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The Eleventh International Congress of Historical Sciences in Stockholm
The article is devoted to the results of the Eleventh International Congress of Historical Sciences, held in Stockholm on August 21 - 28, 1960.
The world congresses of historians, which are convened every five years, enable the researchers in every country to get a closer view of the situation in historical science, to strengthen already existing and establish new scientific contacts between historians of different nations. The article makes a detailed analysis of the work done at the Congress by all its panels and some of the committees. The Congress reflects the indisputable fact that historical science has become the scene of an acute ideological struggle. The heated discussions in all the panels and committees of the Congress graphically illustrated the existence of two diametrically opposite conceptions of the historical process.
On the one hand, Marxist historians from the socialist and capitalist countries adhere to the theory and methods of Marxism-Leninisma really scientific theory which enables every scientist to give a correct explanation of the historical process. On the other, there were many bourgeois scientists at the Congress who, speaking in the most general form, shared the idealist view of history.
The differences between representatives of these two trends were manifested with particular clarity when the problems of the periodization of world history and the philosophical principles of historical science came up for discussion in the methodological panel.
Relying on the achievements of Marxist-Leninist historiography, Marxist historians convincingly proved the possibility of a scientific study of historical past and of cognizing the objective laws of history. On all the major problems of historical science discussed at the Congress-periodization of world history, the philosophical principles of historical science, the role of slavery in ancient times, the national problem in Europe, the history of the Social-Democratic parties, etc. -the representatives of Marxist-Leninist historiography were on the offensive.
Bourgeois scientists at the Congress denied the possibility of objective cognition of the laws of historical development and the need for scientific periodization of world history. However, they were unable to put forward any new positive ideas on these problems; all their arguments were based on the same outworn or slightly refurbished idealist conceptions.
The article points out that pessimism and negation of the possibility of scientific cognition of history were characteristic of the statements made at the Congress by reactionary bourgeois scientists.
At the same time the Congress showed the growing influence exerted by Marxism-Leninism on bourgeois historians. A clear manifestation of this is the fact that bourgeois scientists are compelled to resort to Marxist-Leninist terminology and admit the successes of Marxist-Leninist historiography. It is noted in the article that these processes are indicative of the deep-going changes that are taking place in the present-day world as a result of the growing influence and strength of the forces of democracy and socialism.
The article further points out that many of the Congress reports and communications, as well as numerous statements made in the general debate, contain extensive research material and serve as a stimulus for the continued development of concrete historical knowledge. The Congress proceedings helped to bring out certain deficiencies in scientific activity and outline the basic trend of research work for the coining years. In this respect the Congress represents an important step in the development of historical science.
In conclusion the article says that the International Congress of Historical Sciences in Stockholm demonstrated the growing successes of Communist ideology and was another confirmation of the significant progress made by Marxist-Leninist historical science in the Soviet Union and beyond its borders.
I. S. KON. Bourgeois Philosophy of History in a Blind Alley
The article points out that in recent years bourgeois scientists have been displaying more and more interest in the theoretical problems of historical science. This was clearly reflected in the work of the Eleventh International Congress of Historical Sciences, whose methodological panel submitted several theoretical reports, notably a report by the Bonn
sociologist E. Rothacker on the influence exerted by the philosophy of history on contemporary historical sciences.
The author writes that this interest in the problems of philosophy and methodology of history is not fortuitous. The great social developments of our times undermined the primitive descriptive objectivism which was very widespread in the bourgeois historiography of the period of the "peaceful" development of capitalism. In the present situation of the tense ideological struggle the role of historiography, both as a means of explaining the past and influencing the present, is sharply increasing. Contemporary developments can be understood only if regarded from the viewpoint of history; at the same time, to understand the past one must have a good knowledge of the present. An ever-increasing number of bourgeois historians who are no longer satisfied with the narrow bounds of traditional "academic" historiography are striving to make generalizations based on the study of historical facts. The problems of history, both in its ontological and, in particular, gnosiological aspect, occupy a central place in the works of philosophers belonging to most diverse trends. The widening range of problems and more complicated methods of historical research compel bourgeois scientists to turn their attention to a number of complex problems-the criteria of historical truth, logical structure of historical interpretation, the correlation between history and other social sciences, etc. -which cannot be solved without philosophy. The contemptuous attitude to philosophical problems, on which many distinguished 19th-century historians prided themselves and which was always opposed by Marxists, is now regarded as erroneous by bourgeois historiography itself.
