Episode 2: From the Great Patriotic War to the fall of the Soviet Union
In this episode, we take a look at two of the most important events which have shaped modern Belarus and the contemporary Belarusian identity: the experience of the Second World War and the fall of the Soviet Union. The level of devastation that Belarus experienced during the war was an important element in shaping Belarus during the Soviet period. In the late 1980s and early 1990s the Belarusian National Front emerged hoping to capitalize on the fall of the Soviet Union, hoping to build a new Belarusian state. Yet, the level of Russification and Sovietization of the society remained strong factors, ultimately helping Lukashenka come to power.Hosted by: Adam ReichardtGuest Speaker: David R. Marples, a Canadian historian and Distinguished University Professor at the Department of History & Classics, University of Alberta. He specializes in history and contemporary politics of BelarusBackground Readings:David R. Marples, Our Glorious Past: Lukashenka's Belarus and the Great Patriotic War, Columbia University Press, Sep 1, 2014. Brian Bennett, The Last Dictatorship in Europe. Belarus under Lukashenko, Hurst & Company, London, 2011. David R. Marples, Understanding Ukraine and Belarus: A Memoir. E-International Relations, 2020. ****This podcast is financed by Solidarity Fund PL within the framework of the Polish development cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland and the grant titled: “In Solidarity with Belarus”. The podcast expresses exclusively the views of the speakers and cannot be identified with the official stance of the Solidarity Fund PL nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.