IDFI has been working on the critical rethinking of the 20th century and historiography in Georgia. With the same purpose, on 7 May, IDFI held the webinar “Georgians and the Second World War : the National Tragedy and the Soviet Triumph”. By discussing closely related popular issues, the webinar served organization’s broader goal to encourage a discussion and analysis of World War II memory, as well as to identify disinformation trends in historiography as well as in modern socio-political settings. The event was organized with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
Researchers associated with IDFI as well as Georgian and foreign experts working on the history of the Soviet Union and Georgia, presented at the webinar . Their talks and the following discussions touched upon such broad and important issues as follows: the main myths about World War II, the instrumentalization of history for the political purposes within the Soviet period and modern Russia, the factor of nationalism in World War II mobilization policies, and the history of the Wehrmacht Georgian Legion.
The event was opened by the Executive Director of IDFI, Giorgi Kldiashvili’s welcome note. He talked about the political meanings of marking the day of the victory in the World War II in contemporary world and thanked Sida as well as the webinar participants for their collaboration with IDFI.
The following researchers made speeches on the webinar:
Megi Kartsivadze (Analyst of Memory and Disinformation Research at IDFI) - She spoke of the political instrumentalization of the memory of World War II and related myths by the modern Russian political discourse.
Mikheil B. Akhtadze (Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Tbilisi State University) - His report focused on the politically charged content behind the terminology of World War II and the Patriotic War.
Mamulia George (PhD., French School of Public Studies (EHESS)) – His report was focused around the dynamics, goals and motivationof the Georgian Legion of Wehrmacht within the Second World War.
Timothy Blauvelt (Professor at the Ilia State University, Director of American Council in Georgia and a member of IDFI’s Supervisory Board) - He highlighted not only the factor of nationalism in the mobilization policies during the World War II, but also the nationalist narratives, which are mainly based on the misinterpretation of history in Georgia and other post-Soviet countries.
The webinar was moderated by Nino Gozalishvili, Associate Researcher at IDFI. The webinar was conducted through the Zoom platform and its recording is available on the link.
The event was organized with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
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