In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

514 Рецензии/Reviews Jean LÉVESQUE И. И. Чухин. Карелия – 37: Идеология и практика террора / Предисл.: В. Н. Верхоглядов. Петрозаводск: Издательство Пе- трозаводского государственного университета, 1999. 160 с. ISBN: 5-8021-0022-2. This is a very personal book, written by a man whose untimely death has prevented the completion of a work that is the culmination of more than 15 years of interest in the history of Soviet repression from the perspective of the autonomous republic of Karelia. The focus of his last book is thus the unfolding of Soviet terror, especially the phase of “mass operations” in 1937–1938 in the region. It is also very personal in the sense that while the author was not even born during the Terror, his father did participate in the process of repression; the book can therefore be read as a quest to understand his father’s motives and, more generally , as a vehicle to achieve a certain repentance on the road to creating a new democratic society in Russia. It is, moreover, personal in the sense that Ivan Chukhin developed his interest in the history of repression from within the ranks of the Ministry of InternalAffairs, a rare occurrence as one expects mostly victims to be ность сделать важные наблюде- ния о связи советской внешней политики и судьбы автономных образований, в то же время они не позволяют автору отразить все богатство собранного материала и расставить важные акценты по дискуссионным вопросам со- ветской национальной политики, сталинизма и репрессий. Несмотря на эти пожелания, книга Бэрона о межвоенной Каре- лии представляет собой глубокое и детальное исследование и, без- условно, заслуживает внимания специалистов в области советской истории и национальной поли- тики. 1999; А. Ю. Ватлин. Террор районного масштаба: “Массовые операции” НКВД в Кунцевском районе Московской области, 1937–1938. Москва, 2004. 515 Ab Imperio, 3/2009 of the Great Terror in the Karelian ASSR (now the Karelian Republic), especially with the actions launched in concordance with the famously infamous order number 00447 that triggered the so-called mass operations in August 1937. In Karelia, as in many other borderland regions, the mass operations took a special “national” color characterized by the statistical overrepresentation of Finnish, ethnic Karelians and Ingermanlanders among the victims. The book does not really have a thesis and is not aimed at challenging current interpretations of the terror. In fact, it seems that its main purpose is to collect facts and data from formerly classified Soviet archives, most notably the Security organs, in order to present a more realistic picture of the process of terror. This, of course, must be understood within the context of the renewal in historical writing launched by Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika, in which there was a widespread feeling that everything had to be written from scratch. Thus, Chukhin’s discussion of the general context contains references only to Dmitri Volkogonov’s biography of Stalin, “Triumph and Tragedy”, which is, in itself, quite revealing of the book’s orientation. There are no signs of use of nonRussian scholarship. The book is divided into nine chapters, with the first acting as a sort of introduction that elaborates drawn to the history of the violation of citizens’ rights. Trained first as an engineer, Chukhin joined the Soviet Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Karelian ASSR as a criminal investigator in 1974.As he became interested in the history of Soviet repression in general , the history of the construction of the White Sea Canal (Belomorkanal ), and in active participation in the democratization process, he quit his duties in the early 1990s to pursue both a political career and scholarship, leaving the ranks of the Soviet Communist Party at the same time. Chukhin joined the Karelian section of Memorial and launched a new career as a journalist, historian of the Soviet Terror, university lecturer, and finally politician affiliated with the now defunct Russia’s Democratic Choice (DVR). That is the new road that brought him to the State Duma, of which he was a deputy at the time of his death, and to historical scholarship with the publication in 1990 of his first major work, Kanalarmeitsy, on the convicts of the White Sea Canal. At the same time, he worked on various legislative projects related to the rehabilitation of victims of political repression; thus the work under review bears the mark of both a growing scholarly interest and direct public involvement in the issues addressed by the author’s scholarship. The book deals with the history 516 Рецензии/Reviews gans following the assassination of Sergei Kirov and which developed into full-blown persecution following the issuance of the decree on mass operations. The following chapters consist mostly of a sequential narrative of events. Chapter 3 focuses solely on the actions undertaken in the wake of the order 00447 that fixed quotas of enemies of the people to be prosecuted...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 514-518
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.