However, this revision of bourgeois historians' outdated theoretical concepts, the author points out, is often made from reactionary positions. The Western bourgeois historians' theoretical thinking is even more under the influence of reactionary political ideas and outworn philosophical idealism than their practical research work. The reactionary authors resort to diverse methods in their struggle against the materialist interpretation of history and in their efforts to undermine scientific knowledge as such. They advocate agnosticism and lack of faith in the possibilities of history as a science. In his brief review of the philosophical conceptions expounded by many prominent bourgeois historians of the West, I. S. Kon shows that they are infected with relativism, the extreme form of which-American presentism - totally negates the possibility of objective historical knowledge and regards historical science as a mere projection into the past of present-day aspirations and illusions. The author notes that another section of bourgeois scientists, following in the footsteps of H. Rickert, limit the aims of historical science to a description of "major" and "unique" events. Denying the existence of objective laws in the historical process, they are unable to find a reliable criterion for the selection and systematization of facts, and in the final analysis are compelled to abandon genuine scientific principles. Moreover, some of them openly appeal to intuitionism, declaring that "history is inseparable from the historian" (H. T. Marrou). This playing down of the role of scientific historiography opens a wide road to irrationalism and mysticism. The author of the articit writes that the view regarding history as an "act of faith" is now propagated not only by Catholic (J. Maritain, A. Dempf) and Protestant (R. Niebuhr) philosophers but also by some prominent professional historians (for instance, H. Butterfield). It is quite obvious, remarks I S. Kon, that far from explaining the theoretical problems of historical science, such concepts only tend to confuse them still more.
The article further says that in his report at the Stockholm Congress E. Rothacker evaded a critical analysis of existing systems of the philosophy of history, confining himstlf to the proof that the connection between history and philosophy is unavoidable because historical science, as the speaker put it, always has definite philosophical prerequisites. But the influence of the philosophy of history on historical science, emphasizes I. S. Kon, depends on the nature of the philosophic conception itself. This is clearly illustrated by the example of the philosophy of history of E. Rothacker himself, to the criticism of whose views I. S. Kon's article is largely devoted.
Continuing the traditions of German neo-idealistic historism, writes I. S. Kon, Rothacker sharply contrasts the humanities to the natural sciences in his works. Denying the objective laws governing the historical process, he reduces it to the history of man's consciousness and "self-consciousness" and, following in the wake of Dilthey, proclaims "comprehension" based on "co-experience" the chief method of historical cognition. As a result of this both the historical process and historical cognition become irrational in principle.
The author shows that Rothacker discards the allegedly obsolete concept of social progress and together with Christian existentialist K. Lowith tries to identify the Marxist teaching of communism with Christian eschatology. However, by ignoring as it does the generally known fact that communism has now become a guide to action for hundreds of millions of people, and glossing over the fundamental difference between Marxist and religious philosophies, this gross falsification only serves to expose the reactionary political physiognomy of Rothacker himself, who was known in the recent past as an active ideologist of German fascism.
I. S. Kon shows how negation of the laws and progress of social development leads Rothacker, in spite of his numerous reservations, to the relativist view of history. Rothacker believes that the raising of definite problems and one's attitude to them are deter-
mined solely by the historian's world outlook, while philosophical views themselves, in his opinion, are not and cannot be scientific since they are an expression of an irrational "vital sense." They rest, as it were, on "dogmatic prerequisites," in which people believe blindly without looking for logical proof. Thus, stresses I. S. Kon, according to Rothacker historical cognition as a whole and in particulars is something irrational. Eventually Rothacker came to share G. Ritter's opinion that the historian "gives shape to shapeless matter." One is entitled to ask, writes I. S. Kon, in what way is this point of view better than the presentist one, to which both Ritter and Rothacker raise objections?
