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Special settlers of Eastern Siberia: number, dynamics (1941-1950th)



doctor of historical sciences, professor

ShEtsposelentsa of Eastern Siberia: NUMBER, DYNAMICS (1941-1950th)

For the last fifteen years many works concerning deportation are published. Most fruitfully such researchers as V.N. Zemskov, N.F. Bugay, A.L. Dugin, M.A. of Vyltsan1 worked in this area. However, despite a wide range of publications, various aspects of this subject demand deeper and thorough study. There are no researches on identification of geography of special settlements in a section of regions, dynamics of the movement of special settlers across certain territories, problems of work, life, material security of special settlers, their contribution to social and economic development of certain territories, etc. Not studied is a technology of implementation of deportations: justification, preparation, organization and carrying out. The solution of these problems is possible only on the basis of detailed search, study and generalization of the corresponding material in regional state archives and also departmental archives of regional governments of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and FSB.

An object of research of this article is generalization of social and demographic dynamics of the movement of special settlers in Eastern Siberia during a specified period. In the late thirties transition in the course of deportation of people from the social-class principle of resettlement to national came. It was caused by the aspiration to ensure safety in a borderland for what events for creation of socio-political climate, acceptable for ruling regime, in regions of an adherence to the states of other foreign policy orientation were held to weaken a social base of a bourgeois and nationalist underground. The first the Finnish population from a 100-kilometer border strip of the Leningrad Region and underwent deportation in the 50-kilometer spring of 1935 in Karelia. Compulsory resettlement accepted mass character after accession of the Western Ukraine,

Western Belarus and Baltics. The most part of the population deported from these territories was directed to the special settlement. Deportation was related first of all to the Polish population. In total over 380 thousand Poles were moved. On the status the Polish special settlers were subdivided into osadnik and refugees. The former military personnel of the Polish army who proved in the Polish and Soviet war of 1920 and received in 1920 — the 30th of the earth in the areas occupied by Ukrainians and Belarusians treated osadnik. Concerning local community they performed certain police functions why were declared "the worst enemies of the working people". Those who fled Poland occupied by Germany were ranked as refugees. Refugees got advantage at installation in housing, in supply with clothes and food. Joint resettlement and accommodation of refugees and osadnik was not allowed.

Eastern Siberia became the main place of dislocation of the deported Polish population. Settled the Polish special settlers in Eastern Siberia only in Krasnoyarsk Krai and the Irkutsk region, their number is presented in tab. 1.

Table 1

The number of the Polish special settlers in Eastern Siberia as of April 1, 1941, the people 2

Administrative ter ritorialny education Chislen-nost only Including

Osadniki Refugees

Krasnoyarsk Krai 14,788 13,339 1,449

Irkutsk region 2,914 593 2,321

Only 210,559 134,491 76,068

Thus, nearly 55.5% of the deported Polish population were directed to the settlement to two areas of Eastern Siberia.

In May-June, 1941 there came the turn of the "an anti-Soviet element" living in

© A.V. Shalak, 2005

Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Moldova, Western Ukraine and Belarus. Everything, as of September 15, 1941, from these territories it was deported 85,716 chelovek3. At the end of August, 1941 the eviction of Germans from the Volga region and other regions of the country, except for those Germans who lived in Siberia, in the Urals, in Central Asia and Kazakhstan began. All German population was mobilized through military registration and enlistment offices and directed to works in the leading industries. Until the end of 1945 they were in special zones in the place of work. In total for years of war in them over 400 thousand Germans worked. On the status they were considered as trudarmey-ets, and for them labor mobilization was an alternative to military service. After the end of war the moved Germans were taken on special account in the place of work.

However, despite appearance in Eastern Siberia of the new contingents of special settlers, the bulk of the last in the early forties was still made by trudpo-selenets ("kulaks' exile"). As of October 1, 1941 all in their Eastern Siberia there were 101,232 persons that made nearly 11% of total number dispossessed, which were in places of special settlements. The greatest number of representatives of this contingent lived in the territory of Krasnoyarsk Krai — 48,308 people, in the Irkutsk region — 28,165 people, in the Chita region — 23,152 persons and 1607 people in Buryatii4.

