Population transfer in the Soviet Union

Population transfer in the Soviet Union

Population transfer in the Soviet Union may be classified into the following broad categories: deportations of "anti-Soviet" categories of population, often classified as "enemies of workers", deportations of nationalities, labor force transfer, and organized migrations in opposite directions to fill the ethnically cleansed territories. In most cases their destinations were underpopulated remote areas, see Involuntary settlements in the Soviet Union.

Deportations of social categories

Kulaks were the most numerous social category of deported by the Soviet Union. [ [http://gulaghistory.org/exhibits/nps/onlineexhibit/stalin/crimes.php What Were Their Crimes?] ] Resettlement of people officially designated as "kulaks" continued until early 1950, including several major waves. [ [http://www.soviethistory.org/index.php?action=L2&SubjectID=1929collectivization&Year=1929 Liquidation of the Kulaks] ]

Large numbers of kulaks regardless of their nationality were resettled to Siberia and Central Asia. According to data from Soviet archives, which were published in 1990, 1,803,392 people were sent to labor colonies and camps in 1930 and 1931. Books say that 1,317,022 reached the destination. Deportations on a smaller scale continued after 1931. The reported number of kulaks and their relatives who had died in labour colonies from 1932 to 1940 was 389,521. [ [http://users.cyberone.com.au/myers/courtois.html Stephane Courtois, The Black Book of COMMUNISM] ]

Ethnic cleansing [Otto Pohl, "Ethnic Cleansing in the USSR, 1937-1949", Greenwood Publishing Group 1999, ISBN 0313309213]

The partial removal of potentially trouble-making ethnic groups was a technique used consistently by Joseph Stalin during his career: Poles (1939-1941 and 1944-1945), Romanians (1941 and 1944-1953) Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians (1941 and 1945-1949), Volga Germans (1941), Chechens, Ingushs (1944), Shortly before, during and immediately after World War II, Stalin conducted a series of deportations on a huge scale which profoundly affected the ethnic map of the Soviet Union. [http://sovietinfo.tripod.com/WCR-German_Soviet.pdf] It is estimated that between 1941 and 1949 nearly 3.3 million were deported to Siberia and the Central Asian republics. [ [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0415182972&id=lYMsIE5KjmMC&pg=PA130&lpg=PA129&dq=stalin+deportations+tatar&sig=cnQ1lERPtpcCT34zFUEgy8E-eAc The Stalin Era] ] By some estimates up to 43% of the resettled population died of diseases and malnutrition. [ [http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/USSR.TAB1B.gifSoviet Transit, Camp, and Deportation Death Rates] ]

The deportations started with Poles from Belarus, Ukraine and European Russia (see Polish minority in Soviet Union) 1932-1936. Koreans in the Russian Far East were deported in 1937 (see Deportation of Koreans in the Soviet Union).

After the Soviet invasion of Poland following the corresponding German invasion that marked the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviet Union annexed eastern parts (so-called "Kresy") of the Second Polish Republic. During 1939-1941 1.45 million people inhabiting the region were deported by the Soviet regime, of whom 63.1% were Poles, and 7.4% were Jews. Poland's Holocaust, Tadeusz Piotrowski, 1998 ISBN 0-7864-0371-3, P.14] Previously it was believed that about 1.0 million Polish citizens died at the hands of the Soviets,Franciszek Proch, Poland's Way of the Cross, New York 1987 P.146] however recently Polish historians, based mostly on queries in Soviet archives, estimate the number of deaths at about 350,000 people deported in 1939-1945.Project In Posterum [http://www.projectinposterum.org/docs/european_WWII_casualties.htm] (go to note on Polish Casualties by Tadeusz Piotrowski)] [ [http://www.warsawuprising.com/paper/wrobel2.htm Piotr Wrobel. The Devil's Playground: Poland in World War II] ] From the newly conquered Eastern Poland 1.5 million people were deported. [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3955/is_n8_v48/ai_19298459/pg_16 The scale and nature of German and Soviet repression and mass killings] ]

