From September 1 to 3, 2020, a cultural and educational conference “The Legacy of the Great Victory – the Pride of Descendants” (hereinafter referred to as the Conference) was held in Sevastopol as part of the International historical and patriotic program “Week of Memory" - a project of the Crimean Eurasian School of Partnership. The Conference was held to preserve the historical memory of the Great Patriotic war of 1941-1945 and to counteract the falsification of history.
The Conference was organized by the Sevastopol regional branch of the all-Russian public organization “Assembly of peoples of Russia” and the Representation of the International Union of non-governmental organizations “Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly”. Researchers, employees of archives, museums, teachers, postgraduates and students, schoolchildren, attended the Conference.
An international youth roundtable meeting “Contribution of the peoples of Eurasia to the Great Victory”, initiated by the Eurasian Youth Assembly was held as part of the Conference via video link. In Sevastopol participants of the Conference communicated live with representatives of the youth movement from other regions of the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan.
The Conference also awarded the winners and participants of the research contest “Great Victory of 1945 - Pride of Descendants”, dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic war of 1941-1945. The research contest was organized and held by the Sevastopol regional branch of the Assembly of peoples of Russia as part of the project “Crimean Eurasian School of Partnership”.
The Conference participants also took part in the Second International scientific and practical conference “Cinema in search of historical truth. History and Memory”, which was held as part of the XVI Sevastopol Festival of Documentaries and TV programs VICTORIOUS TOGETHER and in the opening of the International Public Forum on Preserving the Memory of the Second World War and the Great Patriotic War “Protect the Truth about the Victory!”
The following issues were discussed during the conference:
- the essence of the feat of the defenders of the Fatherland in 1941-1945 and the meaning of the Great Victory in 1945;
- the role of the Soviet Union in the Second World War of 1939-1945 and in the Victory over fascism;
- events of the Great Patriotic War, results of scientific research;
- the problem of falsification of historical memory of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, including the role of the USSR in the Second World War of 1939-1945;
- feats of people during the Great Patriotic War;
- contribution of the peoples of Eurasia to the Great Victory;
- memorable dates and significant events - common to the countries of Eurasia;
- exchange of experience in preserving the historical memory of the Great Patriotic War in the Russian Federation, France, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan;
- preserving the memory of the Great Patriotic War in families.
The following conclusions were reached during the discussions:
- The Memory of the Great Patriotic War is one of the factors of national identity. A nation that does not honour the memory of its heroes can become nothing. It is worthy only of contempt.
- The preservation of historical heritage and cultural traditions is a fundamental driving force for the unity of the peoples of the Eurasian space.
- The victory of 1945 is a common victory of the peoples of Eurasia; it brings the peoples of Eurasia closer together. It is very important to promote truthful information about the Great Patriotic War through modern mass media and preserve this common historical heritage.
- Young people - students and schoolchildren - are ready to take part in preserving the memory of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945: its events and heroes. They understand the essence of the Victory over such a dangerous national socialism, including the role of thwarting the German plan “OST” - the plan to enslave and destroy the peoples of the USSR. Young people are aware that today's well being is largely due to the Victory over terrible events that occurred on the territory of Eurasia in the 1940-s of the XX century.
- In the Russian Federation and other countries of Eurasia, there are organizations that are already doing fruitful work to preserve the historical memory of the Great Patriotic War. Their main target audience is young people. One of the most active is the Eurasian Youth Assembly and the Charitable Patriotic Fund of Muslims of Russia. These organizations carry out activities that help preserve historical memory; build programs aimed specifically at young people. The activities of these organizations deserve increased attention and support at the state level.
- It is necessary to preserve the memory for the younger generation, especially for those children who grow up far from their historical homeland.
- Patriotism is inextricably linked with the historical past, which helps to improve the quality of culture and education. In this regard, it is extremely important to focus the younger generation on studying the history of their country, a deep understanding of the processes that took place then, since historical memory is one of the factors for building a well being future. It is now extremely important to resist the falsifications that exist today and are often found in the media. The younger generation must fulfil the mission: to preserve facts without distortion and pass them on to the next generation also without distortion; since memory often ends in one generation. One generation that does not pay homage and honour the memory of their ancestors and events is enough to belittle the significance of these events. Subsequently this can have a devastating impact on the relations of the peoples of Eurasia.
- In preserving historical memory, family education is very important, and the role of teachers is also extremely important. It is important to focus young people on understanding the essence of events and phenomena. For example, why the defenders of our Fatherland in 1941-1945 sacrificed their lives.
To preserve and transmit memory in modern realities, it is extremely important to maintain interaction at the level of public organizations and student relations; to strengthen the dialogue of young people from the countries of Eurasia; to join forces in the implementation of public diplomacy projects, and to strengthen ties between representatives of different peoples and different cultures.It is necessary to actively use the resources of state museums and look for new ways to present information. For example, the experience of covering military events from the point of view of athletes who fought on different fronts of the war is valuable.
The Conference participants agreed that it is effective to involve young people in proven forms of work such as: All-Russian campaign Immortal Regiment, collection and publication of memoirs of war veterans, annual competitions, lessons of courage, meetings with veterans, visits to memorable places. Schools and public organizations need to actively build relationships with museums, participate in museum projects, and cover dates related to the Great Patriotic war. Such a form of work as the creation of school museums, in which students themselves act as guides and event organizers, remains effective. Decorative and applied arts and cinematography have a great potential as a means of civil and Patriotic education of schoolchildren.
- Having the aim of educating youth in the spirit of strengthening inter-ethnic dialogue between the Eurasian countries, the participants of the Conference supported the proposal to compile and publish a collection of biographies of the participants of the heroic defence and liberation of Sevastopol during the Great Patriotic war of 1941-1945 - the natives of former Soviet republics which now are independent States; the working title of the collection “Natives of Eurasia countries - participants of the heroic defence and liberation of Sevastopol during the Great Patriotic war of 1941-1945”.
APPROVED BY THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE CONFERENCE