Soviet State and Society Under Nikita Khrushchev (BASEES Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies)

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Soviet State and Society Under Nikita Khrushchev (BASEES Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies)

Soviet State and Society under Nikita Khrushchev This book examines the social and cultural impact of the ‘thaw’ in Col

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Soviet State and Society under Nikita Khrushchev

This book examines the social and cultural impact of the ‘thaw’ in Cold War relations, decision-making and policy formation in the Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev. It highlights the fact that many of the reform initiatives generally associated with Khrushchev personally, and with his period of office more generally, often had their roots in the Stalin period both in their content and in the ways in which they were implemented. Individual case studies explore key aspects of Khrushchev’s period of office, including the introduction of the 1961 Communist Party Programme and popular responses to it, housing policy, the opening up of the Soviet Union to the West during the 1957 youth festival, public consultation campaigns and policy implementation in education and family law, the boost given to voluntary organizations such as women’s councils and the trade unions, the reshaping of the internal Soviet security apparatus, the emergence of political dissent and the nature of civil–military relations as reflected in the events of the workers’ uprising in Novocherkassk in 1962. The findings offer an important new perspective on the Khrushchev era. Melanie Ilic is Reader in History at the University of Gloucestershire and Research Fellow at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham. Jeremy Smith is Senior Lecturer in Russian History at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham.

BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies Series editor: Richard Sakwa, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent Editorial Committee: Julian Cooper, Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham Terry Cox, Department of Central and East European Studies, University of Glasgow Rosalind Marsh, Department of European Studies and Modern Languages, University of Bath David Moon, Department of History, University of Durham Hilary Pilkington, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick Stephen White, Department of Politics, University of Glasgow Founding Editorial Committee Member: George Blazyca, Centre for Contemporary European Studies, University of Paisley This series is published on behalf of BASEES (the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies). The series comprises original, high-quality, research-level work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Russian, Soviet, post-Soviet and East European Studies in humanities and social science subjects. 1. Ukraine’s Foreign and Security Policy, 1991–2000 Roman Wolczuk

6. Dostoevsky and the Idea of Russianness Sarah Hudspith

2. Political Parties in the Russian Regions Derek S. Hutcheson

7. Performing Russia – Folk Revival and Russian Identity Laura J. Olson

3. Local Communities and Post-Communist Transformation Edited by Simon Smith

8. Russian Transformations Edited by Leo McCann

4. Repression and Resistance in Communist Europe J.C. Sharman 5. Political Elites and the New Russia Anton Steen

9. Soviet Music and Society under Lenin and Stalin The Baton and Sickle Edited by Neil Edmunds 10. State Building in Ukraine The Ukranian parliament, 1990–2003 Sarah Whitmore

11. Defending Human Rights in Russia Sergei Kovalyov, dissident and Human Rights Commissioner, 1969–2003 Emma Gilligan 12. Small-Town Russia Postcommunist livelihoods and identities a portrait of the intelligentsia in Achit, Bednodemyanovsk and Zubtsov, 1999–2000 Anne White 13. Russian Society and the Orthodox Church Religion in Russia after Communism Zoe Knox 14. Russian Literary Culture in the Camera Age The word as image Stephen Hutchings 15. Between Stalin and Hitler Class War and Race War on the Dvina, 1940–46 Geoffrey Swain 16. Literature in Post-Communist Russia and Eastern Europe The Russian, Czech and Slovak Fiction of the changes 1988–98 Rajendra A. Chitnis 17. Soviet Dissent and Russia’s Transition to Democracy Dissident legacies Robert Horvath 18. Russian and Soviet Film Adaptations of Literature, 1900–2001 Screening the word Edited by Stephen Hutchings and Anat Vernitski

19. Russia as a Great Power Dimensions of security under Putin Edited by Jakob Hedenskog, Vilhelm Konnander, Bertil Nygren, Ingmar Oldberg and Christer Pursiainen 20. Katyn and the Soviet Massacre of 1940 Truth, justice and memory George Sanford 21. Conscience, Dissent and Reform in Soviet Russia Philip Boobbyer 22. The Limits of Russian Democratisation Emergency powers and states of emergency Alexander N. Domrin 23. The Dilemmas of Destalinisation A Social and cultural history of reform in the Khrushchev Era Edited by Polly Jones 24. News Media and Power in Russia Olessia Koltsova 25. Post-Soviet Civil Society Democratization in Russia and the Baltic States Anders Uhlin 26. The Collapse of Communist Power in Poland Jacqueline Hayden 27. Television, Democracy and Elections in Russia Sarah Oates

28. Russian Constitutionalism Historical and contemporary development Andrey N. Medushevsky 29. Late Stalinist Russia Society between reconstruction and reinvention Edited by Juliane Fürst 30. The Transformation of Urban Space in Post-Soviet Russia Konstantin Axenov, Isolde Brade and Evgenij Bondarchuk 31. Western Intellectuals and the Soviet Union, 1920–40 From Red Square to the Left Bank Ludmila Stern 32. The Germans of the Soviet Union Irina Mukhina 33. Re-constructing the Post-Soviet Industrial Region The Donbas in transition Edited by Adam Swain 34. Chechnya – Russia’s “War on Terror” John Russell 35. The New Right in the New Europe Czech transformation and rightwing politics, 1989–2006 Seán Hanley 36. Democracy and Myth in Russia and Eastern Europe Edited by Alexander Wöll and Harald Wydra

37. Energy Dependency, Politics and Corruption in the Former Soviet Union Russia’s power, oligarchs’ profits and Ukraine’s missing energy policy, 1995–2006 Margarita M. Balmaceda 38. Peopling the Russian Periphery Borderland colonization in Eurasian history Edited by Nicholas B. Breyfogle, Abby Schrader and Willard Sunderland 39. Russian Legal Culture Before and After Communism Criminal justice, politics and the public sphere Frances Nethercott 40. Political and Social Thought in Post-Communist Russia Axel Kaehne 41. The Demise of the Soviet Communist Party Atsushi Ogushi 42. Russian Policy towards China and Japan The El0 tsin and Putin periods Natasha Kuhrt 43. Soviet Karelia Politics, planning and terror in Stalin’s Russia, 1920–39 Nick Baron 44. Reinventing Poland Economic and political transformation and evolving national identity Edited by Martin Myant and Terry Cox

45. The Russian Revolution in Retreat, 1920–24 Soviet workers and the new Communist elite Simon Pirani 46. Democratisation and Gender in Contemporary Russia Suvi Salmenniemi 47. Narrating Post/Communism Colonial discourse and Europe’s borderline civilization Nataša Kovacˇ evic´ 48. Globalization and the State in Central and Eastern Europe The politics of foreign direct investment Jan Drahokoupil 49. Local Politics and Democratisation in Russia Cameron Ross 50. The Emancipation of the Serfs in Russia Peace arbitrators and the development of civil society Roxanne Easley

51. Federalism and Local Politics in Russia Edited by Cameron Ross and Adrian Campbell 52. Transitional Justice in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union Reckoning with the Communist Past Edited by Lavinia Stan 53. The Post-Soviet Russian Media Conflicting signals Edited by Birgit Beumers, Stephen Hutchings and Natalia Rulyova 54. Minority Rights in Central and Eastern Europe Edited by Bernd Rechel 55. Television and Culture in Putin’s Russia: Remote Control Stephen Hutchings and Natalia Rulyova 56. The Making of Modern Lithuania Tomas Balkelis 57. Soviet State and Society Under Nikita Khrushchev Edited by Melanie Ilic and Jeremy Smith

Soviet State and Society Under Nikita Khrushchev

Edited by Melanie Ilic and Jeremy Smith

First published 2009 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 270 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa business This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2009. To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk.

© 2009 Editorial matter and selection, Melanie Ilic and Jeremy Smith; individual chapters, the contributors All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Soviet state and society under Nikita Khrushchev / [edited by] Melanie Ilic and Jeremy Smith. p. cm. – (BASEES/Routledge series on Russian and East European studies ; 57) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Soviet Union–Politics and government–1953-1985. 2. Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971. I. Ilic, Melanie, 1962- II. Smith, Jeremy, 1964JN6531.S53 2009 947.085'2–dc22 2008046975 ISBN 0-203-87833-7 Master e-book ISBN

ISBN 978-0-415-47649-2 (hbk) ISBN 978-0-203-87833-0 (ebk)

Contents

List of tables Notes on contributors Acknowledgements Glossary of Russian terms and abbreviations Introduction

xi xii xiv xvi 1

MELANIE ILIC

1

The 1961 Party Programme and the fate of Khrushchev’s reforms

8

ALEXANDER TITOV

2

Khrushchev’s promise to eliminate the urban housing shortage: rights, rationality and the communist future

26

MARK B. SMITH

3

The 1957 Moscow Youth Festival: propagating a new, peaceful image of the Soviet Union

46

PIA KOIVUNEN

4

The scientist, the pedagogue and the Party official: interest groups, public opinion and decision-making in the 1958 education reform

66

LAURENT COUMEL

5

Lone mothers and fatherless children: public discourse on marriage and family law

86

HELENE CARLBÄCK

6

What did women want? Khrushchev and the revival of the zhensovety MELANIE ILIC

104

x

Contents

7. Dismantling Stalin’s fortress: Soviet trade unions in the Khrushchev era

122

JUNBAE JO

8. The changing face of repression under Khrushchev

142

JULIE ELKNER

9. Voicing discontent: political dissent from the Secret Speech to Khrushchev’s ouster

162

ROBERT HORNSBY

10. The Soviet military at Novocherkassk: the apex of military professionalism in the Khrushchev era?

181

JOSHUA ANDY

Select bibliography Index

197 212

List of tables

3.1 3.2 4.1 4.2

The world festivals of youth and students, 1947–89 Representation of participants by continent: Moscow, 1957 Social composition of newly admitted students in Soviet higher educational institutions (VUZy) (%) Meetings at the CPSU CC’s Departments, 16–27 September 1958

49 51 68 72

Notes on contributors

Joshua Andy is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham, working on civil–military relations in the Khrushchev era. Publications include ‘Operation Anadyr: Der sowjetische Führungsstab und die Kubakrise 1962’, in Bernt Griener et al. (eds), Krisen im Kalten Krieg, Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2008. Helene Carlbäck, PhD, is Senior Lecturer in History at the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies, Södertörn (South Stockholm) University College, Sweden. She has published chiefly on Soviet–Swedish political and cultural relations and on Soviet gender and family policies. Recent publications include: Ildiko Asztalos Morell, Helene Carlbäck, et al. (eds), Gender Transitions in Russia and Eastern Europe, Stockholm: Gondolin, 2005; ‘Wives or Workers? Women’s position in the labour force and in domestic life in Sweden and Russia during the 1960s’, in Rebecca Kay (ed.), Gender, Equality and Difference: From State Socialism to the Postsocialist Era, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007. Laurent Coumel is Associate postgraduate student, CERCEC, EHESS (Paris) and former Assistant teacher in History, French University College, MGU (Moscow). He is completing his PhD: ‘Enseignants et scientifiques face au pouvoir en URSS sous Khrouchtchev: autour de la réforme de l’enseignement de 1958’, University of Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne). Recent publications include: ‘L’appareil du parti et la réforme scolaire de 1958 : un cas d’opposition à Khrouchtchev’, Cahiers du Monde Russe, vol. 47, nos. 1–2, 2006. Julie Elkner has lectured in Russian history at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, The University of Birmingham, and is completing a PhD at King’s College, Cambridge, on the cult of state security in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. She has published on Soviet military culture and soldiers’ mothers’ activism, on the concept of ‘spiritual security’ in contemporary Russia, on historical narratives of Russia’s engagement with Chechnya, and on Soviet cinema under Khrushchev.

Notes on contributors

xiii

Robert Hornsby has recently completed a PhD at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham, on ‘Dissent in the Khrushchev Era’. Melanie Ilic is Reader in History at the University of Gloucestershire and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham. She is author of Women Workers in the Soviet Interwar Economy (1999), editor of Women in the Stalin Era (2001) and Stalin’s Terror Revisited (2006), and co-editor (with S.E. Reid and L. Attwood) of Women in the Khrushchev Era (2003). Junbae Jo is Lecturer at the Department of Western History in Seoul National University, South Korea. He completed his PhD at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham, on ‘Soviet Trade Unions during Stalinist Industrialisation, 1928–37’. He is the author of ‘Soviet Trade Unions and the Great Terror’, in M. Ilic (ed.), Stalin’s Terror Revisited, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2006. Pia Koivunen is a PhD candidate at the University of Tampere and is affiliated to the graduate school of the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland. She is writing her doctoral dissertation on the World Youth Festivals and Cold War culture from 1947 to 1973 as part of an international research project titled ‘Knowledge through the Iron Curtain: Transferring Knowledge and Technology in Cold War Europe’ (www. helsinki.fi/aleksanteri/kic). Mark B. Smith is Lecturer in Modern European History, University of Durham. He recently completed his PhD at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, on the Soviet urban housing programme from the 1940s to the 1960s. His most recent publication, which appeared in Slavonic and East European Review (no. 2, 2008), examines property relations in the Soviet urban housing economy of the late Stalinist and Khrushchev eras. Alexander Titov’s PhD (awarded by the School for Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London) thesis is on Lev Gumilev, Ethnogenesis and Eurasianism. In October 2005 he joined the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham, as a Research Fellow on an AHRC-funded project on government and reform in the Khrushchev era. Recent publications include: (co-authored with V.Iu. Ermolaev) ‘Istroiya neskol0 kikh zabluzhdenii’, Revue des Etudes Slaves, 2005, which deals with Gumilev’s relation with Eurasianism.

Acknowledgements

This book is one of the outcomes of a project undertaken at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies (CREES), European Research Institute (ERI), University of Birmingham, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC): project no. RRB011307, ‘Policy and Governance in the Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev’; award holders Dr Jeremy Smith (CREES), Dr Melanie Ilic (University of Gloucestershire and CREES) and Professor R.W. Davies (CREES). This book is published as a companion volume to Jeremy Smith and Melanie Ilic (eds), Khrushchev in the Kremlin: Policy and Government in the Soviet Union, 1953–64 (Routledge). The award holders would like to thank Marea Arries, Tricia Carr and Veta Douglas for their administrative support throughout this project. Thanks are also due to Nigel Hardware and the library support staff at the European Resource Centre. Preliminary drafts of most of the papers included in this volume were presented at a conference on ‘Khrushchev in the Kremlin: State and Society in the Soviet Union’, convened at the ERI in December 2007. A selection were also presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS) 38th National Convention (Washington, DC, November 2006) and the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES) annual conference (Cambridge, April 2008). The editors and contributors would like to thank the discussants and participants at these conferences, and particularly John Barber, Don Filtzer, Yoram Gorlizki, Michaela Pohl, Arfon Rees and Susie Reid for their insightful comments on the preliminary project findings. Melanie Ilic’s contribution was presented at the International Council for Central and East European Studies (ICCEES) Regional European Congress in Berlin (August 2007); thanks go to Rebecca Kay for her comments. It was also presented to the University of Gloucestershire History seminar (December 2007). Genia Browning and Mary Buckley (especially for the loan of research materials) and Natalia Vinokurova are thanked for their comments that have helped to shape the final version of the chapter on the zhensovety. Melanie Ilic acknowledges the support given by the Department of Humanities, and especially colleagues in History, University of Gloucestershire, during this project.

Acknowledgements

xv

Junbae Jo thanks Dr Baik Yong Lee for support and assistance during his research trip to Moscow. Pia Koivunen thanks Koneen säätiö and the Academy of Finland for providing financial support, and her supervisors, Sari Autio-Sarasmo and Markku Hyrkkänen, as well as the collegues who read and kindly commented on the draft of her chapter. Mark Smith acknowledges the support provided by the Economic History Society for a Research Fellowship held at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. All of the contributors would like to thank the many archive and library staff in Russia who helped in the identification and location of, as well as access to, research materials. Thanks also to the various hosts who have provided accommodation and assistance to us during research trips and have helped to make often difficult research trips more enjoyable. Thanks are also due to the many interviewees, who have offered their recollections so freely. Melanie Ilic and Jeremy Smith are grateful to John Westwood for compiling the index for this volume.

Glossary of Russian terms and abbreviations

aktiv(s)

(Communist Party) activist(s)

apparat

Communist Party administrative structure

Akademiya pedagogicheskikh nauk; Academy of Pedagogical Sciences

APN

brigadmily

people’s militia groups; volunteer police patrols

CC (see also TsK) Chekist

Central Committee

state security officer

ChK (Cheka) Chrezvychainaya komissiya; Extraordinary Commission (secret police; later GPU or OGPU) (US) Central Intelligence Agency

CIA CPSU

Communist Party of the Soviet Union

domkom/y (dom-kommuna)

house management committees

domoupravlenniya doverennye litsa druzhiny FBI

house commune/s

authorized people; trustworthy people

voluntary street patrols

(US) Federal Bureau of Investigations

FZMK fabrichno-zavodskie i mestnye kommitety; factory trade union committees glasnost0

openness

glasnye

open; public

glavk(i)

chief administration(s)

gorkom (Communist Party) City Committee Gosplan

State Planning Commission

Glossary of Russian terms and abbreviations

xvii

Gosstroi Gosudarstvennyi komitet Soveta Ministrov po delam stroitel0 stva; State Committee for Construction GRU Glavnoe razvedyvatel0 noe upravlenie general0 nogo shtaba; Army intelligence services Glavnoe upravlenie lagerei; (Main Administration of) Labour Camps

Gulag

inakomyshlyashchiki IUS

dissidents

International Union of Students Komitet gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti; Committee of State Security

KGB

Kolkhoz(y)

collective farm(s) Communist Party’s youth section

Komsomol kramola

sedition

kvartal0

neighbourhood Moskovskii gosudarstvennyi universitet; Moscow State University

MGU

mikroraion

Ministerstvo prosveshcheniya; Ministry of Education

Minpros MVD

Ministerstvo vnutrennikh del; Ministry of Internal Affairs

narod(nye) NATO

microdistrict

people(’s); popular

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

NCMD North Caucasian Military District neglasnye NEP NEVZ

secret; private

New Economic Policy Novosherkassk Electric Locomotive Works

Nomenklatura oblast0

nomenclature; Communist Party list of official appointments

province

obshchestvennost0

public spiritedness; voluntarism

profilaktika preventative measures Profintern

Profsoyuznyi Internatsional; Trade Union International

Rabkrin Raboche-krest0 yanskaya inspektsiya; Workers and Peasants Inspectorate raion

district

RKK

Ratsenochno-konfliktnye komissii; Rates and Conflict Commissions

xviii

Glossary of Russian terms and abbreviations

RSDRP Rossiiskaya sotsial-demokraticheskaya rabochaya partiya; Russian Social Democratic Workers Party (1898–1912) RSFSR Rossiiskaya sovetskaya federativnaya sotsialisticheskaya respublika; Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic sovnarkhoz(y) TsK

council(s) of the national economy

Tsentral0 nyi komitet; Central Committee

USSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ustav

statute; regulation

VChK

(see ChK; Cheka)

vedomstvennyi

departmental

VGIK Vsesoyunyi gosudarstvennyi insitut kinematografii; All-Union State Institute for Cinematography Communist Party (Bolsheviks)

VKP(b) vospitanie

education; upbringing; training

VTsSPS Vsesoyuznyi tsentral0 nyi sovet professional0 nykh soyuzov; All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions VUZ(y) Vysshee uchebnoe zavedenie; higher educational establishment(s); universities WFDY

World Federation of Democratic Youth

ZhEKy

zhilishchno-ekspluatatsionnye kontory; housing operation bureaux

zhensovet(y)

women’s council(s)

Introduction Melanie Ilic

Khrushchev’s period of office as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) from 1956 to 1964 is commonly closely associated with a raft of liberalizing reforms that aimed not only to redraw the Soviet Union’s relationship with the outside world, but also to reassess the relationship between the Soviet state and society, between the CPSU and government at central, regional and local level on one side and ordinary Soviet citizens on the other. The chapters contained in this book take a case study approach to examining different aspects of the shifts in this relationship in some detail. The best-known statement of Khrushchev’s reform intent is his Secret Speech to the XX Communist Party Congress in February 1956, which initiated the process of de-Stalinization in the Soviet Union and in the satellite states of Eastern Europe.1 Subsequent statements to the extraordinary XXI Party Congress in 1959 and the XXII Party Congress in 1961 further elaborated the aims and ambitions of the reform agenda. The third Communist Party Programme, formally adopted at the XXII Party Congress, set these visions down on paper as goals of the Soviet regime. Historians have come to term the decade or so following the death of Stalin in 1953 as the ‘thaw’, taking their lead from Ilya Ehrenburg’s novella published in the journal Znamya in May 1954.2 The ‘thaw’ is used as a metaphor not only for the early signs of relaxation in the international Cold War tensions that had existed since the end of the Second World War in 1945, but also for the easing of the frosty cultural and social relations that existed internally within the Soviet Union.3 Interpretations of these years invest elements of Khrushchev’s reform agenda with varying degrees of intent in terms of both their contents and their outcomes. Assessments also differ, depending on perspective and chosen case study, in terms of the extent of the reach of the reform programme and in determining the limitations of its outcomes. Beyond its political and cultural focus, and beyond its intellectual and academic locale, the thaw also came to have meaning in the everyday lives of the Soviet population, not only in the way people came to view the Soviet state, but also in the way in which individuals came to construct their relationships with one another.4 From this perspective, then, the thaw can be seen not only as a centrally driven and formulated change in policy direction, it was also a

