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January 20, 2022, 07:02

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Fourth year students of the Moscow Automotive College. Victory Museum

Everyone is invited to visit a virtual exhibition dedicated to student everyday life during the war years, join an online tour and learn about the exploits of the Young Guard and Podolsk cadets, as well as watch the military drama The Young Guard.

How was the educational process organized at universities and institutes during the Great Patriotic War? What feats did young people accomplish when they left student life to serve at the front? And who are the “night witches”? This and much more will be told at the Victory Museum on Poklonnaya Hill on January 25. For Tatyana’s Day, a virtual exhibition, a tour and a film screening have been prepared here.

“On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany unexpectedly, without declaring war, attacked the Soviet Union. This attack marked the beginning of a brutal bloody conflict that lasted for several years. That fateful day divided the lives of millions of people into before and after. Difficult war times affected the work of higher educational institutions and the fate of their pupils. Many teachers and students voluntarily went to the front. For those who remained in the rear, the educational process was restructured, many areas of research activities were changed, ”said Alexander Shkolnik, director of the Victory Museum.

The online exhibition and video tour will be published on sitecultural venue on January 25 at 08:00, and the film at 09:00. All videos will be available until 23:00. You can watch them for free, pre-registration is not required.

The thematic online program will begin with the exhibition “Students during the War”, dedicated to the organization of the educational process at institutes and universities during the Great Patriotic War. In 1941, more than 800 higher educational institutions were operating in the Soviet Union, with over 800,000 students studying there. With the outbreak of war, there was an urgent need for highly qualified specialists. Therefore, the universities were given the task of helping the front with all their might by training a new generation of professionals. The terms of study were reduced, increasing the school day and reducing vacations. Students were strictly forbidden to skip classes in military affairs, physical education, a foreign language and Marxism-Leninism without a good reason. Sometimes for absenteeism they were generally expelled from the educational institution. And yet, despite the workload, most students managed to work. To help the front, they worked in factories, took care of the wounded in hospitals. In the summer they went to logging and joined the agricultural work on collective farms.

In total, the exhibition will present about 30 exhibits from the funds of the Museum of Victory. Among them are methodological manuals issued in the 1940s, notebooks with laboratory work, notebooks, photographs of students, and newspaper pages. You will be able to see a self-made album with pictures of students of the Faculty of Geography of the Moscow State University named after M. V. Lomonosov.

The online exhibition will tell you how much it cost to study at a university or institute (from 1940 to 1956, tuition fees were charged not only in higher educational institutions, but also in high school, technical schools) and who was exempt from the fee, which cards were due to students and what products could be purchased with them. In addition, the museum will show photographs of “night witches”. That is how the Germans called the pilots of the women’s aviation regiment of night bombers. Many of the “night witches” dropped out of school to sit at the helm of a military aircraft.

Then everyone will be invited to the online tour “Young Heroes” through the expositions “Feat of the People” and “Battle for Moscow. First win! It is there that there are artistic panoramas and decorations close to historical events. The guide will tell you about the boys and girls who left the student benches and went to the front. On the tour we will talk about the exploits of Podolsk cadets. These are Soviet commanders and cadets of the Podolsk artillery and infantry military schools, who defended the lines on the southwestern approaches to the city during the battle for Moscow. During the tour, they will tell about the participation of Moscow students in the people’s militia. It will also be possible to learn about the underground organization “Young Guard”, which had about 100 members. The organization operated mainly in the occupied city of Krasnodon in the Ukrainian SSR. The Young Guard called on their compatriots to fight the invaders by issuing anti-fascist leaflets. There will be an opportunity to “visit” the underground workers’ apartment and find out how their way of life was arranged. The guide will also show you a model that exactly repeats the pit of the Krasnodon mine No. 5, in which the Nazis executed the captured underground workers.

The thematic program will end with a screening of the film “The Young Guard” (1948) in the museum’s online cinema. The film was directed by Sergei Gerasimov based on the novel of the same name by Alexander Fadeev. The military drama tells about the heroism of the Young Guard, its plot is based on real events.

Day of Russian students is celebrated on January 25. The history of the holiday began in 1755, when Empress Elizaveta Petrovna signed a decree on the establishment of Moscow University. Also on this day, the early Christian martyr Tatiana of Rome, the patroness of students, is venerated, hence the second name of this date is Tatyana’s Day. In 2005, by decree of the President of Russia, the holiday became official.

The Victory Museum is part of the memorial complex on Poklonnaya Hill. It stores more than 300 thousand exhibits. About 400 samples of military equipment and weapons from the period of the Great Patriotic War and the second half of the 20th century are presented at open areas. The museum complex includes expositions “Feat of the people”, “Battle for Moscow. First victory! and the “Feat of the Army”, a diorama complex, the Hall of Memory and Sorrow, the Hall of Historical Truth, the Hall of Generals, the Hall of Fame, an art gallery and four cinema halls.

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

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