Rehabilitation (Soviet)

Rehabilitation (Soviet)

Rehabilitation ( _ru. реабилитация) in the context of Soviet or Russian topics is often a linguistic false cognate used to translate the Russian term "reabilitatsiya" as applied to convicted persons (as opposed to the political rehabilitation of party officials). The term was designed to be used in place of "exoneration" or "exculpation", to avoid implications of State's culpability in unjust persecution.

Rehabilitation of the victims of Soviet repressions

Mass rehabilitation of the started after the death of Joseph Stalin. Initially, in 1953, it was in the form of amnesty for those who had been sentenced for a term of at most 5 years. The regular release of political prisoners from Gulag labor camps started in 1954. This release became coupled with exonerations after Khrushchev's denunciation of Stalinism in his 1956 speech "On the Personality Cult and its Consequences".

In most cases, the persons were released with the phrase: "due to the lack of a proof of guilt", rather than "due to the lack of a criminal matter". Many rehabilitations occurred posthumously.

Further reading

Adler, N. "The Gulag Survivor: Beyond the Soviet System". New Brunswick, USA/London: Transaction Publishers, 2002.

Iakovlev, A. (ed.) "Reabilitatsiia: politicheskie protsessy 30-50-kh godov". Moscow: Politizdat, 1991.

Smith, K. "Remembering Stalin’s Victims: Popular Memory and the End of the USSR". Cornell University Press, 1996.

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