The goal of this "collective bibliography" is to put together a bibliography of works on the Great Terror of 1937-1938 in the provinces of the Soviet Union.1 Special attention is given to regional works, because it is hard to find books and articles published in the local press, universities and publishing houses of the Russian Federation and the former Soviet republics.2
Let's work together to get serious information about the Great Terror in the provinces so we can re-evaluate our Moscow-centered approach to the problem.
Please look at the bibliography3 and send additional citations to Marc.Junge@ruhr-uni-bochum.de (add any comments on the particular strengths of the sources in brackets).
Our transliteration follows the U.S. Library of Congress system for Russian. But feel free to send citations using "kirillitsa" or the international transliteration system as well.
Rolf Binner (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Marc Junge (Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany)
Terry Martin (Harvard-University, USA)
Does the Politburo or the NKVD issue special orders, instructions or decrees to realize the decree issued by the Politburo concerning the operations "about the breaking up of espionage- and sabotage contingents among [... ] the Estonian, Greek, Rumanian, Bulgarian and Macedonian populations." (Politburo resolution from 31.1. 1938)?
What's the precise difference between tsirkuliar and memorandum?
A nearly complete collection of "knigi pamiati" and some of the books of the bibliography you can find in the library of Memorial-Moscow (Malyi karetnyi pereulok 12, phone: 007 095 2006506) or in the library of the Sakharov-Fond (ul. Semljanoi wal 57, stroenie 6, phone: 9234401). Adresses of local web-sides of Memorial: IUTKIN, A.: Sluchainye nakhodki v nesluchainom puteshestvii, in: Russkaia mysl', 2-8 noiabria 2000, p. 11.
The Memorial Books (knigi pamiati/martirologi/belye knigi etc.) listed in the Sources section were written to preserve from oblivion the names of those condemned for "political crimes" (Article 58: 1-14 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSSR). These books owe their existence first of all to the persistent pressure of the relatives and friends of those executed or imprisoned, and then the cooperation of such dissimilar organizations as Memorial and the FSB. The majority of these publications are not specially devoted to the period of the "Great Terror", that is the mass repression from August 1937 to November 1938, but rather to the entire Soviet period or to the years of "Stalinism" (the 1930s up to 1953). For historical research the most useful are the Memorial Books that, along with the standard biographical data (birth and death dates, profession, nationality, residence), also provide information over social origin, education, Party membership, previous convictions as well as the date of arrest, sentencing (including the article of the criminal code, the sentence itself and the sentencing bodies) and execution. For the editors of the knigi pamiati such a not entirely pious usage was certainly not the primary motive for their labor. Neverthless the Memorial Books specially dedicated to the victims of the Great Terror in Moscow (Butovoskii poligon), Leningrad, Tiumen' und Kalinin meet these expectations to the highest degree. The Memorial Books contain much other documentation concerning the terror in the provinces: arrest interrogation protocols, correspondence of the local NKVD leadership with the center in Moscow, reports on the course of the mass opearations, facsimile reproduction of central prikazy, cirkuliary i rasporiazheniia, troika protocols, sentences of the dvoiki, execution reports, letters of prisoners, remembrences of survivers, as well as statistical examination of the materials on victims. The great drawback of all the knigi pamiati is that in all likelihood no person is listed who was sentenced on the grounds of "criminal acts".4
Prikazy, tsirkuliary, razporiazheniia
The following is a list of the major NKVD decrees, circulars and instructions that governed the mass operations of the Great Terror. It is almost certainly incomplete since access to the former KGB archive in Moscow is severely limited. We have included those decrees that have been published or referred to in published works. The two most important decrees were prikaz 00447, that governed the campaign targeting former kulaks, criminals and numerous other "former peoples", and prikaz 00485 that served as the paradigm for the various "national operations" of the Great Terror.5
Prikaz 00439 (25.07.1937) "Ob operatsii po repressirovaniiu germanskikh poddanykh, podozrevavshikhsia v shpionazhe protiv SSSR".
Prikaz 00447 (30.07.1937) "Ob operatsii po repressirovaniiu byvshikh kulakov, ugolovnikov i dr[ugikh] antisovetskikh elementov".
