Stalin’s Terror Revisited

Ilic, Melanie J ORCID: 0000-0002-2219-9693 (2006) Stalin’s Terror Revisited. Palgrave. ISBN 1403947058

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Melanie Ilic, ‘The Forgotten Five Per Cent: Women, Political Repression and the Purges’ (in Stalin’s Terror Revisited) In her study of Daughters of Revolution, Barbara Clements, writing in the early 1990s, correctly pointed out that: As yet there are no systematic studies of how the political persecutions of the Stalin years affected women as a distinct group, but it appears that this Terror was primarily a slaughter of men by men, in which women became involved largely by their proximity to men swept up in it. Over a decade later, the first part of this declaration still remains the case. Since 1991 there has been much interest in investigating the mechanics of, and the motivations behind, the ‘Great Terror’, but we are only now coming to a more detailed study of its victims. We also have available a considerable amount of literature concerning women and the Gulag, arising from both detailed archival investigation into the Soviet forced labour system and oral history projects amongst survivors of the camp network. Yet our knowledge of women’s direct experiences of the Great Terror, and of the broader waves of political repression under Stalin, remains extremely sketchy. This chapter aims to fill the gap in the literature and historiography of Soviet political repression and the purges by offering an examination of the evidence currently available. This chapter also examines a sample of evidence to test the commonly held assumption that the female victims of the purges were predominantly the wives and other relatives of men who were arrested and executed. Particular reference is made to the social and demographic profiles of women who were executed during the years of the Great Terror in 1937 and 1938. Melanie Ilic and Christopher Joyce, ‘Remembering the Victims of Political Repression: the Purges in Mordoviya’ (in Stalin’s Terror Revisited) Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, there has been a renewal of interest in historical research and a significant growth in publication about the purges, and Stalinist political repression more broadly, both in Russia and in the west. In recent years, the focus of some of this research has moved away from the ‘high politics’ of the Stalinist leadership in Moscow and the relationship between the central state authorities and regional party bosses. Aided by the publication of extensive listings of the names of those caught up in the whirlwind of political repression in the 1930s in the various ‘books of martyrs’, we are now able to examine more closely the extent and impact of the terror in its various forms in different regions of the Soviet Union, and to offer a more detailed analysis of the social background of its victims. Even here, though, published research has so far concentrated on what may be considered to have been the more important political and economic regions of the Soviet Union, most notably Moscow and Leningrad, where, from a western perspective, the terror was more easily observed. We remain comparatively less well informed about the extent and impact of political repression in other regions of the country. This article seeks to redress this imbalance by offering a preliminary analysis of political repression in the Republic of Mordoviya.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2014 11:03
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:57

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