2

Melanie Ilic

marked shift in attitude and mood evident amongst the population in the country as a whole. The early years of the thaw ushered in a sense of optimism about the Soviet Union’s future. This optimism was fuelled by real and tangible achievements in economic growth and in scientific and technical developments in the 1950s and was reflected in the somewhat utopian promise of the building of communism in the near future that was set out in the 1961 Party Programme. After 1956, Khrushchev’s promotion of ‘peaceful coexistence with the West’ included the belief that the Soviet Union should imitate and borrow from capitalist countries in order to boost the socialist economy. His aim was that the Soviet Union should eventually overtake the capitalist economies in levels of output and growth. To some extent, Khrushchev’s aims to modernize the Soviet Union, to bring the country prosperity and success, to improve health and welfare and to raise the everyday living standards of the Soviet population can be seen as common goals of all contemporary governments. His period of office notably saw the emergence of a material culture and the beginnings of a consumer society in the Soviet Union.5 Khrushchev called on an idealized recent past to inspire his vision for the future. By asserting in particular the need for the revival of Leninist principles in the decision-making process, Khrushchev aimed to dissociate himself from the Stalinist rhetoric of the preceding two decades. His ambitious plans for economic development in agriculture, industry and construction, however, recalled the optimistic goals of the period of the first five-year plan from 1928 to 1932, a time when Khrushchev himself was serving his own political apprenticeship.6 His endeavours were also couched in pragmatism, in the need to ensure the Soviet Union’s defensive security both at home and abroad in the wake of the disturbances in Hungary and Poland in 1956 and the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, and in the realism of reconciling the promise of an abundant future with the evident shortages of the present. The Khrushchev era is also closely associated with an orchestrated shift away from the harsh repressions of the Stalin years. The years of Khrushchev’s office witnessed nothing on the scale of the purges and Great Terror of the 1930s, but saw instead the widespread amnesty and release of political prisoners from the forced labour camps, the winding down of the Gulag network and the beginnings of the rehabilitation process. These moves in themselves, however, generated their own destabilizing social consequences, including a rise in criminality, to which the central authorities sometimes responded by reasserting measures of strong state control.7 At the same time as the repressive regime was being dismantled, these years witnessed the extensive use of psychiatric treatment on individuals regarded as dissidents and threats to the stability of the Soviet regime. The years when Khrushchev was in office were also crucial, first, for the redrawing of the boundaries of the internal role of the Soviet military in relation to both the state and the population at large, as witnessed in the example of Novocherkassk in 1962. They were crucial, second, for the changing role and re-branding of the state security services,

Introduction

3

the infamous KGB. The process of internal reform was used to buoy the image of the Soviet Union abroad and to boost its global profile and international prestige in an era of relative openness and ‘peaceful coexistence’. Whilst there was less overt state-sanctioned repression in these years, more emphasis was undoubtedly placed on state-endorsed notions of social monitoring and self-regulation, with individual morality and private relationships now much more open to public scrutiny and community intervention. Although the Khrushchev era was certainly governed by a less repressive regime than was witnessed under Stalin, it is also depicted in some interpretations as having introduced a surveillance society.8 The building of communism was to take place not only in a material sense, on the basis of increasing per capita production aided by advance technology and rising living standards, but also in the human and moral sphere, where the collective would take precedence over the individual.9 At the same time, the paternal role of the state, a role adopted and perpetuated in the Stalin years, was increasingly superseded by notions of personal and individual rights and responsibilities under Khrushchev.10 The revival of interest in the social bases of communism formed an important part of Khrushchev’s ideological agenda. Khrushchev’s period of office is marked by a shift in ideological debates away from the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ towards the emergence of the ‘all-people’s state’. Despite the significant impact that Khrushchev had on Soviet ideological and political thinking in the 1950s and 1960s, and the far-reaching consequences of his reforms, however, there was no apparent attempt by the Soviet regime to publish extensive volumes of his ‘collected works’, as was witnessed in the case of both Lenin and Stalin. Nor have historians commonly invoked the term ‘Khrushchevism’ to examine this period of office, thereby endowing Khrushchev with less political and social significance than his predecessors. Khrushchev employed the vehicles of mass mobilization and participatory democracy to revive and to establish anew social, popular and voluntary organizations, such as the trade unions and workers committees in the workplace, comrades’ courts and street patrols, housing committees, women’s councils, veterans associations and youth groups. These bodies were envisioned to take on and take over some of the official functions of the socialist state, mostly in localized settings. The socialist state itself was supposed to ‘wither away’ in the near future once the communist society had emerged and become established as a self-regulating force. Renewed interest in the social bases of communism was reflected under Khrushchev in the revival of sociology as an academic discipline, which itself generated studies into existing social, institutional and structural inequalities, including those between men and women.11 It was also seen in the revival in the use of such phenomena as time-budget surveys and opinion polls. Extensive consultation exercises called on the specialist expertise of, amongst others, scientists, doctors, lawyers and academics, whilst public campaigns to rally popular support for policy initiatives were simultaneously conducted across a range of mass media.

4

Melanie Ilic

It is also important to remember here that interest in the re-launching of the Soviet project was already much in evidence after 1945, and that many of the reform initiatives associated specifically with Khrushchev’s period of office, and the means by which the reforms were enacted and carried out, had their origins under the Stalin regime. This is true even for one of Khrushchev’s most talked about reforms, the Virgin Lands scheme, for which there was an experimental project conducted in the 1930s.12 Most of the high-ranking party and government personnel involved in the decision-making process and policy initiatives at central and regional level in the 1950s and 1960s had, after all, like Khrushchev, spent the most important and formative years of their political training under Stalin. The 1950s and 1960s also saw the coming of age of the first truly Soviet generation: those who had been born since the Bolshevik revolution in October 1917, who gained their education and initial employment experience in the inter-war years and who grew into adulthood in the period following the end of the Second World War. Many were enthused by the potential of the early years of the thaw, and this was reflected in growing membership of the Communist Party and its youth organization, the Komsomol, in the 1950s and 1960s. Party membership (full and candidate members) rose from almost 7.2 million in 1956 to just over 11 million in 1964, an increase of almost 53 per cent. An increasing proportion of the membership in these years was constituted by workers, peasants and women.13 Others, however, were equally frustrated by the limits of the reform agenda and the state’s failure to deliver on its grandiose promises. As some of the following chapters demonstrate, the reform initiatives of the late 1950s and early 1960s were sometimes areas in which Khrushchev himself had a long-standing close personal interest that dated back to the 1930s and 1940s, such as in the development of mass housing projects and in family policy. In other areas of social reform and renewal, ongoing grassroots movements and organizations, such as those given official sanction amongst women and young people, were able to flourish under Khrushchev, extending their activities to an international arena. Other areas of reform for which there was widespread political and popular support, such as the rewriting of the Communist Party programme and education policy, had stalled in the 1940s but were revived in the following decades. This collection begins with a study of the drafting, contents and public reception of the third Communist Party Programme in 1961. In chapter 1, Alexander Titov identifies the adoption of the Party Programme as one of the main ideological events of the Khrushchev era. Work on the Programme was of major significance in the history, as well as in the theoretical and political life, of the CPSU. The third Party Programme aimed to reunify Soviet society in the wake of the de-Stalinization campaigns, and to provide a boost to the economy. Internationally, the Programme was designed to enhance the prestige of the CPSU and of the Soviet state. It clearly set out Khrushchev’s ambitions in the ‘building of communism’.

Introduction

5

Our study moves next to examinations of two important aspects of Khrushchev’s policy platform: the provision of single-family apartments through the mass housing construction projects and the opening up of Soviet society to foreign visitors and observers. In chapter 2, Mark B. Smith explores the emergence of a sense of rights in the Soviet housing economy as they flowed from Khrushchev’s promise in 1957 to eliminate the housing shortage. Smith links this sense of rights to two other concepts inherent in Khrushchev’s 1957 promise by examining what this meant for ‘rationality’ and the ‘communist future’. Pia Koivunen, in chapter 3, examines the idea of ‘peaceful coexistence with the West’ through the example of the opening up of the Soviet Union during the 1957 World Youth Festival hosted in Moscow. In 1957, foreign visitors came to the Soviet Union in large numbers for the first time, and the festival also provided the first real opportunity for ordinary Soviet citizens to establish direct personal contacts with foreigners. How did the Soviet state benefit from this event at home and in terms of its international prestige, and what was the festival’s long term impact on Soviet society? Next, we examine two specific case studies in policy consultation and decision-making. In chapter 4, Laurent Coumel charts the work of various interest groups in the introduction of the 1958 education reform. Party officials, scientists, academics and pedagogues were called upon to offer their expert advice in drawing up the contents of the reform. Coumel looks at those who, institutionally and individually, supported the reform proposals as well as those who, with some success, opposed them. He demonstrates that the discussions of the reform in the press generated a ‘public opinion’ that did not entirely fit with official thinking.14 A similar case study approach is taken by Helene Carlbäck in chapter 5. Carlbäck looks at the critical debates about the 1944 family law, which Khrushchev had been instrumental in framing, that took place during the 1950s and 1960s. Various legislative committees were established under Khrushchev to discuss the possibility of reform, and the concerns and frustrations of the committee members were reflected also in the heated public debates that took place in the specialist and popular press. The chapter examines prevailing norms of the model Soviet family, especially with regard to the articulation of the legal rights and provisions for lone mothers and fatherless children. Although reforms in family law were not formally adopted until after Khrushchev had been removed from office, legal changes came to embody ideas of marriage and the family as a private sphere and promoted a nuclear family ethos. The study moves next to two case studies of mass mobilization. Khrushchev’s concern for the revival of social and voluntary organizations is studied in chapter 6 through the example of the boost given to local women’s councils, the zhensovety, from the late 1950s. This chapter examines the extent to which the zhensovety served as legitimate bodies through which Soviet women could express their discontents at a local level and have these addressed by a higher authority, or whether they served more crudely as a channel through which central state bodies filtered their directives downwards to women. The chapter

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looks at the wide-ranging remit of the zhensovety in the late 1950s and early 1960s and assesses their impact on policy formation under Khrushchev. In chapter 7, Junbae Jo looks at the reorganization of the trade unions under Khrushchev. The reorganization of the trade unions must be seen in the broader context of the de-Stalinization drives. To a large extent the restructuring of the unions followed the wider pattern of administrative reform seen in the establishment of the regional economic councils (sovnarkhozy) from 1957. These radical changes, however, incurred a significant backlash from the trade unions. Debates amongst union officials themselves as well as between the trade union and economic newspapers form part of this study. In chapter 8, Julie Elkner examines the history of the state security apparatus under Khrushchev. She argues that recently declassified archival materials indicate that substantial correctives need to be introduced to the traditional view of the Khrushchev era as one of liberalization. A very high proportion of all convictions for anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda during the entire period from 1956 to 1987, for example, took place under Khrushchev in the years 1957 and 1958 alone. This is precisely the period in which the repressive apparatus of the Soviet state was ostensibly being reined in. The chapter charts the reassertion of party control over the security organs, and then looks at the restoration of the prestige of the reconstituted security apparatus. This is followed by a study by Robert Hornsby, in chapter 9, of the prevalent trends in political dissent in the Khrushchev period. Hornsby examines the impact of dissent on Soviet society. He argues that it was during Khrushchev’s period of office that Soviet citizens began to establish for themselves what had changed and what had not since the death of Stalin. The chapter looks at a variety of dissenting activities, open public criticism of the authorities and the catalysts for protest. The chapter explores the origins of dissenting activity under Khrushchev, and the areas of society in which it resonated and where it was rejected. The final chapter offers a case study of one of the critical turning points in Khrushchev’s political career and a signal of his demise. In chapter 10, Joshua Andy studies the role of the military in quashing the popular uprising in Novocherkassk in June 1962. Andy identifies this as an important event for the assertion of the independence of the military from the Communist Party and the Soviet government. He argues that common humanity won over party ideology in June 1962 when the Soviet military refused to take up arms to put down the workers’ rebellion.

Notes 1 On the impact of the Secret Speech, see Polly Jones (ed.), The Dilemmas of DeStalinization: Negotiating Cultural and Social Change in the Khrushchev Era, London: Routledge, 2006. 2 Recent examples include Yu. V. Aksyutin, Khrushchevskaya “Otepel0 ” i obshchestvennye nastroeniya v SSSR v 1953–1964 gg., Moscow: Rosspen, 2004; Ludmilla Alexeyeva and Paul Goldberg, The Thaw Generation: Coming of Age in the Post-

Introduction

3 4 5

6 7

8 9 10 11 12 13

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Stalin Era, Pittsburgh; University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993; Stephen V. Bittner, The Many Lives of Khrushchev’s Thaw: Experience and Memory in Moscow’s Arbat, Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press, 2008. On international relations under Khrushchev, see Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali, Khrushchev’s Cold War: The Inside Story of an American Adversary, New York and London: W.W. Norton and Co., 2006. See, for example, V. Shlapentokh, Public and Private Life of the Soviet People: Changing Values in Post-Stalin Russia, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989. This is explored in more detail in Susan E. Reid and David Crowley (eds), Style and Socialism: Modernity and Material Culture in Post-War Eastern Europe, Oxford: Berg, 2000. This is not to say that an idea of material culture was absent under Stalin. See Jukka Gronow, Caviar with Champagne: Common Luxury and the Ideals of the Good Life in Stalin’s Russia, Oxford: Berg, 2003. On Khrushchev’s childhood and early career, see William Taubman, Khrushchev: the Man and his Era, London: Free Press, 2003. See Nancy Adler, ‘Life in the Big Zone: The Fate of Returnees in the Aftermath of Stalinist Repression’, Europe-Asia Studies, vol. 51, no. 1, 1999, pp. 5–19, and Miriam Dobson, ‘“Show the Bandit-enemies no Mercy!”: Amnesty, Criminality and Public Response in 1953’, in Jones (eds), Dilemmas of De-Stalinization. Oleg Kharkhordin, The Collective and the Individual in Russia: a Study of Practices, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999, argues that paradoxically this left individuals with less freedom than they had under Stalin. See, for example, Deborah A. Field, Private Life and Communist Morality in Khrushchev’s Russia, New York and Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007. See, for example, Lewis H. Siegelbaum (ed.), Borders of Socialism: Private Spheres of Soviet Russia, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2006. For studies of how Khrushchev’s reforms impacted on women, see Melanie Ilic, Susan E. Reid and Lynne Attwood, Women in the Khrushchev Era, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2004. I. Ye. Zelenin, ‘Pervaya sovetskaya programma massovogo osvoeniya tselinnykh zemel’ (konets 20-x–30-e gody), Otechestvennaya istoriya, no. 2, 1996, pp. 55–70. ‘KPSS v tsifrakh (k 60-i godovshchine Velikoi Oktyabr0 skoi sotsialistecheskoi revolyutsii), Partiinaya zhizn0 , no. 21, 1977, pp. 20–43. See also R.J. Hill, ‘State and Ideology’, in Martin McCauley (ed.), Khrushchev and Khrushchevism, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1977, p. 56. See also Michael Froggatt, ‘Renouncing Dogma, Teaching Utopia: Science in Schools under Khrushchev’, in Jones (ed.), Dilemmas of De-Stalinization.

1

The 1961 Party Programme and the fate of Khrushchev’s reforms Alexander Titov

The adoption of the third Party Programme at the XXII Party Congress in 1961 was one of the main ideological events of the Khrushchev era. Its importance is underlined by the fact that it remained the main ideological document up to the end of the Soviet period.1 The purpose of the Programme was to reunify society in the wake of de-Stalinization and to revive the Soviet project. Internationally the Programme was supposed to increase the prestige of the Communist Party (CPSU) and the Soviet state. However, its failure to deliver on its promises discredited the Soviet system in the long term. This chapter looks at the history of the Party programmes, the process of drafting the third Programme and its main themes, and examines the public reception of the Programme. Finally, an assessment is provided of its significance in the history of the Communist Party and the Soviet Union.

Background The first Party Programme was adopted in August 1903 at the II Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party (RSDRP). It was the expression of Lenin’s ideas about the strategy for a party of professional revolutionaries. The second Party Programme was adopted in 1919 at the VIII Congress of the Communist Party (at this time known as VKP(b)) and reflected the idealistic hopes of the time about imminent communist society. The second Programme was extensively used in Bolshevik propaganda during the early 1920s, particularly through its well-known exposition by Bukharin and Preobrazhenskii in The ABC of Communism.2 By the late 1920s the second Programme was quietly dropped from public discourse as the reality of Party policy under Stalin’s leadership asserted itself. There were plans to draft a new Programme in the 1930s but priority was given instead to the new constitution that was adopted in 1936.3 At the XVIII Party Congress in 1939 it was officially decided to revise the 1919 Party Programme. A twenty-four-member commission was set up that consisted of the top leadership, including Stalin himself, Molotov, Kaganovich, Malenkov, Beria, Zhdanov and Khrushchev.4 However, the work of the commission was interrupted by the Second World War. On 15 July 1947 the Politburo

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formed a new programme commission under Zhdanov’s chairmanship. A draft version was prepared in December 1947.5 The main components of what later became associated with Khrushchev’s reforms were already present in that draft. For example, there was emphasis on improving living standards, such as the distribution of individual apartments, automobiles and free provision of food. It was envisaged that the political functions of the state would be reduced and the role of public organizations increased as the dictatorship of the proletariat would be gradually transformed into the dictatorship of the Soviet people. However, these proposals were presented within the traditional Stalinist framework which included a further increase in the power of the proletarian state and the strengthening of the security organs for the fight against class enemies.6 Furthermore, the tightening of the ideological pressure in the post-1945 period, as evidenced by the infamous decrees against the journals Zvezda and Leningrad and the struggle against Western influence, meant that the more lenient proposals of the draft were by then unacceptable. As the consequent history showed, these proposals would be implemented in tandem with the denunciation of the personality cult and rejection of the harsher aspects of the Stalinist system. At the XIX Party Congress in 1952 a new Programme commission was formed.7 Because of Stalin’s death and the ensuing power struggle, no work was done on the programme before the XX Congress of 1956 when it was decided to start work on a new Party Programme once again. However, without a clear consensus among the Presidium members on the new official ideology, no active work was carried out. With the removal from the Presidium of Khrushchev’s opponents in the summer of 1957, it became possible to begin active work on the draft of the Programme and a new commission began its work in 1958. Khrushchev declared that it was a blessing in disguise that a new Programme was not adopted under Stalin, implying that the Party Programme adopted under his own leadership represented a clean break from Stalin’s time, and this had become possible only after the XX and XXI Party Congresses.8 In this way, the third Party Programme became a statement of Khrushchev’s aspiration at the peak of his power and popularity in 1958–61. There was a 43-year gap between the publications of the second and the third Party Programmes. The third Programme presented the new leadership with an opportunity to claim an ideological continuity with Lenin’s legacy and a bypassing of Stalin’s deviations, a leitmotif of Khrushchev’s ideology. The new Programme represented a revivalist vision of the Soviet communist project, free from negative aspects of the Stalin’s era. In this way, the adoption of the new Party Programme was to become a high point of Khrushchev’s ideological and political revolution.

Work on the Programme The commission responsible for preparing a draft of the new Programme consisted of Khrushchev, who was appointed its chairman, Kuusinen, Mikoyan,

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Suslov, Pospelov, Ponomarev, Mitin and Yudin. There was continuity in its membership as five had also been members of the 1947 commission.9 In practice, the responsibility for drafting the Programme was entrusted to Kuusinen and Ponomarev, who were relieved of other duties for the duration of their work on the Programme.10 Kuusinen was soon sidelined in the work of the commission and Ponomarev assumed direct control over the commission’s work. This represented a victory for the middle line in terms of ideology, as Kuusinen was considered an ideologist keen on revising Stalin’s legacy.11 The work on the Programme speeded up in 1959 after the XXI Extraordinary Party Congress where the development of the Soviet economy was outlined for the next seven years. Significant for the Programme was Khrushchev’s declaration that the Soviet Union had achieved the construction of socialism and was now advancing to building the basis of communism. Thus two main components of the future Programme, the imminent construction of communist society and the detailed plans for economic development for the next decade, were firmly established at the centre of the new official ideology. The draft commission now worked on the basis of these premises with the aim of presenting a ready draft at the XXII Party Congress in the autumn of 1961. Khrushchev was able to claim parity with his predecessors, the organizer of the socialist revolution, Lenin, and the builder of socialism in one country, Stalin, and leave his unique ideological mark as Soviet leader by developing a distinct ideological framework for his policies around the concept of imminent communist construction. Senior specialists in their respective fields were recruited to work on the Programme’s draft. Altogether around 100 academics and specialists were engaged for three years in ‘work groups’ each assigned with particular topics of the Programme. For example, the group for the preparation of the theoretical materials for the Programme included A.A. Arzumanyan, director of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, P.M. Fedoseev, director of the Institute of Philosophy of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Shlikhter, from the Institute of World Economy, and several other top specialists from relevant fields.12 Khrushchev himself edited the Programme’s text in the run-up to its final discussion at the June Plenum of the Central Committee. On 20 and 21 April 1961, and again on 18 July, he dictated forty-six pages of comments and corrections.13 Most of them were of an editorial nature, although some gave more spice to the text despite his claims that, ‘It would be wrong to include in the Programme something which we will not be able to do. Such commitments and promises would only discredit the Programme’.14 Nevertheless, Khrushchev personally insisted on inserting into the Programme a dubious passage which asserted that the Soviet Union was capable of surpassing the USA in per capita production by 1970, while at the same time the qualities of life of the Soviet people would be even higher owing to the egalitarian nature of Soviet society.15 His insistence on material provisions as central to communism explicitly linked its success to economic performance, which would soon backfire.16

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International policy The first part of the Programme was an exposition of a global vision of the struggle between communist and capitalist systems, with the not-too-distant victory of communism and a special emphasis on the importance of the Soviet experience for the development of the socialist world system. However, this new aspect of international relations also presupposed a new mode of ‘peaceful co-existence’ between the socialist and capitalist systems. In this scheme, the socialist system would triumph over capitalism by means of superior economic and social development. This policy was proclaimed to be a ‘specific form of class struggle’.17 This marked a break with the official policies of Khrushchev’s predecessors, who maintained, in the words of Stalin, that ‘to remove the inevitability of wars, capitalism must be destroyed’.18 Molotov, the only faithful Stalinist who dared to express his views about the third Party Programme, branded it ‘anti-revolutionary’, ‘pacifist’ and ‘revisionist’ because it betrayed true Bolshevik principles of class struggle by making concessions to capitalists.19 Unlike Khrushchev, ‘Lenin and the Bolsheviks saw the purpose of their foreign policy not in worrying about coexistence with imperialism but in hastening its demise’.20 In Molotov’s view, only international socialist revolution could bring an end to wars and imperialism itself. Khrushchev’s views on international relations put forward in the Programme were, therefore, clearly unrevolutionary novelties contrary to Lenin’s views on foreign policy. Khrushchev had his revenge on his old foe at the Congress which expelled Molotov, until then Soviet representative at the Atomic Commission in Vienna, from the Party along with the other members of the ‘anti-Party group’ except Voroshilov. All of this was accompanied by fierce anti-Stalinist rhetoric at the Congress which took many by surprise and was a distraction from the Congress’s real purpose of discussing the new Programme. Frol Kozlov, the Central Committee (CC) secretary responsible for the draft of the new Party rules, privately complained that the Congress suffered from a distortion; instead of focusing on the main event of the Congress, suddenly there was a ‘re-run’ of the XX Congress.21 Overall, in the international section the new Programme set a more pragmatic tone in international relations while at the same time maintaining the superiority of the Soviet system.