Tsirkuliar 409 (05.08.1937) "Operatsiia po repressirovaniiu naibolee aktivnykh antisovetskikh elementov [?] v lageriakh".
Prikaz 00485 (11.08.1937) "Ob operatsii po repressirovaniiu chlenov 'POV', voennoplennykh polskoi armii, perebezhchikov iz Pol'shi, politemigrantov i politobmennykh iz Pol'shi, byvshikh chlenov PPS i drugikh pol'skikh politicheskikh partii".
Prikaz 00486 (15.08.1937) "Ob operatsii po repressirovaniiu zhen izmennikov rodiny".
Tsirkuliar 61 (07.08.1937) [Usilenie bor'by s grabiteliami i ugolovnikami-retsidivistami.]
Sekretnia direktiva 59190 (16.08.1937) "Operatsiia po repressirovaniiu naibolee aktivnykh kontr-revoliutsionnykh elementov iz chisla soderzhashchikhsia v tiur'makh GUGB osuzhdennykh [?]".
Tsirkuliar 68 (22.08.37) "Ob inostrantsakh".
Prikaz 00593 (20.09.1937) "Ob operatsii po repressirovaniiu byvshikh sluzhashchikh 'Kitaisko Vostochnoi zheleznoi dorogi i reemigrantov iz Manchzhou Go' (kharbintsy)".
Prikaz 00693 (23.10.1937) "Ob operatsii po repressirovaniiu perebezhchikov narushitelei gosgranitsy SSSR".
Prikaz 00698 (28.10.1937) "O konsul'skikh sviaziakh".
Memorandum 49990 (30.11.1937) ("latyshskaia operatsiia").
Prikaz 00606 (17.09.1938) "Ob obrazovanii osobykh troek dlia rassmotreniia del na arestovannykh v poriadke prikazov NKVD SSSR Nr. 00485 i dr[ugikh]". [unpublished, only the Politbiuro decree authorizing this prikaz has been published in Izvestiia (03.04.1996), pp. 1, 5. This prikaz concerns exclusively the national operations, not prikaz 00447]
Prikaz 00762 (26.11.1938) "O poriadke osushchestvleniia postanovleniia SNK SSSR i TSK VKP(b) ot 17 noiabria 1938 g.".
In the bibliography we note in bold works where the complete text of NKVD decrees have been published.
The following bibliography is an imperfect work in progress, soliciting colleagues and authors to send new entries and begging forgiveness in advance for the books and the essays that have been omitted. Collaborators: W. Hedeler (Berlin), J. Baberowski (Tübingen), A. Graziosi (Rom), J. Bone (Chicago), M. Jansen (Amsterdam), G. Rittersporn (Berlin), A. Stepanov (Kazan), M. Ellmann (Amsterdam), A. Getty (UCLA), V. Birger (Krasnoiarsk), L. Gvozdkova (Kemerovo), V. Vasilyiev (Kyiv), Y. Shapoval (Kyiv), B. McLoughlin (Wien), M. Erin (Iaroslavl'), S. Papkov (Novosibirsk)
1 Many thanks to Andrea Graziosi, Universita di Napoli "Federico II", Italy, who helped us to realize this idea and to Emely Nobis, who connected Amsterdam with Bochum and the rest of the world.
2 We did't include the famous memoirs of A. Weissberg-Cybulski, E. Ginzburg and others, which were publicated long ago. But pleace send citations of new memoirs about the terror (in the provinces), too.
3 Although the compilers have seen most of the books in the basic version of the bibliography, there may be little mistakes in references which we were only able to check with library catalogues or lists of recent books in historical journals.
4 You can only find a few rehabilitated criminals. One is Ivan Ivanovitch VOL' (1910-1937), listed in Leningradskii martirolog, tom 4, p. 94 and 576-577.
5 Prikaz 00447 is discussed in the essay by Junge and Binner in this volume. Prikaz 00485 has been brilliantly analyzed in N. V. Petrov and A. B. Roginskii, "'Polskaia operatsiia' NKVD, 1937-1938 gg." in Repressii protiv poliakov (Moscow, 1997): 22-43.