education, and gender. There are three main regions in Ukraine which differ in their history, culture, religion, mentality, economic situation, etc. They are Eastern, Central and Western regions, and three cities from these parts of the country were chosen for the study (Kharkiv from the Eastern part, Poltava from the Central, and Lviv from the Western part). Students from science and humanities
(excluding history) of the universities in these cities became the respondents in this study. They were of 16-23 years of age, almost equally males and females. 237 essays which were obtained from them have been analyzed.
Such methods as discourse analysis, elements of narrative analysis, qualitative content analysis were use to analyze the data and get the results which gave a possibility to make some conclusions.

Students’ collective memory of the Holocaust is based on different cultural models and values. The most frequently used is a model of human rights, equality of people of different races and nations, then values of non-violence,
negative attitude to wars, everyday life stereotypes and myths, and also dislike for the Jews. Their collective memory is not homogeneous, it represents both supplementary versions (e.g., antinationalistic and interpretative) and contested versions (e.g., antinationalistic and anti-Semitic, historical and everyday life). It demonstrates different, sometimes opposite attitude of certain groups to the Holocaust and memory about it. The content of students’ memory about the Holocaust is rather poor and distanced from them.

Collective memory of the Holocaust is a peculiar combination of its official (mass media, textbooks) and unofficial (family stories, conversations with others, beliefs) versions. It has a tendency to simplify events and to imagine
them as simple, consistent and noncontradictory. It should be mentioned that nobody (with the exception of only one person) mentioned collaboration and participation of Ukrainians in the destruction of the Jews. On the other hand, only few mentioned righteous persons who helped the Jews and saved them.

There is also regional specificity of collective memory. Regional memory (both about events in Ukraine and in the own region) is more evidently expressed in the students from Lviv. They used regional discourse four times more
frequently than in Poltava and ten times more frequently than in Kharkiv. Their memory of the Holocaust is more saturated with the facts dealing with Ukraine. In general they displayed more interest to the history of Ukraine and its past. Only few students in Kharkiv and Lviv remembered the Holocaust in the regional discourse, which shows their attitude to the Holocaust as an alien event not included in the Ukrainian history and national memory. A number of students (about 15%) mostly from Poltava and Kharkiv expressed anti-Semitic views. Students from Lviv identified Ukrainian people as victims and displayed negative attitude to the Soviet Union and Russians. Students from Poltava are less critical to the Soviet Union and do not show negativism towards Russians. In Kharkiv they are
critical to the Soviet Union and are quite loyal towards Russians.

The Holocaust is considered by the majority of students to be an event from the past that does not relate either to the present or future and their life as a whole.



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Иванова, Елена Региональные Особенности Коллективной Памяти Студентов О Холокосте В Современной Украине. Голокост І Сучасність. 2008: 9-28.  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-2654