The release of the first unified Russian-Ukrainian textbook for history teachers is planned for the end of 2010, the Ukrainian education minister said at a RIA Novosti video link-up
“The textbook is being created for to the teachers who work with…secondary school pupils – to understand each other better,” Dmitri Tabachnyk said.
Many Ukrainians despise Tabachnyk for his professed hatred of Ukrainian nationalism. Not surprising then is his approval of school materials in Russia that have been quietly transforming into Soviet-era propaganda pieces for the government to idolize Stalin for a new generation:
Stalin acted ‘entirely rationally’ in executing and imprisoning millions of people in the Gulags, a controversial new Russian teaching manual claims.
Fifty-five years after the Soviet dictator died, the latest guide for teachers to promote patriotism among the Russian young said he did what he did to ensure the country’s modernisation.
The manual, titled A History of Russia, 1900-1945, will form the basis of a new state-approved text book for use in schools next year.
It seems to follow an attempt backed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to re-evaluate Stalin’s record in a more positive light.
Critics have taken exception, however, to numerous excerpts, which they say are essentially attempts to whitewash Stalin’s crimes.
Historians believe up to 20 million people perished as a result of his actions – more than the six million killed during Hitler’s genocide of the Jews.
Now the new teaching manual is attempting to tell a generation of Russian schoolchildren that Stalin acted rationally.
The manual informs teachers that the Great Terror of the 1930s came about because Stalin ‘did not know who would deal the next blow, and for that reason he attacked every known group and movement, as well as those who were not his allies or of his mindset.’
It stresses to teachers that ‘it is important to show that Stalin acted in a concrete historical situation’ and that he acted ‘entirely rationally – as the guardian of a system, as a consistent supporter of reshaping the country into an industrialised state.’
The controversial manual is produced by the country’s leading school book publishers Prosveshenije, a state-supported company that was a monopoly supplier of classroom texts in the Soviet era, and appears to be returning to that role.
Alexander Kamensky, head of the history department at the Russia State University for the Humanities, said the manual was, ‘sadly,’ a sign that teaching history in schools has become ‘an ideological instrument.’
But it seems to echo Putin’s remarks to a group of history teachers in June 2007 when he said while Stalin’s purges were one of the darkest periods of the country’s history, ‘others cannot be allowed to impose a feeling of guilt on us.’
An earlier manual called Stalin an ‘effective manager’.
With this being taught in Ukrainian schools, as well as erections of Stalin busts in the country it seems that a new Soviet Union is in the works.