Memory, Commemoration, Memorialization: Moscow’s Western Battlefields
William Brumfield presents an exploration of evolving Russian attitudes toward commemorating the catastrophic sacrifices of the first year (1941—1942) of the Great Fatherland War. Of particular interest is the growing role of the Russian Orthodox Church in the sanctification of these sacrifices. What had formerly been a secular process—carefully supervised by state institutions with limited attention to the extent of the catastrophe—is now moving toward concepts of exaltation of the myriad of souls given in defense of motherland and faith. This presentation focused on the author's recent field research and photography in the Viazma region of Smolensk oblast'.