Adaptation Of The Residents Of Grozny To The Conditions Of Military Time

Abstract

The Great Patriotic War influenced living conditions of the entire population of the country. From the very beginning of the war, authorities began to redistribute most of the resources in favor of the battlefront. The adaptation process was short, and the period of abnormal life lasted until 1943. The life in the frontline of Grozny acquired the characteristics reasoned by the threat of the capture of the city. The change in the appearance of the city and the dynamics of urban life was associated with airstrikes, air alarms, blackout, curfew, pillboxes, etc. The shortage and poor quality of food, high morbidity and mortality in 1941–1943, tense sanitary and epidemiological situation in Grozny took place. During the years of the war, the population of Grozny developed specific socio-cultural and living conditions. In modern historical science, social history has acquired particular relevance, attracting the attention of scientists. The main object of the study is the ordinary participants of the historical process, and in the study of the history of the war - the population, its social problems and their solutions in difficult conditions of life. The problem of the “human dimension” of war is not enough studied. In this regard, it is advisable to study the problem at the micro level. In addition, the attraction of regional historical material makes it possible to uncover the motivation of actions in specific circumstances (including extreme ones), which ultimately helps to substantially complement the picture of war in historiography and mass consciousness.

Keywords: Groznyfront-linesocial problemsairstrikessupply

Introduction

In recent years, the focused attention to the study of the contribution of the Soviet supply and logistics during the Great Patriotic War is observed. The authors consider new aspects of the socio-cultural life of Grozny. This interest is not accidental. Only the unity of material and spiritual factors ensured the victory in the Great Patriotic War. According to the tension of life, Grozny can rightfully be called a front-line city or a warrior city standing in the advanced trench. The Soviet people endured suffering and hardships, worked selflessly and were convinced of the fairness of the policy pursued by the Soviet authorities, believed in state leadership, did not doubt the correctness of its decisions. A significant role in the organization of people daily lives was played by local authorities. With the announcement of Grozny on martial law on October 22, 1941, the Grozny City Defense Committee introduced a special regime in the city. The evacuation of material values, equipment, enterprises and people began. The most important feature of their activity under the conditions of the front-line city was the strict centralization of all available resources. All this gave people the strength to survive in the most difficult conditions of the war and instilled confidence in the victory over fascism.

Problem Statement

The elimination of ideological monopoly in science, the introduction of new sources within the framework of the “archival revolution” of the 1990s, significantly changed the problems and approaches to covering the key events in the history of the Great Patriotic War. Such problems as the public sentiment of Soviet people in the war and the identification of their reaction to power measures, attitudes toward occupants, research on survival strategies of the population in war and everyday life of citizens residents of the city of Grozny in 1941–1943 are being put forward.

Research Questions

The object of the research is the organized activity of the residents of Grozny aimed at the solution of the tasks set by the state in a difficult period of history; the change in the image and dynamics of life in the front-line city. Special attention is paid to the problem of supplying the city with food and medical services, the preservation and development of the sphere of culture and education.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to analyze the processes of adaptation of the residents of Grozny to the conditions of the period of the war (1941–1943).

Research Methods

The methodological basis of the study is the dialectical understanding of the process of historical development, recognition of the causal relationships of events and phenomena, including the important role of the subjective factor in history. Researchers avoid evaluating the actions of people of that time from the modern positions and values. The situational approach makes it possible to avoid fake modernization in the assessment of the current research problem.

The authors show the events in the context of a specific historical war situation. The combination of the formational and civilizational approaches also contributes to an integrated, objective disclosure of the research topic. An objective study of the adaptation of the residents of Grozny to the conditions of wartime (1941-1943) is impossible outside the context of Russian history and the specifics of the country as a multinational state.

Findings

In national historical science there is little research on the daily life of the front-line city during the period of the Great Patriotic War. The socio-economic and political changes in the country and the world that occurred in the post-Soviet period led the researchers of the Great Patriotic War to look for new approaches to the research topic. The interest of researchers in particular questions of military history and the search for new aspects have become an integral part of the modern historiography of the Great Patriotic War. From the Western works, it is possible to single out the book by Barber and Harrison (1991) “The Soviet Rear, 1941–1945: Social and Economic History of the USSR in the Second World War” (Harrison, 1996).

Studying the daily life of the population in the rear, the British historian Filtzer (2010) studied the situation in the large industrial centers of the Urals, Kuzbass and the Volga region.The Great Patriotic War led to the deterioration of the living conditions of civilian population. A big problem was the supply of the population with food and industrial goods. The acute shortage of clothing, shoes, personal hygiene items, shortage in water supply and baths led to the spread of head lice and typhus.

The population of the country lived extremely hard for a quarter of a century, with a short break – the rest from the NEP before the collectivization began. People were accustomed to deprivation, to being undernourished, to not getting enough sleep, to have bad housing. Therefore, people were able to quickly adapt, to endure such adversities of the war years, which no people of Western culture would have endured.

