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Material living conditions of life of the civilian population of the Northwest of Russia in post-war years

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Article reveals features of everyday life of the civilian population of the Northwest regions of Russia freed from fascist occupation. For understanding of variety of the problems relating to the social sphere in the freed territory data on the damage caused to the social sphere, and feature of a demographic situation of the areas which were in occupation and regions of the Northwest of Russia are provided. Special attention is paid to problems of restoration of normal material living conditions of life of the population.

Despite existence of a significant amount of the literature devoted to issues of restoration and development of the country during the post-war period, plots of everyday life of the people did not find in it due reflection. The purpose of our research is the attempt to reveal features of material and household and living conditions of the population, providing with food, food, consumer goods of inhabitants of the territories of the Northwest of Russia freed from occupation. For understanding of post-war life, problems of restoration of the destroyed infrastructure, agriculture and the industry, and ordinary everyday problems, it is necessary to have an idea of scales of destructions and the damage caused by aggressors to occupied territories.

Destructions in the material and household sphere of the Northwest region were huge. So, in Murmansk as a result of barbaric bombings 1500 housing buildings — 75% inhabited fonda1 burned down. The cities of Pushkin, Pavlovsk, Petrodvorets, Staraya Russa were ruined. For 93% Kingisepp.2 In Pskov was destroyed 90% inhabited fonda3 were destroyed. In Novgorod from 2346 houses 404 remained. Not only the cities, but also suburbs, and rural settlements were exposed to destructions. So, in Dedovichsky district of the Leningrad Region from 363 settlements it was burned 2595, in Seredkinsky district of the Novgorod region from 154 villages 134 were burned completely and 12 chastichno6. In some areas housing stock was destroyed to 90%. Only in the territory of the Novgorod region the invaders dishomed over 440 thousand zhiteley7. In total in the territory of the Leningrad, Novgorod and Pskov regions the fascists destroyed more than 5000 inhabited punktov8. In Karelia were completely destroyed 84 and 409 settlements are partially destroyed. Tens of thousands of people remained homeless. In

1 Great Patriotic War. 1941-1945. Encyclopedia. M, 1985. Page 69, 474.
2 M.A. Abramova. On the freed earth. L., 1981. Page 13.
3 I.I. Belov. Lifted from ruins. M, 1966. Page 21.
4 Collection of messages of the Extraordinary state commission about crimes of fascist aggressors. M, 1946. Page 430.
5 Central state archive of historical and political documents of St. Petersburg (further CGA IPD SPb.) T. 24. Op. 2. 5306. L. 197.
6 CGA IPD SPb. T. 24. Op. 2. 6071. L. 132.
7 State historical archive of the Novgorod region (further GIANO.) F.R — 3645. Op 1. 1. L. 1.
8 M.A. Abramova. Decree. soch. Page 13.


Leningrad state university of A.S. Pushkin


result the big mass of people of the freed territories of the Northwest region were forced to huddle in 1944-1945 in dugouts. A considerable part of the population of Murmansk lived in dugouts, people were forced to huddle in basements of the destroyed buildings.

Sharp reduction of population of the occupied areas was a consequence of military operations, evacuation and mainly the fascist occupational mode. 737 thousand civilians and prisoners of war became the victims of fascist repressions only in occupied territories of the Leningrad, Novgorod and Pskov regions, 766,230 people were stolen on penal servitude in Germaniyu9. As a result many cities and the regional centers of the region became deserted. In the territory of the areas freed by April, 1944 from 1.8 million living there before war of inhabitants remained only 450 tysyach10. Before the war in Novgorod there were 40 thousand inhabitants, right after release were only 30 chelovek11. 62 thousand people lived in Pskov on the eve of war, and on the date of release there was only 14312. The picture and in rural areas was not better. In Zaluchsky district of the Novgorod region from 2000 inhabitants remained 17413, in the Novgorod district from 80 thousand — 900 chelovek14. In Pskovshchina, inhabitants 350 dereven15 were alive burned.

