Donetsk Basin Mining Engineers Memoirs of Second Half of 19th – Early 20th Century: Professional Aspect

Keywords: Donbas, memoirs, mining engineers, mine, miners, coal deposits, industrial development


The information potential of the memoirs of mining engineers O. Auerbach, O. Fenin, O. Terpyhoriev, who worked at the mines of Donbas in the second half of the 19th – early 20th century is analyzed in the paper.

Memories as memoirs, in fact, are constructed on several levels: personal/autobiographical, professional, historical. The professional component, especially if a person is characterized by active professional activity, often prevails, based on collective discourse. Under the influence of life experience, changes in society, profession, political situation, a certain aberration of the author’s personal interpretation of the past takes place. Therefore, the memoirist becomes dependent on the views contemporary to the writing of memoirs.

It is noted that the analyzed memoirs contain a sizeable amount of professional information, including technical characteristics of coal deposits and mines, the organization of mining, information about colleagues and entrepreneurs with an emphasis on professional qualities, rather long stories about miners. This information is intertwined with the personal interpretation of the realities of rapidly developing industrial region, in particular, working and living conditions, relationships with colleagues and miners.

Peculiarities of biographies and conditions of memoirs creation caused differences in interpretation of the historical context and description of common professional situations. O. Auerbach focuses on his professional activities, thus telling about the mines he worked at and the people he interacted with. In addition to his professional activity, O. Fenin, along with describing his professional activities, pays much attention to the people he had to work with. For him, it is part of a lost world. In O. Terpyhoriev’s memoirs, technical information absolutely prevails. The prevailing theme of his memoirs is a comparison of pre-revolutionary and socialist Donbas. At the same time, all authors have an understanding of their work significance and a sense of involvement in powerful industrialized construction, which became the motive for writing memoirs.


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How to Cite
Otzemko, O. (2021). Donetsk Basin Mining Engineers Memoirs of Second Half of 19th – Early 20th Century: Professional Aspect. Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (2(34), 277-287.
Historiography, Source Study and Special Historical Disciplines