In wartime conditions, the local authorities and enterprises of the city showed constant care for children, disabled people and families of military personnel, pregnant women and large families. Children had the opportunity to study, attend kindergartens and nurseries, disabled persons and families of military personnel were paid pensions and benefits, in addition, they had benefits for extra housing, firewood and basic necessities. The main directions of the mobilization economy in terms of food supply to the rear population were to create food bases around cities with the aim of creating autonomous food funds; the organization of catering for workers employed in production, the development of individual gardening.

The Decree of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR of December 4, 1941 No. 2273-1028ss established a special list of enterprises of the most important branches of economy, workers, engineers and employees who were supplied with food products at guaranteed rates on cards, regardless of the location of these enterprises. These were the enterprises of the aviation, chemical, tank, coal and oil industries, the electrical industry, the ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy industries (Orlov, 2010a).

The workers and engineers of these leading branches of the national economy supplied food higher than the food of the first category. Additional catering was provided for executives and engineers and technicians of enterprises, heads of party, government and economic organizations. Guaranteed supplies were provided for disabled persons - elderly people, women with little children, challenged people, etc. From May 1942, a worker who fulfilled and over fulfilled the norms of output was additionally given a second hot meal, and bread above the standard for 100 or 200 grams per person depending on the type of production. By the beginning of 1942, due to the difficult situation prevailing in rail transport, the government increased the standards for the supply of transport workers. Additionally a certain amount of bread, sausage and sugar were given to (Lyubimov, 1968) to the machinists and their assistants, stokers and conductors, wagon masters and chiefs of the ring routes.

The resolution of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR “On the preservation of living space for servicemen and on the procedure for payment for living space by families of servicemen in wartime” was issued on August 5, 1941, according to which the servicemen saved their accommodation, and temporary residents who settled in the service station square had to leave their accommodation upon return of the serviceman. Otherwise, they were subject to administrative eviction without providing accommodation (Order no. 270, 1941).

The legislative acts issued in 1941-1945 provided social guarantees and privileges to front-line soldiers, war and labor invalids and orphans. The families of military personnel received benefits, disabled people were payed pensions. At the same time, on the basis of the order No. 270 of the Supreme Command Headquarters of August 16, 1941, the families of military personnel were deprived of benefits if their relatives - soldiers, officers, political workers, were captured. Moreover, their families were subject to arrest as families who violated the oath and the families of the deserters who had betrayed their homeland (Resolution of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR, 1941).

In the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic there were 54063 military families. After checking the state of work for the purpose and issuance of monthly benefits to them, the employees of state support departments revealed many violations and distortions of the established law. Thus, from the surveyed 32500 families, it turned out that 1354 families of military personnel were eligible to receive benefits, but did not use it, and 1514 families were set the allowance incorrectly both upwards and downwards (Grozny City Defense Committee, 2015). With the adoption of the Resolution of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR and the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of the Bolsheviks of April 7, 1942 “On the allocation of land for farms and for the gardens of workers and employees” the process of expansion of such farms intensified (Resolution of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR, 1942). The workers of industrial enterprises and institutions received free wastelands in their cities and towns, as well as collective farm land plots that were not used for sowing. They cultivated mainly corn and potatoes. Special garden commissions were engaged in the distribution of land among workers, supplying them with seeds and equipment, they helped in harvesting and exporting the resulting crop (The peoples of the Caucasus in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945, 2005). Industrial enterprises were prohibited from selling food and industrial goods without the knowledge of the People's Commissariat of Chechnya. Food products could be sold to organizations only with the permission of the Grozny City Defense Committee or the Council of People's Commissars of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Grozny City Defense Committee, 2015).

From the very beginning of the war, the number of thefts and embezzlements in the trading system increased rapidly. The speculators often got the scarcest products. Strengthening the fight against embezzlement and squandering of food and industrial goods was promoted by the resolution of the State Defense Committee of January 22, 1943 “On strengthening the fight against theft and waste of food and industrial goods” (Orders of the People's Commissar of Defense of the USSR, 1997).

There were signals that collection documents of many enterprises were issued with violations of the established procedure. At the enterprises of the Grozny Oil Complex, 4680 workers received bread cards of the 1st category instead of the 2nd category. At the “Red Hammer” factory, when checking, it was established that 1000 gram bread cards were issued not by the nomenclature. They were given to different persons, including a sub-driver. Such facts as the delivery of bread from the funds of the Republic to railway workers living in the neighboring Stavropol Territory and the North Ossetian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic during the whole of 1943 were also found (Grozny City Defense Committee, 2015).

