L. Yepik, Е. Semeshin Struggle Against Bourgeois Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism in the Universities of the USSR in the Post-war Period (1945–1953)

DOI: 10.20535/2307-5244.50.2020.210146

Sumy State Pedagogical University named after A.S. Makarenko

The authors of the article investigate political campaigns in the USSR in the post-war period, as a reaction to the beginning of the Cold War, and their peculiarities within the universities of the USSR. A causal link between repression in the realm of science and culture and changes in the foreign policy of the USSR was established, the course of campaigns was traced, the political persecution of university students and teachers of the USSR was described, the true nature of the charges was revealed and the reaction of teacher representatives to this policy was traced and analyzed. In general, the results of the political campaigns of 1945–1953 were summarized.

Research work and scientific activities in the universities in the post-war period were integrally captured by political censorship. The topics of dissertations were closely chosen and repeatedly changed depending on the publication of one or another propagandist article written by recognized political thinkers of that time. Some scientists were accused of political misconduct, bourgeois nationalism and “worshiping to the West” and generally lost the opportunity to do scientific work, and high-skilled workers were dismissed from academic institutions and some of them suffered from political persecutions.

The purpose of the article is to disclose the reasons, the course and consequences of the political persecution of pedagogical intelligentsia in the universities of the USSR during the late Stalinism in the course of the campaign of struggle with bourgeois Ukrainian nationalism and cosmopolitanism. Furthermore, the task of the research is to identify the features of the implementation of these campaigns within universities of the USSR and to analyze the attitude of pedagogical intelligents’ to this policy.

On the basis of a wide range of scientific literature and archival documents, the authors argue that the struggle against cosmopolitanism and Ukrainian nationalism became a reaction of the totalitarian state to the desire of the population to obtain fundamental political rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom of thoughts. The reasons why teachers and students of the USSR’s universities were targets of political pressure and arbitrariness can be explained by their intelligence, which was considered as an obstacle by the Soviet rulers. This group of the population did not only oppose the communist ideology but also resisted to the dissemination of uninformed materials within university disciplines.

Keywords: postwar reconstruction, Cold War, bourgeois nationalism, cosmopolitanism, teachers, institutions, political repression.

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