POTEMKINA M.N. Evacuation Route: Restoring the Railway Transportation of People During the Great Patriotic War

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2015.4.10

Marina Nikolaevna Potemkina

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor,

Head of Department of World History,

Magnitogorsk State Technical University named after G.I. Nosov

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Prosp. Lenina, 38, 455000 Magnitogorsk, Russian Federation


Abstract. The paper is devoted to the role of the railway transport in migration from the frontline to the Soviet rear during the Great Patriotic War.
The research is based on the analysis of the published and archival documents, personal diaries, letters, memoirs, texts of interview with the people who lived through the evacuation.

The methodological foundation of the research was based on the theoretical principles made by the Everyday History. Surge attack of the German troops and cruel occupational policy caused the necessity of evacuation of civilians to the Eastern regions of the country. The evacuation was both spontaneous and organized and helped to save millions of human lives.

The lack of evacuation plans in case of a war, incompleteness of the railway transport renovation, transport routes destroyed by the enemy and the stream of refugees were among the main factors which complicated evacuation process.

The conditions of transportation differed according to the time and the circumstances of the evacuation and a person’s position in social hierarchy. There were some problems during the evacuation, such as regulation of the rail service, sanitation of the carriages, nutrition system, psychological shock. People had to spend weeks in the carriages suffering from cold, hunger and diseases.

During the evacuation a new alternative reality appeared with its rules and regulations which changed the concepts of tangible assets and moral values. The priority for any person was to survive, which meant to be independent and to do everything possible.

Key words: Great Patriotic War, evacuation, refugees, railway transport, evacuation centre.

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Evacuation Route: Restoring the Railway Transportation of People During the Great Patriotic War by Potemkina M.N. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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