It should be noted that reduction of number of special settlers began with the contingent "the former fists" during the pre-war period. According to the resolution SNK USSR of October 22, 1938 the children of the former fists who reached 16-year-old vozrasta5 acted from special account. Restrictions touched only the faces treating to the deported people on national sign. It is interesting to note also such detail: the status of trudposelenets saved from a conscription and sending to the front during an initial stage of war. Only since April, 1942 according to the decision of state treasury bills of trudposelenets began to call up for military service, and members of their families since October, 1942 were struck off the register by trudssylka, exempted from payment of 5% collecting on the maintenance of the device of special settlements and also passports were issued it. By November 1, 1942 from trudposelenets of Krasnoyarsk Krai were

are mobilized in army 3231 persons, the Irkutsk region — 2308, Chita — the 803rd forehead-veka6. For this reason the number of trudposelenets began to be reduced. In comparison with data for October 1, 1941 it by the beginning of 1943 was reduced by 18,895 people (18.7%), continued to be reduced within a year and for the end of 1943 of trudposelenets in Eastern Siberia there were 74,110 people that made 73.2% of number of this contingent for October 1, 1941 7

Mass release of this category of special settlers began already during the post-war period. On September 28, 1946 the order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR and prosecutor's office of the USSR "About a release order from the special settlement of the former fists" according to which were subject to release having children in the ranks of the Red Army is issued; participants of Patriotic war; awarded with government awards and also the women who married not settlers. They were released on the representation of Regional Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs coordinated with the prosecutor of the republic (the region, the area) without representation of affairs on the Special meeting at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR. Besides, the decision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs struck off the register the fists fleeing special settlements till January 1, 1941. From August, 1946 till January, 1952 on the basis of petitions of local party and Soviet bodies of CM of the USSR adopted 14 special resolutions under which in 28 republics, edges and areas special settlers of the contingent "the former fists" were almost completely removed from special account. The number of the released special settlers of the contingent "the former fists" is specified in tab. 2.

Table 2

The number of the special settlers of the contingent struck off the register in Eastern Siberia "the former fists" (1946 — 1952) 8

Administrative-territorial education Quantity struck off the register, the people

Krasnoyarsk Krai 27,850

Irkutsk region 14,669

Chita region 14,724


All across Eastern Siberia 57,831 (14.2%)

of All across the USSR 408,391

At the same time in Eastern Siberia release of bulk of special squads "the former fists" happened during 1947. The former fists belonging to the deported people on national sign, otpoch-

kovyvatsya from the contingent and joined in other contingents. In Eastern Siberia these persons, as of August, 1952, lived only in Krasnoyarsk Krai in number of 201 cheloveka9.

Despite large-scale release of special settlers of the contingent "the former fists", total number of special settlers in the second half of 1940 — the beginning of the 1950th not only did not decrease, but from year to year steadily grew. The number of the special settlements sent to places considerably surpassed quantity of released. In December, 1943 the decision on expulsion of Kalmyks (more than 90 thousand people) was made, in May-June, 1944 the similar decision is made on the Crimean Tatars. In 1944-1945 two new contingents of special settlers — "folksdoych" and "the German helpers" appeared, however it were not "helpers" (they were in camps), and members of their families.

Since spring of 1944 from the Western Ukraine began to move Banderovites and other Ukrainian nationalists to Krasnoyarsk Krai, the Irkutsk and Omsk regions. For this reason the total number of the persons living in the special settlement in Eastern Siberia in the years of war grew. The number of special settlers on

1 January, 1945 it is presented in tab. 3.

Table 3 Number of Special Settlers

in Eastern Siberia for January 1, 1945 10

Administrative-territorial education Chislen-nost, people Specific weight, %

Krasnoyarsk Krai 124,783 5.64

Irkutsk region 22,509 1.02

Chita region 16,369 0.74

BMASSR 1,014 0.04

All across Eastern Siberia 164,675 7.44

All across the USSR 2,212,126 100.00

Thus, to the middle of the 1940th as a part of deported there were basic changes. If till 1935 were absent deported on ethnic sign, then in 1945 they made 70% of special settlers. The decree of Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR of November 26, 1948 the people deported during the war belonged to the category of the special settlers moved forever.

During the post-war period new groups of special settlers appeared. The repatriated Soviet citizens from Germany and others

the countries of Europe, treating to the deported people on ethnic sign, also went to the special settlement. The demobilized soldiers from the Red Army who came to the relatives special settlers were put on special account, but had the right to choose the residence and work within this area and also the right to transport the families from other places of special settlements.