Economic and social policy The second part of the Programme presented plans for the development of the Soviet Union for the next twenty years. There were detailed projections for the development of its main industries. A special section outlined measures for raising living standards. Plans were also drawn up for the further development of science, education and raising the cultural levels of the population, including the creation of a new human being raised on communist morality.

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There were two stages in the building of communism in the Soviet Union. In the years from 1961 to 1970 the Soviet Union was supposed to surpass production in the USA. The welfare of the population would be greatly improved, providing individual apartments for each family and the shortest working hours in the world. From 1971 to 1980 the material and technical bases for communism would be built and Soviet society would realize the communist ideal of distribution according to one’s needs.22 The Programme famously proclaimed that communism would be built during the lifetime of the current generation of Soviet people, re-establishing the utopian element at the centre of Soviet ideology. Competition with the USA was one of the main reference points in the Programme. It served as an important justification of the Soviet system, which was supposed to be more efficient and competitive in the long run compared with the capitalist world. Growth projections in the coming two decades foresaw an expansion in the volume of Soviet industrial production by 2.5 times in ten years, by which time it would overtake industrial production in the USA; in twenty years it would increase sixfold. Productivity would be raised twofold in ten years, fourfold in twenty years, which would be twice as much as in the USA. There were plans for further development of what were perceived to be the most innovative and promising industries. For example, special emphasis was put on the increasing the output of electricity and the chemical industry, as well as the further mechanization and automation of industry. Technical progress was closely linked to the construction of communist society, reflecting a fascination with the scientific progress and achievements of Soviet society in space exploration and the development of atomic energy.23 The planned increases in consumer goods production emphasized Khrushchev’s commitment to improving the living standards of the population. The romantic views of the Virgin Lands campaign and exploration of Siberia also found their place in the Programme through grandiose plans for the construction of industrial centres and large-scale alterations of the natural environment.24 Agriculture, a priority area for Khrushchev, was finally to deliver the abundance of food supplies and this would be accompanied by the disappearance of differences between rural and urban life. Agriculture would grow 2.5 times over ten years and 3.5 times in twenty years. The Soviet Union was going to overtake the USA in per capita agricultural production in the next ten years. Cattle-breeding was to grow threefold in ten years, fourfold in twenty, milk production by two and three times respectively. Overall productivity in agriculture was to grow 2.5 times in the first ten years and five to six times in twenty. In social policy, the world-historical task of the Communist Party was to provide a higher living standard in comparison with any capitalist country. This was to be achieved through increases in salaries, lowering of prices and widening free-for-all welfare benefits via public funds, including education, health care, pensions, child care and free housing. Overall, it was estimated

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that the national income would grow 9 per cent annually and rise 2.5 times in the first decade and 3.5 times over twenty years. The average income would double, while for people on the lowest incomes it would treble in first ten years so that low-paid workers would no longer be a feature of society. There is general agreement among historians that there were real and substantial economic achievements in the Soviet economy in the 1950s which gave confidence to the optimistic projections made in the Programme.25 For example, it was estimated that Soviet GDP rose by 265 per cent from 1950 to 1960, while in the USA it rose by only 134 per cent. Grain production rose from 81 million tons in the early 1950s to 125 million tons in 1960. In addition, there were grandiose successes in space exploration, nuclear energy and other fields of science and technical development. All of this gave the Soviet leadership and its economic agencies some grounds for optimistic forecasts about the future development of the Soviet Union.26 Their confidence, however, was based on the assumption that the recent rate of economic growth would continue in the future.27 As actual experience showed, this pace of growth was unsustainable in the long run. Whereas in the period from 1950 to 1956 average annual growth was between 10.6 and 11.1 per cent, from 1959 to 1963 it fell from 6.9 to 5 per cent.28 In agriculture, the priority economic sector for Khrushchev, growth in the years from 1959 to 1965 was 10 per cent, instead of the planned 70 per cent.29 It was telling that the Programme’s projections were becoming impractical even by the time of its adoption. A report prepared by the KGB’s economic department in October 1964 outlined the grave economic realities of Soviet economic development over recent years and offered a scathing assessment of Khrushchev’s leadership.30 In 1963 the real growth of national income was only 4 per cent or 2.3 times less than planned.31 In social policy results were disastrous. The real income of the working population was supposed to grow by 40 per cent, whereas in reality it grew by only 20 per cent. Real wages were undermined by high inflation, which grew by 17 per cent over five years in collective farm markets, while in consumer cooperatives prices grew by 13 per cent. As a result, a number of measures aimed at increasing living standards, such as setting a minimum wage of between 50 and 60 roubles, had to be postponed. Annual agricultural growth planned at 8 per cent in reality came to be a meagre 1.7 per cent between 1959 and 1962, while for 1963 it was in the negative. Over five years the cost of agricultural produce was supposed to fall by 21 per cent, whereas in fact it grew by 24 per cent.32 The imbalance between growth of the means of production and consumer goods, redressing of which was one of the central promises of the Programme, was in fact worsening. It reached a record difference in 1963, with group A (means of production) and group B (consumer goods) growing at 10 and 5 per cent respectively. Soviet production levels were only 65 per cent compared with the USA, while for consumer goods this was a meagre 45 per cent. There was also a steady decline in the rate of growth of productivity from between 7 and 8 per cent in the period from 1950 to 1955 to 5.6 per cent in the four

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years from 1959, including 5.5 per cent in 1962, 5.2 in 1963 and only 4.2 per cent in the first half of 1964.33 Overall, the rate of Soviet economic growth peaked in 1956 and was steadily declining thereafter, falling by more than 50 per cent over eight years. The average annual growth of social product (which was the Soviet economic term equivalent to national output) was 10.6 per cent in 1950 to 1953, 11.1 per cent in 1953 to 1956, 8.9 per cent in 1956 to 1959, 6.9 per cent in 1959 to 1962 and 6 per cent in 1962, while in 1963 it was only 5 per cent. The Programme promised extensive welfare benefits, such as those which to a limited extent already existed in some Western countries.34 However, even these goals proved impossible to achieve as the Soviet Union lagged behind the more developed countries that it was supposed to overtake. In reality, the rate of growth in productivity and gross national income was falling, which meant that the promised social benefits could not be introduced and this severely undermined Khrushchev’s credibility as leader. Mikoyan claimed in his memoirs that Khrushchev did not expect to live to see the final construction of communism, so that the political risk of giving grandiose promises in Programme was thought to be acceptable to him.35 However, Khrushchev did not realize how rapidly the real economic situation would undermine him or the new Programme.

Nationalities policy In the policy on nationalities the Programme tried to strike an uneasy balance between communist demands for the creation of a single Soviet people and the need to appease national sensibilities. The construction of communism hailed a new stage in the development of national relations in the Soviet Union, ‘characterized by a further drawing together (sblizhenie) of nations and achieving their complete unity’. With the victory of communism, the Soviet nations would draw even closer together. ‘They are all united in one family by common vital interests and together march towards the single purpose – communism’.36 It was, however, acknowledged that the disappearance of national distinctions, especially linguistic ones, was a more long-term process than the disappearance of classes. The free development of the national languages was promised in the future. However, a voluntary study of Russian language, accompanying that of native languages, was said to have a positive significance as it assisted in communication between different nations and brought them closer to world culture. ‘Russian language has in practice become a common language of interethnic communication and cooperation of all peoples of the USSR’.37 The principal aim in nationalities policy was the all-round economic and cultural development of all nations in the Soviet Union and eventual emergence of an international culture, common for all Soviet people, that would become the universal culture of world communist society. Finally, the fight against the vestiges of nationalism and chauvinism was to continue unabated, and this

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included any manifestations of national sentiments that were outside the Soviet framework. The final text of the Programme was a toned-down version of the original, which had called for a fusion of nations in the Soviet Union (sliyanie). Otto Kuusinen, in a letter to Khrushchev, argued that in nationalities policy ‘the elimination of national distinctions’ was a very distant prospect. Instead of the concept of fusion, Kuusinen proposed emphasis be put on the importance of the brotherly drawing together of the nations. After Khrushchev gave his personal approval, the latter version was put in the final text.38 The nationalities section did not find unanimous approval in the Soviet Union. Among comments on the draft of Programme sent by the population the nationalities question attracted much attention. On the one hand, there were calls for a complete abolition of national borders in the Soviet Union and for establishing Russian as the state language throughout the Soviet Union. At the Central Committee Plenum on 19 June 1961, some members proposed the inclusion of a passage about the Great Russian people as a senior brother that other nations of the Soviet Union should rally around.39 On the other hand, there were demands to prevent the assimilation of smaller nations. Many smaller nations feared that their cultural and linguistic identity would be eroded if children from national minorities had to learn Russian as their first language at school.40 Particularly significant for Soviet nationalities policy were calls from the Ukraine to introduce compulsory study of Ukrainian in schools, and that in higher education all teaching should be only in Ukrainian as should be all official paperwork in the republic.41 The Programme called for the further integration of various nationalities into a single Soviet people for whom the Russian language and culture would serve as a common basis. However, in keeping with traditional Soviet policy towards nationalities, the Programme toned down the threats posed to the non-Russian languages. Thus, a shaky balance was maintained between the proclaimed ideal of a single internationalist culture in the distant future, a single Soviet people in the immediate future and the need to take into account the concerns of the non-Russian nationalities for the present.

Ideology and politics There were several major ideological innovations brought out in the Programme. The most significant was the abandonment of the dictatorship of the proletariat in favour of an all-people’s state. Other important themes included the re-emergence of the Marxist ideal of the withering away of the state under communism through the increased importance of the soviets and other nonstate bodies, such as the trade unions and the Komsomol, and plans for the growth of socialist democracy, which included new limits on the number of terms in office served by elected officials. The dictatorship of the proletariat had been the central concept of the Bolsheviks’ ideology since their seizure of power in 1917 and it gave theoretical

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justification to the coercive policies of the Soviet regime. Lenin defined it as the ‘power that is limited by nothing, by no laws, that is restrained by absolutely no rules, that is based directly on coercion’.42 Stalin further elaborated on this concept by stressing that class struggle intensified as Soviet society moved closer to socialism. This served as a theoretical justification for the Great Terror campaign of the late 1930s.43 Stalin’s idea of the intensification of class struggle during the advancement to socialism was criticized by Khrushchev in his Secret Speech in 1956. However, Otto Kuusinen approached the subject of the dictatorship of proletariat anew in 1958 by arguing that it had completed its historical mission of building socialist society. The next stage of Soviet development required a new political form best defined as the ‘all-people’s state’. Burlatskii argued that the transition to the concept of the all-people’s state was considered by the reform-minded communists as a guarantee from recurrence of repressions: ‘This was supposed to be the basis for change in the whole political system according to democratic principles, guarantees from a regime of new authority, coming into being of self-governing social institutions’.44 Such thinking bode well for Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization policies.45 Khrushchev declared at the June 1961 Central Committee Plenum that the development of soviet and party democracy would help to eliminate the effects of Stalin’s personality cult. After the completion of socialist construction, the Soviet Union was a society of non-antagonistic classes (of workers, peasants and the intelligentsia); there was no longer any class suppression through the dictatorship of the proletariat.46 Khrushchev exclaimed, ‘If you asked me what this dictatorship consists of I won’t be able to explain it to you and you won’t to me’.47 Accordingly, the Programme stated that ‘the dictatorship of the proletariat has completed its historical mission and … is no longer necessary in the USSR’.48 As class suppression became unnecessary, the Communist Party’s role in the management of the economy and cultural-educational matters became more important. The Soviet state began its transformation into an all-people’s state as proletarian democracy was transforming itself into an allpeople’s socialist democracy. Such proposals were seen by traditionalists as undermining the basis of the state and ideology. Molotov wrote an extensive critique of the new party programme which he sent to the Central Committee. In particular he criticized the definition of communism in the Programme as ‘one-sided, incomplete and unsatisfactory’. In his view the principal aims of country’s development should not be reduced to the satisfaction of the material and cultural needs as was stated in the Programme. The main goal was the elimination of classes and all vestiges of social inequality. ‘Instead of Leninist views on revolutionary struggle he [Khrushchev] tried to push through his pathetic revisionist ideas about a peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism’.49 The replacement of the dictatorship of the proletariat with an all-people’s state played the important role of holding together the ideological structure of

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the Soviet regime shaken by the revelations about the personality cult. Pyzhikov argues that the concept of the all-people’s state was equal in its significance to the denunciation of the personality cult in Khrushchev’s order of priorities. This and the intertwined concept of communist construction gave a positive aspect to Soviet ideology which was supposed to counterbalance the destructive effects of his anti-Stalinist rhetoric.50 A utopian dimension was added to the programme with the reaffirmation of the old Marxist ideal of the ‘withering away’ of the state under communism. Voluntary organizations, such as trade unions and the Komsomol, were supposed to take over some of the functions of the state and pave the way for its eventual disappearance. The role of the Communist party would increase as its representatives were at the heart of the power structures of all Soviet organs. A gradual shrinking of the state apparatus would be achieved through the embracing of state management by the masses as work in the state apparatus would cease to be a specialist profession. At this stage the state organs would lose their political character and become organs of public self-governance. This would lead to the withering away of the state, which, however, depended on the victory of socialism internationally. Special provisions were made for the development of ‘intra-party democracy’, including limits on the number of terms in office for party functionaries. The idea of rotation of cadres was Khrushchev’s favourite, as Burlatskii, a member of the draft commission, recalled. According to Burlatskii, Khrushchev wanted to provide guarantees against ‘excessive concentration of power in single hands, stagnation and ageing among party cadres on all levels’, thus creating mobility and greater accountability within the governing institutions in the Soviet Union.51 If implemented, these proposals would radically change the system of nomenklatura appointments that had served as one of the cornerstones of the Soviet political system since the 1920s. Khrushchev faced the problem of control over the party without recourse to mass repressions. Part of Khrushchev’s solution was to impose formal limits on the number of terms served by Party and Soviet officials in office. This proposal met fierce opposition from the Party ranks. No less than ten versions of mechanisms of rotations were discussed, and finally the least obtrusive version was adopted. In the end a proviso was added allowing ‘exceptional leaders’ by virtue of their recognized authority and outstanding political and organizational qualities to be re-elected beyond the three terms if they received more than three-quarters of votes in their favour.52 With elections already tightly controlled affairs, the outcomes desired by the party apparatus made the new rule a meaningless formality. Even so, the rotation of cadres rule was repealed at the XXIII Party Congress in 1966, which drew a line under the Khrushchev era. This is an example of what Pyzhikov identifies as a central dilemma of Khrushchev’s political reforms when officially endorsed democratic principles, including popular participation in the running of the state, had to be carried through a political system dominated by a single party with a highly centralized

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and hierarchical nature.53 If there was a conflict between communist ideals and the political monopoly of the Communist Party, the latter would always come out on top. While there was talk of the withering away of state organs, the Party’s role became even more important than previously, and this was reflected in the Programme: ‘The period of full-scale construction of communism is characterized by the growth of the role and significance of the Communist Party as the leading and guiding force of Soviet society’.54 Mikoyan commented that Khrushchev thereby made sure that the First Secretary was always in charge, even in a stateless communist society.55 The new ideological principles introduced in the Programme remained the basis of Soviet communist ideology until the end of the regime. The more conciliatory tone expressed in the inclusive ideas of the all-people’s state and the party as representative of all classes was supposed to provide the regime with more secure support amongst the population. However, the utopian ideals aimed at mobilising the population were never realised owing to the nature of the Soviet system.

Public reception The Programme was intended to revive the Party’s mobilizing role in society and reinvigorate the Soviet project. However, the extent to which it appealed to the population remains unclear. There was a grandiose public discussion of the Programme’s draft after its publication in Pravda on 30 July 1961. The population were invited to send their comments to a special Party committee and to the press. The scale of public discussion was truly impressive, even though the whole propaganda apparatus of the Soviet state was at work. Almost 44 million people were present at various meetings specially convened for public discussion of the Programme’s draft from 1 August to 15 September 1961. Of those present, 3.5 million participated in discussions at those meetings. The party organizations and mass media outlets received 170,801 letters, of which 40,733 were published.56 There were some interesting comments about the Programme. For example, there were numerous proposals for the abolition of private property and the end of special privileges for the top brass, such as chauffeured cars, dachas and special shops. The overall response was, however, what one could expect from such public exercise in the Soviet Union. The Party Programme was approved as it was presented by the draft committee, with only twenty amendments made to the Programme as the result of its discussion in the press and at the XXII Party Congress, most of them editorial in nature.57 An alternative measurement of the popular reception of the Programme was attempted by Aksyutin, who in the 1990s conducted a retrospective poll among people of the ‘Thaw’ generation about their perception of Khrushchev’s Party Programme.58 The historical value of such research is dubious, as it tends to reflect attitudes to past events at the time of the poll rather than

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anything else.59 However, certain aspects of the findings can be made use of as an unusual form of memoirs. According to Aksyutin’s findings, a slight majority of those polled believed in communism in general (51 to 53 per cent). Some accepted it uncritically and in a rather naive way: ‘We were illiterate people and believed practically anything’; ‘We believed the Programme, it was some kind of hypnosis for the simple folk’; ‘We were promised something nice, why not believe in it?’ Others were more enthusiastic about the claims made by the Party: ‘The Programme of the CPSU was met with great joy. There was something big and important ahead of us now, something everyone was striving for.’ Some gave special credit to Khrushchev personally for making the Programme look attractive: ‘Khrushchev was very convincing at the Congress and gave good practical examples’.60 Of those who believed in communism, only 35–37 per cent thought that the plans outlined in the Programme would be achieved in the planned period, while the rest thought it would take longer: ‘The Programme was grandiose, attractive but difficult to implement’, was their typical response.61 Those who did not believe in communism at all were in the minority (18.5 per cent). Some of their typical responses were as follows: ‘With such people as we have it’s impossible to build communism’; ‘only the stupid could believe in it’; ‘deep inside we knew this wouldn’t happen, but kept our mouths shut’; ‘it was embarrassing even to laugh at it’; ‘it seems there wasn’t a single person who didn’t laugh at it’. Others saw it as pointless populist shenanigans of the party leadership. In their view, only ‘those who wanted power campaigned in favour of this idea’.62 Around 30 per cent believed in communism as an ideal, but did not believe that the Programme’s claims could ever be implemented. Overall, the number of sceptics who did not believe in communism at all was roughly similar to those who accepted the Programme uncritically, with the majority of the population largely in favour of it.63 This was a potentially encouraging start as there was substantial support for the Programme’s aims and objectives. Evidence from two specific groups of population, the intelligentsia and the party nomenklatura, presented somewhat different views. One of the best accounts of the mood of intelligentsia in the 1960s was given by Vail and Genis.64 The 1960s started for them with the bright hopes expressed in the Programme: ‘One could not have in principle anything against the aims stated in the Programme – the creation of the material-technical base, of new industrial relations, the bringing-up of a new person’.65 The Programme had universal appeal as it expressed everyone’s thoughts and wishes: ‘The poetry forced its way into the lives of Soviet people through the Programme. The Programme is a literary work, which points to comparisons with the utopias of the past’.66 Even if no one believed in the specific figures in the Programme, everyone could find within it something desirable for themselves. For the first time there was a common belief and purpose after the denunciation of the personality cult. ‘The party programme was hopelessly unconvincing by its logic, but it proved the correctness of the declared aims and chosen path by

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the very fact of its appearance’.67 In this sense the new Party Programme was important as a legitimization of the Soviet regime. From the 1950s the generation which grew up under the Soviet regime began to play an increasingly active role in public life and politics. By the middle of 1965 Party membership passed the 12 million mark, an increase of over 70 per cent since the death of Stalin.68 Among this new generation of the so-called ‘children of the Twentieth Congress’ there were many infected with messianic drive to reform ideology and society on true socialist principles lost under Stalin. The ideals stated in the new Programme were an important motivating factor for them.69 However, the older generation of party bosses was rather sceptical about Khrushchev’s utopian communism. As Tvardovsky recalled, the functionaries he met at a sanatorium for party nomenklatura in the summer of 1961 had a rather light-hearted attitude about the communist ideals: People live under the same roof, greet each other, meet in the dining room, in the cinema, during walks – sick and healthy people, but not ordinary people – they are managers, prominent party functionaries. And they never mention the word communism except as a joke – along the lines of getting a free shave at the barber’s shop.70 Scepticism about the real value of Soviet ideology was already dominant within the Party’s elite, which supports Voslenskii’s argument that while Party members in the 1920s and early 1930s were in their majority convinced communists, by the late 1960s career reasons were their main motivation.71 At a lower level, attempts to inculcate new communist ideals met similar attitudes. An article in Kommunist, the main Communist Party theoretical journal, described the effects of communist propaganda at a typical factory at the end of 1962. Many brigades were given newly introduced communist names though in reality their work did not change. Over the course of nine months 500 workers, including those from newly introduced communist brigades, were taken into special units for recovering alcoholics, and 200 were sentenced for public disorder. Most workers saw the moral ideals of communism as something mundane: ‘don’t miss work, don’t make poor-quality products, don’t drink’. The report concluded that some positive ideology was needed, not just negation of the negative. In the meantime, communist propaganda was turning into a whitewash.72 It is impossible to establish the strength of the appeal for the Soviet population of the contents of the Programme. The Programme attempted to perform an important function by giving the Soviet regime a renewed sense of legitimacy after the revelations about the personality cult. The mobilising force of communist ideology was equally important for the successful continuation of Khrushchev’s reforms. However, the legitimisation and mobilisation factors were linked to specific figures and dates and a failure to provide them would undermine the Soviet leadership’s legitimacy.

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By the late 1960s the Soviet system became the provider of what Geoffrey Hosking refers to as the Soviet ‘tacit social contract’ by which urban workers expected to receive food at low prices in return for regular work but without any hope for real improvement in their standards of life.73 A contrast to the communist vision contained in the Programme could not have been starker.