The article stresses that the impasse into which E. Rothacker landed by advocating closer links between history and philosophy and simultaneously defending the philosophical positions which negate history as a science, is typical of the whole idealist philosophy of history which, far from solving the contradictions and difficulties of historical cognition, only tends to aggravate them. I. S. Kon further shows that in the past few years the more thoughtful Western historians, including even those far removed from Marxism, have come out more and more frequently against this kind of philosophy. This refers, first and foremost, to presentism. Whereas in the 1940's its influence in American bourgeois historiography was predominating, today the number of U.S. scientists who criticize it is far greater than the number of its defenders. The philosophico-historical irrationalism, of which E. Rothacker is one of the exponents, is likewise compelled to take up a defensive position. U.S. philosopher E. Nagel and many other bourgeois authors resolutely and quite justifiably reject the attempts to represent historical cognition as something mysterious and intuitive. H. T. Marrou's irrationalist conception was subjected to a detailed critical analysis by the late Georges Lefebvre. Highly significant, too, was the cold reception given to Rothacker's report at the Stockholm Congress.
I. S. Kon writes about the steadily growing disappointment among Western bourgeois philosophers at the senseless factography to which they are doomed by neo-Kantian ideography. History cannot develop without the closest connection with other social sciences and without broad theoretical generalizations-this opinion is shared by F. Braudel, the French historian who heads the "Annals" school, American historian K. Bock and West-German historian O. Anderle. The distinguished American historian L. Gottschalk made a special report on the problem of historical generalization at the Stockholm Congress.
But even in their opposition to the most odious features of the idealist philosophy of history, emphasizes I. S. Kon, bourgeois historians reveal inconsistency and eclecticism. While advocating the need for repetition and typicalness in recording historical events, O. Anderle at the same time has no courage to admit the existence of objective laws in history. The Historiographical Committee of the Association of American Historians, which published a special report entitled "The Social Sciences in Historical Research," convincingly proves that historians cannot get along without theoretical generalizations, but at the same time asserts that any theoretical conceptions are "instrumental" and "devoid of empirical content." Hostility to Marxism (though completely ignorant of it) coupled with a perverted notion of historical materialism, the author of the article stresses, prevents the Western historians from arriving at a correct scientific theory.
A genuinely scientific method of historical cognition is provided by Marxism-Leninism. Exposing the reactionary conceptions, Marxist scientists help honest-minded bourgeois historians of the capitalist world to get rid of the wrong idealist philosophy. At the same time the arrangement of discussions on philosophical problems helps to elucidate controversial theoretical problems, the elaboration of which is essential to the further development of historical science.
M. N. CHERNOMORSKY. Memoirs as Sources on the History of Soviet Society
Memoirs hold a prominent place among the sources on the history of Soviet society. They often enable the historian to gain additional information on one or another question and re-establish the unknown details of various facts and events. The author writes that some of the historians make a fairly wide use of reminiscences in their research into the history of the Great October Socialist Revolution, Civil War and socialist construction in the U.S.S.R. (E. B. Genkina, G. N. Golikov, B. N. Kameshkov, N. F. Kuzmin, L. M. Spirin, N. I. Suprunenko, et al.). On the whole, however, memoirs are still insufficiently used in scientific research. Individual researchers, while admitting the cognitive value of reminiscences, do not utilize them because they are afraid of being influenced by the authors' subjective views and ideas.
As is noted by the author, much significance was attached to reminiscences by V. I. Lenin. A number of his notes on memoirs, his approach to personal reminiscences can serve as a model both for memoir writers and for those who use memoirs as historical sources. Principled attitude, Party approach, striving for accuracy in recording historical facts and at the same time a certain degree of caution in reproducing past events as a result of possible distortions due to the imperfection of man's memory-such are the characteristic features of V. I. Lenin's attitude to memoirs. Guided by V. I. Lenin's notes on memoir literature, the author of the article makes an attempt to draw certain conclusions on the methods to be employed for its critical analysis.
