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Microform Collection: World War II documents: Part 2, From Bolshevizm to the New Order

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Museum-Archive of the Transitional Period in Kiev, 1942

Published by Primary Source Microfilm

From the holdings of the Kiev Regional Archive

The Museum-Archive of the Transition Period (MATP) had been established in Kiev under German occupation on March 26th, 1942. Its aim was "to collect and process materials illustrating the period of transition from Bolshevism to the introduction of New Order in Europe and Ukraine in particular." Under orders from German occupational authorities, the scientists of the Museum-Archive were to conduct anti-Soviet propaganda among the Ukrainian population. The goal was to have Ukrainians see the German army as "liberators" from the oppressive rule of the Soviets. To support this objective, German authorities instructed MATP employees to collect materials that displayed benefits of life in a German-occupied, as opposed to Soviet-dominated, Ukraine.

The collection contains official information on sixteen main fields of research that had been developed by MATP scientists, following the wake of German occupational propaganda of the period. Anti-Semitic and anti-Communist propaganda pervades much of this material. In the meantime, at the weekly scientific plenary sessions of Museum-Archive, scientific officers and consultants often presented research papers that had no relation to the official line of the German authorities.

The Transition Period ended in late October 1942. The occupational authorities had made little headway in their propaganda efforts. After the liberation of Kiev from the Germans on November 6, 1943 and the return of the state archive of the Kyiv oblast, all remaining documents of the MATP and exhibits of its previous expositions were joined into a single collection named "The Kyiv city administration's Museum-Archive of the Transition Period." During the Soviet period this unique documentary collection remained closed to most researchers. In May 1990 the collection was finally declassified.

The collection includes documents that chronicle the requisition of valuables from Kiev temples and museums and their subsequent sale abroad, the damage to and demolition of religious buildings and other cultural and historical memorials, the total Russification of all aspects of life in Ukrainian society, the oppression and persecution of Ukrainian intellectuals, the evacuation of writers, artists, actors and scientists from Ukraine to the east at the beginning of the war, the exportation of museum exhibits to the rear areas, and countless other unexplored aspects of history. The collection also includes personal papers of reminiscences, notes, diaries and photographs that were passed to the MATP for storage.

The documents from the period of German occupation consist of two groups:

  1. Internal documentation of the MATP, enabling researchers to see in its entirety the institution's staff, activities and achievements in the collection, dissemination, and preservation of its research and exhibition materials. This is especially important in light of MATP staff efforts to promote Ukrainian national culture even under such unfavorable circumstances.
  2. Documents regarding the activity of various organizations and institutions in the territory of Ukraine under German occupation. It contains valuable data concerning the organization and functioning of Kiev city administration and 11 district administrators within the city, the creation of Ukrainian police guard, the renaming the streets of Kiev, city economics during the period of occupation, the work of enterprises, administrative and cultural institutions and in general, concerning the consolidation of Nazi "New Order" and reaction of the local population to it.

The collection's documents are organized in the following order:

  • MATP administrative files (official documentation, personnel, scholars-consultants and their works)
  • MATP activities (collection of museum articles, research, etc.)
  • Museum Holdings - the largest part of the collection - (papers of Nazi administration in Kiev: department of propaganda, department of education and culture, municipal administration, district administration, police department)

Scope: 16 reels

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LOCATION: SML, Microform (Non-Circulating)
CALL NUMBER: Film B18943