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On the eve of the 85th anniversary of the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the Russian Ministry of Defense is launching a new historical multimedia section “Guardians of military truth”dedicated to the labor feat of the archive keepers during the war years, as well as their contribution to preserving the memory of the heroism of the Soviet people in peacetime. The archival materials published on the site tell in detail about the activities of the Archives Department of the People’s Commissariat of Defense of the USSR during the war, about the transfer of its funds to Podolsk, about its transformation into the Archives of the Ministry of the Armed Forces of the USSR.

The multimedia section was opened by the directive of the General Staff of the Red Army dated July 6, 1941 to the chiefs of the Main and Central Directorates of the NCO on the transfer of archival materials from Moscow. According to this document, the department, along with the archival materials of the USSR People’s Commissariat of Defense, was evacuated from the capital to a “point by special order”, that is, to the city of Buzuluk, Chkalovsk (now Orenburg) region.

It was there that the department, in accordance with the order of the People’s Commissar of Defense of the USSR No. 0331 of August 30, 1941, “On the selection and deposit of archival files and materials”, began to accept materials from the army in the archives. The document notes that this was necessary “in order to unload the military units, formations, institutions and institutions of the Red Army from archival files and materials that have no practical application at this time, but have historical significance.”

The report of the head of the department on December 5, 1941 about the move to the city of Buzuluk will give users a clear idea of ​​the difficulties of the archive in evacuation. Thus, the report states that the department’s staff consisted of only 6 people who were to settle in a new place and place the evacuated materials in the amount of 13 railway cars in unprepared premises. In addition, even in the process of moving to the archive, materials from the fighting units of the Red Army did not stop receiving: “By now, about 20 covered wagons have been accepted and placed.”

The report of the head of the department (dated January 7, 1942) testifies to the hard work of the archive keepers. It describes the consequences of an air raid by German aviation on a train carrying documents: “The train, which included (…) the material, was repeatedly attacked by air and crashed at the Klevishchensky junction (Bezhetsk region). The cars with archival materials were broken. From among the guards, one person was killed and two were wounded. Archival material was scattered along the railroad track, most of it ended up in the swamp. ” The employees of the department restored the spoiled one: “Things had to be thawed, dried and cleaned of dirt.”

The same report testifies to the great importance of the work carried out during the war by the staff of the Department of Archives of the NKO of the USSR, not only in historical terms, but also in military research: “Recently, a representative of the Military Academy named after V.I. M.V. Frunze and was interested in the materials of military operations near Yelnya, Rostov, Yelets and Tikhvin. “

The published report of the temporarily acting head of the department on the work for December 1943 presents brief statistics on the number of imported cases, which testifies to the colossal volume of work: by January 1, 1944, we have 719,476 cases. “

In the last years of the war, the military archive made a great contribution to the restoration of infrastructure facilities destroyed by the Nazi invaders. “To restore the airfields destroyed by the enemy during his withdrawal, it is necessary to use the design and technical documentation stored since 1941 in the Central Archives of the Red Army in the mountains. Buzuluk “, – reads the letter of the temporarily acting head of the Office of the Quartermaster Service dated March 10, 1944.

At the end of the war, the question arose about the return of the Department of Archives of the Red Army of the Office of NCO Affairs (as it was called at that time) from the evacuation, but due to the huge collected archive fund in Moscow, there was no suitable free space. “In this regard, the barracks fund of the environs of the mountains was reviewed. Moscow. The most suitable for placing an NGO archive is a military town in the mountains. Podolsk “, – stated in the report of the manager of the NCO from March 1945.

The plan for the re-evacuation of the NGO Archives from the city of Buzuluk to Podolsk, published on the section page, tells about the difficulties of moving. In addition to the incessant flow of documents from the front, the staff had to place a huge amount of materials brought from the evacuation on the new squares. In this document, the head of the department directly states: “We are already experiencing difficulties and do not carry out the entire scope of work just because there are not enough people.” According to the plan, it was assumed that the last echelon with the transported materials would arrive at its destination by November 1, 1945, but in reality it was possible to completely transport all the funds only by 1948.

By the middle of 1947, according to the instructions of the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR, the Archives Department of the Ministry of the Armed Forces of the USSR was transformed into the Archives of the Ministry of the Armed Forces of the USSR. At the same time, the number of its staff reached 270 employees, 96 of whom were servicemen of the Soviet Army.

In the first post-war years, the institution took an active part in research work. A number of documents published on the website of the Russian Ministry of Defense testify to the high authority of the archive staff. So, in the submitted petition to the Deputy Chief of the General Staff dated August 15, 1945, the temporarily acting head of the Main Military Medical Directorate of the USSR Armed Forces asks for qualified assistance in revising the archive of the Military Medical Museum: MVS, knowledgeable in the theory and practice of archiving ”.

The archive team played an important role in the development of the fundamental six-volume work “History of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union. 1941 – 1945 “. From the published plan of 1959 for organizing the Archive of the USSR Ministry of Defense for the selection of military documents, it follows that 15 employees of the institution were sent for this work under the leadership of the head of the archive, Major General Mikhail Dudarenko.

Today, employees of the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation make a huge contribution to the development of military archiving, to historical and military scientific research. Their work to preserve the historical memory of the heroic past of our homeland, its warriors-defenders who selflessly gave their lives for the sake of future generations, aimed at preserving and defending the historical truth, puts an insurmountable barrier to the falsifications of history.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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