The memorandum of V. Ivanov, the Secretary of the Chechen-Ingush Regional Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of the Bolsheviks “On the supply of bread to the workers of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and the political mood of the population in connection with the establishment of new norms” reflected the extremely tense situation with the supply of bread to the workers of Grozny and villages of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in the autumn of 1943. In order to avoid further overspending of funds and not end up in the end of 1943 in a situation where the main contingent of consumers (oil workers and railway workers) would not receive the supply of bread, or to turn for help to the state, the regional committee of the Communist Party of the Bolsheviks suggested that the Republican Commissariat of the Republic should run a check on bread by investigating the entire contingent, identifying and removing from the supply those who illegally used nutrition cards, fulfill the plan for baking by bakeries and bread factories (Grozny City Defense Committee, 2015).

This task was not completed. The People's Commissariat of Trade went along the line of least resistance and set lower bread sales to the commercial network for the urban population. On average in November they did not give consumers 9.2 tons of bread daily (Grozny City Defense Committee, 2015).In industry, despite the standardized supply by cards, wages played an important role in the stimulation of labor. Especially its role has increased with the removal of various categories of workers and employees from the centralized supply. From April 1944, state commercial trade was introduced, which allowed the population purchasing food and then industrial goods at higher prices, which also stimulated the role of wages (Shalak, 2011).

At the same time it is necessary to take into account the decline in the purchasing power of the ruble, which was 29% of the 1940 level. The acute shortage of food and essential goods led to different prices for the same goods. In trade there were government prices in the sphere of the card system distribution, commercial and market spheres. Average prices for rations were 20–25 times lower than market prices and 10 times than commercial ones (Orlov, 2010b). During the Great Patriotic War, the state controlled all spheres of life of the population, including culture. The sphere of cultural services of the population of the Republic changed dramatically. The cultural institutions of the Chechen-Ingush Republic reorganized their work to mobilize forces to defend the Motherland. Culture workers explained to the population of the Republic the nature, goals and course of the war, and also revealed the essence of Nazi ideology. An important role in the patriotic education of the population of the Republic was assigned to the radio, which informed the residents about events taking place on the fronts, in the rear and in the international arena. Radio broadcasts were in the Russian, the Chechen and the Ingush languages. During the war, the cinema functioned.

The Chechen-Ingush Museum of Local History also had a great influence. With the beginning of the war, the museum exposition was rebuilt. The emphasis was placed on the patriotic education of visitors. This was facilitated by the exhibition “The heroic past of our Motherland” - a new exhibition department dedicated to the Great Patriotic War. The collection of exhibit items for it was started.In 1943, a museum, a republican library, 12 houses of culture, 23 regional libraries and 211 libraries continued their work in the Republic (Elbuzdukaeva, 2012).

In a difficult period (Resolution Council of People's Commissars of the USSR, 1943), the decision of the Council of People's Commissars of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic “On the Implementation of Universal Compulsory Education for School-Age Children” was issued. It obliged all school-aged children from 8 to 14 to attend school; in rural areas schools were in the volume of primary school (4 classes), in cities and the settlements of workers - in the volume of incomplete secondary school (7 classes) (Cultural construction in Chechen-Ingushetia, 1985).

In 1943, the resolutions of the Council of People's Commissars of the Russian SFSR and the USSR on the organization of evening schools for rural youth regulating the work of schools in the 1943-1944 were issued. Since that moment children were accepted to school at the age of seven (Directives of the All-Union Communist Party of the Bolsheviks, 1947).

High school continued to train specialists. On the 1st of October, 1943 the academic year began on in Grozny Oil Institute and the technical school. 700 people were enrolled to the first course of the institute and 500 people were enrolled to the first course of the technical school. Chechen-Ingush Pedagogical Institute after the evacuation of 1942 restarted its work on March 1, 1943, and on September 1, 1943, classes began. Despite the fact that the institute experienced a shortage of fuel, textbooks, the management of the institute and the department organized an educational process (Elbuzdukaeva, 2012).

Conclusion

Thus, Grozny residents, like all the Soviet people, endured suffering, deprivation, worked selflessly and were convinced of the fairness of the policy pursued by the Soviet authorities, believed in state leadership, had no doubt about the correctness of its decisions. A large role in the organization of daily lives was played by local authorities. The most important feature of their activity under the conditions of the front-line city was the strict centralization of all available resources. All this gave people the strength to survive under the most difficult conditions of the war, instilled confidence in the victory over fascism. Despite the difficult military situation, the financial and living conditions of the population restored, the supply of essential goods, and medical services were gradually improved. Cultural life continued. Schools, scientific institutions, universities, cultural and educational institutions, published books and magazines continued their work.

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21 January 2020

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Elbuzdukayeva*, T., Aleroeva, L., Abdulvakhabova, B., & Gaitamirovoi, S. (2020). Adaptation Of The Residents Of Grozny To The Conditions Of Military Time. In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 3641-3647). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.12.04.489