Significance of the Programme The Programme was a significant landmark in the evolution of the Soviet system. It became an official benchmark against which Soviet reality could be measured. However, the inability of the Communist Party to deliver on its promises became apparent almost immediately after the adoption of the Programme in October 1961. In every significant area covered by the Programme there were obvious failures. Despite solemn promises made in the Programme that ‘the systematic, economically justified lowering of prices on the basis of the growth of labour productivity and the lowering of production costs is the main direction of the price policy during the construction of communism’, in 1962 there were increases in food prices for the first time since the end of Second World War.74 This led to civil unrest in the country, most significantly in Novocherkassk, where troops had to break up a demonstration resulting in the loss of life.75 It is not surprising, then, that people’s belief in communism was fading fast: ‘We didn’t expect anything good as everything was constantly going up in price’ was a frequent response among the population.76 Similarly, the Cuban missile crisis undermined Khrushchev’s prestige and his policy of ‘peaceful co-existence’. Even in his anti-Stalinism, Khrushchev had to backtrack in the last two years of his office with a tightening of the ideological screws in culture and an increasingly difficult relationship with the liberal intelligentsia.77 The imminent communist abundance never materialized, so much so that Khrushchev’s successor, Brezhnev, in 1965 had to re-assure the population of Leningrad’s suburbs that they soon would not need to travel to the city centre to buy bread, while meat should become easily available within a couple of years.78 These failures, taking place against the backdrop of the prodigious promises of the third Party Programme, had long-term consequences for the Soviet Union. One can argue that the whole Soviet project began to unravel after the XXII Party Congress. The construction of communism was the ideal that was supposed to unite all Soviet nations, while the gap between the Programme’s promises and real life discredited the Soviet project. Instead of a solution, the Party Programme came to represent what was wrong with the communist regime, namely the increasing gap between official rhetoric and the increasingly grim reality of life in the Soviet Union.79 The 1961 Party Programme was the last major communist declaration which looked to the future. After Khrushchev, ideologically the Soviet Union was held together by past achievements, and chiefly by victory in the Great Patriotic War. Later modifications to the Programme created more long-term

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problems. The concept of ‘developed socialism’, introduced by Brezhnev at the XXIV Party Congress in 1972, was supposed to serve as substitute for Khrushchev’s communism as the central goal of the Soviet project in the immediate future. However, it was simply not inspirational: ‘On such a hollow ideology, the temptation was strong to embrace nationalism as an alternative source of support’.80 Instead of a messianic country with a mission to bring a communist future to its people and the world, the Soviet Union turned into ‘an ordinary superpower’ with a safety-net of minimal subsistence for the population. As a consequence, the new post-Thaw generation looked elsewhere for their ideals. In the national republics there was ethnic revival. In Russia itself people found various alternatives, such as fascination with Western popular culture, the dissident movement or rediscovery of the pre-revolutionary past. The conflict between ‘Soviet’ and ‘Russian’ became more acute as either ethnic or consumer aspirations replaced international socialist concerns.81 The regime had to rekindle its support by other means, for example, through overtures to Russian nationalism or by relying on the state-sponsored cult of war veterans and pensioners as its social basis.82 The Programme was the peak of Khrushchev’s political career. It was adopted on the optimistic assumptions that the unprecedented economic growth experienced by the Soviet Union in the mid-1950s would continue unabated for the next twenty years. However, by the time of the XXII Congress the Soviet Union was entering one of its most difficult periods of economic development while ideologically communist rhetoric failed to provide a solid foundation for Soviet society. The widening gap between official rhetoric and ordinary lives, characteristic of the late Soviet Union, and the cynicism it entailed can ultimately be traced back to Khrushchev’s failure to revive the communist project. Nevertheless, the principles stated in the new Programme remained the cornerstone of Soviet ideology to the end of the Soviet regime. In this way, Khrushchev’s ideological legacy outlived his political influence.

Notes 1 A new edition of the Party Programme was adopted at the XXVII Party Congress in 1986 which introduced some changes to Khrushchev’s text, particularly in the field of foreign relations. However, Gorbachev’s plans to produce a completely new Party programme were never realized. See On the New Edition of the CPSU Programme, Moscow: Novosti Press Agency, 1986. 2 N. Bukharin and E. Preobrazhenskii, Azbuka kommunizma: populyarnoe ob0 yasnenie programmy Rossiiskoi kommunisticheskoi partii bol0 shevikov, Moscow: Gos. izd-vo, 1920; first English edition The ABC of Communism: A Popular Explanation of the Program of the Communist Party of Russia, translated from the Russian by Eden and Cedar Paul, London: Communist Party of Great Britain, 1922. 3 This was the reverse of Khrushchev’s office, when priority was given to the new Party Programme after which work began on a new constitution. 4 W. Leonhard, ‘Adoption of the New Party Programme’, in L. Schapiro (ed.), The USSR and the Future, New York and London: Frederick A. Praeger, 1963, p. 5.

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5 The commission also included Voznesenskii, Suslov, Aleksandrov, Kuusinen, Mitin, Yudin, Pospelov, Shepilov, Ostrovityanov, Leont0 ev, Fedoseev and Iovchuk. RGASPI, f. 83, op. 1, d. 6, l. 67. 6 A.V. Pyzhikov, Khruchshevskaya “ottepel0 ”, 1953–1964, Moscow: Olma Press, 2002, p. 32. 7 Leonhard, ‘Adoption of the New Party Programme’, pp. 5–6. 8 N. Khrushchev, ‘Rech0 o proekte programmy na Plenume 19 iunya 1961 g.’, RGASPI, f. 586, op. 1, d. 201, ll. 47–48. 9 Kuusinen, Suslov, Pospelov, Mitin and Yudin served on both commissions. 10 RGANI, f. 1, op. 4, d. 10, l. 3. 11 For Kuusinen’s role in the work on the Programme, see J. Renkama, Ideology and Challenges of Political Liberalisation in the USSR, 1957–1961: Otto Kuusinen’s “Reform Platform”, the State Concept, and the Path to the 3rd CPSU Programme, Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2006. 12 These included Avramov, Belyakov, Gatovskii, E.M. Zhukov, L.F. Il0 ichev, Leshin, V.I. Popov, P.S. Romashkin, P.A. Satyukov, G.M. Sorokin and D.I. Chesnokov. See RGANI, f. 1, op. 4, d. 10, ll. 87–88. 13 W. Taubman, Khrushchev: the Man and his Era, London: Simon and Schuster, 2005, p. 509. 14 RGANI, f. 1, op. 4, d. 8, l. 35. 15 RGASPI, f. 586, op. 1, d. 201, l. 10. 16 Khrushchev’s stress on material factors as central to his vision of communism can be seen from the following quote: At the Congress the question will be raised about construction of communism in our country … we can be like the Chinese and build communism on moral factors. What are the moral factors? This is twaddle about communism, when you have to tighten your belt, that’s what moral factor is, because they call you into communist paradise while there’s nothing to eat. I am against this moral factor.

17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

See A.A. Fursenko (ed.), Prezidium TsK KPSS 1954–1964: chernovye protokol0 nye zapisi zasedanii, stenogrammy, postanovleniia, 3 vols, Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2003, vol. 1, p. 453. Programma KPSS, Moscow: Pravda, 1961, p. 74. I.V. Stalin, Ekonomicheskie problemy sotsializma v SSSR, in Robert H. Neal (ed.), Sochineniya, 3 vols, Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution, 1967, vol. 3, p. 231. Taubman, Khrushchev, pp. 515, 769, n.29. RGASPI, f. 82, op. 2, d. 1661, l. 55: Proekt zapiski Molotova ‘Ob opasnosti voiny i bor0 be za kommunizm’. E. Zubkova, Obshchestvo i reformy: 1945–1964, Moscow: Rossiya molodaya, 1993, p. 174. Programma KPSS, pp. 65–66. For more on technical and scientific progress in these years, see Sari Autio-Sarasmo, ‘Khrushchev and Technology Transfer’, in J.R. Smith and M. Ilic (eds), Khrushchev in the Kremlin, London: Routledge, 2009. Programma KPSS, p. 84. G.I. Khanin, ‘Desyatiletie triumfa sovetskoi ekonomiki’, Svobodnaya mysl0 , vol. 21, no. 5, 2002, pp. 72–89. Yu.V. Aksyutin, Khrushchevskaya “Ottepel0 ” i obshchestvennye nastroeniya v SSSR v 1953–1964 gg., Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2004, p. 329. Taubman, Khrushchev, p. 509. R.G. Pikhoya, Sovetskii Soyuz: istoriya vlasti, 1945–1991, Moscow: RAGS, 1998, p. 259. Pikhoya, Sovetskii Soyuz, p. 277.

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30 ‘Doklad Presidiuma TsK KPSS na oktyabrskom plenume TsK KPSS (Variant)’, first published in Istochnik, no. 2, 1998, pp. 102–25; re-published in Nikita Khrushchev, 1964: stenogrammy plenumov TsK KPSS i drugie dokumenty, A.N. Artizov, V.P. Naumov, M.Yu. Prozumenshchikov, Yu.V. Sigachev, N.G. Tomlina, I.N. Shevchuk (eds), Moscow: MFD: Materik, 2007, pp. 182–216. On the origins of this document, see R.G. Pikhoya, Moskva. Kreml0 . Vlast0 . Sorok let posle voiny, 1945–1985, Moscow: Rus0 -Olimp: Astrel0 : AST, 2007, pp. 468–69. 31 Nikita Khrushchev, 1964, p. 192. 32 Nikita Khrushchev, 1964, p. 188. 33 Nikita Khrushchev, 1964, p. 186. 34 See Shapiro’s ‘Introduction’ to The USSR and the Future, pp. ix–xix; p. xii. 35 A.I. Mikoyan, Tak bylo: Razmyshleniya o minuvshem, Moscow: Vagrius, 1999, p. 613. 36 Programma KPSS, p. 115. 37 Programma KPSS, p. 118. 38 RGASPI, f. 586, op. 1, d. 214, l. 5. 39 RGASPI, f. 586, op. 1, d. 206, l. 2. 40 RGASPI, f. 586, op. 1, d. 239, l. 185. 41 RGASPI, f. 586, op. 1, d. 239, l. 185. 42 V.I. Lenin, ‘K istorii voprosa o diktature’, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, 5th edn, Moscow: Izdatel0 stvo Politicheskoi Literatury, 1970, vol. 41, p. 383. 43 I.V. Stalin, ‘O nedostatkakh partiinoi raboty i merakh po likvidatsii Trotskistikh i inykh dvurushnikov’, Doklad na Plenume TsK VKP(b), 3 March 1937, in Stalin, Sochineniya, vol. 1, pp. 213–14. 44 F.M. Burlatskii, ‘Posle Stalina’, Novyi Mir, no. 10, 1988, pp. 167–73 (pp. 172–73). 45 Burlatskii, ‘Posle Stalina’, p. 172. 46 RGASPI, f. 589, op. 1, d. 29, ll. 9–14. 47 RGASPI, f. 581, op. 1, d. 201, ll. 21–22. 48 Programma KPSS, p. 106. 49 RGASPI, f. 82, op. 2, d. 1663, l. 61. 50 Pyzhikov, Khruchshevskaya ottepel0 , p. 150. 51 Burlatskii, ‘Posle Stalina’, p. 193. 52 Programma KPSS, pp. 137–38. 53 Pyzhikov, Khruchshevskaya ottepel0 , p. 139. 54 Programma KPSS, p. 134. 55 Mikoyan, Tak bylo, p. 613. 56 RGASPI, f. 586, op. 1, d. 305, l. 1. 57 For a more detailed account of popular comments on the official draft, E. Kulavig, Dissent in the Years of Khrushchev: Nine Stories about Disobedient Russians, London: Palgrave, 2002, pp. 74–83. 58 Aksyutin, Obshchestvennye nastroeniya, pp. 329–44. 59 See N. Mitrokhin’s review of Aksyutin’s book in Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, no. 4, vol. 68, 2004, pp. 369–71. 60 Aksyutin, Obshchestvennye nastroeniya, pp. 333–35. 61 Aksyutin, Obshchestvennye nastroeniya, p. 336. 62 Aksyutin, Obshchestvennye nastroeniya, pp. 337–38. 63 Aksyutin, Obshchestvennye nastroeniya, pp. 338–39. 64 P. Vail0 and A. Genis, 60-e: mir sovetskogo cheloveka, in Sobranie sochinenii, 2 vols, Ekaterinburg: U-Faktoria, 2003, vol. 1. 65 Vail0 and Genis, 60-e: mir sovetskogo cheloveka, p. 517. 66 Vail0 and Genis, 60-e: mir sovetskogo cheloveka, pp. 515–16. 67 Vail0 and Genis, 60-e: mir sovetskogo cheloveka, p. 521. 68 T.H. Ridgy, Party Membership in the USSR, 1917–1967, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1968, p. 300.

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69 Burlatskii, ‘Posle Stalina’, p. 161. 70 A. Tvardovskii, ‘Rabochie tetradi 60-kh godov’, Znamya, no 6, 2000, p. 161. 71 M. Voslenskii, Nomenklatura: gospodstvuyushchii klass Sovetskogo Soyuza, London: Overseas Publications Interchange Ltd, 1984, p. 183. See also M. Voslensky, Nomenklatura: Anatomy of the Soviet Ruling Class, London: Bodley Head, 1984. 72 RGASPI, f. 599, op. 1, d. 194, ll. 59–67. 73 G. Hosking, Rulers and Victims: the Russians in the Soviet Union, Cambridge, MA and London: Belknap Press, 2006, pp. 298–99. 74 Programma KPSS, p. 97. 75 Taubman, Khrushchev, pp. 519–23. See also the chapter by Joshua Andy in this volume. 76 Quoted in Aksyutin, Obshchestvennye nastroeniya, p. 339. 77 G. A. Arbatov, Zatyanuvsheesya vyzdorovlenie, 1953–1985 gg.: svidetelstvo sovremennika, Moscow: Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 1991, p. 150. 78 Quoted in N. Mitrokhin, review of Vestnik Arkhiva Prezidenta: spetsal0 noe izdanie. General0 nyi sekretar0 L.I. Brezhnev, 1965–82, Moscow, 2006. See Neprikosnovennyi zapas, no. 5, vol. 55, 2007, pp. 280–84. 79 Amir Weiner makes a similar point about the need for maintaining a bridgeable gap between the official claims and reality for sustaining utopian drives in the long run. See Amir Weiner, ‘Robust Revolution to Retiring Revolution: The Life Cycle of the Soviet Revolution, 1945–68’, Slavonic and East European Review, no. 2, vol. 86, 2007, pp. 208–31; p. 226. 80 R.D. English, Russia and the Idea of the West, New York: Columbia University Press, 2000, p. 137. 81 Vail0 and Genis, 60-e: mir sovetskogo cheloveka, p. 781; Hosking, Rulers and Victims, p. 299. 82 Y. Brudny, Reinventing Russia: Russian Nationalism and the Soviet State, 1953–1991, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998, pp. 57–59.

2

Khrushchev’s promise to eliminate the urban housing shortage Rights, rationality and the communist future1 Mark B. Smith

In 1957, the leadership of the Soviet Union made one of the more remarkable political promises of post-war European history. The major decree on housing of 31 July 1957 contained the commitment to end the housing shortage within a maximum of twelve years, and possibly ten.2 What is more, the Soviet leadership really tried to keep its promise. It would fail: the housing shortage remained endemic throughout Soviet history.3 Yet by the end of the Khrushchev era, a first-rank social reform, which gave Soviet citizens the right to expect better housing conditions within the foreseeable future, was well underway. In this chapter, I argue that citizens’ rights were a crucial means of structuring the Soviet urban housing economy during the Khrushchev era, in contradistinction to what had gone before, and that these rights are particularly well illuminated by two other imperatives integral to the promise of 1957: rationality and the communist future. The rational imperative established systematic and non-arbitrary mechanisms for delivering the housing programme, appealed to the enlightened self-interest of citizens and measured success with reference to material goals, mostly of newly constructed square metres. By contrast, the focus on the communist future sought to foster communal structures, a community-minded and mobilized population, and, overall, a means of using housing to re-craft citizens’ proto-communist consciousness. All of these three concepts – rights, rationality and the communist future – were highly relative and particular. Rights only extended to some areas of Soviet life, and were far from a universal and logically integrated system, in theory or practice. They certainly lacked the much fuller and more coherent quality that rights in Western polities possessed at the same time. Rationality could only ever be partial, given the insoluble paradoxes of postStalinist trauma, and the ongoing irrationalities of patron–client relations and central planning. The communist future, meanwhile, bore all the weight of utopian impossibility. Yet these three concepts were core ingredients of Khrushchev’s 1957 promise, and of the urban housing economy generally during that era. Analysing them on their own historical terms is one of the most useful routes towards an explanation of what this extraordinary promise was all about.

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A historic reform: the right to a family home The history of the Soviet Union can hardly be recounted as a narrative of rights. Leading historians of diverse stripes have denied the existence of rights in the Soviet Union as much after 1953 as before.4 It is certainly true that Stalinism was inimical to the kind of predictable legal norms which could protect and advance a citizen’s interests. The grand declarations of the 1936 Constitution, which vouchsafed a range of rights on paper, had no correlation in the lived reality of Stalinism. Even the enhanced discourse of rights that flowed from the Second World War had limited practical impact during the late Stalinist years. By contrast, during the Khrushchev era, it became increasingly possible to talk meaningfully of a general system of rights, or at least of aspects of such a system. Soviet law claimed to vouchsafe three types of rights: the socio-economic, which effectively amounted to the right to work and to a certain standard of living; the political, topped off by the right to vote; and the individual, of which freedom of conscience would be an example.5 In the post-Stalin period, some socio-economic rights – concerning, for example, housing – gained meaning. Some individual rights, including freedom from arbitrary arrest and the inviolability of the home, were newly significant, though they were neither consistent nor universal. They helped to anchor the rights that were associated with housing. Yet many rights were completely lacking, and others remained as fictional as they had been under Stalin. Even such partial rights could only exist in the Soviet Union after the administrative and legal caprice of the Stalin period had been brought to an end. The 1957 housing decree, and the housing rights that flowed from it, existed in this new, less arbitrary form of rule. Nevertheless, the housing programme was not simply a Khrushchev-era reform, though popular memory has long described it as such. The 1957 decree was a flagship legislative launch, but the programme had in real ways been proceeding since the closing stages of the Second World War.6 Wartime mass destruction, combined with the neglect of the urban housing stock during the breakneck industrialization and rapid urbanization of the 1930s, led to a widespread and acute urban emergency. It forced the central leadership to undertake, or at least facilitate, an unprecedented volume of housing construction and reconditioning. Between 1944 and 1950, and then at a more intensified rate between 1951 and 1954, essential aspects of a proto-programme were developed, which provided crucial political, economic, technological and other legacies for the postStalin programme.7 Yet the overall effect between 1944 and 1954 was very uneven; tens of millions of Soviet citizens continued to subsist in dreadful conditions, since construction was certainly not on a mass, consistent scale. This was ultimately because the agencies of the late Stalinist party and government, following Stalin himself, lacked any sustained interest in the way that the individual citizen lived, or certainly any interest sufficiently advanced to generate widespread practical effects. If tens of millions languished in

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extreme overcrowding, in streaming basements or shelters hacked out of the ground, and they had no reasonable expectation of improvement, then the citizen lacked a meaningful right to appropriate housing. Two changes took place during the Khrushchev era. First, a much more coherent and clearly expressed relationship was established between citizens’ rights and housing provision. Second, housing construction expanded considerably, giving citizens a genuine expectation that their right would be fulfilled in practice. By the end of 1954, when Khrushchev had become the dominant figure in the development of the housing programme, mass construction started to take off; the housing programme assumed early signs of its massive scale during the two-and-a-half years between the start of 1955 and the decree of 31 July 1957. During this time, Khrushchev and his officials pulled together the disparate and sometimes only latent advances of late Stalinism, then pushed forward the resulting programme with great political force. Their actions took place in a new context, of emerging respect and rights, evidenced by such major steps as the dismantling of much of the Gulag, the reinvention of new types of local participation in everyday living, and the raising of consumption and welfare as economic priorities. The focal point of the 1957 decree was the great promise to end the housing shortage within ten to twelve years; it outlined a range of detailed construction commitments, headlined by the proposed output of a total of 215,000,000 square metres across the union for the period through to 1960.8 The commitment was entrenched by the third Party Programme in 1961, with its more sustained emphasis on the separate family apartment: In the course of the first decade an end will be put to the housing shortage in the country. Families that are still housed in overcrowded and substandard dwellings will get new apartments. At the end of the second decade, every family, including newlyweds, will have a comfortable apartment conforming to the requirements of hygiene and cultured living.9 Archival data show that the total urban housing stock in the Soviet Union increased by 85.7 per cent between 1950 and 1960,10 and that the all-union urban ‘departmental’ (vedomstvennyi) fund grew by 78.2 per cent from 1960 to 1965.11 The biggest year-on-year rise, according to published figures, took place immediately after the approval of the decree.12 Most of this was in the form of separate family apartments. The new right to appropriate housing assumed meaning precisely because of this extent of construction. In constitutional terms, the right to housing was not enshrined until 1977.13 Yet a raft of other measures ensured that Khrushchev-era jurisprudence and ideology recognized such a right and made it a discursive commonplace. Housing rights of one type or another were expressed in numerous documents ranging from the 1957 housing decree, through the 1961 Party Programme, through tenancy agreements, deeds of ownership and housing administration rules; and they were ramified and further publicized in broader public culture.

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The right to housing was composed of various aspects: to ‘have’ shelter; to obtain through regularized systems of distribution a requisite amount of space (norma); to occupy the space, together with one’s family members, according to a defined set of rules, observed by authorities and citizens alike in a nonarbitrary way.14 These rights extended to details that had particular resonance in Soviet life: apartment payments that were assured as very low; the guarantee of keeping one’s housing space during periods of temporary absence (in an economy that often required citizens to take secondments of several months at distant institutions); the right of exchange.15 Citizens had formal and informal rights to own housing, to retain it, to expect it to be inviolable.16 Propagandists and legal scholars argued that such socio-economic rights could be realized in practice in the Soviet Union especially in the new period of communist transition proclaimed in the 1961 Party Programme. During this intensifying period of material advance and community mobilization, a range of economic, political, ‘moral-community’ (moral0 no-obshchestvennye) and legal rights and guarantees locked together.17 For all that, the characteristic system of housing privileges persisted, which gave preferential treatment to some categories, such as war veterans, personnel with particular qualifications (teachers and doctors, for instance) who worked in the countryside, and all workers in certain regions, such as the Far North.18 Although some especially favoured categories, such as senior academics or artists, enjoyed additional housing space as of formal right (because they were expected to undertake some of their work at home), it would be difficult to argue that these privileges undermined the housing rights of citizens in general; they did not amount to the formal protection of broad social groups or estates, and so did not infect the legal system with an inbuilt bias against the individual citizen. In practice, the allocation of some housing on the basis of corruption and connections, and the preferential treatment of some elites, persisted; but the creation of housing rights during the Khrushchev era was a distinctive phenomenon in historical terms. These rights were intimately associated with two other concepts hardwired into Khrushchev’s promise, rationality and the communist future. Soviet-style housing rights could not have existed without self-consciously rational procedures or proto-communist principles, both of which governed the course of the programme during these years. The next two sections explore the relationship between these two concepts, before returning to the rights whose existence they illuminate.