In Karelia in the summer of 1944 in a number of areas, such as Kurkeneksky, Pitkyaranta, Sortovalsky, Suoyarvsky there was no person. In the Kondopoga district from 34883 people on a census of 1939, in 1944 4239 people, lived in Prionezhskom from 26983 - 6300, in Sheltozerskom from 8135 - 3360 people. Generally there were women, old men, deti16. The total direct loss caused by fascists in days of the Great Patriotic War was: on the Leningrad, Novgorod and Pskov regions of 92 billion rubles 17, across Karelia over 20 billion rubles 18, across Murmansk region 920 million rubles 19 All on the Northwest region more than 113 billion rubles. If to take into account that all damage caused in whole or in part to the occupied 23 areas to regions and the autonomous republics of RSFSR was estimated in 249 billion rubles 20, then a conclusion of area of the Northwest region is obvious were among those to which the greatest loss was caused.

The sizes and the nature of destructions demonstrates that productive forces of the region, all infrastructure of life support of the population were rejected far back. To return the region to normal life, to revive all life support systems of people, energy, dedicated work, large material supplies were necessary enormous. It was necessary not only to restore a lot of things, and to build anew. Returned to the hometowns evacuated - and found out that their apartments are occupied by other people: the conflicts, circulations on instances began, up to the Reception chairman of Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR. From the second half of 1946 the number of applications for return of a former living space decreased, but the housing question remained the main household problem, having filled up the register of "temporary difficulties".

9 N.I. Kondakova. Ideological and political work of the Communist Party in cleared regions of RSFSR (1941-1945). Voronezh, 1971. Page 27.
10 CGA IPD SPb. T. 24. Op. 2. 5306. L. 158.
11 Collection of messages of the Extraordinary state commission about crimes of fascist aggressors. M, 1946. Page 202.
12 The Pskov region in the history of the USSR. History essays. L., 197 °. Page 424.
13 State archive of the contemporary history of the Novgorod region (further GANINO.) T. 260. Op. 2. 3. L. 276.
14 Collection of messages of the Extraordinary state commission... Page 202.
15 In the same place. Page 404.
16 Frosts of KA. Decree. soch. Page 199.
17 GANINO. T. 260. Op. 2. 98. L. 116.
18 M.A. Abramova. Decree. soch. Page 11.
19 Frosts of KA. Decree. soch. Page 198.
20 Collection of messages of the Extraordinary state commission. Page 202.

Restoration of housing stock became the most important and most difficult problem of the social sphere. It was necessary to lift all able-bodied population on recovery work. On May 30, 1944 the executive committee of the Leningrad city council and a city town committee of party made the decision on involvement of able-bodied population of Kolpino, Petrodvorets, Pushkin and Kronstadt to works on restoration of houses, hostels, utility companies, schools, hospitals, child care and kulturnoprosvetitelsky facilities, on improvement of parks, elimination of blockages, dismantling barrikad21. Also norms of participation were defined: working 8 hours a day to fulfill on recovery work of 30 hours in a month, to the worker having the extended working day, students and pupils are 10 hours old a month, not working — 60 chasov22.

By an example of Leningrad residents all able-bodied population of the Novgorod, Pskov, Murmansk regions, with KareloFinskiy SSR was involved in recovery work. So, since June 28, 1944, the moment of release of the city, till February, 1945 the workers of Petrozavodsk worked on restoration of the city more than 18,000 trudodney23. Actively its inhabitants participated in restoration of Novgorod. In 1944 they worked after hours 318500 chasov24. From the moment of liberation of Novgorod on January 10, 1944 till October 10, 1944 in the cities and industrial settlements of the Novgorod region 701 houses by living space 39695 quarter m25 were restored and again built. After completion of work there were for buildings workers of the cities and settlements of the Pskov region. To spring of 1945 only forces of workers after hours in the cities of the Pskov region repaired 59 thousand sq.m of living space that made a half of all restored area. In 1945 40 million rubles 26, and in 1046 — 100 million rubles 27 were allocated for restoration and construction of Murmansk

Thus, from the very first days after release of areas from fascist occupation huge attention was paid to restoration of housing stock of the cities destroyed by fascists, villages and villages, but hundreds of thousands of people of the Northwest region until the end of the 40th were forced to live in dugouts, blindages, bunkers.

