Restoration of Housing and Communal services of Leningrad from 1942-1944: the Temporal Experience of the Besieged City

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In their article, the author analyzes a critical point for the Soviet culture of the 1940s. This study is based on published sources, including data from periodicals, and unpublished materials from the archives of Moscow and St. Petersburg. The purpose of it is to determine the features of the temporal characteristics of the restoration stages of Leningrad’s housing and communal services during the years of the siege. The research tools used including those investigating concrete-historical issues, problem-chronological methods, historical reconstruction, as well as linguo-culturological analysis. The identification and systematization of temporal concepts are implemented through three blocks (typological, structural, semiotic) in the paper, concepts which have contributed to the study of the relationship between material culture and the temporal dimensions of the era. There were two stages of the revival of Leningrad’s urban economy during the war years which should be singled out. The specific character of the first stage (January 1942 - January 1943) was the combination of restoration with continued emergency activities, and the second stage (January 1943 - January 1944), when the government began introducing, the restoration of housing and communal services, while taking into account the plans for the development of Leningrad in the post-war period. The temporal characteristics of the first period were colored by “siege time,” broad aspirations for the future largely marred due the establishment of unrealistic deadlines for the implementation of decisions and plans, as well as determination of restoration priorities in accordance with the seasonality of tasks. The second period was also characterized by acceleration in the pace of work carried out in the city due to a release of increased labor and funding, however, there was a discrepancy between real and assumed time in the perception of the Leningrad authorities, and understanding of time in terms of the realistic limits of under their control.

About the authors

Alisa A. Amosova

St. Petersburg State University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3344-6557

канд. истор. наук, доцент, Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет

7-9, Universitetskaya Naberezhnaya, St. Petersburg, 199034, Russia


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Copyright (c) 2023 Amosova A.A.

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