Rationality and the communist future as separate and opposed imperatives The aim of the 1957 decree was rational: the maximization of housing construction at a carefully calculated intersection of cost and quality, whose function in turn was to improve the material living conditions of as many people as possible, and as quickly as possible. Using housing to engineer

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people’s souls was not on the agenda. Instead, the decree outlined an intensive application of rational, modern, technocratic methods. Even by 1958, however, early signs were emerging of a shift in the goal of the housing programme, according to which more voluntaristic and mobilizing aspects were stressed.19 In such a way, the rational imperative was joined – and somewhat placed in opposition – to a new driving force, that of the impending communist future. The programme became part of a wider ideological trend that sought to foster the proto-communist consciousness of the population. This shift was emblazoned in 1961, when the third Party Programme was published and the XXII Party Congress pointed forth the path to communism. While the maximization of construction output remained the central aim of the housing programme, it was thus no longer the only aim. From the end of the 1950s, planners and architects conceptualized and set about creating the new ideal urban arena for reforging the Soviet person, the microdistrict (mikroraion), which was characterized by physical spaces and organizational structures that were designed to cultivate and release the communalistic and voluntaristic energies of a mobilized proto-communist population. On a rhetorical level, such measures were matched by extravagantly revivalist declarations of the urban housing economy’s communist possibilities, and of the international supremacy of the Soviet model. This was very different from the studied technocracy of the 1957 decree. By 1958, and especially by 1961, two opposite forces seemed to govern the progress of the housing programme. From the final years of late Stalinism onwards, state capacity in the urban housing economy was consolidated and expanded in a calm and rationalist way. Even when placed in opposition to the demands of the communist future after 1958, rationality continued to contribute substantially to the shaping and implementation of housing policy; high construction levels required it. During the Khrushchev era generally and to some extent before, rationality and ‘rationalization’ made for a repeated motif, very frequently invoked by planners, construction professionals, and officials in central and municipal government. A September 1957 order of the Housing Administration of Moscow’s Sverdlovskii raion soviet demanded a review of the extent of ‘rationalization’ in the district’s housing economy.20 In April 1958, Yu. N. Bubnov, the director of a planning institute in Gor0 kii, called for the methods delivering the mass housing programme to deploy ‘a more effective and rational use of state material-technical and financial resources’.21 Several particularly technocratic foundations always underpinned the rational approach: the general impetus to check, review, hold to account and improve incrementally;22 advances in the efficient design of apartment blocks and local social infrastructure that could be replicated on a mass scale;23 the organizational streamlining of local and central bodies that were connected in various ways with the programme;24 the rationalization of the production base;25 the improvement of technology and the effective deployment of mechanization, such as trucks;26 the isolation of problems associated with the delivery of investment and the consequent development of financial instruments.27 A rational

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pragmatism also defined the ways in which officials sought to maximize the financial and physical contributions of residents to the construction of their own dwellings, in return for enhanced rights of individual ownership.28 The determination of the party and government to harness objective professional expertise was a particularly acute example of the rational imperative at work, and it was most obvious between 1955 and 1957. This tendency certainly dated from the last year or so of the war, when reconstruction was beginning. From that time, a range of knowledgeable, and in some instances enlightened, central officials were cooperating with architects, engineers, urban planners, financial experts and other professionals in the development of housing policies which were at least able to make cities function after the devastation of the war.29 Khrushchev’s personal record from 1945 in dealing with construction professionals showed his long-standing commitment to objective professional expertise as the guiding force in housing construction. He consistently listened to proposals,30 held specialists to account but also encouraged them,31 organized conferences for them,32 and promoted proven talents.33 Yet it was only from 1955, and most strikingly in the three years that followed, that the era of the specialists really began.34 As the housing programme expanded, more housing specialists of various grades were being trained and absorbed, and so the specialists’ autonomy conformed to a selfreinforcing dynamic. A characteristic decree of the Moscow City Soviet of May 1957 discussed the distribution of ‘specialists who graduated from middle or higher institutions’ that academic year.35 Especially revealing was the professionals’ ability to study Western best practice, interact with foreign experts and make use of their findings in a sustainable and open way (which contrasts with the widespread but unsystematic use and abuse of Western industrial practices and experts under Stalin).36 Professional arguments were often bolstered with foreign examples. At the All-Union Construction Conference of April 1958, A.M. Starikov of the trust Bashneftezavodstroi argued against using cumbersome ‘tower’ cranes in housing construction, citing foreign precedent. He declared, ‘We know that in foreign countries, for example in Canada and elsewhere, tower cranes are not used. Why? Because they are not economical’.37 Senior professionals themselves controlled the transfer of knowledge of Western expertise into the Soviet housing economy, operating according to a rationalist agenda. In March 1956, the chair of Gosstroi (the State Committee for Construction), V. Kucherenko, wrote a report for the attention of the USSR Council of Ministers regarding the possibility of trips by Soviet construction professionals to the USA and Western Europe, whose aim should be to isolate techniques for cost reduction and quality improvement.38 Among other fact-finding trips, Kucherenko fixed missions to Scandinavia and West Germany for October 1957.39 These trips lasted around two weeks and involved substantial delegations. The report on Scandinavia emphasized rational findings. It stated that the trip had confirmed Soviet policy of ‘recent years’ with regard to standardized designs (tipovoi proekt), single-family

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occupancy, reductions in ceiling height, the choice of four or five storeys as optimal, and the general removal of architectural excess. Subsequently agreed proposals encouraged strict rationality, drawing on detailed observation: the ‘necessity’ of developing new parts from plastics, as the Swedes had successfully done; the need for ‘rational volume-planning and construction decisions’; the establishment of a Household Economy (Domovodstvo) Institute within the Academy of Architecture for ‘working out questions of the rational organization of the household’s economy, the improvement of domestic facilities and economic means for those who run the household (domashnye khozyaiki)’.40 These notions were pulled together in a long and characteristically entitled report on ‘The Study of Foreign Science and Technique in the Area of Construction in 1957’, which enjoyed wide, if unpublished, influence.41 These cool, rational judgements about the uses of foreign best practice seem to stand in contradistinction to the requirements of the communist future. From 1958 onwards, the communist future became the dominant force in shaping the urban housing programme. To some extent at least, it can be conceived antithetically to the imperative of rationality, with its objective quest for the best solutions, whatever their source, in order to achieve straightforwardly material goals; the drive to communism was also about the struggle for international prestige and for the content of people’s souls. A modified public discourse resulted, in which the Soviet housing programme became ammunition in Cold War skirmishing. Khrushchev’s attempt to convince Nixon of the supremacy of Soviet housing during the 1959 American exhibition in Moscow is the most famous example. Such international comparisons became pervasive in professional and academic discourses, though these lacked the hysteria either of Khrushchev’s own utterances or of what had been the language of the high Cold War, a decade or so earlier. A.A. Tompson wrote in a candidate’s dissertation of 1959: ‘Under socialism, the housing question is not only posed in a new way as a matter of principle, but for the first time in history, the social preconditions for its resolution have been created’.42 E. Svetlichnyi, the head of urban development at the State Science-Economic Council of the USSR Council of Ministers, commented in an interview with the housing professionals’ journal in 1962: It’s well known that already the Soviet Union stands in first place in the world in the quantity of apartments constructed per thousand residents, and the general number of apartments, that are put up every year in our country, are more than are built in the USA, England, France, Belgium, West Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Holland taken together.43 In a book of 1964 entitled The Housing Question Under Capitalism and Socialism, M. A. Shipilov argued: ‘In the resolution of the housing question, the socialist system secures one victory after another’.44 By 1958, communist rhetoric was becoming more determined and ubiquitous, and it was being matched by recognizably proto-communist practices.

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These practices stood in conceptual opposition to the careful, rational calculations of disinterested professionals. One of the most significant clusters of such practices was associated with the new housing microdistrict, or mikroraion. This was the classic urban arena of the proto-communist present and the communist future. Most simply, the mikroraion was a housing district of between 5,000 and 20,000 residents, who lived in new, state-owned and massproduced apartment houses; the district contained a pre-determined level of public services, and was connected to a wider network of urban provision. Yet this description is reductive, because it lends to the mikroraion the suggestion of a universal urban form. As a built entity, the mikroraion was new. Its communal structures and ideological basis went far beyond those of the Stalinist and neo-Stalinist neighbourhood district, or kvartal, which it effectively replaced; and it bore little similarity to housing estates or ‘projects’ in the West. It regularly featured in the published discussions of housing professionals by 1957, and by 1958 had assumed an obvious ideological content: its purpose was to enhance people’s socialist and proto-communist consciousness. In February 1958, S. Khan Magomedov compared the mikoraion to the dom-kommuna of the 1920s, as a site of communal structures.45 Some of these structures, especially those for cooking and laundry, should improve the lives of women in particular; others would advance cultural and educational life more generally.46 Overall, life in the mikroraion would foster the protocommunist consciousness of residents. In 1962, an article in the journal of housing professionals expressed the ideal: For the workers and residents of this mikroraion [in Kuibyshevskii raion, Moscow], a people’s university of culture has been created, with two faculties: music and health. And often in the evenings, residents hurry to the Na ogonek club, in order to listen to an interesting lecture on medicine, talk to a doctor, or get acquainted with new productions of musical art. [ … ] If two or three years ago one could count on the fingers of one hand [soschitat0 po pal0 tsam] apartments in the capital into which communist byt had entered, then now hundreds of houses, whole apartments struggle for the right to call themselves communist.47 Such language represented increasing numbers of scraps of reality and acted as rhetorical boosterism. Some true believers, and those pragmatists who knew how to manipulate rhetoric for their own purposes, expressed the conviction that this was a major advance towards communism. One A.S. Poletaiev wrote to the Moscow construction conference of June 1960: The day of communism is near, and very much depends on you, the constructors of new cities, for bringing this day close. [ … ] It is very desirable to site public canteens in the large apartment houses that are under construction. This measure will bring relief to the separate household economy of every family, and, more importantly, liberate the women

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In the early 1960s, this partial reality, whose verifiable extent is difficult to quantify, was further backed up by decrees establishing house committees (domkomy), comrades’ courts and neighbourhood patrols. Oleg Kharkhordin has argued that this generated a voluntaristic system of considerable repressive scope, which amounted to a more aggressive ‘totalitarianism’ than that of the Stalin period. Yet the communist future, represented by the mikroraion, coexisted with the rational imperative in a paradoxical relationship of mutual subversion and mutual support that did not repress those who occupied the new apartments, or who were queuing up to receive them. Instead, it contributed to their rights.

Collisions and collusions between rationality and the communist future The imperatives of rationality and the communist future did not simply stand in opposition to each other, divided by sub-period and goal. They also colluded and collided. For all the status of the decree as a major record of technocratic supremacy, it also made an early and indispensable signal towards the impending communist future. Although it did not mention communism, its promise to eliminate the housing shortage within twelve years was soon fitted tightly inside the bigger promise of 1961 to build communism by 1980. The goals of ending the housing shortage and creating communism were mutually supporting. Yet the rationalizing and proto-communist imperatives also collided, establishing a paradox at the heart of the 1957 decree. Precisely the promise to end the housing shortage within twelve years proved antithetical to the careful, coolly judged and essentially rational proposals for increasing housing construction laid out in the rest of the decree. It undermined the effect of the professionals’ work, reducing their scope to contribute decisively to the direction of housing policy, as their frustrated reactions soon revealed. By promising to end the housing shortage at some point between 1967 and 1969, the framers of the decree required central planners to impose on ministries, enterprises and other bodies responsible for housing construction extremely high targets for the annual output of square metres of housing space. The result was already apparent during the first year following the introduction of the decree. A Gosplan report showed that construction in the RSFSR during the first three quarters of 1958 was 120 per cent of that achieved during the same period of 1957, but also that the plan was only fulfilled by 86 per cent.49 True, even the enormous housing economy, which had grown so very quickly, was capable of imposing rationality and recalibrating itself: the same report revised downwards some of the construction

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targets for the subsequent three years.50 The overall pattern, however, was of great leaps in construction that did not meet planned targets, and which in turn produced deleterious knock-on effects. Three of these effects might briefly be discussed. First was the problem of quality. The need to meet high targets with great expeditiousness meant that officials were put under pressure to declare incomplete or shoddy housing as legally habitable. This problem was vividly illustrated when construction trust supervisor Evgenii Samokhin, the hero of Vladimir Voinovich’s 1963 novella, I Want to be Honest (Khochu byt0 chestnym), was strongly encouraged to declare complete an unfinished apartment house, in time for the 7 November holiday.51 Second was the neglect of local infrastructure. Very high targets for the constructed output of square metres of housing space could only be achieved by neglecting other parts of municipal economies, from transport links to water supplies. And third, these entirely avoidable limits on the development of local infrastructure, and the too-fast completion of dwellings that would soon require repair, soon slowed down overall housing construction itself: the direct reverse of the plan’s intention. Senior professionals were soon openly criticizing the unintended consequences of the twelve-year promise. In effect, the promise constrained the space in which professional expertise could autonomously operate. The professionals protested; for the rest of the Khrushchev era, the communist future effectively held them in reluctant check. At the All-Union Urban Construction Conference of June 1960, the Minister of the Local Economy of Estonia commented: Apportionments for the construction of municipal facilities are increasing from year to year, but the speed of this construction nevertheless seriously lags behind that of housing construction. It is generally accepted that in the capital investment plan the balance of this municipal construction must be between 25 and 30 per cent of housing construction. We have not seen this happen. The volume of construction of municipal facilities is not more than 15 to16 per cent that of housing construction. [ … ] It is necessary to correct this abnormal situation and allot the required resources to [general municipal] construction.52 An official in the USSR Council of Ministers cited the case of Volgograd, where in 1959 82.5 per cent of the budget was spent on housing.53 According to unpublished data gathered by Gosstroi, local services in many RSFSR cities occupied a parlous situation in 1958. One official wrote: ‘The further falling behind in the construction of water supply and sewerage facilities [ … ] can act as a serious brake on the realization of the plan for the development of housing construction’.54 The point was thus explicitly made by some of the most senior and influential experts in the country: the obsession with square metres, which was a direct effect of the twelve-year promise, was counterproductive. At the 1960 all-union construction conference, the director of the

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RSFSR Academy of the Municipal Economy summed it up as explicitly as he could: At the present time, about half the population of our cities live in houses (including apartment houses) which have a central supply of water, about 40 per cent live in houses connected to a sewerage system. [ … ] Such a lag in the development of the municipal economy substantively complicates and in many cases can slow down the further development of housing construction.55 The communist future did not always, however, subvert the rational approach. In other ways the two impulses were more complementary. The content of rationality was primarily reason, and the content of communism was effectively idealism, and these are shared Enlightenment impulses, entwined not least in Marxism. Rationality could not simply act as a modern, effective, state-driven force for material improvement, entirely free from ideological baggage, completely unimpeded by requirements to alter people’s consciousness. It was itself an ideologized construct, dependent on the transformative and redemptive capacities of a powerful state that was capable of outstanding feats of information gathering, sifting and cataloguing, with a very wide-ranging field of interest, vision and capacity.56 The Khrushchev era was a would-be technological utopia in which delivering communism was part of a rationalist agenda. This was a world in which high targets served not just a direct economic function but also had fundamental political and mobilizing purposes. The political function was to make unmistakably clear across the central apparat, and to ministries, construction trusts and local officials, that the housing programme was now a domestic reform of first-rank importance, and that due priority should be accorded it. An editorial in Arkhitektura SSSR declared that the decree’s publication was ‘the greatest event in the history of the development of construction and architecture in the USSR’.57 For the general personnel of the housing economy, and the population more widely, the mobilizing function was to unite them with the central leadership on a shared quest: the radical improvement of the people’s living conditions. Socialist competition, for instance, long predated the 1957 decree but was used more and more during the Khrushchev era; it combined the rational imperative of material reward with a broader mobilizing impetus. The decree required the implementation of various uses of socialist competition, including incentives to encourage builders to work more efficiently;58 while the inter-raion competition that was held in Moscow in the lead-up to the XXII party congress saw workers ‘mobilized’ in a self-consciously proto-communist atmosphere.59 Meanwhile, rational actors sometimes described their work in proto-communist colours. To some extent, this had been taking place since the renewed declarations of communist intent made at the XIX Party Congress in 1952; and even the rational actions of such hard-headed professionals as Kucherenko of

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Gosstroi had to be written up within a ritualized discourse. In his alreadycited report, Kucherenko expressed his suspicions about the West Berlin exhibition ‘Interbau’. This exhibition had been organized by the West German Ministry of Housing Construction earlier that year.60 Kucherenko asserted that the exhibition was a forum in which ‘successful examples of such construction by capitalist countries is widely used as bourgeois propaganda in the ideological struggle with the countries of socialism’. Yet he also acknowledged the successes of western housing construction showcased at the exhibition and specifically drew on technical elements of their example.61 In another report filed in 1959, Kucherenko used a comparison with the United States in order to demonstrate the extent of Soviet construction. The data showed that in 1955, 7.7 dwellings per thousand population were built in the USSR, compared to 8.6 in the USA. By 1957, this had increased to 8.0 in the USSR, and fallen to 7.2 in the USA, and the projected Soviet figure for 1965 was 14.6.62 In all modern systems, bureaucrats indulge in selective use of foreign examples to make a case, but Kucherenko was here manifesting a peculiarity of the Soviet moment, in which rationality colluded with protocommunism. Rational mechanisms remained at work in the urban housing economy between 1958 and 1964, notwithstanding the dominant imperative of the communist future; given the vast extent of construction, it could not have been otherwise. Yet these could combine with proto-communism in new and particular ways, which seemed to entwine rationality and the communist future. The old Stalin-era local housing administration offices (domoupravleniya) were recharacterized as ‘housing operation bureaux’, or zhilishchno-ekspluatatsionnye kontory (ZhEKy), and their professional work was supplemented by a revitalized, neo-Leninist approach to apartment house committees (domkomy). The ZhEKy were streamlined formations: in Gor0 kii in 1958, 29 ZhEKy were formed from 225 domoupravleniya,63 while in Moscow’s Kalininskii raion in June 1959, nine ZhEKy were formed from 59 domoupravleniya.64 A correspondent to the leading professional journal commented that the savings in Rostov-on-Don were worth tens of thousands of rubles.65 Yet these new units had a mobilizing function as well as a rational one. One such was the work of their social commissions (obshchestvennye komissii).66 These commissions were charged with ‘the utmost development of the initiative and autonomous activity (samodeyatel0 nost0 ) of residents, with the aim of improving the operation of the housing fund’ and ‘public checking (obshchestvennaya kontrol0 ) by [residents’] observation of residents of the rules of use and the contents of housing accommodations’.67 The promise of 1957, particularly when viewed in the glow of the 1961 Party Programme, combined rational content with communist form; though if examined more carefully, content and form intermingled. It was this intermingling that lent most historical distinctiveness to citizens’ rights in the Khrushchev-era urban housing economy.

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Rights as a rational-communist system in the urban housing economy Rights in the Soviet Union were usually ambiguous; they were generally founded on contradictory premises, or were maintained in a complex tension between theory and practice. By the late 1950s and early 1960s, the individual citizen’s rights to housing – the realistic chance to obtain a family apartment on very secure terms of occupancy – were increasingly strong, even though public culture was focusing on the communal potentialities of a Leninist revival. With typical paradox, it was the relationship between rationality and the communist future that helped to account for the consolidation and advance of the citizen’s housing rights during these years. These rights were of their time. They existed to some extent from 1955, and to a more significant extent from 1957. A legal scholar wrote characteristically in 1959: ‘basic housing rights exist that are distinct from other [ … ] citizens’ rights [ … and are situated] in the front row of those citizens’ rights which a Soviet court must defend’.68 These rights, however, did not exist before. During late Stalinism and the first stage of post-Stalinism, through to the end of 1954, the mildly beneficent urban housing economy was structured by a discourse not of rights but of gratitude and gift.69 True, the war had affected some people’s understandings of their rights, and had altered the perceptions of some officials about how the population should be treated.70 The measurable consequences during late Stalinism were marginal, though a discourse of citizenhood and rights based on wartime deserving remained important in the Khrushchev era.71 People had to fall back on patronage rather than regular systems of distribution and appeal in order to obtain what was, legally, their entitlement; and in such circumstances, that notional entitlement could not be a meaningful right. They often, moreover, explained misfortune as a result of injustice rather than of rights abused. Two letters, of 1954 and 1960, both about the installation of a lift in an apartment block, illustrate the point. M. V. Mal0 tinksii, a citizen of Minsk, had suffered injuries during the war which made it extremely difficult for him to reach his fifth-floor apartment. He wrote letters to relevant organizations and individuals, making his legally justified appeal for a transfer to ground-floor housing space. His case was entirely neglected. In desperation, on the night of 12 March 1954, he made his way to the Belorussian State Theatre of Opera and Ballet, hoping for a chance to press another letter on Maksim Saburov, chair of Gosplan and the city’s representative on the Supreme Soviet, who was due to give a speech. Yet he only managed to hand his missive to a duty cleaner, who gave it to a militia officer standing on the threshold of the meeting room. Mal0 tinskii left in despair. This apparently well-informed and determined citizen was reduced to writing again: ‘Giving me a room on the fifth floor is unfair. With will, it could be possible to give me a room in this house on a low floor. [ … ] I pressingly ask [ … ] I ask you, help me [ … ]’. In a subsequent letter to Saburov he stated: ‘only your strict instruction will stop my torture’.72 Mal0 tinksii’s frame of