One of the important social problems which rose at once after release of territories of the region from invaders was the organization of all system of rated supply of the population with food and manufactured goods of daily demand. It was for this purpose necessary to register all population and to categorize it for purpose of any given norm of supply, to provide delivery of all necessary on the centralized funds, to recreate network of warehouses and trade enterprises. For the purpose of providing an order in this case executive committees of Regional councils monthly approved the contingents of the population which needed to be provided with food. What was represented by these documents, will show on the example of the Pskov region. Executive committee of the Pskov regional council on September 20

1944 in the made decision approved appendix No. 6 "The food contingents of the Pskov region" and appendix No. 7 "The grain contingent of the Pskov region" 28. The number of workers, dependents and children up to 12 years supplied at the expense of the centralized fund and separately at the expense of funds of torgotdel was specified in appendix No. 6. Those for September 20, 1944 in the Pskov region there were 58253 persons. Besides, on a boiler allowance there were 3466 pupils of FZO and RU, pupils of orphanages and persons in houses preliminary zaklyucheniya29.
21 S.P. Knyazev, etc. Decree. soch. Page 614.
22 In the same place.
23 NARK. F. R-460. Op. 1. 44/470. L. 4.
24 On the earth Novgorod. Page 278.
25 GIANO. F.R — 2026. Op. 24. Unit hr. 1. L. 2.
26 Polar truth. 1946. May 22.
27 Essays of history of the Murmansk organization CPSU. Page 293.
28 State archive of the Pskov Region (further GAPO). F P — 903. Op. 1. 24. St. 2. L. 31-36.
29 GAPO. F R-903. Op. 1. 24. St. 2. L. 31, 32.

The groups having the right to additional food were also specified in this appendix. Among them there are workers of literature, art, science, donors, pregnant women, child care and medical institutions, working harmful shops. Additional food was also allocated to employees of the Soviet and party bodies divided depending on posts into three gruppy30. The quantity of the cards on bread given to the population of the area, workers on norm of 700 g - 3229 people, 650 g - 3536 people, 600 g-783 persons, 500 g - 12708 people was specified in appendix No. 7; the employee on 450 g - 1585 people, 400 g - 1585 people; dependents and children up to 12 years on 300 g - 8773 cheloveka31.

Thus, the system of rated supply of the population with food was under constant control, and standards of supply in cleared regions were introduced all-union. It should be noted that in exceptional cases in the territories freed from the enemy where in the plundered collective farms there was no bread, supply of collective farmers with bread undertook the state. So, for example, on July 23, 1944 the executive committee of Olonets regional council decided to allocate 11 t of flour in fund of village councils and defined norms of supply: for workers and collective farmers on 300 g of bread a day, for their dependents and children - on 200 g in den32.

Despite the taken measures for catering services of various categories of the population of cleared regions, in this case there were not isolated facts of insufficient control of distribution of products and catering services. So, for example, in the spring of 1945 addressed to the secretary Novgorod OK the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) arrived the reference "About unsatisfactory catering services of pupils and workers of vocational schools and schools of factory training". It was specified in it that merchandising of funds of food and FZO is made, as a rule, by low-quality substitutes, for 80% it is replaced with mushrooms, egg or dairy powder and with 20% - sausages. Instead of potatoes and vegetables is given & #34; black medley". The menu of pupils was the following: a breakfast - 100 g of bread and a glass of tea, a lunch - Russian cabbage soup with a meatless black medley - 550 g and 5 g of vegetable oil and 200 g of bread, a dinner - Russian cabbage soup fast with a black medley or 100 g of porridge and 200 g hleba33. It is obvious that pupils of FZO dragged half-starved existence.

In restoration of material living conditions of life of the population of cleared regions the important place was allocated to reconstruction of retail chain stores, network of public catering and consumer services of the population. In the Karelian-Finnish SSR only in Petrozavodsk by February, 1945 it was restored and 46 shops are opened. 16 stalls, 50 dining rooms and restaurant. The plan of goods turnover for all trading organizations was implemented on 104,3%34. In the cities of the Novgorod region for January 1

1945 only in the system of the Novgorod Obltorg 64 shops, 21 chests, 48 dining rooms and 12 bufetov35 worked. In 1944 they had goods turnover on 40032.4 thousand rubles on promtovaram36. In Pskov, Gdov, Island and Porkhov to fall of 1945 91 shops, 38 dining rooms, 74 stalls, 9 restoranov37 were restored.

