Archive for September 29, 2008

Curious and Creative Questions asked by students


1.     Do you think the idea or policy of collectivization was good or bad especially from an educational side or urbanization?

2.     As a result of collectivization, why did not the economy develop in socialism?

3.     Why did people like the “kulaks” not go abroad in order to save their families and property?

4.     In what way did collectivization change rural communities?

5.     What are the results of collectivization in different parts of Kazakhstan?


Deportation – Relocation

1.     Which nations suffered the most from being deported or relocated by Stalin’s dictates?

2.     Why have lots of Germans moved back to Germany (wave of migration in 1995) from KZ but other deported nations have not?


Famine of 1931-33

1.     What do you think is the main reason of famine in 1931-33?

2.     How were people able to survive?

3.     Do you have grandparents who witnessed famine and know anything about it?

4.     Do you think famine happened because of the natural reasons or because of the political system in USSR?

5.     How many people died all together during the famine in USSR? How many people died in Kazakhstan?

6.     What were the main reasons for denying the famine in Ukraine?

7.     During the first stages, 1928-1931, what areas of Kazakhstan the most at risk?

8.     Which policies shifted the incidence of the famine to produce distress in other areas of Kazakshtan?


Education in USSR

1.     What was education in USSR like compared to other big countries?

2.     Why do our grandparents say that education in USSR is better than now?

3.     Why did we change our education based on western pattern when we know that in the USSR education was on a very high level?

4.     In your point of view, was the USSR educational system good or not?

5.     What are the main differences between modern educational system and the USSR system?

6.     How did USSR’s education differ from today’s education?

7.     Is there a definite feature in the USSR’s educational system that differs from other systems?


Medicine in USSR

1.     What were the major issues in medicine in USSR?

2.     Almost all services in USSR were free, even medical care.  But in capitalism, it is too expensive to go to the medical center.  What is the difference between them?And how does it affect the quality of medical care?

3.     Can you tell us about experiments that were held in “enemy of the nations” camp?

4.     Why in capitalism is medical staff (doctors, nurses, etc) better educated and able to serve people more effectively?

5.     It was said that USSR scientists tried to cure incurable diseases? Was there any research money designated for that and if so, how much?

6.     What should the Soviet government have done in order to prevent alcoholism in Soviet Union?

7.     What are the effects of radiation on the Kazakh population?

8.     What are the effects on health of people in live in the Semipalatinsk area and is it still affecting the health of the population today?

9.     What kind of medical experiments did doctors do in the gulag?

10. What is the “presumption of mental health” and what role did psychiatric reform play in USSR?


Nationalities Question

1.     Describe how the nationalities question was put to the people in the USSR?

2.     Which nationalities suffered the most under Stalin’s regime?


Soviet Living Conditions

1.     Why was it not possible to make economic conditions better?  We know that the USSR was one of the richest countries?

2.     Why if USSR’s conditions were not the best, the houses called “Khrusevki” still exist in KZ?

3.     In which terms and how far behind socialism had put economy of USSR from other capitalistic countries?

4.     What was done to improve living conditions in USSR?

5.     Soviet living conditions were not bad in my opinion, what do you think?

6.     What was the attitude of people towards their living conditions?  What caused such problems in living during the Soviet Union?

7.     As we are living in a Muslim country and customs and traditions are respected a lot, how do you think Kazakh women and their husband reacted on women being made into class-conscious workers (batrakas?)

8.     How do you think Soviet Union government solve the problem about class discrimination in 1920s? Did this change only affect “people on the top?”


WWII – Military – Spies

1.     Why after WWII were a lot of spies classified as “enemies of nation?”

2.     Who was the most famous spy of USSR? How did he die?

3.     Has the USSR government used up all the military resources (tanks, rockets, etc?)

4.     How do you think publicizing heroes at the time of war helped to strengthen the USSR ideology?

5.     What were the benefits or risks in being a spy during WWII?

6.     What was the main aim of spies?  What problems did they and their families face after WWII?

7.     What does it mean “Great Patriotic War” mean for each nationality in the USSR?

8.     What spy tricks were used during WWII, name some famous spies if you know.

9.     What is the difference between the names of “Great Patriotic War” and WWII?

10. Why do you think the number of deaths in WWII was minimized?  For whom was the war profitable?

11. What nations were “under the pressure” during WWII?

12.  What reasons were Kazakh people called traitors?

13. During war we can see that people of same nationality help each other? Why did this happen?

14. Whom the most famous names in Soviet partisan mythology belong?


Soviet Economy

1.     How did WWII affect SU’s economy?

2.     In 1960s were the years of “agricultural boom” in the whole SU, how much money was spent on that?

3.     Retailing business in USSR, did it exist or not?

4.     Do you really think that Soviet economy can even be called an economy? If yes, prove it!

5.     How much money was spent on “perestoika?”

6.     How did Perestroika positively or negatively impact the Soviet Union’s economy, what are the reasons?

7.     How did female work affect the economy of the Soviet Union?





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