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reference, when he had reached rock bottom, was bound by an arbitrary conception of justice, not of rights.73 By 1960, however, implied rights were central to a similar appeal. In a letter of that year, a Leningrader called Lur0 eGruzinova argued passionately that apartment houses of five storeys should be equipped with lifts. The notion of gratitude is not absent from her comments, but it is overlaid with a much stronger sense of rights. She argues on the basis of citizenhood, broadly conceived, that the housing programme should be seen through to its implicit and explicit conclusions. Lur0 e-Gruzinova wrote: ‘Listen to the voice of the people! It, the people, sees, senses and is thankful to the party for its concern about humane housing. But you can’t do things by halves. Humanity should prevail everywhere, in every advance (dvizhenie)’.74 Khrushchev would perhaps have liked her to be more explicit. Discussing the housing programme in his memoirs, he commented: ‘We would have made more progress if our citizens had been more demanding in asserting their rights’.75 A proto-communist housing economy that claimed to be based on rights required rationally organized distribution mechanisms. Such mechanisms had to be capable of delivering relatively equal and accountable outcomes. Existing distribution systems were thus sharpened and improved during the Khrushchev era, and new systems were broached. Local officials became more precise about the everyday running of distribution; in April 1958, the Moscow Soviet castigated its own Housing Queue and Distribution Administration for not providing sufficient verification and observation of the numerous offices which distributed housing in the city.76 More radical was the policy of single city queues. Every enterprise and institution that owned housing space operated its own queue. The purpose of the single system was to bring together those waiting on these various queues, and those waiting for housing owned by the local soviet, in order to distribute space more efficiently and equitably. Officials in Kharkhov in 1962 engaged in detailed discussions about streamlining their queue, though this required a complex balancing between various interests – local soviets, trade unions and the ‘departmental’ institutions that owned housing.77 Leningrad was one of the first cities to introduce the system of a unified queue, in 1961.78 Just predating this was a new system of appeal, making the distribution and construction authorities more accountable to new residents.79 This was a further official shift towards the obtaining of housing on the basis of rights rather than gratitude. In turn, citizens could now express their grievances and concerns, or simply their views, about the new housing by using a discourse within which real rights, the impending communist future and the need for rational systems coincided. An inhabitant of Ordzhonikidze wrote in 1960 both about ‘the transition to communist distribution of housing’ and ‘the regularized modern way (sovremennyi poryadok) of distributing housing’.80 A focus on rights continued after the distribution of an apartment. Citizens’ de facto and de jure rights of ownership proved this, but from the start of the 1960s, citizens also enjoyed the right to demand the rectification of faults in their new housing, with a

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garantiinyi pasport. It was introduced in Leningrad in 1960 and elsewhere in 1961, and was valid for one-and-a-half years from completion81 (though it was soon derided in some quarters).82 Recent historians have been divided about the efficacy and motivation of such reforms, emphasizing the interplay of self-interested bureaucratic interests on the one hand or, on the other, the real existence of a new egalitarian drive.83 The interpretations overlap, though an emphasis on equality is most compelling. Although various social stratifications persisted during the Khrushchev era, including the existence of local elites and a central and republican ‘upper class’, the really interesting point is the historically exceptional level of equality at play in the urban housing economy.84 It was this relative equality of the vast bulk of the population – so striking in comparison with Western countries at that time – that gave further distinctiveness to Soviet housing rights. Perhaps paradoxically, it was the Leninist revival that provided a rhetorical structure that could facilitate and reinforce individuals’ housing rights, and unite rationality, the communist future and rights in a single system.85 In 1960, a legal scholar wrote, typically, of the ‘stability of citizens’ housing rights’ ‘secured’ and ‘strengthened’ by ‘legislation’ during ‘the initial period of the Soviet state’s existence, while V.I. Lenin was still alive’.86 Yet the communalistic aspects of the Leninist revival might seem somewhat inconsistent with a rationalized legal foundation. Indeed, some scholars have described the Soviet urban housing economy as an arena characterized not by relative rights and regularity but by their opposite: the ongoing existence, and even expansion, of arbitrariness and repression. For Kharkhordin, the Khrushchev era saw the Soviet Union’s peak of ‘totalitarian’ surveillance, during which kollektivy, whose function was ‘mutual surveillance’, became increasingly pervasive. He describes the people’s patrols (druzhiny): ‘they were the people policing itself, and thus escape was hardly possible from their omniscient gaze and omnipresent power’.87 This claim lacks empirical substantiation, and even as an ideal description of the Khrushchev era it seems partial and overwrought. By reading the proto-communism of the mikroraion as totalitarian, it supposes (in the druzhiny example) that people were robbed of autonomy and subjected to the arbitrary attentions of vigilantes. It ignores the ways in which this proto-communism could actually unite individual rights with communal aspirations. This was true even with regard to druzhiny themselves. The imperatives of communist future and functional rationality combined to seek efficiency and to appeal to self-interest in a communal context. One result was that local housing administrations attempted to foster voluntary, socially minded and yet immediately self-interested activity in repair and maintenance druzhiny, which might well have been more significant during the peak of Khrushchevian voluntary activity than the sub-police groups on which Kharkhordin’s analysis focuses.88 Such participation might imply proto-communist consciousness, but it was also entirely rational, appealing directly to material self-interest. People could protect their own rights by participating in voluntary work at the level of the

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mikroraion. Although further research is needed to gauge how common the voluntary maintenance crews were, scholars at the time made significant claims for them, and interpreted their work within a framework of rights. Here I should re-emphasize that this stage of my argument refers to a brief window of renewed idealism (whose width remains difficult to assess) in the early 1960s. One scholar wrote in 1964: Guarantees of the right to housing are served by the further development of mobilized community (obshchestvennye) organizations of a voluntary form, like repair druzhiny. Voluntary repair druzhiny have become widespread in cities, and their activity shows the vigour of the [voluntary organizational] form.89 According to this discourse, participation in the various structures of mikroraion communality could foster a citizen’s rights within the urban housing economy. A legal scholar commented in 1963: The participation of the mobilized public (obshchestvennost0 ) in the resolution of various questions regarding the rent of housing space in local Soviets’ buildings, and in [other types of] socialist organization, provides the maximum protection for the housing rights of Soviet citizens.90 While he doubtless exaggerated his point, it seems more satisfactory to interpret such collectives in terms of rights rather than repression, though further research is required to test the argument. The combination of rights, rationality and proto-communism that flowed from the 1957 decree gave individual citizens a certain level of status in theory and practice, including the right to work within communal structures in the mikroraion in order to help themselves. While the urban housing economy might have been an authoritarian arena in the Khrushchev era, it was never a totalitarian one.

Conclusion Khrushchev’s promise to eliminate the housing shortage was one of the most distinctive clarion calls of the age. It gave rise to one of the great social reforms of Soviet history, which in turn was of substantial European significance. The housing programme transformed Soviet cities, and often dramatically increased the living standards of many tens of millions of citizens (though many still remained in unimproved and often dire conditions in 1964). The promise assured the right to better housing; this right required the detailed, rational mechanisms set out in the 1957 decree, reflecting an atmosphere in which professional expertise could flourish; and it pointed the way towards the communist future, and particularly towards the twenty-year communist promise contained in the 1961 Party Programme.

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One could argue a maximalist, ahistorical case, that rights can only exist when they fit together securely across all areas of social, legal and political life: and then one would certainly deny the existence of rights in the Soviet urban housing economy during these years. Yet such a perspective would generate a reductive, skewed and particularly incomplete picture of people’s real experience. Rights, rationality and the communist future were all highly contingent constructs during the Khrushchev era, but they powerfully structured the way in which local inhabitants, workers, specialists and officials experienced the urban housing economy.

Notes 1 This chapter is largely based on research presented in M.B. Smith, ‘Rubble to Communism: The Urban Housing Programme in the Soviet Union, 1944–64’, PhD thesis, University of London, 2008, though it contains archival and other evidence not cited in the thesis. Doctoral research was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. On the economics of construction, see also R.W. Davies and M. Ilic, ‘From Khrushchev (1935–36) to Khrushchev (1956–64): Construction Policy Compared’, in J.R. Smith and M. Ilic (eds), Khrushchev in the Kremlin, London: Routledge, [2009]. 2 KPSS v rezolyutsiyakh i resheniyakh s00 ezdov, konferentsii i plenumov tsentral0 nogo komiteta, Moscow: Politizdat, vol. 7, 1970, pp. 278–94 (p. 283). 3 Note that my discussion covers the housing programme as it applied to the range of urban settlements across the Soviet Union, but not rural areas, though the decree applied to both. 4 See, for example, D. Filtzer, Soviet Workers and De-Stalinization: the Consolidation of the Modern System of Soviet Production Relations, 1953–1964, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992; M. Malia, The Soviet Tragedy, New York: Free Press, 1994. 5 V. Burmistrov, Soviet Law and the Citizens’ Rights, Moscow: Novosti Press Agency Publishing House, 1974, p. 10. 6 For a discussion of the pre-1953 origins of various Khrushchev-era reforms, see A. Pyzhikov, Khrushchevskaya ‘ottepel0 ’, Moscow: Olma Press, 2002. 7 See Smith, ‘Rubble to Communism, chs 1 and 2. 8 KPSS v rezolyutsiyakh, vol. 7, p. 283. 9 The Programme of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Adopted by the 22nd Congress of the CPSU October 31, 1961, London: Soviet Booklet No. 83, 1961, pp. 63–64 (amended translation). On the 1961 Party Programme, see also the chapter by Alexander Titov in this volume. 10 RGAE f. 1562, op. 14, d. 2030, l. 2; d. 3002, l. 5; d. 3004, l. 5. 11 RGAE f. 1562, op. 14, d. 3002, l. 5; d. 3004, l. 5; op. 37, d. 2520, l. 5. Departmental housing was owned by ministries, enterprises, and other institutions; this tenure in particular drove forward construction levels during the Khrushchev era. 12 1958 compared to 1957: Narodnoe khozyaistvo SSSR v 1958 godu: statisticheskii ezhegodnik, Moscow, 1958, p. 636; 1960, p. 611. 13 Konstitutsiya (Osnovnoi zakon) Soyuza Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublikh, Moscow: Politizdat, 1977, p. 20 (article 44). 14 See, for example, V.P. Gribanov and A.Yu. Kabalkin, Zhilishchnye prava sovetskikh grazhdan, Moscow: Znanie, 1964, p. 18. 15 A. Yu. Kabalkin, Okhrana zhilishchnykh prav grazhdan, Moscow: Gosyurizdat, 1963, pp. 3–23.

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16 On the paradoxical issue of ownership, see M.B. Smith, ‘Individual Forms of Ownership in the Urban Housing Fund of the USSR, 1944–64’ Slavonic and East European Review, vol. 86, no. 2, 2008, pp. 283–305. 17 P.P. Gureev, Zashchita lichnykh i imushchestvennykh prav, Moscow: Nauka, 1964, p. 3; N.I. Matuzov, Subektivnye prava grazhdan SSSR, Saratov: Privolzhskoe knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1966, pp. 3–4. 18 T.D. Alekseev, Zhilishchnye l0 goty grazhdan SSSR, Moscow: Gosyurizdat, 1962, passim. 19 The division between similar imperatives during the Stalin period – conceptualized as ‘tekhnika’ and ‘politika’ – is discussed at length in D. Priestland, Stalinism and the Politics of Mobilization, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. 20 TsAGM f. 2852, op. 5, d. 64, l. 49. 21 RGAE f. 339, op. 3, d. 576, l. 104. 22 See, for example, GARF f. A-259, op. 42, d. 5982, l. 1; d. 6936, l. 3; op. 45, d. 1048, l. 40. 23 See, for example, GARF f. A-259, op. 42, d. 9004, l. 1. 24 See, for example, RGAE f. 339, op. 3, d. 544, l. 42. 25 See, for example, GARF f. A-259, op. 42, d. 5218, l. 6. 26 See, for example, TsAGM f. 605, op. 1, d. 228, l. 20. 27 See, for example, GARF f. A-259, op. 42, d. 4026, l. 1. 28 Such a principle had been evident in the provision of state credits during wartime reconstruction, would later manifest itself in cooperative construction, and was sometimes implicit in the rewards systems of socialist competition. It was a central feature of the 1957 decree, in clauses 9, 10, 16, 17, 23–26, 36: KPSS v rezolyutsiyakh, vol. 7, pp. 285–93. S.E. Harris has written about the ‘people’s construction’ of apartment blocks (the ‘Gor0 kii method’ of clause 9). See Harris, ‘Moving to the Separate Apartment: Building, Distributing, Furnishing, and Living in Urban Housing in Soviet Russia, 1950s-1960s’, PhD dissertation, University of Chicago, 2003, ch. 3. 29 Smith, ‘Rubble to Communism’, pp. 57–70. 30 N. S. Khrushchev, Vospominaniya: vremya, lyudy, vlast0 , Moscow: Moskovskie Novosti, 1999, vol. 4, pp. 7–21. 31 RGASPI, f. 397, op. 2, d. 21, ll. 10–11. 32 For example, the conference on civilian housing construction, held in Moscow in January 1951: Vechernyaya Moskva, 5–12 January 1951. 33 Such as the top construction expert Sadovskii: Khrushchev, Vospominaniya, vol. 4, p. 24. 34 Among very numerous examples of enhanced professional organization in the mid1950s, see: GARF f. A-259, op. 7, d. 7029, l. 58; d. 8345, ll. 20, 26; RGAE f. 339, op. 3, d. 80, l. 158; d. 352, ll. 66, 95–98, 153. 35 TsAGM f. 490, op. 1, d. 199, ll. 117–19. 36 For an overall account, see S. Autio-Sarasmo, ‘Soviet Economic Modernization and Transferring Technologies from the West’, in M. Kangaspuru and J. Smith (eds), Modernization in Russia Since 1900, Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2006, pp. 104–23. 37 RGAE f. 339, op. 3, d. 576, ll. 91–93. 38 RGAE f. 339, op. 3, d. 80, ll. 38–43. 39 For Scandinavia, see below; for West Germany, see RGAE f. 339, op. 3, d. 368. 40 RGAE f. 339, op. 3, d. 369, ll. 23–24. 41 RGAE f. 339, op. 3, d. 365, ll. 242–57. 42 A. A. Tomsen, ‘Zhilishchnyi vopros pri kapitalizme i v SSSR’, Candidate of Economic Sciences dissertation (avtoreferat), Moscow State Economics Institute, 1959, p. 10. 43 Zhilishchno-kommunal0 noe khozyaistvo, 1962, 1, pp. 5–7.

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44 M. A. Shipilov, Zhilishchnyi vopros pri kapiltalizme i sotsializme, Moscow: Politizdat, 1964, p. 4. 45 S. Khan-Magomedov, ‘O roli arkhitektury v perestroike byta’, Arkhitektura SSSR, no. 2, 1958, pp. 45–46. 46 See S. E. Reid, ‘Women in the Home’, in M. Ilic, S.E. Reid and L. Attwood (eds), Women in the Khrushchev Era, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2004, pp. 149–76. 47 Zhilishchno-kommunal0 noe khozyaistvo, no. 2, 1962, p. 9. 48 RGAE f. 339, op. 3, d. 1053, l. 8. 49 GARF f. A-259, op. 7, d. 8777, l. 7. 50 GARF f. A-259, op. 7, d. 8777, l. 13. 51 V. Voinovich, Khochu byt0 chestnym: povesti, Moscow: Moskovskii rabochii, 1989. 52 RGAE f. 339, op. 3, d. 1046, l. 10. 53 Zhilishchno-kommunal0 noe khozyaistvo, no. 1, 1962, p. 7. 54 RGAE f. 339, op. 3, d. 829, l. 40 55 RGAE f. 339, op. 3, d. 1046, l. 24. 56 See, for example, D. Hoffman, Stalinist Values: the Cultural Norms of Soviet Modernity, 1917–1941, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003. 57 Arkhitektura SSSR, no. 10, 1957, p. 29. 58 KPSS v rezolyutsiyakh, vol. 7, 1970, p. 290. 59 TsAGM f. 490, op. 1, d. 264, l. 105. 60 For wider context, see G. Castillo, ‘Domesticating the Cold War: Household Consumption and Propaganda in Marshall Plan Germany’, Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 40, no. 2, 2005, pp. 261–88. 61 RGAE f. 339, op. 3, d. 827, ll. 1–7. 62 RGAE f. 339, op. 3, d. 784, l. 61. 63 Zhilishchno-kommunal0 noe khozyaistvo, no. 4, 1958, pp. 4–5. 64 TsAGM f. 2852, op. 1, d. 78, l. 73. 65 Zhilishchno-kommunal0 noe khozyaistvo, no. 12, 1959, pp. 13–14. 66 Zhilishchno-kommunal0 noe khozyaistvo, no. 4, 1958, pp. 4–5 (see above). 67 TsAGM f. 490, op. 1, d. 212, ll. 13–14; from a Mosgorispolkom resolution of July 1958. 68 Yu. S. Vasil’ev, ‘O dogovore zhilishchnogo naima’, in Sovetskoe gosudarstvo i pravo, no. 9, 1959, pp. 100–106 (p. 102). 69 See, notably, J. Brooks, Thank You Comrade Stalin! Soviet Public Culture from Revolution to Cold War, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999, ch. 8. 70 E. Zubkova, Obshchestvo i reformy 1945–1964, Moscow: Rossiya molodaya, 1993. 71 C. Varga-Harris, ‘Forging citizenship on the home front: reviving the socialist contract and constructing Soviet identity during the Thaw’, in P. Jones (ed.), The Dilemmas of De-Stalinization: Negotiating Cultural and Social Change in the Khrushchev Era, London: Routledge, 2006, pp. 101–16. 72 GARF f. R-5446, op. 68, d. 42, ll. 68, 73. 73 In similarly extreme circumstances, this might well be a universally human reaction, but it was certainly endemic to Stalinism. 74 RGAE f. 339, op. 3, d. 1046, l. 65. 75 N.S. Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers: the Last Testament, vol. 2, ed. and trans. Strobe Talbott, London: Andre Deutsch, 1974, p. 139. 76 TsAGM f. 2433, op. 8, d. 31, ll. 15–16. 77 GARF f. R-5451, op. 30, d. 462, ll. 60–63. 78 GARF f. R-5451, op. 30, d. 449, ll. 85–88. 79 Stephen Bittner, ‘Exploring Reform: De-Stalinization in Moscow’s Arbat District, 1953–68’, PhD dissertation, University of Chicago, 2000. 80 RGAE f. 339, op. 3, d. 1051, l. 149. 81 Sovetskaya arkhitektura: ezhegodnik 1960, Moscow, 1962, p. 5.

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82 C. Varga-Harris, ‘Constructing the Soviet Hearth: Home, Citizenship and Socialism in Russia, 1956–64’, PhD dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005, p. 200, n. 27. 83 S.E. Harris argues in favour of the former in ‘Moving to the Separate Apartment’, ch. 4; Bittner is less sceptical of the egalitarian content and motivation: ‘Exploring Reform’, ch. 3. 84 See Smith, ‘Rubble to Communism’, pp. 233–45. For the reality of this in Togliatti, following the Khrushchev era, see L. H. Siegelbaum, Cars for Comrades: the Life of the Soviet Automobile, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008, p. 122. 85 For more examples of what this rhetoric delivered in practice, see Smith, ‘Rubble to Communism’, ch. 3. 86 I. I. Larkin, ‘Ob oformlenii zhilishchnykh pravootnoshenii’, Sovetskoe gosudarstvo i pravo, no. 9, 1960, pp. 72–78 (p.74). 87 O. Kharkhordin, The Collective and the Individual in Russia, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999, pp. 279–80, 286. 88 See, for example, Zhilishchno-kommunal0 noe khozyaistvo, no. 4, 1963, pp. 4–5. 89 A.F. Brianskii, ‘Rol0 obshchestvennykh organizatsii v osushchestvlenii prav i svobod sovetskikh grazhdan’, Sovetskoe gosudarstvo i pravo, no. 6, 1964, pp. 22– 31, (p. 26). 90 Kabalkin, Okhrana zhilishchnykh prav grazhdan, p. 32.

3

The 1957 Moscow Youth Festival Propagating a new, peaceful image of the Soviet Union Pia Koivunen

In the historiography of the Soviet period, the sixth World Festival of Youth and Students held in Moscow in 1957 is often considered to mark the opening up of the Soviet Union after the isolated years of late Stalinism and the early period of the Cold War. Attracting more than 30,000 foreign guests to a formerly closed country opened the Soviet Union to the outside world and expedited newly awakened East–West cultural relations. For the Soviet people this new openness offered the possibility of establishing contacts with foreigners and to experience alternative cultures and worldviews. According to Yale Richmond, the master plan behind the festival was the Soviet Union’s wish to exhibit the changes that had occurred after the death of Stalin. He also contends that the results of the Moscow festival were ‘quite different’ when compared to previous festivals and that ‘the consequences [were] unintended’.1 As William Taubman put it, the Soviet Union did impress the festival guests with Moscow’s new openness, ‘but the Soviet young people … were even more impressed with Western popular culture’.2 The Moscow festival was in many ways an important event in Soviet history. Yet despite the number of scholars who have highlighted the significance of the festival in the history of the Soviet Union, only a few have conducted detailed archival research about it.3 As this chapter argues, the festival, its origins and its meaning were far more complex and the consequences perhaps not as unintended as has previously been claimed. Drawing on Russian archival records and oral testimony, this chapter extends the picture of the Moscow 1957 Youth Festival. It shows how the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and the Communist Youth League (Komsomol) used the festival to shape the image of the Soviet Union abroad and how the festival actually ended up being staged in Moscow. Furthermore, the chapter discusses the complexity of the opening up of Soviet society and analyses the preparations for this massive event. The Moscow festival was held roughly a year and a half after Khrushchev’s Secret Speech was delivered at the XX Party Congress in February 1956. The Soviet Union’s attitude towards the West altered somewhat immediately after the death of Stalin, but the Secret Speech that launched the de-Stalinization process marked a new development in Soviet society and in Soviet foreign

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policy. Unlike Stalin, Khrushchev did not share the vision of the inevitability of renewed war, but adopted the view that existing East–West relations offered a period of peaceful economic competition between socialism and capitalism. The xenophobic atmosphere of Soviet society, characteristic of the Stalin period, shifted to a more tolerant approach during the period known as Khrushchev’s ‘thaw’. In terms of this new attitude towards the capitalist world, a youth festival promoting peace and friendship seems to have been an ideal opportunity for the Soviet regime, and especially Khrushchev personally, to put into practice current thinking on ‘peaceful coexistence with the West’ and, moreover, to improve its image in the eyes of the West.4 As recent research has pointed out, the Cold War was not only a matter of high politics and economic policy. Culture was one of the most noticeable fields of global conflict and it took the clash of the two systems into the realm of ideas and values. As the United States attempted to diffuse its message of the ‘free world’ behind the Iron Curtain via Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, the Soviet Union used the World Youth Festivals as its ‘weapons’ in this cultural cold war.5 As Nigel Gould-Davies argues, ‘the transmission of ideas and values was the key method of the [cold war] conflict’ and, therefore, ‘“the low politics” of cultural relations were, in fact, high politics’.6 A cultural event such as the Moscow youth festival combines elements of both ‘low’ and ‘high’ politics and this makes it particularly interesting for research on both Soviet society and the Soviet image abroad.

