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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2015 year, number 2


A.A. Burmatov
Kuibyshev Branch of Novosibirsk Teachers Training University, Apt. 79, Building 7, Block 10, Kuibyshev town, Novosibirsk region, 632382
Keywords: Novosibirsk region, Great Patriotic War, population, mortality, infant mortality, morbidity, infections


The aim of the article is to examine mortality in the Novosibirsk region during the Great Patriotic War. The Novosibirsk region in the pre-war borders included Kemerovo and Tomsk regions, so the situation in there was determinative for the entire West Siberian population. This problem has been understudied by the historians, as the subject was tabooed by the Soviet regime. Publications haven’t been numerous covering the demographic issues only partially without presenting a coherent picture. These works were censored and could not present a detailed solution of this problem. In the post-Soviet period researchers focused mostly on studying population in Siberia as a whole or in its Western part. Works on the Novosibirsk region population and its development during the war were rare. As we approach the 70th anniversary of the Victory it is necessary to take a closer look at the region’s population. The article is based on the materials previously used “for official usage only”. It analyzes mortality trends in the Novosibirsk region during the Great Patriotic War. In the first war period there was a sharp deterioration in morbidity and mortality rates. It was a naturally determined phenomenon. The year of 1942 was marked by the first signs of the situation improvement. In 1943-1945 this positive trend stabilized. The biggest drop was seen in infant mortality rate. Mortality tendencies and evolution reasons were examined. The author notes the role played by the local and health authorities during the Great Patriotic War in reduction of mortality. Analysis of archival materials allowed reevaluating the time series of mortality including the infant mortality rates in 1941-1945. The author concludes that the new medicines greatly contributed to the reduction of mortality during the war.