The same followed in the Baltic Republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. [ [http://www.am.gov.lv/en/latvia/History-of-Occupation/briefing-paper4/ Soviet Mass Deportations from Latvia] ] More than 200,000 people are estimated to have been deported from the Baltic in 1940-1953. In addition, at least 75,000 were sent to Gulag. 10% of the entire adult Baltic population was deported or sent to labor camps. [ [http://www.ahtg.net/TpA/baltstat.html The Baltic States] ] [ [http://www.rel.ee/eng/communism_crimes.htm Communism and Crimes against Humanity in the Baltic states] ] (see Order № 001223, Operation Priboi, Soviet deportations from Estonia)

Likewise, Moldovans from Chernivtsi Oblast and Moldova had been deported in great numbers which range from 200,000 to 400,000. [ [http://www.east-west-wg.org/cst/cst-mold/bessara.html Russification and Ethnic Consciousness of Romanians in Bessarabia] ] (see Soviet deportations from Bessarabia)

During World War II, particularly in 1943-44, the Soviet government conducted a series of deportations. Some 1.9 million people were deported to Siberia and the Central Asian republics. Treasonous collaboration with the invading Germans and anti-Soviet rebellion were the official reasons for these deportations. Out of approximately 183,000 Crimean Tatars, 20,000 or 10% of the entire population served in German battalions. [Alexander Statiev, "The Nature of Anti-Soviet Armed Resistance, 1942-44", "Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History" (Spring 2005) 285-318]

Volga Germans [ [http://www.volgagermans.net/volgagermans/Volga%20German%20Deportation.htm Deportation] ] and seven (overwhelmingly Turkic or non-Slavic) nationalities of the Crimea and the northern Caucasus were deported: the Crimean Tatars, [ [http://www.euronet.nl/users/sota/statshist.html Deportation of Crimean Tatars by Stalin] ] Kalmyks, Chechens, [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3509933.stm Remembering Stalin's deportations] ] Ingush, Balkars, Karachays, and Meskhetian Turks. All Crimean Tatars were deported "en masse", in a form of collective punishment, on 18 May 1944 as special settlers to Uzbek SSR and other distant parts of the Soviet Union. Nearly 20% died in exile during the year and a half by the NKVD datas and nearly 46% according to data from the Crimean Tatar activists. [ [http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/05/1350f316-420a-4a90-b42e-b59fe9fcc8e5.html 60 Years After: For Victims Of Stalin's Deportations, War Lives On] ] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/not_in_website/syndication/monitoring/media_reports/1995670.stm Crimean Tatars mark wartime deportations] ] (see Deportation of Crimean Tatars)

Other minorities evicted from the Black Sea coastal region included Bulgarians, Greeks, and Armenians.

After World War II, the German population of the Kaliningrad Oblast, former East Prussia was replaced by the Soviet one, mainly by Russians. Between 1941 and 1952, almost a million German POWs died in the camps. [ [http://www.historynet.com/historical_conflicts/8556717.html?featured=y&c=y German POWs and the Art of Survival] ] Of the 91,000 German POWs captured at Stalingrad, only 6,000 survived to return home. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/744350.stm The Great Patriotic War: 55 years on] ] The Red Army occupation led to the deportation to Siberia of more than 200,000 ethnic Germans of Romania (around 75,000 Transylvanian Saxons), Hungary and Yugoslavia. Most of them died in prison camps. Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union was considered by the Soviet Union to be part of German war reparations. The reported death rate was 39% among “arrested internees” from Upper Silesia and East Prussia.

Poland and Soviet Ukraine conducted population exchanges - Poles that resided east of the established Poland-Soviet border were deported to Poland (c.a. 2,100,000 persons) and Ukrainians that resided west of the established Poland-Soviet Union border were deported to Soviet Ukraine. Population transfer to Soviet Ukraine occurred from September 1944 to April 1946 (ca. 450,000 persons). Some Ukrainians (ca. 200,000 persons) left southeast Poland more or less voluntarily (between 1944 and 1945). [ [http://www.migrationeducation.org/13.0.html Forced migration in the 20th century] ]

In February 1956, Nikita Khrushchev in his speech "On the Personality Cult and its Consequences" condemned the deportations as a violation of Leninist principles, asserting that the Ukrainians avoided such a fate "only because there were too many of them and there was no place to which to deport them." His government reversed most of Stalin's deportations, although it was not until as late as 1991 that the Crimean Tatars, Meskhs and Volga Germans were allowed to return "en masse" to their homelands. The deportations had a profound effect on the non-Russian peoples of the Soviet Union and they are still a major political issue - the memory of the deportations played a major part in the separatist movements in Chechnya and the Baltic republics.

