From Ruins to Reconstruction: Urban Identity in Soviet by Karl D. Qualls

By Karl D. Qualls

Sevastopol, situated in present-day Ukraine yet nonetheless domestic to the Russian Black Sea Fleet and respected by way of Russians for its function within the Crimean battle, was once completely destroyed via German forces in the course of international warfare II. In From Ruins to Reconstruction, Karl D. Qualls tells the advanced tale of the city's rebuilding. in line with huge examine in data in either Moscow and Sevastopol, architectural plans and drawings, interviews, and his personal vast event in Sevastopol, Qualls tells a different tale within which the outer edge "bests" the Stalinist middle: the city's adventure indicates that neighborhood officers had massive room to move even throughout the top years of Stalinist control.

Qualls first paints a bright portrait of the ruined urban and the sufferings of its surviving population. He then turns to Moscow's plans to remake the traditional urban at the heroic socialist version prized by way of Stalin and visited upon so much different postwar Soviet towns and cities. In Sevastopol, in spite of the fact that, the architects and town planners despatched out from the guts "went native," deviating from Moscow's blueprints to collaborate with neighborhood officers and citizens, who seized keep watch over of the making plans strategy and rebuilt town in a way that celebrated its precise ancient id.

When accomplished, postwar Sevastopol resembled a nineteenth-century Russian urban, with tree-lined boulevards; large walkways; and structures, road names, and memorials to its heroism in wars either gone and up to date. even though visually Russian (and nonetheless containing a majority Russian-speaking population), Sevastopol was once in 1954 joined to Ukraine, which in 1991 turned an autonomous kingdom. In his concluding bankruptcy, Qualls explores how the "Russianness" of the town and the presence of the Russian fleet have an effect on kin among Ukraine, Russia, and the West.

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Extra resources for From Ruins to Reconstruction: Urban Identity in Soviet Sevastopol after World War II

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In the days following liberation, as the first sailors and residents made their way back to the city, the naval newspaper described the “glory of the Russian soul” by combining the stories of Crimean War heroes like admirals P. S. Nakhimov and V. A. Kornilov, sailor and quartermaster Petr Koshka, and field nurse Dasha Sevastopolskaia (the Russian equivalent of Florence 33. This is similar to Richard Wortman’s understanding of how Russian imperial sovereigns created a higher place for their selves over their subjects.

GAGS, f. R-59 op. 1, d.  1–5. 19. Krovavye zlodeianiia nemtsev v Sevastopole, 13–14, cited in Sevastopoliu 200 let, 1783–1983, 265. 20 Nazi leaders, keenly aware of the power of entertainment and the importance of the past in creating a sense of self and nation, had set out to destroy all media that the Soviets could use to rally the population. The Nazis consciously attacked and destroyed the means of production and survival in Sevastopol and the USSR, but they also sought to undercut the markers of identification and pride.

See The Heroic Defence of Wartime Destruction and Historical Identification 31 between the two defenses heralded a particular urban biography, which often usurped the prominence of the Bolshevik revolution and the establishing of Soviet power. Connections between the second great defense (World War II) and the first (Crimean War) emerged from the pens of journalists, writers, and military and political officers in the days of the siege. As Vice Admiral F. S. ”30 When Oktiabrskii wrote about the second defense of Sevastopol the Soviet reader (and undoubtedly some of the British and French allies) understood that the first defense had occurred during the Crimean War.

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