Faith and Superstitions in the Frontline and in the Rear in Wartime (1941-1945)
Authors: Evgeny F. Krinko
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The article deals with the faith and superstitions of the Soviet citizens in the frontline and in the rear during the Great Patriotic War. The study of the religion history in the USSR in 1941-1945 was significantly influenced by ideology. This theme has been thoroughly studied in recent years, but the attention is mainly attached to its institutional aspects and the role of religion in lives of Soviet citizens is still little-studied. Nevertheless, by the start of war, considerable part of the population maintained its religious beliefs, despite the anti-religious policy of the Soviet authorities. The war increased the faith of Soviet citizens in the frontline, in the rear and within the occupied territory. It was mainly caused by the extreme wartime situation. Different superstitions and omens gained a wide circulation. Despite the fact that they had different content, both rites and prayers, acknowledged by the church and the omens and superstitions, rejected by the church have become the necessary ways of people psychological adaptation to wartime severities and hardships. The conclusions, which were made with the help of different sources, such as official documents, statistical data, both published and collected in the course of work under the theme of participants and eyewitnesses’ recollections, help us to imagine the collective consciousness of the Soviet society during the Great Patriotic War.