In 1946 new, quite considerable contingent of special settlers under the name "vlasovets" appeared. The order of CM of the USSR of March 29, 1946 for a period of six years transferred to the special settlement vlasovets and also the persons serving in front formations of the German army, legionaries and police officers from test and filtrational camps of People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs-Ministry of Internal Affairs. The contingent "vlasovets" joined a part of the Soviet officers who visited captivity. In total for March, 1949 112,882 special settlers of this contingent, for July 1, 1951 — 137,902, on were considered

1 July, 1952 — 103,454. Vlasovtsa Germans, Kalmyks, Chechens, Ingushs, Balkars, Karachays, Greeks and the Crimean Tatars were transferred to the special settlement forever, the others — to six let11. However after departure of this term a part of vlasovets of the Russian and Ukrainian nationalities occupied on incomplete construction objects was temporarily left on special account. In case of escape they were kept saying to 20 years of a hard labor. Restrictions concerned also the vlasovets working in the gold, oil, coal mining. After release from places of the special settlement they in addition were assigned to the enterprises of the Ministries of Internal Affairs, coal, oil industry as civilian workers and employees for a period of three years. In Eastern Siberia these restrictions were related to the vlasovets working in the coal industry Chita oblasti12.

For 1946-1952 on the special settlement 678,010 people arrived. The main stream of deported went from the Western Ukraine, the Baltics, Right-bank Moldova, Transcaucasia. The most part directly moved from Lithuania (only 47,534 persons) was settled in Krasnoyarsk Krai (23,467 people), the Irkutsk region (11,495) and BMASSR (4038)13.

It must be kept in mind that special-settlers from the Baltics were among and predsta-

vitel of other nationalities. For example, in March, 1949 in Krasnoyarsk Krai, the Irkutsk region and BMASSR were on the special settlement of 26,855 adult Lithuanians (is more senior 17 years) deported in 1945-1948, and the name "Lithuanians" meant only that all of them are moved from the Lithuanian SSR. But besides Lithuanians among them there were also 688 Poles, 58 Russians, 20 Germans, 9 Latvians,

2 the Ukrainian, 1 Belarusian, 1 Kazakh and 2 passed according to the column "other" 14.

Since 1948 on the special settlement the new contingent — peasants - "ukaznik" appears. February 21, 1948. The cm of the USSR adopted the resolution "About Eviction from the Ukrainian SSR of Persons, It Is Malicious Evading from Work in Agriculture and Leading an Antisocial Parasitic Life". In several months "the Ukrainian experience" extended all over the country. On June 2

1948 the decree of Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR "About eviction to the remote regions of the country of persons was adopted, it is malicious evading from work in agriculture

and leading an antisocial parasitic life". Expulsion term — eight years. The decision on eviction was made by collective-farm meetings and approved by district executive committees. For 1948-1952 on the special settlement arrived 33,266 moved under this decree. With them voluntarily followed to places of the reference of 13,598 members of their families. From 33,266 ukazni-k 681 it was sent from the Irkutsk region, 463 — from Krasnoyarsk Krai. Till March 20, 1953 from special settlements 3915 people deported under the decree from were released

2 June, 1948, as "incorrectly sent" (did not develop a minimum of workdays because of disability, presence of babies, etc.). Further the stream sent under the decree sharply was reduced, and the stream of the collective-farm meetings returned according to the petition promptly accrued.

The quantitative structure of the main groups of the special settlers living in the territory of Eastern Siberia, as of January 1

1949 it is presented in tab. 4, as of January 1, 1953 — in tab. 5.

Table 4

The number of special settlers of the different contingents in Eastern Siberia as of January 1, 1949, the people 15

Administrative-territorial education Germans From Lithuania Kalmyks Vlasovtsa Ounovtsa Ukazniki Truly orthodox Christians All

Krasnoyarsk Krai 56,184 23,223 16,407 6,233 5,385 397 231 108,070

Irkutsk region 4,257 11,383 - 8,064 8,378 4,771 - 36,853

BMASSR 2,341 3,987 - 2,142 - - - 8,470

Chita region 488 - - 2,369 1,521 748 - 5,126

Only 63,270 38,593 16,470 18,808 15,284 5,916 231 158,519

Table 5

The number of special settlers of the different contingents in Eastern Siberia as of January 1, 1953, the people 16

Administrative-territorial education Germans From the Baltics Kalmyks Vlasovtsa Ounovtsa Ukazniki Truly orthodox Christians All

