INTRODUCTION REX A. WADE (Fairfax, VA, USA) GENERATIONS IN RUSSIAN AND SOVIETHISTORY "0 my son Absalom! my son, my son Absalom! would God I might die for thee, 0 Absalom my son, my son!" Second Samuel 18: 33 "Man is incapable of useful thoughts ' after the age of twenty-five years." Unnamed
University Press, 2001). Weiner’s focus on Vinnytsa reveals
convincingly the extent to which occupation, collaboration, and postwar reconstruction were entangled at the level of the citizenry itself. On the centrality of the war to Russian and Soviethistory, see Stephen Lovell, The Shadow of War: Russia
Nicholas B. Breyfogle, ed., Eurasian Environments: Nature and Ecology in Imperial Russia and SovietHistory (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018), 424 pp., $34.95 (pb), 9780822965633.
In this dive into the environmental history of Russia and the Soviet Union, in case after case
R O N A L D G R I G O R SUNY (Ann Arbor, MI, USA) 1 ON IDEOLOGY, SUBJECTIVITY, AND MODERNITY: DISPARATE THOUGHTS ABOUT DOING SOVIETHISTORY 1. This article is the product of two successive roundtables at the annual conventions of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies
SHEILA FITZPATRICK (Chicago, U.S.A.) EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION: PETITIONS AND DENUNCIATIONS IN RUSSIAN AND SOVIETHISTORY1 Historians of prerevolutionary Russia, particularly Muscovy, have long been interested in petitions2 and denunciations.3 As far as the Soviet period is concerned, however, both
Although students of the Soviet period have long been fascinated with criminality, few works have studied courts and common criminals on the basis of trial records, especially during the nep. Aside from scholarly treatments of show trials, the reasoning behind judicial decisions and criminal pleas has been left to the imagination of Sovietologists. This gap is addressed by examining case files involving the primary form of appeal available to Soviet convicts: cassation. After detailing the evolution of Soviet cassation from its origins in the French Revolution and contextualizing its place in the Soviet justice system, this article embarks on a close reading of convicts’ pleas, prosecutors’ reports, and judges’ written decisions in cassational cases. Cassational appeals are examined to determine how different seats of power within the judiciary sparred over verdicts. Judicial decisions of cassational cases are cross-referenced with legal codes and legislation to determine how Soviet judges applied the law, particularly when considering the social backgrounds of appellants. From the outlook of criminals themselves, the wording of their appeals is analyzed to determine how they understood the law, Soviet society, and what they thought they needed to say to gain redemption. Ultimately, this paper explores how individuals brought before courts understood Soviet power and justice through the lens of criminal appeals during the infancy of the Soviet Union.
B O O K R E V I E W S / C O M P T E S R E N D U S Richard Pipes. R u s s i a O b s e r v e d : C o l l e c t e d E s s a y s on R u s s i a n a n d SovietHistory. Boulder, CO: W e s t v i e w Press, 1989. 280 pp. Russian and East European studies in this country would n o t have developed
The subject of this article is the collectivization of agriculture in Soviet Udmurtia at the turn of the 1930s. Situated in the Urals, Udmurtia was an autonomous region, largely agricultural, and with a developing industrial center, Izhevsk, as capital. The titular nationality of the region, the Udmurts, represented slightly more than 50% of the total inhabitants, while the rest was made up by Russians and other national minorities. Udmurts were mostly peasants and concentrated in the countryside, whereas city-dwellers and factory workers were mostly Russians. Due to these and other circumstances, collectivization in Udmurtia was carried out in a very specific way. The campaign began here in 1928, one year before than in the rest of the Union, and had possibly the highest pace in the country, with 76% of collectivized farms by 1933. The years 1928–1931 were the highest point of the campaign, when the most opposition and the most violence took place.
The local Party Committee put before itself the special task to carry out a revolutionary collectivization campaign in the Udmurt countryside, which should have been a definitive solution to its “national” backwardness and to all its problems, from illiteracy to trachoma, from syphilis to the strip system (that is, each family worked on small “strips” of land far from each other). The Party Committee failed to exert much support from the peasant Udmurt masses, which stayed at best inert to collectivization propaganda, or opposed it openly. However, the back of the Udmurt peasantry was finally broken, and Udmurtia was totally collectivized by the end of the 1930s.
This article focuses on the Soviet government’s turn to positive incentives to play the state lottery in the late 1950s, after thirty years of coercing citizens to buy state lottery bonds under Stalin. Khrushchev discontinued the Stalinist bonds in April 1957 and, in their wake, introduced “cash-and-goods lotteries” featuring voluntary participation. The Khrushchev government identified a powerful positive incentive to buy tickets in the coveted consumer goods the lotteries offered as prizes. Citizens were no longer asked to sacrifice toward the state lottery, rather, they were encouraged to risk small sums toward potential consumer gain and the improvement of their living standards – a new way of conceptualizing Soviet citizens’ personal financial contributions to the state as the Soviet Union approached communist prosperity.
This article is a microanalysis of Soviet Holocaust retribution in four cases studies, with focus on Lithuania. It was difficult to disentangle crimes against Jews and crimes against Soviet power in cases involving high-ranking nationalists. Soviet authorities had a strong motivation to condemn nationalist leaders and to justify their execution or deportation to the Gulag, but were not as strongly invested in the outcome of the trials involving ordinary people. Punishing collaborators in Nazi crimes consistently remained an aim in and of itself (but was not to be pursued at the expense of other state campaigns). The authorities and locals pursued justice for murdered Jews while simultaneously utilizing the Jewish wartime fate in the pursuit of broader political aims during postwar Sovietization. In the broader postwar Soviet prosecution of treason and collaboration, authorities and defendants navigated competing understandings of personal participation (lichnoe uchastie) in atrocities and the (ir)redeemability of defendants.