Some peoples were deported after Stalin's death: in 1959, Chechen returnees were supplanted from the mountains to the Chechen plain. The mountaineers of Tajikistan, such as Yaghnobi people were forcibly settled to the plain deserts in 1970s.

Labor force transfer

Punitive transfers of population transfers handled by Gulag [ [http://www.jamestown.org/getman_paintings.php?painting_id=1 NIKOLAI GETMAN: The Gulag Collection] ] and the system of involuntary settlements in the Soviet Union were planned in accordance with the needs of the colonization of the remote and underpopulated territories of the Soviet Union. (Their large scale has led to a controversial opinion in the West that the economic growth of the Soviet Union was largely based on the slave labor of Gulag prisoners.) At the same time, on a number of occasions the workforce was transferred by non-violent means, usually by means of "recruitment" ("вербовка"). This kind of recruitment was regularly performed at forced settlements, where people were naturally more willing to resettle. For example, the workforce of the Donbass and Kuzbass mining basins is known to have been replenished in this way. (As a note of historical comparison, in Imperial Russia the mining workers at state mines ("bergals", "бергалы", from German "Bergauer") were often recruited in lieu of military service which, for a certain period, had a term of 25 years ).

There were several notable campaigns of targeted workforce transfer.
*Russian Germans
*Virgin Lands Campaign
*Baku oil industry workers transfer: During the Great Patriotic War, in October 1942, about 10,000 workers from the petroleum sites of Baku, together with their families, were transferred to several sites with potential oil production (the "Second Baku" area (Volga-Ural oil field), Kazakhstan and Sakhalin), in face of the potential German threat (Germany failed to seize Baku, though).

Repatriation after World War II

When the war ended in May 1945, millions of former Soviet citizens were forcefully repatriated (against their will) into the USSR. ["The United States and Forced Repatriation of Soviet Citizens, 1944-47" by Mark Elliott Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 88, No. 2 (Jun., 1973), pp. 253-275] On 11 February 1945, at the conclusion of the Yalta Conference, the United States and United Kingdom signed a Repatriation Agreement with the USSR. [ [http://www.fff.org/freedom/0895a.asp Repatriation -- The Dark Side of World War II] ]

The interpretation of this Agreement resulted in the forcible repatriation of all Soviets regardless of their wishes. British and U.S. civilian authorities ordered their military forces in Europe to deport to the Soviet Union millions of former residents of the USSR (some of whom collaborated with the Germans), including numerous persons who had left Russia and established different citizenship many years before. The forced repatriation operations took place from 1945-1947. [ [http://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis/archive/issue.asp?year=1988&month=12 Forced Repatriation to the Soviet Union: The Secret Betrayal] ]

At the end of the World War II, there were more than 5 million "displaced persons" from the Soviet Union in the Western Europe. About 3 million had been forced laborers (Ostarbeiters) [ [http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,1757323,00.html Final Compensation Pending for Former Nazi Forced Laborers] ] in Germany and occupied territories. [ [http://summeroftruth.org/enemy/barracks.html Forced Labor at Ford Werke AG during the Second World War] ] [ [http://www.collectinghistory.net/ostarbeiter/index.html The Nazi Ostarbeiter (Eastern Worker) Program] ]

The Soviet POWs and the Vlasov men were put under the jurisdiction of SMERSH (Death to Spies). Of the 5.7 million Soviet prisoners of war captured by the Germans, 3.5 million had died while in German captivity by the end of the war. [ [http://www.historynet.com/wars_conflicts/world_war_2/3037296.html Soviet Prisoners of War: Forgotten Nazi Victims of World War II] ] [ [http://www.gendercide.org/case_soviet.html Soviet Prisoners-of-War] ]

The survivors on their return to the USSR were treated as traitors (see Order No. 270). [ [http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/H/history/t-z/warlords1stalin.html The warlords: Joseph Stalin] ] [ [http://www.stsg.de/main/zeithain/geschichte/gedenken/index_en.php Remembrance (Zeithain Memorial Grove)] ]