The critical analysis of reminiscences is chiefly aimed at establishing the completeness and authenticity of the information contained in them as well as the new elements extending our knowledge of certain events. The solution of these problems can be achieved by employing a number of methods for the critical analysis of reminiscences. The article examines those of them which are inadequately elaborated in the literature on the study of sources.
A critical analysis of reminiscences requires a detailed examination of all the facts connected with the author's personality-biographical data, the degree of his knowledge, his mental outlook, ideological and political development and ideological views held in the period of memoir-writing, objects and aims of reminiscences, possible influences, etc.
Another important question discussed in the article is that of the additional sources used by one or another author in writing his memoirs. The writers of memoirs often use documents to restore in their memory those facts that were unknown to them personally, augment their own interpretation of events or publish new documents. A careful analysis of the additional sources used by the author makes it possible to judge what authentic facts were kept in his memory and what new elements extending our knowledge of historical events were introduced in comparison with other sources.
The author comprehensively examines the question of distortions, inaccuracies and mistakes sometimes occurring in reminiscences. Distortions and inaccuracies may result from the imperfection of memory, from the attempts of individual authors to turn their reminiscences into works of fiction belonging to the so-called "memoir-fiction literature" (using the right to fiction, of course), as well as from the intrusion of third persons in the process of preparing reminiscences for the press, especially in posthumous revised editions. One of the most important methods of establishing the authenticity of the information contained in memoirs is comparative analysis with other sources. The author of the article demonstrates the method of comparative analysis on concrete examples.
In conclusion the author puts forward a number of suggestions, the implementation of which, in his opinion, must contribute to the collection, publication and utilization of memoir literature. The author stresses the need for appropriate measures to augment the memoir fund by reminiscences of active participants in socialist and communist construction and extend the scope of research work on the memoirs relating to the Soviet period. The article convincingly shows that it is urgently necessary to eliminate shortcomings in the publication and re-edition of memoir literature. Extensive publication of reminiscences coupled with substantial improvement in their literary qualities and elimination of individual defects in this field, the author writes in conclusion, must contribute to the development of historical science, to the education of Soviet people in the spirit of the lofty communist ideals and selfless devotion to their socialist country.
R. T. SHLOPAK. Cultural and Technical Progress of the Byelorussian Working Class During the Second and Third Five-Year Plans (1933 - 1941)
The article emphasizes the great theoretical and practical significance of elaborating the history of the creation of national working-class cadres in the U.S.S.R., particularly in the Byelorussian S.S.R. The new socialist working class of Soviet Byelorussia-an economically and culturally backward outlying area of tsarist Russia in the past-grew and developed in the period of the prewar five-year plans. The creation in Byelorussia and in other Union Republics of the national cadres of people's intelligentsia, engineering and technical personnel and the working class and the advancement of their cultural and technical level confirm the correctness of the Soviet Union's national policy of stimulating the growth of the multi-national Soviet working class.
The article notes that consistent implementation of the Leninist program of socialist industrialization and cultural revolution by the Communist Party and Soviet government in the prewar period helped to eliminate the economic and cultural lag of the national republics and regions and raise their development to the level reached by the country as a whole. The political, economic and cultural progress made by the Byelorussian S.S.R. graphically illustrates the indisputable advantages of the socialist system. An important indicator of this is the rise attained in the cultural and technical level of the Republic's working class.