Why Moscow? Why 1957? Although it was the CPSU that ultimately pulled the strings of the World Youth Festivals, it was not the Kremlin that initially invited thousands of young people to Moscow in 1957, as the traditional view suggests.7 The roots of the Moscow festival date back to April 1954 when the Komsomol general secretary, Aleksandr Shelepin, sent a letter to the CPSU Central Committee concerning the 1955 World Youth Festival. A problem had arisen because no volunteer organization for the festival had been found amongst the member countries of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) or the International Union of Students (IUS), the official festival organizers.8 Shelepin suggested that Moscow could host the event, supporting his proposal with several arguments. The previous five festivals had been held in Sovietcontrolled Eastern Europe, but, according to Shelepin, at that time none of the People’s Democracies that had not yet hosted the event – Poland, Bulgaria and Albania9 – were willing to hold it. Since the festivals could not be held in the capitalist countries, the only realistic possibility seemed to be Moscow. According to Shelepin, some of the international youth leaders were hoping that Moscow would host the next festival, and, moreover, the festival would be an excellent opportunity to ‘attract new strata of young people to the struggle for peace, to propagate abroad the successes of the Soviet Union and its peace-loving politics’.10 Shelepin’s initiative was not turned down, but

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neither was it directly accepted. The 1955 festival took place in Warsaw and Moscow hosted the event in 1957. Shelepin’s letter gives rise to a set of questions. Considering the dominance of the Soviet Union over the festival’s organizing bodies, it is peculiar that it had not yet hosted a youth festival itself. Why was it that Moscow did not volunteer to host the festival in 1954? Why did it not offer to host the event in 1955 but only two years later? Until the death of Stalin, the closed atmosphere of Soviet society had made the idea of hosting a youth festival with tens of thousands of foreigners in Moscow impossible. Another reason why no festivals were held in Moscow before 1957 is related to specific Soviet aims concerning these events. The Soviets aimed to use the World Youth Festivals to draw more members to the WFDY and IUS, especially from the Third World, spreading Soviet culture and lifestyle, and ensuring that the Soviet way of building a peaceful world was seen as the right path. This was the goal of the Soviet delegates to the youth festivals, who served as ambassadors of Soviet culture and lifestyle. The delegates were chosen according to their ability to propagate these ideas. The delegations mostly consisted of political activists, high-level classical and folk artists, and sportsmen and women.11 Furthermore, the delegations were generally much smaller than the delegations from many Western European countries, for example those of Finland (see Table 3.1). This suggests that there were no ‘surplus’ people travelling to the festivals simply to have fun and that only a few people were allowed to travel abroad because of the fear of contamination by ‘harmful’ foreign influences. Since the main targets of the Soviet Union’s aims lay outside its own borders and Soviet youth were merely messengers of these aims, organizing a World Youth Festival in Moscow was not in the prime interest of the CPSU. The shift in orientation in Soviet foreign policy after Stalin’s death now made the idea of staging the festival on Soviet soil possible but not necessarily desirable. Turning down Shelepin’s proposal of holding the 1955 festival in Moscow was the result of pragmatism rather than of ideological reasoning. First, organising such a large-scale festival in Moscow demanded a massive construction project with little more than a year to prepare the city, and this was not enough time.12 The CPSU, ostensibly, did not wish to put Moscow on show if it was not at its very best. The capital of the first socialist country should be able to represent the strength and power of the Soviet state, and, furthermore, Moscow, a place of pilgrimage for world communists, should not betray the hopes of its devoted adherents, who craved to see socialist society with their own eyes.13 Second, the CPSU also believed that the festival would attract not only the most devoted communists but non-communists as well, who were suspected of trying to ‘poison’ the minds of Soviet youth with bourgeois propaganda.14 Even though times had changed and the Soviet Union was now more liberal, the inevitable encounters with foreigners were a matter of concern for the party. As Khrushchev pointed out in his memoirs, the fear of what would

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Table 3.1 The world festivals of youth and students, 1947–89 City

Year

Number of countries

Participants

Soviets

Prague Budapest Berlin Bucharest Warsaw Moscow Vienna Helsinki Sofia Berlin Havana Moscow Pyongyang

1947 1949 1951 1953 1955 1957 1959 1962 1968 1973 1978 1985 1989

71 82 104 111 115 131 112 137 138 140 145 157 162

17 10 26 30 30 34 18 13 20 30 18 20 15

497 500 756 960 1 100 3 719 802

000 400 000 000 000 000 000 140 000 000 500 000 000

Finns

1 2 2 2 2

900 1 000 1

10 150 300 400 000 100 459 259 600 800 350 500 150

Sources: J. Krekola, ‘Kuumia tunteita ja kylmää sotaa nuorisofestivaaleilla’, in E. Katainen and P. Kotila (eds), Työväki ja tunteet, Turku: Työväen historian ja perinteen tutkimuksen seura, 2002, p. 253; VI Vsemirnyi festival0 molodezhi i studentov: sbornik, Moscow: 1958, pp. 125–26. Figures for Soviet festival participants (except for Prague, Moscow and Havana) are taken from a ‘handbook’ on Soviet festival participants and honoured guests. The book is not part of any official fond but is kept in RGASPI’s reading room 3 (Komsomol archive) in Moscow as part of the ‘self-made’ collection of festival materials (spravochnye materialy). For Prague, see RGASPI f. 4-M, op. 1, d. 473, ll. 29–33; for Moscow, see Le VIe Festival Mondial de la Jeunesse et des Etudiants, Moscow, 1957, p. 203; and for Havana, see TsAOPIM, f. 635, op. 27, d. 69a, l. 11. A lecture guide on the history of the World Youth Festivals written in 1984 states that Soviet delegations had traditionally been around 1,500–2,000 members. TsAOPIM, f. 635, op. 27, d. 69a, l. 11.

happen if Soviet society was completely opened up prevailed: ‘We were afraid the thaw might unleash a flood, which we wouldn’t be able to control and which would drown us’.15 Despite these concerns, holding the youth festival could also offer some favourable opportunities. The ‘Stalinist’ image attributed to the Soviet Union abroad was not too flattering; relations with the West were tense and were adversely affected by the threat of nuclear war. There certainly was a need for a ‘facelift’, and what the Soviet Union also needed to demonstrate to the world was, as Olga Gerasimova points out, that it had recovered from the devastation of the Second World War.16 Between the decision taken in 1954 and the actual festival in 1957 the circumstances surrounding the event changed radically. After its Stalinist initiation, the WFDY adopted a new political line in 1955, which criticised the centralised system of decision-making and the actions taken against the Yugoslav and Scandinavian youth leagues in the early 1940s.17 A year later, Khrushchev’s Secret Speech in February 1956 launched a development that almost led to the end of the organization. Having heard about Stalin’s crimes,

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elements from the Western and Latin American member organizations saw no reasons for continuing the work of the WFDY under these new conditions. In their opinion, the international arena of the youth and student movements was clearly divided between East and West and this prevented rather than assisted the work for world peace among young people. The embryonic freedom that emerged after the death of Stalin came to an end when the Soviet Komsomol defeated this opposition, pushing the WFDY and IUS even more deeply under the control of the Soviet bloc.18 In addition, 1956 witnessed three important conflicts – the uprisings in Poland and in Hungary, and the Suez crisis in Egypt – that brought the Soviet Union’s peaceful intentions into question, giving rise to a new set of circumstances for organizing the youth festival in 1957.19 The Soviet Union was no longer seen as the model socialist country that it had been earlier in the eyes of world communists. Despite these difficulties, the Moscow gathering was the biggest World Youth Festival ever held. Around 34,000 young people from 131 countries celebrated in Moscow from 28 July to 11 August 1957. The biggest delegations from Europe were from the Soviet Union (3,719), Finland (2,100) and France (2,099), and from outside Europe they were from China (1,566), Egypt (725) and Korea (460).20 In addition, approximately 120,000 Soviet visitors and 987 journalists from 60 countries, 526 of whom came from the capitalist countries, took part in the festival and its events.21 The basic idea of the World Youth Festivals, at least in rhetoric, was to gather together young people from all around the world in celebration. Accordingly, the youth festivals were evaluated on the basis of how representative each festival had been in terms of the number of participating countries. The higher the number of countries involved, the better the festival had succeeded in its aims. Counting the number of countries was a handy tool for propaganda purposes, but, in fact, it does not tell us much about the geographical distribution of the participants. According to the festival organisers’ statistics, 131 countries had representatives at the Moscow festival: but where did most of the foreign guests come from? As Table 3.2 shows, the Moscow festival was remarkably European: 76 per cent of the festival delegates came from European countries. The second largest proportion came from Asia, followed by Africa, Latin America, North America and Australia. Although many countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America were represented at the festival, their delegations were fairly small: fifty-one of the Third World delegations consisted of only between one and ten delegates.22 According to a report on the WFDY meeting held before the festival, more people from Africa, Asia and Latin America were willing to take part in the festival, but the majority of places were given to Europeans.23 First and foremost, it was a political decision to favour Europeans. Their opinion and participation carried more weight than that of the Third World countries. Of course, influencing people outside the capitalist and socialist world was certainly an issue. However, at the youth festival only a handful of participants from each of the Third World nations was needed in order to extend the

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Table 3.2 Representation of participants by continent: Moscow, 1957 Continent Europe North America Latin America Africa Australia & Oceania Asia Others: Honoured guests Total

No. of countries

% of countries

No. of participants

% of participants

31 2 25 40 4

23.7 1.5 19.1 30.5 3.1

25 808 337 1 014 1 489 152

76.0 1.0 3.0 4.4 0.4

29

22.1

4 705

13.8

131

100.0

491 33 996

1.4 100.0

Source: Le VIe Festival Mondial de la Jeunesse et des Etudiants, Moscow, 1957. % figures are own calculations.

overall list of participating countries. Another reason to favour Europeans instead of Third World participants was the fact that the Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies paid most of the travelling costs not only for the Third World countries but also for some European countries outside the Soviet ‘bloc’, including Finland.24 At the same cost of sponsoring a couple of Third World representatives the Soviets could invite hundreds of European participants.

Promulgation of openness Once the CPSU had approved Shelepin’s initiative to hold the festival on Soviet soil, the opportunity to improve the image of the country was optimized. Discussions about the preparations for the festival at the Moscow city committee meetings clearly demonstrate the purpose of the festival for the Soviet Union both internally and internationally. Preparations for the festival started with the formation of a Soviet preparatory committee in October 1955. The Komsomol played a major role in the organising and preparatory committee. Vladimir Semichastnyi, Komsomol general secretary after Shelepin in 1958–59, recalled in his memoirs that no governmental commissions for organising the festival were formed – everything was decided by the Komsomol Central Committee. There was only the organising committee headed by A. N. Shelepin, and all of the ministries we needed were at our disposal.25 In addition to the ministries, the festival preparations employed people in the CPSU Central Committee and especially its cultural department, Moscow State University party committee and Moscow State University students. The Soviet preparatory committee oversaw specific local matters, such as infrastructure, accommodation and the locations for cultural performances and sports competitions. The contents of the festival programme, including cultural, sports,

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political and educational activities, were left in the hands of the International Preparatory Committee, which started its work in May 1956.26 Although the festival organisers’ main aim was entirely political, in public the event was linked to Soviet politics as little as possible, and openness, unlike at previous festivals, was stressed on all possible occasions. First, the organizers broadened the scope of invited organizations by welcoming more non-communist organizations than ever before. In January 1957 Komsomol0 skaya pravda declared that: The VI World Festival is open to all youth irrespective of their convictions or opinions, race or nationality, … no political, philosophical or other tendencies should prevail during the festival, … the festival will be carried out in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding, in the spirit of friendship among the youth of the whole world.27 Amongst the organizations invited to the festival for the first time were the World Assembly of Youth, Young Men’s and Women’s Christian Associations, the International Federation of Catholic Youth, Young Christian Workers, and the World Federation of Liberal and Radical Youth. In addition to extending invitations to new organizations, a crucial difference from previous events was that these organizations were now asked to take part in the preparations of the festival. Many non-communist organizations had argued earlier that the festivals were arranged and all meaningful decisions were made by a small group. The most ardent critics had been the non-communist counterparts of the WFDY and the IUS, the World Assembly of Youth and the International Student Congress, which had not previously participated in the festivals – and did not attend the Moscow one either because of their communist orientation. According to a council report of the WFDY dated August 1956, the situation was now different. ‘This time’, the report promised, ‘the invitations for taking part in the International Preparatory Committee were sent before making any crucial decisions about the festival’.28 The question of taking part in making the ‘most important decisions’ was nonetheless propaganda and had very little to do with the functioning of the International Preparatory Committee; the most important decisions were still made by the Komsomol, and, in the end, were controlled by the CPSU. The attempts to stage a genuinely open festival went even further. According to a meeting of the Moscow city committee, the Soviets had made an agreement with ‘fraternal communist parties’ that the Moscow festival should be wider in its social and political content than previous festivals had been. This meant, in effect, that in comparison with earlier festivals fewer communists should take part, and as many ‘decent and honest non-conformists (inakomyshliashchii)’ should be accepted in the national delegations.29 The word ‘non-conformist’ here does not refer to the Soviet dissident movement, which had not yet emerged, but rather to non-communist, leftist youths sympathetic to communism. Attracting non-communist youth to the festival was

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important because, in the eyes of the West, the festival was regarded as a communist event, and showing that not all participants were communists was used as a way to increase the credibility of a ‘genuinely’ open youth celebration. Nevertheless, the Moscow festival proved to be an important catalyst and a channel for Soviet dissidents to establish networks and to receive information from outside the country.30 According to Harry Rositzke, a former CIA worker, Soviet dissident groups established their first contacts with Americans at the Moscow festival.31 Soviet dissident Nikolai Yakovlev even suggests that the Soviet dissident movement was born at the festival.32 Another way of creating the impression of an open event was conducted by visual means. First, the festival slogan, a crystallisation of the main idea, illustrated the non-political image of the festival. The 1957 slogan – ‘for peace and friendship’ – was more neutral than earlier slogans, which had more openly political meanings. In Warsaw 1955, the slogan proclaimed ‘for peaceful coexistence and for international friendship, against the preparation of nuclear war’, and two years after Moscow, in Vienna 1959, young people celebrated for ‘peace, friendship and peaceful coexistence’.33 ‘Peaceful coexistence’ was Khrushchev’s slogan and using it in 1957 would have linked the message of the festival directly to him. ‘Against the preparation of nuclear war’ implied that the festival had something against those who possessed nuclear weapons and would have indirectly signalled that, after all, not everybody was welcome at the festival. The slogan ‘for peace and friendship’ was neutral and sufficiently universal to be accepted in any country, at least in theory. It seems that the organizers attempted to avoid any direct links to Soviet foreign policy and its concepts. Second, the staging of the festival took place differently from that at the ‘Stalinist festivals’ from 1947 to 1951. At the earlier gatherings, youth delegations had marched through the festival cities carrying enormous posters of Stalin, Mao and other communist leaders. In Moscow, the situation was almost the opposite; no political pictures were displayed and the city was decorated with carnivalesque colours, flowers and doves.34 As Elena Zubkova describes: ‘the streets of Moscow were for the first time decked out in multicoloured flags rather than the customary red one, and Pablo Picasso’s doves of peace replaced the customary hammer and sickle’.35 Although all of the Soviet leadership was present at the opening ceremony, none was raised above the others. The only Soviet leader with his picture at the stadium was Lenin.36 In the aftermath of de-Stalinization and condemnation of the cult of personality, it is understandable that no massive portraits of leaders should be shown. Moreover, the struggle for power was still continuing on the eve of the festival, as Khrushchev had still not entirely beaten his most dangerous rivals; the attack by the anti-party group had taken place in June 1957, only a month before the start of the festival.37 Harsh measures were also brought into play to make the streets of Moscow ‘cleaner’. Moscow city and its surrounding regions were cleared of hooligans, gipsies, prostitutes, waifs and thieves. According to a document signed by

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Minister of Interior Dudorov, between 15 March and 1 June hundreds of people were arrested for various reasons connected to alleged law-breaking, and around 16,000 ‘harmful’ people were deported from the city.38 Third, the new openness was marked by letting foreigners visit the symbolic places of Soviet power: the Lenin and Stalin mausoleum on Red square and the Kremlin. Foreigners were also given access to churches and synagogues as if to prove that religious practice was free in Soviet society.39 An international ball with 12,000 foreign youths in the Kremlin was perhaps the greatest attempt to manifest this political openness. Khrushchev and other Soviet leaders hosted the ball, celebrating amongst the multinational group of youngsters, and some of the participants were even able to make almost personal contact with the Soviet head of state. An English delegate managed to take a photograph of herself with Khrushchev, and a Finnish participant reminisces that his friend shook hands with Nikita.40 Letting foreign youths into the Kremlin and celebrating with them generated a new image of the Soviet leadership and had an enormous symbolic significance in respect of Khrushchev’s policy of ‘peaceful coexistence’ with the West. The message was clear: if a Soviet leader could dance and shake hands with Western youths, he had to be sincere in his aims for the peaceful coexistence of the two different systems. Khrushchev’s son-in-law, Aleksei Adzhubei, recalled in his memoirs that the Moscow festival ‘did not open a small gap (kalitka) in the Iron Curtain, but a wide gate (shirokie vorota), and it showed that the Soviet leadership was no longer frightened of “openness”’.41 Whether the festival opened a gate in the Iron Curtain or not, it still aroused substantial antagonism from abroad, thus suggesting that the attempted openness was not taken at face value. Although the Soviet Union had rid itself of ‘Stalinist’ dogma during the thaw, its way of dealing with the Hungarian uprising in 1956 had a great impact on the way other countries thought about the festival. Events in Hungary made the world reconsider the supposed peaceful approach of Soviet foreign policy, and Khrushchev dancing and making friends with the world’s youth did not make any difference. The most fervent adversaries of the festival – the NATO countries supported by Japan, Pakistan, Thailand and Sudan – refused to give passports to their citizens who wanted to take part in the festival. The NATO countries planned to organize a counter-festival in Paris to run simultaneously with the Moscow event, but these plans were never carried out. The Catholic Church, however, did manage to stage a youth event in unison with the festival. The Pope advised Catholic youths not to go to Moscow, proclaiming that ‘those who are with Christ travel to Rome, but those who are with the Anti-Christ travel to the festival in Moscow’.42 The United States was at the forefront of opposition, advising its citizens not to take part in the festival. According to one State Department official, ‘their [American participants] pictures would be taken smiling with Russians, and then spread all over the world to show that we approve of what Russia did in Hungary’.43 Furthermore, the official assumed that the communists

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would not allow the Americans to speak about their own country. The United States did not want the Soviet Union to succeed, which would have happened if an official delegation from the US had taken part in the festival. Why did they take such measures? Would the festival not have been an excellent opportunity to conduct counter-propaganda against the Soviet Union? Both Frederick Barghoorn and Walter Hixson argue that the Americans failed to understand the potential of cultural infiltration in the early Cold War. The lesson was learned, nonetheless, and the next festivals in Vienna 1959 and in Helsinki 1962 saw an array of matchless counter-festivals discouraging young people from attending the ‘communist spectacle’.44 The way the American leadership reacted to this communist youth celebration demonstrates the nature and significance of values and ideologies in the Cold War. As the quotation above shows, it was not considered insignificant who took smiling pictures with whom to manifest the ‘correct’ ideology or lifestyle.

Marketing socialist paradise For the Soviet Union, the youth festival involved a massive financial investment. Around 34,000 foreign guests and approximately 120,000 Soviet tourists needed to be catered for. Since Soviet tourism was still in its infancy, organizing an international event of this scale demanded grandiose efforts in tourist services. Compared to previous festivals, Moscow’s celebration saw mass investment: according to Soviet records, the Prague festival had cost 2.1 million roubles, Budapest 3.8, Berlin 5.9, Bucharest 2.6 and Warsaw 2.6 million roubles. It also cost much more than Moscow’s 800-year anniversary celebration or the Spartakiad of the Peoples that had cost 49 and 91.6 million roubles respectively. The costs of the Moscow youth festival approached almost 200 million roubles, and if investment in buildings and renovations is included, the final sum came to 600 million roubles.45 Contemporary Western estimates, calculating the costs between 100 to 200 million dollars, seem to have been on the right track.46 The scale of the festival becomes more understandable if we look at what the money was spent on. According to a report to the Ministry of Culture, the festival’s cultural programme required 14 theatres, 5 concert halls, 40 clubs and 17 open theatres. For the sports events, Moscow needed two stadiums and a sports hall. Museums and other tourist attractions needed to be renovated, central streets repaired, new hotels built and old ones reconstructed. Besides the facilities for the festival, the two-week programme and hosting the guests also cost money; the registration fees covered only a small part of these costs. The Soviet organizers paid for practically everything once the foreign guests had crossed the border: accommodation, food, transportation, visits to nearby towns and a top-quality programme of ballet, fine arts and classical music. The festival preparations also included extensive printing of various information sheets, or propaganda, materials on the country and Moscow, as well as souvenirs and gifts to be handed to the foreign guests.47

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Even though the archival records do not link the festival to Soviet tourism, several indicators suggest that tourism benefited from it. Although the first foreign tourists started to visit the Soviet Union from the mid-1950s, foreign tourism did not properly take root until the early 1960s.48 All of the new facilities – renovated hotels, tourist attractions, sports and concert halls – could be used after the festival, and, moreover, the festival served as a testing ground for the Soviet tourist administration by piloting the skills of the workers at tourist attractions and accommodation services. How did the tourist infrastructure work, how did foreign guests react and were they pleased with the service they received? One of the main reasons to invest in tourism was that it served as a way to earn the money that the Soviet Union desperately needed in order to meet its aim of catching up with the West. Although the festival’s main purpose remained the projection of a new image of the country, profiting from tourism subsequently became more important. In this sense, investing in infrastructure and producing souvenirs for festival guests could be called a pre-history of what Shawn Salmon has called ‘marketing/selling socialism’.49 The youth festival cost the Soviet Union much more than it would receive financially from organizing it, but its propaganda and marketing value was immeasurable. When 34,000 young people passed on their positive impressions of the country, showed photographs and souvenirs back home, at least some of the money invested in these messengers was eventually paid back by growing foreign tourism.

