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The Littlest Enemies

Children in the Shadow of the Gulag

translated and edited by

Publication Year: 2009

Published by: Slavica Publishers


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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi

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Translator's Note

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pp. vii-viii

All translations involve choices, and this volume is no exception. Those made in this translation have been largely determined by the genre of the original writings and by the purpose of this translation. The narratives presented here were taken from Deti Gulaga (Children of the Gulag), a compilation...

Brief Glossary

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pp. ix-ix

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Note on Transliteration

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pp. ix-x

Russian names in this book are spelled according to a modified Library of Congress system. To ease pronunciation I have substituted -y for -ii at the end of such names as Georgy. I have also added a “y” where necessary to aid pronunciation, as in Yevgeniya, Lidiya, and Pyotr. Place names drawn...

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pp. 1-8

In 1935, Joseph Stalin (1879–1953) pronounced that, “the son does not answer for the father.”1 According to official dicta, Soviet socialism embraced all children, regardless of their class or family background. Soviet education was supposed to serve as a tool to “re-forge” children who, by...

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Section I: Revolution and Civil War

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pp. 9-18

In February 1917 violent uprisings forced the Russian Tsar Nicholas II, to abdicate. By this time three years of participation in World War I had already resulted in millions of refugees and widespread disruption in food production and distribution. The moderate Provisional Government attempted...

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Section II: The 1920s: Between Two Worlds

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pp. 19-30

By famine’s end, there were an estimated four to seven million besprizornye spread across the country. They typically congregated in cities or near major railroad junctions, often traveling south on the railways for the winter. They evoked both compassion and disgust among those who observed

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Section III: Collectivization

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pp. 31-76

In a reversal of early Soviet policy during the 1920s, peasants had again been permitted to sell the surplus grain they had produced. Soon, however, a grain crisis developed. Due to the low prices mandated by the government relative to the high prices for manufactured goods, peasants...

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Section IV: From Famine to Terror

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pp. 77-156

The Department of Education continued its efforts to provide housing and rehabilitation to besprizorniki in the 1930s. Institutions for juveniles bore a plethora of different names: agricultural colonies, children’s colonies, labor communes, and others. Some, such as the Bolshevik Collective...

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Section V: War and Its Aftermath

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pp. 157-186

Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June, 1941. The German invasion was initially tremendously successful, a result aided by the Soviet Army’s incomplete defensive fortifications along its recently expanded border, its decimated military leadership due to the earlier political purges, and Stalin’s having dismissed reports of a coming German invasion as...


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pp. 187-189

E-ISBN-13: 9780893578664
E-ISBN-10: 0893578665
Print-ISBN-13: 9780893573669
Print-ISBN-10: 0893573663

Page Count: 199
Publication Year: 2009

OCLC Number: 821725592
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Littlest Enemies

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Subject Headings

  • Children -- Soviet Union -- Social conditions.
  • Political prisoners -- Soviet Union -- History.
  • Imprisonment -- Soviet Union -- History.
  • Enemies -- Soviet Union -- History.
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