Krasnoyarsk Krai 62,443 35,584 16,269 4,347 14,322 2,332 147 151,502

Irkutsk region 7,943 40,813 66 4,559 17,711 4,851 2 91,945

BMASSR 3,423 3,869 2 1,479 2,257 152 - 13,908

Chita region 868 - 1 2,580 4,655 1,157 - 10,154

Only 74,677 80,266 16,338 12,965 38,945 8,492 149 267,509

For many special settlers ITL of GULAG were the residence. Without being prisoners, they lived and worked in ITL, remaining special settlers. As of October 1, 1949, in ITL and on special-buildings of the Ministry of Internal Affairs were in Krasnoyarsk

edge 4652 persons (Norillag — 3898,

Kraslag — 647, Plant No. 169 — 107); in the Irkutsk region 1542 persons (ITL of construction No. 16 — 1240, Angarlag — 302); in the Chita region 510 people (all in Borsky ITL). For ensuring account, the mode

and supervision of special settlers, ssylnoposelenets, exiled and sent on the periphery, as of April 10, 1953, in BMASSR there were 23 special commandant's offices, Krasnoyarsk Krai — 184, the Chita region — 23, the Irkutsk region — 10317.

Sending to the special settlement of the new contingents did not stop up to the beginning of 1953. Large-scale amnesty after Stalin's death became the first act of liberalization. On representation to L.P. Beria the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR adopted on March 27, 1953 the decree "About Amnesty" under which from camps and colonies of GULAG 1,201,738 prisoners, or 53.8% of total number for April 1, 1953 were ahead of schedule released. The decree practically did not concern special-settlers. Beria had firm intention to release over 1.7 million people until the end of 1953, and remained to soften the mode and to release within the next two years. However in connection with Beria's arrest the mass release of special settlers in 1953 did not happen. Process of elimination of a spetsposelenchestvo began in the middle of 1954 and came to the end in several stages by 1965

The bulk of special settlers of Eastern Siberia was released until the end of the 1950th. For January 1, 1959 in the Irkutsk region there were 8292 special settlers, in Krasnoyarsk Krai — 5619, in the Chita region — 915, in Buryat to the ASSR — 496. Total number of special settlers in Eastern Siberia was 15,322 persons that almost by 4 times there was less similar indicator of previous year, and in comparison with data for January 1, 1953 the number of settlers decreased by 17.5 times. Special settlements per se in the territory of the region practically stopped the existence.

In general it is possible to note that all categories the deported in extreme conditions for themselves showed high adaptation abilities. In the mid-forties in material and household situation most preferably looked the former fists. In the document of Department of special settlements of People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs of the USSR signed on January 2, 1946 by the chief of this department M.V. Kuznetsov it was noted: "The former fists are the most arranged in the economic and household relation. A significant amount from them is placed in spetsposelka, have own houses, outdoor constructions, the cattle,

agricultural stock. Families are financially secure and have no special need" 18.

From the deported people it is better than others Germans managed to adapt in places of the reference. Among them there were many qualified engineers, workers, technicians, agronomists, doctors and other experts who were employed willingly with quite good earnings and the guaranteed food ration, sufficient to save themselves and the families from starvation. Germans also quicker and better than others could master the system of farming in the places of residence. The enterprise and diligence of Germans quickly turned them into the most civilized layer in economic life of regions. After war of one of the main reasons because of which Germans were not returned on former residences fear of both local, and central authorities was that their return resettlement in the Volga region negatively will be reflected in economic life of regions.

In official documents of the reason of eviction of the people at 1930 beginning of the 1950th were explained by the aspiration to weaken ethnic tension in any given region of the country, to stabilize a political situation, to punish for complicity to fascists and performances against the Soviet power, to liquidate gangsterism.

The impartial analysis of the facts does not allow to doubt that these reasons had more than strong reasons. Deportation of certain people was dictated only by measures for safety of the state what achievement of socio-political stability in a front-line zone was of great importance for. In this sense hardly the Soviet state could rely on those population groups which were considered as socially and consequently, and politically alien. It is undoubted that in such mobilization situation of filtration also those who by the social status socially alien could not be were exposed, but they were not and are adapted to the Soviet system, and for this reason sought to settle them far away from a border zone.