Over 1.5 million surviving Red Army soldiers imprisoned by the Germans were sent to the Gulag. [ [http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/patriots-ignore-greatest-brutality/2007/08/12/1186857342382.html?page=2 Patriots ignore greatest brutality] ] [ [http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/stalin.html Joseph Stalin killer file] ]


ee also

* National operations of NKVD
* Involuntary settlements in the Soviet Union
* Kalmyk deportations of 1944
* Nazi-Soviet population transfers
* Russification
* Population transfer
* Betrayal of the Cossacks
* Operation Keelhaul
* Occupation of Baltic states
* Soviet deportations from Estonia
* Evacuation of East Prussia
* Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union
* Deportation of the Crimean Tatars
* Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union
* Repatriation of Poles
* World War II evacuation and expulsion


*Martin, Terry. 1998. "The Origins of Soviet Ethnic Cleansing," "Journal of Modern History" 70 (December): 813-861.
*Polian, Pavel (Павел Полян), "Deportations in the USSR: An index of operations with list of corresponding directives and legislation", Russian Academy of Science.
*Павел Полян, "Не по своей воле..." (Pavel Polyan, "Not by Their Own Will... A History and Geography of Forced Migrations in the USSR"), ОГИ Мемориал, Moscow, 2001, ISBN 5-94282-007-4
*28 августа 1941 г. Указ Президиума Верховного Совета СССР "О выселении немцев из районов Поволжья".
*1943 г. Указ Президиума Верховного Совета СССР "О ликвидации Калмыцкой АССР и образовании Астраханской области в составе РСФСР". *Постановление правительства СССР от 12 января 1949 г. "О выселении с территории Литвы, Латвии и Эстонии кулаков с семьями, семей бандитов и националистов, находящихся на нелегальном положении, убитых при вооруженных столкновениях и осужденных, легализованных бандитов, продолжающих вести вражескую работу, и их семей, а также семей репрессированных пособников и бандитов"
*Указ Президиума Верховного Совета СССР от 13 декабря 1955 г. "О снятии ограничений в правовом положении с немцев и членов их семей, находящихся на спецпоселении".
*17 марта 1956 г. Указ Президиума Верховного Совета СССР "О снятии ограничений в правовом положении с калмыков и членов их семей, находящихся на спецпоселении".
*1956 г. Постановление ЦК КПСС "О восстановлении национальной автономии калмыцкого, карачаевского, балкарского, чеченского и ингушского народов".
* 29 августа 1964 г. Указ Президиума Верховного Совета СССР "О внесении изменений в Указ Президиума Верховного Совета СССР от 28 августа 1941 г. о переселении немцев, проживающих в районах Поволжья".
*1991 г: Laws of Russian Federation: "О реабилитации репрессированных народов", "О реабилитации жертв политических репрессий".


* (See also [http://www.euronet.nl/users/sota/tatardep2.html Three answers to the Decree No. 5859ss] )

External links

* [http://www.art.man.ac.uk/HISTORY/ahrbproj/web/resources/Essays/Polian_directives/Polian_directives_2.htm Polian's index online]
* [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0313309213&id=SnLANpCfDn4C&pg=PP1&lpg=PP1&ots=4coUr0lLIV&dq=Ethnic+Cleansing+in+the+USSR,+1937-1949&sig=EPSv98e-bqP1jQ-fEuCRvaIR11w#PPP1,M1 Ethnic Cleansing in the USSR, 1937-1949] by J.Otto Pohl. "Books.google.com"
* [http://www.latvians.com/en/Reading/TheseNamesAccuse/ThNA-00-OurFamilies.php These Names Accuse (Soviet Deportations in Latvia)]
* [http://www.latvians.com/en/Reading/TheseNamesAccuse/ThNA-08-Appendix-1.php Baltic Deportation Order No 001223] — Full text, English
* [http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/depo.html DEPORTATIONS] Revelations from the Russian Archives at the Library of Congress
* [http://www.unpo.org/article.php?id=438 Chechnya: European Parliament recognises the genocide of the Chechen People in 1944]
* [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3955/is_n8_v48/ai_19298459/pg_3 The scale and nature of German and Soviet repression and mass killings, 1930-45]
* [http://demoscope.ru/weekly/2004/0147/biblio01.php Эдиев Д.М. Демографические потери депортированных народов СССР. Ставрополь, 2003]

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