The author shows that the Republic's industrialization, the building and reconstruction of a large number of factories and mills during the early five-year plans resulted in a big influx into industry of new workers, particularly from the countryside. The Communist Party and the Soviet state exerted every effort to organize industrial training on a mass scale, bring this mass of people closer to industrial labour and to the new socialist culture and sharply raise their living standards. In a comparatively short historical period practically all sections of the working class were drawn into technical training. Guided by the Communist Party and assisted by the entire Soviet people, primarily by the Russian working class, the Byelorussian working class completely eliminated illiteracy in its ranks already on the eve of the Great Patriotic War. During the second five-year-plan period alone more than 25,000 Byelorussian workers learned to read and write, and some 70,000 finished elementary schools. Many industrial workers acquired secondary and higher edu-
cation, raising their knowledge to the level of the engineering and technical personnel. Particular attention was devoted to the problem of raising the cultural and technical level of the Byelorussian working class, which found expression in the mass training of skilled workers, extending their technical knowledge, mastering new technology and raising the workers' qualification. The article examines the forms and methods employed in the technical training of workers. Between 1933 and 1941 nearly 30,000 Byelorussian workers finished secondary and seven-year workers' schools or acquired secondary education at workers' faculties organized in all higher schools.
In the steady rise of their cultural and technical level Soviet workers saw tangible fruits of the cultural revolution and socialist transformations. Surmounting formidable difficulties, they manifested their supreme devotion to the country by displaying unparalleled labour heroism in socialist construction.
The continuous rise in the cultural and technical level of the Soviet working class and all working people and the growth of their socialist consciousness helped to ensure uninterrupted and accelerated development of the socialist economy. The most significant results of the cultural and technical growth of the working class found their expression in the labour enthusiasm of the masses and rapid spread of the socialist emulation movement, the emergence of a new movement of production innovators, a steep rise in labour productivity and higher living standards. All this clearly testified to the advantages of the socialist system over the capitalist system.
The advancement of the Byelorussian working class to the level attained by the working class of the country's major industrial centres, the author writes in conclusion, was a vivid manifestation of the triumph of the Leninist national policy in the U.S.S.R.
M. ILYIN. From the History of Moscow's Architecture in Andrei Rublyov's Period
The author of the article makes an attempt to revise the dates of construction of the churches associated with the creative art of Andrei Rublyov, the great painter of ancient Rus. The terse lines of the sources retained only brief information on the painter's work for Prince Yuri Dmitrievich who owned Zvenigorod, a small town in the vicinity of Moscow, and donated money to carry on construction work in the Monastery of the Troitsa (Trinity) near Moscow. Rublyov ornamented the temples erected at the Prince's expense with exquisite mural paintings, frescoes and icons. However, the chronicles contain no indication of the time of their construction. Probably this should be attributed to the fact that in the mid-15th century the name of Prince Yuri already became odious as a result of the sanguinary family feud started by him in his bid for the throne of the principality of Moscow.
The researchers used to associate the construction of both temples in Zvenigorod with Prince Yuri's campaign against the Volga Bulgars at the close of the 14th century. Besides greatly extending the period of construction of the Zvenigorod and Troitsa Monastery temples and making inexplicable such an early appearance in Zvenigorod of a number of icons painted by Rublyov, this kind of chronological recording seemed unjustified in view of Prince Yuri's political position at that time. Up to 1417 he was considered an heir-presumptive of the Grand Prince of Muscovy and, consequently, had no particular interest in displaying much activity in an insignificant suburban town. In 1417, the son born to Grand Prince Vasily I of Moscow in 1415 was proclaimed his heir-apparent. This compelled Prince Yuri to leave Moscow and begin preparations for the struggle against his nephew Vasily I for the title of Grand Prince. To ensure victory in this struggle it was necessary for the contestant to win the population over to his side by demonstrating his abilities as a skilful, zealous master, military leader and ruler capable of assuming leadership of a single centralized Russian State that was in the process of formation. Construction of stone temples and fortifications in those days was usually regarded by the Russian people as a highly commendable form of organizational activity. It can be assumed that Prince Yuri launched on his building activity after 1417 and continued it till 1425, when he left Zvenigorod in connection with his feudal war. During these years two white-stone churches were built in Zvenigorod and one in the Troitsa Monastery. Since these temples closely resemble one another in architectural style and originality of details it can be assumed that they were put up by one and the same building artel headed by an experienced architect.