In the context of the general social and economic and cultural policy pursued in the national republics in investigated

the period, extremely disputable looks judgment that circumstances of wartime were used by the management for carrying out a certain policy in an ethnic question, punishments of the separate people to which Stalin tested nepri-yazn19. It is difficult to assume that in conditions when the result of war was not quite clear and consequently, and the future of the state, its elite was questionable, the government was engaged in squaring of accounts with separate ethnic groups, heating a socio-political situation and aggravating situation in the country even more. Moreover, the analysis of that situation which developed in areas of residence of the moved people shows that in power there were more than serious reasons for similar actions. How does the state have to arrive if in the years of the war in the back of warring army the mutiny breaks out? However "the obstinate people" were not destroyed, they were moved to the deep back and by that the genetic code of these ethnic groups was kept. Even more liberally the Soviet power treated vlasovets. Under war laws they were threatened by the death penalty with confiscation of property, however they were not even brought to trial, having limited punishment to six years of expulsion. "Cruelly" the power with traitors acted this way, and up in arms struggled with those who changed the oath against the Red Army.

At the same time by means of forced relocations by the power problems of development of the uninhabited or low-made habitable regions of the country, alignment of human and demographic resources between the western and east regions of the USSR were solved. Special settlers made the significant contribution to development of productive forces of northern and eastern regions of the country that, undoubtedly, strengthened the geopolitical capacity of the state.

Another thing is that the power had no accurate social and economic plan concerning special settlers for a long-term outlook. It is unlikely it is possible to recognize as reasonable resettlement of iyegovist, truly orthodox Christians, peasants under the decree of 1948 and some other categories. There was no certain ideological justification of special resettlements also. Therefore all efforts, first of all local authorities, directed to that deported "voluntarily" osta-

foxes to live in places of the reference after their release, were not crowned with success. As a result the problem of special settlers became a change in inner-party fight after Stalin's death in the beginning, then it was used for incitement of the ethnic conflicts in the territory of the USSR during the perestroika years, and now the subject of "the repressed people" is used for incitement of the new conflicts in the territory of Russia.

1 See, e.g.: V.N. Zemskov. Special settlers: according to documentation НКВД^ВД of the USSR//Social researches. 1990. No. 11; It. Prisoners, special-settlers, ssylnoposelenets, exiled and sent: statistiko-geographical aspect//History USSR. 1991. No. 5; It. Special settlers. 1930-1959//the Population of Russia in the 1920-1950th years: number, losses, migrations. M., 1994; It. Demography of prisoners, special settlers and exiled. the 30-50th//World of Russia. Sociology. Ethnology. 1999. T. 8, No. 4; It. Deportations of the population. Special settlers and exiled. Prisoners//the Population of Russia in the 20th century. M., 2001. T. 2; Bull N.F.K to a question of deportations of the people of the USSR//History USSR. 1989. No. 6; It. the 40-50th years: consequences of deportation of the people (NKVD^vd archives of the USSR testify)//In the same place. 1992. No. 1; It. Deportation of the population in the 1920-1930th years//the Population of Russia in the 20th century. T. 1; It. the 20-50th years: compulsory resettlements of the people//Observer. 1993. No. 11; A.L. Dugin. Special settlements//Police and militia in Russia. M., 1993; Vyltsan M^. Deportation of the people in days of the Great Patriotic War//the Ethnographic review. 1995. No. 3.
2 GARF. T. 9479, op. 1, 89, l. 6, 30.
3 V.N. Zemskov. Special settlers in the USSR, 1930-1960. M., 2005. Page 90.
4 GARF. T. 9479, op. 1, 89, l. 189-191.
5 V.N. Zemskov. Special settlers in the USSR, 1930-1960. Page 139.
6 In the same place. Page 103.
7 GARF. T. 9479, op. 1, 139, l. 17, 137, 138, 234, 235. Page 106.
8 In the same place. 436, l. 29-32; 488, l. 307-310.
9 In the same place. 597, l. 263.
10 V.N. Zemskov. Special settlers in the USSR, 1930-1960. Page 115.
11 In the same place. Page 134-135.
12 GARF. T. 9401, op. 1a, 394, l. 5-6.
13 In the same place. T. 9479, op. 1, 436, l. 17.
14 In the same place. 487, l. 22.
15 In the same place. T. 9401, op. 12, 207,/l.
16 In the same place. 597, l. 22-68, 130-168. Page 214, 215, 217.
17 In the same place. 436, l. 44-47.
18 In the same place. 157, l. 107-108.
19 V.N. Zemskov. Special settlers in the USSR, 1930-1960. Page 121.
Lukas Otto
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