Title: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the October Revolution (1967) – a Generational Turnover and the Politics of Memory of the USSR


Gajos, Bartłomiej

Date issued/created:


Resource Type:

Article : original article


Studia z Dziejów Rosji i Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej Vol. 52 no 2 (2017), Special Issue


Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences


Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Place of publishing:



p.175-204 ; Summary in English and Russian. ; Continues: Studia z Dziejów ZSRR i Europy Środkowej


Celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of the October Revolution revealed important changes in the politics of memory pursued by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. With the use of methodology of research on memory, in the article I put forward the thesis that the utopian project began on 7 November 1917 (N.S.) and faith in the final achievement of its goal set by Lenin’s party began to be overshadowed. The events which took place in Petrograd and on which collective memory had focused for last fifty years, did not have in the 1960s such a strong symbolic impact, being able to mobilise the people to achieve goals set by the Communist Party as the Great Patriotic War. From the time of reactivation of the official celebrations of the Victory Day in 1965 the October Revolution began gradually to diminish in importance and lose its central place in social memory of the Soviet people.The most important cause of this process of evolution of collective memory is, in my opinion,a generational change of the sixties. I also indicate some other significant factors that contributed to the politics of memory of the Communist Party: the problem of attitude towards the Stalinist period, conflict with China, and relations with the Western states.


Andrychowicz-Skrzeba J., Polityka historyczna w Polsce i Niemczech po roku 1989 w wystąpieniach publicznych oraz publikacjach polityków polskich i niemieckich, Gdańsk, 2014. ; Assmann A., Między historią a pamięcią. Antologia, Warszawa, 2013. ; Chernyschova N., Soviet Consumer Culture in the Brezhnev Era, New York, 2013. ; Corney F.C., Telling the October: Memory and the Making of the Bolshevik Revolution, Cornell University Press, 2004. ; Fitzpatrick S., Everyday Stalinism. Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s, Oxford University Press, 2000. ; Jones P., Myth, Memory, Trauma: Rethinking the Stalinist Past in the Soviet Union, 1953–70, Yale, 2013. ; Judt T., Powojnie. Historia Europy od 1945 roku, Poznań, 2016. ; Kenez P., Odkłamana historia Związku Radzieckiego, Warszawa, 2008. ; Kolonitskii B., Figes O., Interpreting the Russian Revolution. The Language and Symbols of 1917, Yale, 1999. ; Malte R., “A Hall of Mirrors: Sovietizing Culture under Stalinism”, Slavic Review, 2009, no. 3, pp. 601–630 ; Mannheim K., “Problem pokoleń”, transl. A. Mizińska-Kleczkowska, Colloquia Communia, 1992/1993, no. 1/12, pp. 136–169. ; Nolan A., “‘Shitting Medals’. L.I. Brezhnev, the Great Patriotic War, and the Failure of the Personality Cult, 1965–1982”, MA thesis, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2008. ; Perry E., Anyuan. Mining China’s Revolutionary Tradition, University of California Press, 2002. ; Pichoja R., Historia władzy w Związku Radzieckim 1941–1991, Warszawa, 2011. ; Pons S., The Global Revolution. A History of the International Communism 1917–1991, Oxford University Press, 2014. ; Radchenko S., “The Sino-Soviet split”, in: The Cambridge History of the Cold War, vol. 2, eds. M.P. Leffler, O.A. Westad, Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 349–372. ; Roberts G., “Stalin, the Pact with Nazi-Germany, and the Origins of Postwar Soviet Diplomatic Historiography”, Journal of Cold War Studies, 2002, no. 4, pp. 93–103. ; Szacka B., Czas przeszły, pamięć, mit, Warszawa, 2006. Taubman W., Chruszczow. Człowiek i epoka, Wrocław, 2012. ; Wojnicka J., Dzieci XX Zjazdu. Film w kulturze sowieckiej lat 1956–1968, Kraków, 2012. ; Zubok V., Nieudane imperium. Związek Radziecki okresu zimnej wojny, od Stalina do Gorbaczowa, Kraków, 2010. ; Бордюгов Г.А., Октябрь. Сталин. Победа. Культ юбилеев в пространстве памяти, Москва, 2010. ; Медведев Р., Личность и эпоха. Политический портрет Л.И. Брежнева, Москва, 1991. ; Минц И.И., История Великого Октября, vol. 1, Москва, 1967. ; Модсли Э., Уайт С., Советская элита от Ленина до Горбачева. Центральный комитет и его члены. 1917–1991 годы, Москва, 2011. ; Рольф М., Советские массовые праздники, Москва, 2009. ; Румянцев А.М., “Октябрь и экономическая наука”, in: Октябрь и научный прогресс, vol. 2, ed. М.В. Келдыш, Москва, 1967, pp. 403–429.


Studia z Dziejów Rosji i Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej




2, Special Issue

Start page:


End page:




Resource Identifier:

oai:rcin.org.pl:64783 ; 2353-6403 ; 10.12775/SDR.2017.EN2.06


click here to follow the link



Language of abstract:

eng ; rus


Creative Commons Attribution BY-ND 4.0 license

Terms of use:

Copyright-protected material. [CC BY-ND 4.0] May be used within the scope specified in Creative Commons Attribution BY-ND 4.0 license, full text available at: ; -

Digitizing institution:

Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Original in:

Projects co-financed by:

Ministry of Science and Higher Education ; Activities popularizing science (DUN)



Citation style:

This page uses 'cookies'. More information