Monday, June 20, 2011

Diaspora Nationalities in the USSR

Despite what everybody else says there was racism in the USSR and national equality did not exist in any real sense from the late 1930s onward. In particular Soviet citizens belonging to diaspora nationalities came under severe repression. On 31 January 1938 the Soviet Politburo passed a resolution regarding the extension of various national operations by the NKVD. Below I have provided a translation of an excerpt from the resolution. The capitalization is in the original.
Allow the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs to continue until 15 April 1938 operations to destroy spying-sabotage contingents of POLES, LATVIANS, GERMANS, ESTONIANS, FINNS, GREEKS, IRANIANS, KHARBINTSY, CHINESE and ROMANIANS, both foreign subjects and Soviet citizens, in accordance with existing decrees of the NKVD USSR.
The lack of differentiation between Soviet citizens descended of immigrants to the Russian Empire and foreigners is striking. The operating assumption of the Soviet government was that even after several generations national minorities would continue to owe their political loyalty to their ancestral homeland due to inheriting some sort of national essence from their parents. In all other historical contexts this assumption is called racism. I do not know why people give Stalin and his henchmen a free pass on this.

Source: S.U. Alievea, Tak eto bylo:  Natsional'nye repressii v SSSR 1919-1952 gody (Moscow: "Insan", 1993), vol. I., p. 253

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