The article considers a specific case of the peasant uprising in the large commercial settlement in the Kamyshinsky district of the Saratov Province at the initial stage of the Civil War in Russia. The author focuses on the investigative case against activists of the mass demonstration, and this source allowed to better identify the personal characteristics of the participants and activists of the uprising, describe their behavior during and after the outrage and defense strategies during the investigation. The personal features of the activists of the uprising, its course and development are considered based on the sources on the armed actions of the peasantry during the Civil War. The author argues that the most active participants of the armed struggle left their native places during uprisings. As a rule, there are no sources of biographical nature even in judicial and investigative materials, because personal data was poorly recorded by the representatives of political supervision. Therefore, the voice of activists is the most elusive, and the most active participants of peasant uprisings are poorly represented in the sources. Our ideas about the causes and dynamics of the peasant armed struggle are based mainly on the indirect and secondary evidence, which inevitably distorts the general picture and requires both archival and methodological searches.
Peasantry, historical source, Civil War, Saratov Province, armed protest, uprising.
Posadsky Anton V., DSc (History), Associate Professor, Department of History of State, Law and International Relations, Volga Institute of Management —a branch of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Moskovskaya St., 164, v/g 2, 140012 Saratov.
The author analyzes the life stories of those Russian peasants who were old enough to remember collectivization. The large collection of such life stories recorded after 1990 is a rich source of materials for the oral history and other fields of study; however, this collection remains unsorted. Such scholars as the ethnographer Sergei Alymov, the sociologist Valery Vinogradsky, the linguist Leonid Kasatkin, and the historian Tatyana Shcheglova have done much work to collect these materials and to analyze them in different disciplinary perspectives. However, their descriptions remain completely isolated, and the author uses their publications to show the internal unity of their work and to explain that a single archive would be very useful for future research. After a brief introduction, the article turns into a chronological narrative of the Russian peasant history from 1918 to 1953, which consists of those key events/episodes in the lives of narrators that inevitably coincide with the key moments of history. In the comments to the narratives, the author describes the narrators’ psychological traits, their attitudes to the state, work and changes of fate, their connection with pre-revolutionary traditions, and their perception of the new reality.
Civil war, NEP, collectivization, famines of 1932–1933 and 1946–1947, migration to the city, walking, court proceedings, infanticide, war, disabled veterans.
This publication is a commented historical document from the fund of the special units’ headquarters. This document summarizes the events of several months (at the end of 1921 — the first half of 1922) in the Penza Province, which were determined by a sharp surge of banditry in a number of this province districts. The document describes in detail, with comments and notes, the stages of the struggle against banditry and its results favorable for the Soviet government. The comments assess the situation in 1921, and reconstruct the history of peasant uprisings in the Penza Province in 1918–1920 that expanded up to the half of its counties. The document reveals the motives of a relatively large group of peasants for participation in the bandit movement. The question is whether there were political motives or social hatred considerations in this movement criminal in form. The document describes the features of all types of peasant armed movements, such as the cluster of villages supporting the active core of rebels or bandits; and the ability of gangs to dissipate and restore strength for fight, etc. The author of the document shows that this active bandit movement was not described in detail in the reports of the State Political Directorate despite its dynamic development through a number of stages. The author emphasizes that the participation of some local peasants in the fight against banditry only strengthened the gangs, which indicates a significant potential for hostility within the rural society. The author of the document was a student of the Military Academy, and the document was probably his study assignment, which determines the historical value of this documentary essay on the history of special units of the Penza Province.
history of the peasantry, Civil War, the Penza Province, banditry, special units
Posadsky Anton V., DSc (History), Professor, Povolzhsky Institute of Management — a branch of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 410012, Saratov, Moskovskaya St., 164.