Great attention during the planning and the organization of recovery work was given to restoration of the enterprises of the local industry and producers' cooperation. The solution of a problem of satisfaction of needs of the population for goods wide potre6leniya depended on it. In the resolution SNK USSR "About primary measures for restoration of economy of the city of Pskov and Pskov region" among the major tasks it was provided to restore garment factory, having put -

30 In the same place. L. 33.
31 In the same place. L. 31-36.
32 Karelia in days of the Great Patriotic War. 1941-1945. Documents and materials. Petrozavodsk, 1975. Page 335.
33 GANINO. T. 260. Op. 2. Unit hr. 140. L. 2, 3.
34 NARK. F. R-460. Op. 1. 44/470. L. 4.
35 GANINO. T. 260. Op. 1. Unit hr. 167. L. 5.
36 In the same place. L. 10
37 GAPO. F R-1219. Op. 1. St. 1. 1. L. 9.

a ny workshop to restore the 150 t meat-processing plant of meat and 5 t of sausage a day, to restore hotel on 100 numbers and temporary hotel on 80 beds, prosthetic masterskuyu38. In Novgorod by December 15, 1944 the Group of industrial enterprises, artel Bytprom, the brick and alcoholic beverage plants, the tile plant and some other the enterprises local promyshlennosti39 worked.

It should be noted that archival documents demonstrate that digital indicators did not reflect a full picture of the organization of life of the population in reports of party and Soviet bodies on number of the restored subjects to material and household providing. Public service establishments were quite often repaired poor, service of the population it was made at extremely low level. So, in the information report about work of the enterprises of life of the city of Pskov in 2 months after its release it was reported about bad work of a city bath and dining rooms of a system of Pskovtorg. The bath at the capacity of 1000 people a day served only 200. Especially badly canteens of Pskovtorg worked. So, for example, 800 people of workers and employees were attached to dining room No. 3, and the dining room had only two halls till 60-70 of seats. On all dining room there were 3 soup cups, 4 spoons and 7 nozhey40.

War deprived of people of the house, housing. In particular, in rural areas of the Pskov region before war there were 107,092 houses, from them destroyed were 76 09041. In September, 1945, before the onset of cold weather many country families which lost the houses were forced to live in dugouts: in the Pskov region of such families was 18 59442. Acute was a housing problem and for citizens, especially in the areas which underwent in the years of war of occupation and the most strongly affected by military operations. Two years later after the end of war in the city Velikiye Luki more than 800 families still lived in dugouts, and the city of Novgorod from 29 thousand urban population of 9 thousand huddled in temporary barracks, basements, zemlyankakh43. Situation with housing in the country improved extremely slowly.

In not less difficult conditions there were pupils of FZO schools and vocational schools. So, for example, for July 28, 1944 in the city of Gatchina on Chkalov Street 61 there was a hostel of teenagers of 221 construction sites of UVR LF. Till June, 1944 18 girls and 20 boys from 14 to 16 years lived in the house equipped and repaired by teenagers. In June according to the order of the site manager of teenagers moved to the nearby house. Only on 3 beds from 38 there were dirty sheets. On the others there were neither sheets, nor pillowcases, there were no towels at all. Children slept on mattresses from shavings from which the garbage poured all the time. Boys for work were given boots on a wooden sole 4243 sizes which were ready to drop and therefore many went to work bosikom44.

At the Shcheglovo station in the Leningrad Region an inspection of life of pupils of FZO No. 22 school which showed that the school was organized in March, 1944 was carried out on September 20, 1944 and had the contingent of the studying 128 people. Pupils were placed in barracks of summer type which had some frames. The equipment made 128 trestle beds, 13 tables, the 50th bedside table and 8 benches. Were only provided with linen summer, had no warm linen, winter footwear at all, there were no caps and vatnikov45. Thus, we see that post-war life of pupils of FZO schools and schools of craft type was organized badly, was not enough repaired

38 In the same place. L. 10.
39 GANINO. T. 260. Op. 1. Unit hr. 34. L. 61, 63.
40 GAPO. F R-1219. Op. 1. 45. L. 31-33.
41 E. Zubkova. Post-war Soviet society: Policy and daily occurrence. 1945-1953. M, 2000. Page 55.
42 In the same place. Page 55.
43 In the same place
44 Central State Archive of St. Petersburg (further CGA SPb.) T. 7179. Op. 14. 324. L. 1.
45 CGA SPb. T. 7179. Op. 14. 324. L. 3.

buildings, the equipment, tutors and necessities for respect for hygiene and purity in daily life.

