Jan Szumski. History of Belarus in the mirror of the declassified documents of the Central Committee of the CP(B)B / CPSU

(The second half of the 40th – the first half of the 60s.)

The article focuses on the role played by the Central Committee of the CPSU in perception of the Belarusian history as well as the mechanism of decision-making in various aspects of historical past in the USSR from 1945 to 1964.

The problem of the elaboration of the Belarusian history conception is considered comprehensively – in the context of Common Slavic history as well as context of Belarus as part of the USSR in the camp of socialist countries.

As is generally known, the locus of power in the Soviet Union was owned by the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Total political power was carried out by the ruling Party and state elite that controlled all the institutions within the Soviet society, including scientific research as well.

The main interpretive schemes of the history of Belarus were born in the offices of the Central Committee in Moscow. Without the sanction of this body it was really impossible to develop new areas of historical research.

Party officials often turned to professional historians-consultants for assistance. They were both prerevolutionary experts and scholars brought up in the Soviet historical school tradition. On the basis of their expertise conclusions new research plans were drawn up and promising research directions were determined. The use of archival materials was of the great importance, with their help the image of idyllic Russian – Belarusian relations was formed. For this purpose various methods were implemented, for example manipulation with facts is evident as well as outright falsification of documents took place sometimes.

The idea of creation of the Common Slavic history for countries within the socialist bloc and the Soviet Union had failed. The concept of “unity of the Slavs” had not found any sufficient support in the socialist camp; as after the events of 1956 new priorities in the historiography occurred.