An analysis of existing records enabled the author to revise the shaky arguments in support of the old dates of construction of the above-mentioned temples and suggest a more logical chronological sequence of their construction. The cathedral temple in Zvenigorod could not be built, as was hitherto believed, in 1400 or thereabouts, after the successful campaign against the Volga Bulgars, since that campaign was organized by the Grand Prince of Muscovy. The fact that Prince Yuri stood at the head of the troops as the heir was an ordinary thing in medieval practice. Moreover, Prince Yuri lived in Moscow at that time and regarded Zvenigorod and the adjacent lands merely as a source of income. The situation changed in 1417, when Prince Yuri was deprived of the right to succeed to Muscovy's throne. It was precisely at that time, apparently, that he moved to Zvenigorod, built a wnrte-stone temple there and invited Andrei Rublyov to adorn it with his magnificent icons and mural paintings.
The author draws the conclusion that the period 1417 - 1422 must be regarded as the probable date of the cathedral's construction inasmuch as the building of a white-stone cathedral in the Troitsa Monastery was launched in 1422. The cathedral in the Savva-Storozhevsky Monastery near Zvenigorod was erected, presumably, between 1420 and 1425. There are no grounds to believe that it could appear in connection with the afore-mentioned Volga campaign. In the initial period this monastery had a wooden temple - a characteristic feature of the Russian monasteries in those days. The proposed dates are based on the striking proximity of the architectural forms of the Savva-Storozhevsky Monastery cathedral to those of the Troitsa Monastery cathedral. They were obviously built by one artel which, naturally, could not work simultaneously on two construction sites separated, moreover, by a long distance. Taking into account the period of construction of the Troitsa Monastery cathedral, the author writes in conclusion, it should be assumed that the monastery temple in Zvenigorod was erected in 1423 - 1425. The proposed dates more accurately define the time of the appearance of Andrei Rublyov's famous Zvenigorod icons and fragments of his mural paintings.
A. A. YAZKOVA. From the History of the Rumanian People's Struggle Against the Onslaught of Reaction and Fascism in 1935 - 1937
The article highlights one of the most important stages in the anti-fascist and anti-imperialist struggle waged by the Rumanian working people on the eve of the establishment of monarchist-fascist dictatorship in their country. Drawing on diverse sources (materials kept in Soviet and Rumanian archives, published documents, newspaper and magazine articles relating to that period), the author re-creates a vivid picture of the Rumanian working people's struggle against the onslaught of fascism, showing that the growth of fascist tendencies in the country's political life in the thirties was a reflection of the profound social and economic contradictions in Rumania.
The reactionary and fascist offensive, accompanied by a deterioration of the workers' economic position, considerably intensified the struggle waged by the Rumanian working class. Some of the major working-class actions after the battles of February 1933 were the metalworkers' strikes in Bucharest, the miners' strikes in Anina, the textile workers' strike in Buhusu (1935), etc. The workers were supported by the toiling peasants. All this created objective conditions for the establishment of a Popular Anti-Fascist Front in Rumania.
The Rumanian Communist Party, working underground for 20 years and subjected to severe political repressions, repeatedly appealed to the country's democratic forces in the middle of the thirties to establish a Popular Front. In individual areas the Communist Party succeeded in rallying the Left-wing parties and organizations, whose joint action helped them to gain a victory in the partial parliamentary elections held in the spring of 1936.
Systematic opposition by the reactionary leadership of the National Peasant Party, which possessed a mass base, and by the Right-wing leaders of the Social-Democratic Party prevented the establishment of the Popular Front on a nation-wide scale and, in the final analysis, facilitated the advent of fascism to power. But despite all the weaknesses of the anti-fascist movement, the struggle of the Rumanian Communist Party for the establishment of the Popular Front played an important part in consolidating the- democratic forces, which subsequently organized a determined struggle for Rumania's withdrawal from World War II and for the victory of the people's democratic revolution.
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