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Encyclopedia > Kulak

Kulaks (Russian: кула́к, kulak, "fist", literally meaning "tight-fisted") was a category of rich peasants in later Russian Empire, Soviet Russia and Soviet Union. The word "kulak", originally referred to independent farmers in Russia who owned larger farms and used hired labor, as a result of the Stolypin reform introduced since 1906. Peter Stolypin's reforms resulted in the creation of a class of landowners who became independent farmers and supported the Tsar's government. In 1912, 16% (11% in 1903) of Russian farmers had over 8 acres (32,000 m²) per male family member (a threshold used to distinguish middle-class and prosperous farmers in statistics). At that time an average farmer's family had 6 to 10 children. Fist can refer to the following: A hand that has the fingers curled into the palm and the thumb retracted. ... Categories: 1911 Britannica | Historical stubs | Feudalism ... The subject of this article was previously also known as Russia. ... Soviet Russia is sometimes used as a somewhat sloppy synonym to the Soviet Union — although the term Soviet Russia sometimes refers to Bolshevist Russia from the October Revolution in 1917 to 1922 (Although Russian communists officially formed RSFSR in 1918). ... Stolypin agrarian reforms are the agrarian reforms to Imperial Russias agricultural sector instituted during the tenure of Pyotr Stolypin as Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister). ... 1906 (MCMVI) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Pyotr Stolypin Pyotr Arkadyevich Stolypin (Russian: Пётр Арка́дьевич Столы́пин) (April 14 [O.S. April 2] 1862—September 18 [O.S. September 5] 1911) served as Nicholas IIs Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) from 1906 to 1911. ... Tsar (Bulgarian, Serbian and Macedonian цар, Russian  , in scientific transliteration respectively car and car ), occasionally spelled Czar or Tzar and sometimes Csar or Zar in English, is a Slavonic term designating certain monarchs. ...


Kulaks were considered to be class enemy of the poorer peasants [1]. The word has become a pejorative term extensively used in Soviet political language in reference to better-off peasants. For the play by Henrik Ibsen, see An Enemy of the People. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with pejoration. ... CCCP redirects here. ...


Extermination of the class of kulaks and destruction of their independent farms eventually caused problems in agriculture and economy of the Soviet Union, as told by Mikhail Gorbachev whose family were "kulaks" and had suffered from political repressions under the rule of Joseph Stalin in the 1930s.[2] Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev[1] (Russian: , IPA: ; born 2 March 1931) is a Russian politician. ... Political repression is the oppression or persecution of an individual or group for political reasons, particularly for the purpose of restricting or preventing their ability to take part in the political life of society. ... Josef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (Georgian: , Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jughashvili; Russian: , Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili) (December 18 [O.S. December 6] 1878[1] – March 5, 1953), better known by his adopted name, Joseph Stalin (alternatively transliterated Josef Stalin), was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Unions Central Committee from...

Contents

Definitions

According to the Soviet terminology, the peasantry was divided into three broad categories: bednyaks, or poor peasants, seredniaks, or mid-income peasants, and kulaks, the high-income farmers who were presumably more successful and efficient farmers. In addition, there was a category of batraks, or landless seasonal agriculture workers for hire [1].


After the Russian Revolution, Bolsheviks considered only batraks and bednyaks as true allies of the Soviets and proletariat. Serednyaks were considered unreliable, "hesitating" allies, and kulaks were seen as class enemies because they owned land and were independent economically. However, often those declared to be kulaks were not especially prosperous. The average value of goods confiscated from kulaks during policy of "dekulakization" in the beginning of 1930s was only $90-$210 per household [1]. Both peasants and Soviet officials were often uncertain as to what constituted a kulak, and the term was often used to label anyone who had more property than was considered "normal" according to subjective criteria. At first, being a kulak carried no penalties, other than mistrust from the Soviet authorities. During the height of collectivisation, however, people identified as kulaks were subjected to extrajudicial punishment and were often killed.[3][4][5] The Russian Revolution of 1917 was a series of political and social upheavals in Russia, involving first the overthrow of the tsarist autocracy, and then the overthrow of the liberal and moderate-socialist Provisional Government, resulting in the establishment of Soviet power under the control of the Bolshevik party. ... Bolshevik Party Meeting. ... Soviet redirects here. ... The proletariat (from Latin proles, offspring) is a term used to identify a lower social class; a member of such a class is proletarian. ... For the play by Henrik Ibsen, see An Enemy of the People. ... Nikolai Getman, Moving out Dekulakization (Russian: раскулачивание) was the Soviet campaign of political repressions, including arrests, deportations, and executions of millions of the better-off peasants and their families in 1929-1932. ... Collective farming is an organizational unit in agriculture in which peasants are not paid wages, but rather receive a share of the farms net output. ... Extrajudicial punishment is physical punishment without the permission of a court or legal authority, and as such, constitutes a violation of basic human rights (such as the right to due process and humane treatment). ...


