Saturday, May 31, 2008
Internal victim diasporas in the USSR
Americans often think of the Russian Empire as a country of emigration rather than immigration. But, the Russian Empire also took in a lot of immigrants from the late 18th century all the way through to its collapse. Among some of the largest such immigrant groups were Germans, Greeks and Koreans. All three of these initial labor and trade diasporas became victim diasporas in the USSR under Stalin. In 1937, the Soviet government forcibly relocated the Russian-Koreans from the Far East to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Four years later in 1941, the regime brutally dispersed the Russian-Germans from the Volga, Ukraine, North Caucasus and other European regions of the USSR across Siberia and Kazakhstan. Finally, during the mid to late 1940s, the government transplanted a large portion of the Greek population in the Soviet Union from Crimea, the Black Sea coast and Transcaucasia east of the Urals. The USSR seems to have been unique in transforming so many large groups descendant from immigrants into internal victim diasporas.