We can learn temporary residence addresses of the people who were in great need in a living space from the information about bad workers of the city of Novgorod of a living condition of June 12, 1948 and the list of disabled people of the Great Patriotic War and families of the died soldiers which is attached to it. So, I.I. Tyukina lived to Novgorod on Herzen Street in church; M.F. Lobanova to Novgorod in a dugout on Tolstoy Street; K.A. Grishina, A.I. Tishina, E.V. Yakovleva, V.S. Petrova, O. Bychkova, I.V. Basov in the basement of the House kultury46. The act of inspection of domestic conditions of the nurse of city hospital V.Ya. Vasilyeva confirmed that she lived on hay base in the room of 10 sq.m which is not adapted for inhabited usloviyam47.

From the report domestic conditions in the enterprises of the forest industry of Karelia for 1948/49 becomes known that as a result of extremely unsatisfactory domestic conditions and failure to follow the plan of domestic construction and repair on a number of lesopunkt, there was a big fluidity of labor. So, in the Kedrozersky lesopunkt in 8 months 1948 there arrived 920 people, for the same time decreased 1005 chelovek48. Accommodation of workers on all lesopunkta had big density; the condition of hostels was insanitary. For example, on the Ostersky lesopunkt on the mouth of the Kumsa River 40 people of workers, and men, women and children vmeste49 lived in the barrack of 50 sq.m. On the same lesopunkt, on 180 people of the settlement there was 1 half-ruined bath in which at the same time could wash no more 3rd person.50.

From above the submitted acts inspections of material living conditions of certain citizens, it is possible to draw a conclusion on very difficult living conditions of citizens in the first post-war years. The severe living conditions created by war were not liquidated even by 1951 when in the Leningrad Region over 1,000 teachers already lived in own houses while 1000 more teachers occupied rooms in school buildings, 1100 teachers lived in the rented rooms, 3700 teachers in communal flats. For example, an inspection of the Gatchina district was carried out on October 9, 1951 and it is revealed that living conditions of teachers of the area considerably improved, but 36 teachers still lived in bad kvartirakh51.

In 1956, 11 years later after the end of war, the special inspection which is carried out in 85 cities, 13 industrial settlements and 144 rural areas Velikiye Luki, Novgorod, Pskov and other areas which underwent during the war occupation or being in a front-line zone it was established that 1844 families lived in dugouts and semi-dugouts (from them 1440 families in rural areas), in ruins of buildings 1512 families, continued to live in crude and dark basements and semi-basements - 3130 families, in other rooms unfit for human habitation (sheds, baths, kitchens, on attics, in railway cars, etc.) - 32555 semey52.

So, in cleared regions of the Northwest region there was a number of the acute social issues created by war. Their specifics were that in the years of occupation all main components of providing were destroyed by invaders. It was necessary to restore normal material living conditions of life, to solve the acute social issues which arose in connection with re-evacuation and repatriation of big mass of people, to restore a health care system and national education. All these social problems could be solved on the basis of revival of an economic basis of the region - industrial and agricultural production.

46 GANINO. T. 200. Op. 3. 183. L. 44.
47 In the same place. L. 63.
48 NARK. F.R-2716. Op. 6. 4/15. L.46.
49 In the same place. L. 46.
50 In the same place. L. 47.
51 CGA SPb. T. 7444. Op. 17. 884. L. 15.
52 E. Zubkova. Decree. soch. Page 55.

The solution of all tasks of restoration of cleared regions of the region was carried out by means of the state, other regions of the country, on the basis of an initiative and enthusiasm of local community.


The article reveals peculiarities of everyday life of civil population of Russian North-Western regions, liberated from German fascist occupation. For the deeper understanding of all the problems related to the social sphere on the liberated territories, author gives facts of damage to the social sphere and data on demographic situation. Special attention is devoted to the problems of reconstruction of normal living conditions of civil population.

of Key words: North-Western Russia, damage, occupation, civil population, living conditions, destruction, return from evacuation, reconstruction, food supplies, ration.


Leningrad State University n.a. A.S. Pushkin


Diana Davis
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