In May 1929 the Sovnarkom issued a decree that formalised the notion of "kulak household" (кулацкое хозяйство). Any of the following characteristics defined a kulak [1] : This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...

  • usage of hired labour;
  • ownership of a mill, a creamery (маслобойня, butter-making rig), or other complex equipment, or a complex machine with mechanical motor;
  • systematic letting of agricultural equipment or facilities for rent;
  • involvement in commerce, money-lending, commercial brokerage, or "other types of non-labour occupation".

By the last item, any peasant who sold his surplus on the market could be automatically classified as kulak. In 1930 this list was extended by including those who were letting industrial plants, e.g., sawmills, and who rented land to other farmers. Gregory Zinoviev, a well-known Soviet politician, said in 1924, "We are fond of describing any peasant who has enough to eat as a kulak." At the same time, ispolkoms (executive committees of local Soviets) of republics, oblasts and krais were given rights to add other criteria, depending on local conditions [1]. An ancient Chinese tomb model of a foot-powered mill, Eastern Han Dynasty (25 - 220 AD), Freer Gallery of Art. ... A Creamery is an establishment where dairy products are prepared or sold. ... For the 1922 film starring Oliver Hardy, see The Sawmill. ... Grigory Yevseevich Zinoviev (Григо́рий Евсе́евич Зино́вьев, real name Ovsel Gershon Aronov Radomyslsky (Радомысльский), also... Ispolkom (исполком) is an Russian language abbreviation for Ispolnitelny komitet (исполнительный комитет), which may be translated as executive committee. In the Soviet Union an ispolkom was a local organ of executive and regulatory power, an office of the local soviet. ... Oblast (Czech: oblast, Slovak: oblasÅ¥, Russian and Ukrainian: , Belarusian: , Bulgarian: о́бласт) refers to a subnational entity in some countries. ... Krai (Russian: край; British English transliteration: kray), is a term used to refer to several of Russias 89 administrative regions (federal subjects). ...


Repression under Stalin

In 1928, there was a food shortage in the cities and in the army. The Soviet government encouraged the formation of collective farms and, in 1929, introduced a policy of collectivisation. Some peasants were attracted to collectivisation by the idea that they would be in a position to afford tractors and would enjoy increased production. Year 1928 (MCMXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Collective farming regards a system of agricultural organization in which farm laborers are not compensated via wages. ... Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Collective farming is an organizational unit in agriculture in which peasants are not paid wages, but rather receive a share of the farms net output. ...


Whether peasants were resisting expropriation and exile or collectivisation and servitude they often retaliated against the state by smashing implements and killing animals. Live animals would have to be handed over to the collectives whereas meat and hides could respectively be consumed and concealed or sold. Many peasants chose to slaughter livestock, even horses, rather than to pass it into common property. In the first two months of 1930 millions of cattle, horses, pigs, sheep and goats were slaughtered. Through this and bad weather a quarter of the entire nation’s livestock perished, a greater loss than had been sustained during the Civil War and a loss that was not compensated for until the 1950s.


This huge slaughtering caused Sovnarkom to issue a series of decrees to prosecute "the malicious slaughtering of livestock" (хищнический убой скота). Many peasants also attempted to sabotage the collectives by attacking members and government officials. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


Stalin requested harsh measures to put an end to the kulak resistance. In a speech given at a Marxist agrarian conference, he stated that, "From a policy of limiting the exploitative tendencies of the kulaks, we have gone over to a policy of liquidating the kulaks as a class." The party agreed to the use of force in the collectivisation and ‘dekulakization’ efforts. The kulaks were to be liquidated as a class and subject to one of three fates: death sentence, labour settlements (not to be confused with labor camps, although the former were also managed by the GULAG), or deportation "out of regions of total collectivisation of the agriculture". Tens of thousands of alleged kulaks were executed, property was expropriated to form collective farms, and many families were deported to unpopulated areas of Siberia and Soviet Central Asia. Iosif (usually anglicized as Joseph) Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин), original name Ioseb Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ჯუღაშვი&#4314... Forced/Involuntary settlements in the Soviet Union took several forms. ... A labor camp is a simplified detention facility where inmates are engaged in penal labor. ... Gulag ( , Russian: ) was the government body responsible for administering prison camps across the former Soviet Union. ... This article is about Siberia as a whole. ... Map of Central Asia showing three sets of possible boundaries for the region Central Asia located as a region of the world Central Asia is a vast landlocked region of Asia. ...


