Hienadź Sahanovič. Otherwise-mindedness of the Academic Intelligentsia in Soviet Belarus of the Thaw

The article looks at examples of anti-Soviet and nationalist thinking among humanitarian intelligentsia in Soviet Belarus of the late Khrushchev and early Brezhnev years. Paradoxically, the thought of Belarusian intelligentsia after Stalin era has attracted only little attention of the researchers. As primary sources of the study the documents from the Communist Party organisations of the Academy of Sciences of the BSSR as well as related private correspondence have been examined. As the archives reveal, there were academic staff members in Minsk, mainly from young generation, who publicly expressed their disagreeing with official canon of Belarusian history and literature as well as Soviet nationality politics. Some of them were in close contact with Ukrainian dissident movement. They criticized the Russification of Belarusian language and culture and the domination of cultural and political life of the Belarus by Russians. Like in other republics, the Belarusian dissenters grounded their argumentation on the Marxist-Leninist ideology “freed from Stalin’s distortion”. Nevertheless, the regime treated some of the dissenters from academic Intelligentsia as “antisocial elements”, mentally ill and discredited by associating them with the “bourgeois nationalist” as the enemies of the Soviet Union and undertook repressive action against them. Further research on the topic should be done, including comparison the dissent in Soviet Belarus with dissident movement in other Union republics.