People and History, 20th Century Russia

One of the longest-running competitions for high-school students in Russia, and also one of the most prominent


Since 1999 International Memorial has been organising an annual contest of historical works for high school students. Its goal is to encourage students to engage in research of the Russian history of the last century, to stir up an interest in the fate and fortunes of ordinary people, their everyday life – what makes up the «great history» of the country. 

Annually about 1,5–2 thousand works from all the regions of Russia take part in the Contest. Authors of the best 40 works come to Moscow for an annual Academy in spring and an award ceremony for the winners at the end of it. For the period of the contest existence 18 collections of the winners’ works have been published. You may find them on the «Lessons of History» web site.

Throughout these years the contest jury traditionally comprising historians, writers, journalists and public figures was chaired by Sigurd Ottovich Schmidt, Svetlana Alexandrova Alexievich, Ludmila Evgenievna Ulitskaya (chair in office at present).

Topics of the contest: «The price of the victory», «Family history», «Man and authorities», «Man and his birthplace», «Us and them». Special nominations have been set up for photo works, movies and mini-researches.

Public and vocational school students, as well as college students at the age of 14 to 18 may take part in the contest. Both individual and collective works are accepted. Teachers, parents and even professional historians as mentors are welcome.


Фонд имени Генриха Бёлля Фонд Михаила Прохорова Фонд «Память, ответственность и будущее» Фонд Кёрбера