Often local officials were assigned minimum quotas of kulaks to identify, and were forced to use their discretionary powers to find kulaks wherever they could. This led to many cases where a farmer who only employed his sons, or any family with a metal roof on their house, being labelled kulaks and deported.


The same fate met those labelled "kulak helpers" or "subkulaks" (подкулачник), those who sided with kulaks in their opposition to collectivisation.


A new wave of repressions, this time against "ex-kulaks", was started in 1937, as part of the Great Purge, after the NKVD Order no. 00447. Those deemed ex-kulaks had only two options: death sentence or labour camps. The Great Purge (Russian: , transliterated Bolshaya chistka) refers collectively to several related campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin during the 1930s, which removed all of his remaining opposition from power. ... NKVD Order no. ...


When resettled to Siberia and Kazakhstan, after some time many "kulaks" gained prosperity again. This fact served as a base of repressions against some sections of NKVD that were in charge of the "labour settlements" (трудовые поселения) in 1938-1939, which permitted "kulakization" (окулачивание) of the "labour settlers" (трудопоселенцев). The fact that new settlers became more prosperous than the neighbouring kolkhozes was explained by "wrecking" and "criminal negligence". The NKVD (Narodny Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del  ) (Russian: , ) or Peoples Commissariat for Internal Affairs was the leading secret police organization of the Soviet Union that was responsible for political repressions during Stalinism. ... A kolkhoz (Russian: IPA: ), plural kolkhozy, was a form of collective farming in the Soviet Union that existed along with state farms (sovkhoz). ... Wrecking, or vreditelstvo (вредительство), was a crime specified in the criminal code of the Soviet Union in the Stalin era. ... Criminal negligence, in the realm of criminal common law, is a legal term of art for a state of mind which is careless, inattentive, neglectful, willfully blind, or reckless; it is the mens rea part of a crime which, if occurring simultaneously with the actus reus, gives rise to criminal...


Numbers persecuted

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. The remaining 486,370 may have died or escaped.[citation needed] 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. Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... A labor camp is a simplified detention facility where inmates are engaged in forced labor. ... Year 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


It is difficult to determine how many people died because of the "liquidation of the kulaks as a class". The data from the Soviet archives do not tell us exactly how many people escaped and survived and what number of deaths would have occurred if there had been no deportation. These data do not include people who were executed or died in prisons and gulags rather than dying in labour colonies. Many historians consider the great famine a result of the "liquidation of the kulaks as a class", which complicates the estimation of death tolls. A wide range of death tolls has been suggested, from as many as 60 million suggested by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to as few as 700 thousand by Soviet news sources. A collection of estimates is maintained by Matthew White. Gulag ( , Russian: ) was the government body responsible for administering prison camps across the former Soviet Union. ... Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (Russian: , IPA:  ; born December 11, 1918) is a Russian novelist, dramatist and historian. ...


References

  1. ^ a b c d e Robert Conquest (1986) The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-505180-7.
  2. ^ Mikhail Gorbachev. Memoirs. 769 pages. Publisher: Doubleday; 1st ed edition (September 1, 1996) ISBN-10: 0385480199
  3. ^ Mikhail Gorbachev. Memoirs. 769 pages. Publisher: Doubleday; 1st ed edition (September 1, 1996) ISBN-10: 0385480199
  4. ^ Strobe Talbott, ed., Khrushchev Remembers (2 vol., tr. 1970–74)
  5. ^ Dmitri Volkogonov. Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy, 1996, ISBN-10: 0761507183

Dr. George Robert Ackworth Conquest (born July 15, 1917), British historian, became one of the best-known writers on the Soviet Union with the publication, in 1968, of his account of Stalins purges of the 1930s, The Great Terror. ... Oxford University Press (OUP) is a highly-respected publishing house and a department of the University of Oxford in England. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Kulak - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1163 words)
Kulaks (Russian: кула́к, kulak, "fist", literally meaning tight-fisted; Ukrainian: курку́ль, kurkul) is a pejorative term extensively used in Soviet political language, originally referring to relatively wealthy peasants in the Russian Empire who owned larger farms and used hired labour, as a result of the Stolypin reform introduced since 1906.
The kulaks were to be liquidated as a class and subject to one of three fates: death sentence, labour settlements (not to be confused with labor camps, although the former were also managed by the GULAG), or deportation "out of regions of total collectivisation of the agriculture".
Tens of thousands of alleged kulaks were summarily executed, property was confiscated to form collective farms, and many families were deported to Siberia and Soviet Central Asia.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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