‘An event of great political meaning’ The festival preparations did not focus only on what was to be shown to foreigners. A crucial effort was made in preparing Soviet youth, and Soviet people generally, for contact with the outside world. One speaker pointed out at the Moscow City Committee meeting in April 1957 that, ‘the festival is an important political event, which will serve as a serious test for our work, and it is primarily ideological-educational’.50 Ideological education consisted of two major issues. The primary aim was to prepare Soviet citizens for encounters with foreigners. First, Soviet people were expected to project the ‘correct’ image of the country, and, if necessary, amend the erroneous perceptions of the visitors. In January 1957, Komsomol0 skaya pravda reported that: In many corners of the world, they are very rarely given the correct picture of our country, of our life. Thus, do not be surprised about the questions that are addressed to you. You need to be ready to answer them. And this preparation has to start right now.51 Furthermore, a good Soviet citizen defended the homeland by talking about its successes and victories. To enable them to act accordingly, Soviet youth and other people involved in international encounters, such as hotel workers, assistants in city centre shops, workers in museums and other tourist

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attractions, were given instructions on how to behave with foreigners and what to say about the Soviet Union. Coping with a broad range of foreign visitors also demanded a level of cultural knowledge, such as knowing about the relationship between Algeria and France – at this time Algeria was a French colony and the organizers struggled over whether to use the Algerian flag at the festival – or about cultural traditions, such as Scottish men wearing their traditional costume, kilts, at the festival. Much emphasis was also put on religious matters, churches and the needs of various religious groups.52 As Kristin Roth-Ey has pointed out, the role of the Soviet people at the festival was to act as ambassadors of Soviet life.53 Second, Soviet people were warned about ‘harmful’ foreign influences. Even though the festival proclaimed ‘friendship without limits’, the Soviet media indicated that not all foreigners would arrive with innocent intentions: There are enemies, too, who will try to lure our youth to decadent Western music, such as rock and roll. Some of the people coming to the festival want to teach our youth bourgeois democracy. The main goal, however, is that all the guests should leave the country as friends.54 The harmful foreign influences were often focused on Western culture, especially jazz music, which was much discussed by the Soviet authorities before the festival.55 Jazz was considered harmful not only because it was Western and seen as bourgeois and decadent, but also because it posed a threat to Soviet culture. The Union of Soviet Composers seemingly felt threatened by Western influence on youth at the expense of classical music.56 Notwithstanding the criticisms about jazz and other Western cultural influences, no performances during the festival were cancelled or prevented. Instead, Westerners could demonstrate their cultures and Soviet people were allowed to enjoy the experience, but not before having heard about possible negative influences in advance. The Soviet authorities’ way of trying to control how people understood their experiences largely took the form of educational articles published in Soviet newspapers. These articles outlined the characteristics of ‘correct’ Soviet culture and explained why Western culture was not desirable for Soviet citizens.57

What kind of opening and for whom? Despite the slogans of peace, friendship and mutual understanding, both East and West were prepared for limited openness at the festival. Western youths were urged to question what they were told about socialist society, and Soviet citizens were advised not to believe in ‘capitalist propaganda’ that was, according to Soviet authorities, the main reason why some foreigners had originally travelled to Moscow. Consequently, the festival was, under the surface, a battle between two ideologies, two ways of thinking that clashed from time to time during the celebration.

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According to festival monitoring reports written by Komsomol central committee and Soviet information bureau workers, many youths were truly astonished by what they saw in Moscow. Many visitors praised the Soviet society they witnessed as being totally different from what they had been told before travelling to the country.58 Around 100 foreign delegates fell so much in love with the Soviet Union that they wished to stay on and live there. A young Chilean said that being able to visit the Kremlin itself had made the journey all the way from Chile to the other side of the world worthwhile. A Scottish youngster expected that the excellent services in the hotels would decline during the festival but he was astonished to notice that they stayed at the same level the whole time.59 According to Soviet reports on foreigners’ views of the Soviet Union, many foreigners ‘bought’ the peaceful policy of the Soviet regime. Although many were fascinated by the unusual experience of an international festival and visiting the Soviet Union, the overwhelmingly positive remarks were more than likely written to please senior officials, and positive comments were highlighted more than negative ones. Some of the festival visitors took the chance to explore the country as much as they could and tried to get ‘behind the scenes’. Some American delegates were given written instructions on how to see ‘through the propaganda’. These instructions encouraged delegates to attempt to make contact with people who were not involved with the festival, to travel 100 kilometres from Moscow without an escort, to read non-communist newspapers, magazines and books in the Lenin Library, and to get hold of the complete copy of Khrushchev’s Secret Speech.60 In this sense, the festival did not only mean crossing the border between East and West, but also trying to extend it. According to lists compiled by the Soviet authorities, the questions addressed by the festival participants dealt with politics, the CPSU, Komsomol, religion, workers’ living and working conditions, education and agriculture. Young foreigners were interested in, for example, whether freedom of expression existed in the Soviet Union, how Soviet people regarded events in Hungary, why there were so many poorly dressed people on the streets and how large a portion of the harvest went to the state.61 From the Soviet authorities’ viewpoint, it was vitally important to educate Soviet youths in advance to enable them to answer such questions. One of the ways of dealing with ‘difficult’ questions was to publish educational articles in the central newspapers to announce the ‘correct’ answers to these queries.62 This applied to both international and domestic politics, as well as Western cultures. The dilemma, nevertheless, was that the Soviet authorities now had to address in public those issues which it had earlier avoided. This was, in effect, the way the Soviet regime itself gave its people new information, thus expanding their world-view. All issues were explained by painting the Soviet Union in a favourable light; however, the most important change here was that now completely new topics were open to debate, though still only in accordance with the ‘rules’ of the Soviet regime.

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Critical comments about the Soviet Union were mostly made by Westerners, Polish, Czechoslovak, and Latin American youths. The reports often judged these commentators as anti-Soviet. For example, a young British lawyer, who considered himself a communist, stated that British democracy was on a higher level than Soviet democracy. During a factory visit, West German delegates commented that Soviet factories lagged behind German factories, and a Norwegian youngster considered the Soviet standard of living much lower than in Norway: ‘Soviet people have worse clothes than Norwegians’, he pointed out. Even though equal rights were widely praised, many delegates were astonished to see that women were employed in heavy industry.63 Critical comments also touched on ideological, political and propaganda issues. Events in Hungary were discussed particularly by American, English and Polish youths, who tried to challenge the Soviet version of the conflict. At a meeting with the Hungarian delegation, Polish youths refused to accept the Hungarian’s explanation, shouting that, in reality, there had been a revolution in Hungary in 1956. According to a report written after the festival, meetings with foreigners demonstrated that Soviet propaganda was too weak, and the propaganda about Western lifestyles had gone down all too well with Soviet youth. For instance, Syrians had complained that they could not find Marx’s writings in French or Arabic in Moscow, and a teacher from Damascus wondered why the Soviet embassy did not give Russian language lessons as did many other foreign embassies with their languages.64 These kinds of comments about Soviet society were, of course, unpleasant, but at the same time they were useful. Comments by foreigners, however shaded by capitalist propaganda, gave the Soviet authorities at least a hint of what people outside the socialist bloc were thinking about the country when they saw it with their own eyes. For Soviet youth, the two-week celebration was a distinct change to their everyday lives and a groundbreaking moment. Up to very recently, having contact with foreigners had been illegal and the most common image of a foreigner, usually seen in films, had been that of a spy.65 In this respect, seeing the city full of people of various nationalities was a striking experience, as it was described by one young Soviet man: It was the only time we understood what real internationalism was – freehearted and joyful comradeship with young people from all continents, all nations, from capitalist and Communist countries – no bad blood, no insulting epithets, no barriers at all – nothing but good fellowship, the most innocent and most joyful, as though we had all grown up together and known one another all our lives.66 For Soviet artists, as saxophonist Aleksandr Kozlov recalls, the festival meant realizing that their style, music and idols were old-fashioned.67 Such new experiences and updating of knowledge, though, were available to only a limited number of people depending on a range of factors. One Soviet participant who took part in the gymnastic performance at the opening and

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closing ceremonies had no time to associate with the foreign guests, recalling only the endless rehearsals before and during the festival.68 The festival brought together so many people that for practical reasons many could not even get into events or close to the foreign guests at all.69 Fear, too, prevented people from mingling with foreigners. Despite enormous enthusiasm, not every Soviet citizen was ready or willing to meet foreigners. One Russian woman, aged fifteen in 1957, remembered her mother taking her away from the city during the festival. Due to a dark family history associated with repression, her mother thought that contact with foreigners might prove to be too dangerous.70 Karin Taylor was told similar accounts in her interviews with Bulgarians who participated in the 1968 Sofia festival. Repression as part of family history made people wary of involvement in public activities even ten years after the Moscow festival.71 After 1957, suspicion surrounding open contacts with foreigners remained. After the festival, American participants reported that Soviet young people who had developed contacts with Westerners had been instructed to sever these ties. People were even arrested because of too warm relationships with foreigners. Control was applied especially to ‘loose girls’ who had behaved dishonourably.72 In fact, even today in Russia the 1957 Moscow festival is particularly remembered for the ‘consequences’ of loose behaviour: the socalled festival children (deti festivalya). According to Kristin Roth-Ey, in Russia the festival is more closely associated with love affairs between different nationalities than culture or politics. The public image of the youth festival was part of the mystique constructed before and after the festival. This, according to Roth-Ey, was due to Soviet mass media propagating the festival as a celebration of love.73 After the collapse of the Soviet Union, it became possible to interpret the Moscow youth festival in the broader political and cultural contexts of the ‘thaw’ and the opening up of the country. Kozlov, for example, has suggested that the festival signalled the sunset of the Soviet system.74

Conclusion Whilst the World Youth Festivals are mostly forgotten in the West, in Russia particularly the 1957 Moscow festival is still a part of the cultural heritage of the country, and was marked by a fiftieth anniversary celebration in Moscow during the summer of 2007.75 How important an event was the festival and how much did it affect the international status of the Soviet Union? From the Soviet authorities’ perspective, the youth festival showed the country in a positive light. First, a two-week celebration for thousands of foreigners presented an opportunity to improve the image of the Soviet Union abroad. Second, the festival made it possible to find out what foreigners thought about the country after seeing it with their own eyes. Third, the festival offered a test to Moscow and other large cities as tourist attractions.

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Although the festival was not the result of Khrushchev’s personal initiative, in retrospect the event and the whole year of 1957 turned out to be victorious for him. After securing his position as Soviet leader, the successful World Youth Festival, the launching of the artificial satellite Sputnik and the fortieth anniversary of the October revolution made the Soviet Union look stronger than ever. The Moscow festival has a place in the larger revival of Soviet cultural relations that climaxed with the signing of an agreement on cultural exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union in 1958, and with concurrent national exhibitions in New York and Moscow in 1959.76 Most of all, the new openness associated with the Moscow festival can be seen as a renegotiation of the boundaries of the acceptable within society and between the Soviet Union and other countries. On the one hand, new limits were established when thousands of foreigners were allowed to visit the country, even the Kremlin. For the Soviet people these limits meant being able to establish contacts with foreigners and to experience foreign cultures in a new way and on a new scale. For many young people the festival showed alternative ways of living and seeing the world, and thus turned out to be a very important experience for the future. On the other hand, both Soviet and foreign delegates were watched constantly. Foreigners were carefully listened to and reported on to the Soviet authorities. For Soviet people a level of control was evident in the pre-festival propaganda that repeated the characteristics of good-quality culture, the notion that most of the foreign guests had a mistaken image of the country, and that the socialist homeland and its successes had to be defended in any circumstances, giving youth only one acceptable way of handling the new phenomena. To borrow Anne Gorsuch’s term, what Soviet youth experienced at the festival was ‘controlled difference’.77 Finally, the youth festival showed that the Soviet Union was only partially open.78 The legacy of the Stalin period lived on and was seen, for example, in Khrushchev’s and his successors’ inability to remove the xenophobia established by their predecessor. Suspicion of foreigners and their intentions continued to impact on Soviet people’s lives long after Stalin’s death. Complete openness during the festival was, therefore, out of the question.79 After all, the festival presented a much larger problem for post-Stalin society: how to institute de-Stalinization without simultaneously destroying the legitimacy of the system.80

Notes 1 Y. Richmond, Cultural Exchange and the Cold War: Raising the Iron Curtain, University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003, p. 11. 2 W. Taubman, Khrushchev: The Man and his Era, London: Free Press, 2003, p. 383. On the festival, see also: F. Barghoorn, Soviet Foreign Propaganda, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1964, p. 261; R. Stites, Russian Popular Culture: Entertainment and Society since 1900, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, p. 132; T. Ryback, Rock around the Bloc: a History of Rock Music in Eastern

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4 5

6 7 8

9

10 11 12 13

14 15 16 17

18 19

Pia Koivunen Europe and the Soviet Union, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990, p. 18; F. Starr, Red and Hot: The Fate of Jazz in the Soviet Union, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983, pp. 248–52; E. Zubkova, Russia after the War: Hopes, Illusions, and Disappointments, 1945–1957, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1998, pp. 199–200. See, for example, the following recent studies: K. Roth-Ey, ‘“Loose Girls” on the Loose? Sex, Propaganda and the 1957 Youth Festival’, in M. Ilic, S. Reid and L. Attwood (eds), Women in the Khrushchev Era, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2004; O. Gerasimova, ‘K voprosu ob uchastii Moskovskogo universiteta v podgotovke i provedenii Vsemirnogo festivaliya molodezhi i studentov 1957g.’, Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta, seriya 8 istoriya, no. 1, 2005, pp. 35–64. Vladislav Zubok touches on the event in a few pages of A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev, Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2007, pp. 174–75, 188. V. Zubok and C. Pleshakov, Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996, pp. 182–88; Taubman, Khrushchev, p. 348. On the cultural Cold War, see R. Mitter and P. Major (eds), Across the Blocs: Cold War Cultural and Social History, London: Frank Cass, 2004; G. Scott-Smith and H. Krabbendam (eds), The Cultural Cold War in Western Europe, 1945–1960, London: Frank Cass, 2003; N. Gould-Davies, ‘The Logic of Soviet Cultural Diplomacy’, Diplomatic History, vol. 27, no. 2, 2003; D. Caute, The Dancer Defects: The Struggle for Cultural Supremacy during the Cold War, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003; W. Hixson, Parting the Curtain: Propaganda, Culture and the Cold War, 1945–1961, New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1998. Gould-Davies, ‘The Logic’, p. 212. See, for example, Hixson, Parting the Curtain, p. 159. The Soviet Union’s link to WFDY and IUS was the Committee of Soviet Youth Organizations (KMO), which worked under the auspices of the Komsomol and was known as the Anti-Fascist Committee of Soviet Youth (AKSM) until 1956. RGASPI, f. 4-M, op. 1, preface to opis0 ll. 6–12. Yugoslavia was out of question because its tense relationship with the Soviet Union had not yet been ‘normalized’ by the time of the decision. On Yugoslavia, Albania and Bulgaria, see T. Judt, Postwar: a History of Europe since 1945, London: Pimlico, 2007, pp. 140–45, 167–69, 429–30. RGANI, f. 5, op. 30, d. 81, ll. 66–68. RGASPI, f. 4-M, op. 1, d. 473, ll. 29–39; RGASPI, f. 4-M, op. 1, d. 482, ll. 2–34, 68–76. RGASPI, f. 3-M, op. 15, d. 2, ll. 20–21. Interview with Finnish festival participants, 16 March 2006, Tampere, Finland; K. Chernin, In my Mother’s House: A Daughter’s Story, New York: Harper Perennial, 1994, pp. 266–67; S. Belfrage, A Room in Moscow, London: Pan Books, 1959, pp. 9–11. RGASPI, f. 3-M, op. 15, d. 1, ll. 35–36. N. Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers: the Last Testament, vol. 2, London: Andre Deutsch, 1974, p. 79. See also Taubman, Khrushchev, p. 242. Zubok and Pleshakov, Inside the Kremlin, pp. 76–77; Gerasimova, ‘K voprosu’, p. 35. Three Danish and one Swedish youth organization were expelled from the WFDY in 1947; the Yugoslavs were expelled from the WFDY and the IUS in 1950. For more details see J. Kotek, Students and the Cold War, London: Macmillan, 1996, pp. 125–29, 148–56. RGANI, f. 5, op. 28, d. 363, ll. 10, 174–80; RGANI, f. 5, op. 28, d. 454, ll. 95–100. On the crises in Poland, Hungary and Egypt, see A. Fursenko and T. Naftali, Khrushchev’s Cold War: The Inside Story of an American Adversary, New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2006, pp. 83–137.

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20 J. Krekola, ‘Kuumia tunteita ja kylmää sotaa nuorisofestivaaleilla’, in E. Katainen and P. Kotila (eds) Työväki ja tunteet, Turku: Työväen historian ja perinteen tutkimuksen seura, 2002, p. 253; Le VIe Festival Mondial de la Jeunesse et des Etudiants, Moscow: 1957, pp. 202–3. 21 E. Breßlein, Drushba! Freundschaft? Von der Kommunistischen Jugendinternationale zu den Weltjugendfestspielen, Frankfurt am Main: Fisher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1973, p. 103; TsAOPIM, f. 4, op. 104, d. 31, l. 185. 22 Le VIe Festival, pp. 202–3. 23 Kansan Arkisto, SDNL, 1 F, SFK, He 12, pp. 1–4: report of a Finnish festival worker from the plenum of the WFDY international committee held from 7 June to 9 June 1957 in Moscow. 24 RGANI, f. 5, op. 28, d. 363, l. 10; RGANI, f. 5. op. 28, d. 364, l. 1. 25 V. Semichastnyi, Bespokoinoye serdtse, Moscow: Varius, 2002, pp. 67–69. 26 Gerasimova, ‘K voprosu’, p. 38; Breßlein, Drushba!, p. 98. 27 Komsomol0 skaya pravda, 5 January 1957. 28 Council of the World Federation of Democratic Youth: XI meeting, Sofia, 20–23 August 1956, pp. 12–13. 29 TsAOPIM, f. 478, op. 1, d. 685, l. 47. 30 For more on the Soviet dissident movement in this period, see the chapter by Robert Hornsby in this volume and R. Hornsby, ‘The Outer Limits of Liberalization: Policy against Dissent’, in J.R. Smith and M. Ilic (eds), Khrushchev in the Kremlin, London: Routledge, 2009. 31 H. Rositzke, CIA’s Secret Operations: Espionage, Counterespionage, and Covert Action, London: Westview Press, 1977, p. 163. 32 N. Yakovlev, The CIA against the USSR, 1985, cited in Kotek, Students, p. 211. 33 Krekola, ‘Kuumia’, p. 253. 34 RGASPI, f. 4-M, op. 2, d. 38–41; RGASPI, f. 4-M, op. 3, d. 35. Digital copies of photographs of Finnish festival participants 1949–57 (supplied by interviewees and the Lenin Museum, Tampere, Finland) are in the author’s possession. Although the Soviets could remove all pictures of Soviet and Eastern European leaders, the stadium was not totally free of political images. The Egyptian delegation carried a portrait of President Nasser. See Courtship of Young Minds: a Case Study of the Moscow Youth Festival, New York: East European Student and Youth Service, inc., 1959, p. 18. 35 Zubkova, Russia after the War, p. 200. 36 Komsomol0 skaya pravda 29 July 1957 and 31 July 1957, 1; Shestoi vsemirnyi festival0 molodezhi i studentov, Moscow, 1957. 37 Taubman, Khrushchev, pp. 288, 310–24. 38 GARF, f. R-9401, op. 2, d. 491, ll. 150–55. 39 V. Ardamatskii, Pyat0 lepestok: reportazh o VI vsemirnom festivale molodezhi i studentov v Moskve, Moscow: Detiz, 1958, pp. 66–67; Breßlein, Drushba!, p. 104; Y. Brudny, Reinventing Russia: Russian Nationalism and the Soviet State, 1953– 1991, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998, p. 44. Arguably, letting foreigners into the Lenin mausoleum during the festival was not a Soviet initiative. A Moscow city committee report of 25 June states that many foreigners were disappointed at not being able to visit the mausoleum, but another report dated 12 August says that almost all of the delegates did visit the mausoleum. See TsAOPIM, f. 4, op. 104, d. 31, ll. 8, 193. 40 Breßlein, Drushba!, p. 104; Interview with Finnish festival participants, 16 March 2006, Tampere, Finland; TsAOPIM, f. 4, op. 104, d. 31, l. 91. 41 A. Adzhubei, Krushenie illutsii: vremya v sobytiyakh i litsakh, Moscow: Interbuk, 1991, pp. 186–87. 42 Komsomol0 skaya pravda 21 July 1957; TsAOPIM, f. 4, op. 113, d. 23, l. 31.

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43 H. Wofford, ‘Moscow’s Festival for Youth. Is the State Department Justified in Discouraging American Participation? I. The More Contacts the Better’, The New Republic, 15 July 1957, pp. 12–14; H. Lunn, ‘II. The Department is Right’, The New Republic, 15 July 1957, 14–15. 44 F. Barghoorn, Soviet Cultural Offensive, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1960, pp. 25–26; Hixson, Parting the Curtain, pp. 159–60, 223. 45 RGASPI, f. 3-M, op. 15, d. 241, ll. 12–24, 131–49. 46 Barghoorn, Soviet Foreign Propaganda, p. 261. According to a 1959 American study, Courtship of Young Minds, the exchange rate was four roubles to the dollar. See also the cost estimates given in Courtship of Young Minds, pp. 12–14, and R. Cornell, Youth and Communism: An Historical Analysis of International Youth Movements, New York: Walker and Co., 1965, pp. 146–47. 47 RGANI, f. 5, op. 28, d. 454, ll. 76–86; RGALI, f. 2329, op. 3, d. 593, ll. 2–21; RGALI, f. 2329, op. 4, d. 654, ll. 2–23; TsAOPIM, f. 4, op. 104, d. 30, ll. 2–22. 48 S. Salmon, ‘Marketing Socialism: Intourist in the Late 1950s and Early 1960s’, in A. Gorsuch and D. Koenker (eds), Turizm: the Russian and East European Tourist under Capitalism and Socialism, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2006, p. 190. 49 P. Hanson, The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Economy: an Economic History of the USSR from 1945, London: Longman, 2003, p. 72; Salmon, ‘Marketing Socialism’, pp. 190–91, 193, 203. 50 TsAOPIM, f.478, op. 1, d. 685, l. 3. 51 Komsomol0 skaya pravda, 3 February 1957; TsAOPIM, f. 4, op. 104, d. 7, l. 82. 52 TsAOPIM, f. 4, op. 104, d. 7, ll. 82, 105, 111–13, 126–27. 53 Roth-Ey, ‘Loose Girls’, p. 90. 54 TsAOPIM, f. 4, op. 104, d. 7, ll. 108, 126. 55 RGANI, f. 5, op. 37, d. 22, ll. 109–11; TsAOPIM, f. 4, op. 113, d. 23, ll., 5–6, 143. 56 RGANI, f. 5, op. 36. d. 46. ll. 52–56, 78; RGALI, f. 2329, op. 3, d. 590, ll. 48–53. 57 RGANI, f. 5, op. 36. d. 46. ll. 52–56, 78; RGANI, f. 5, op. 37, d. 22, ll. 109–11; Komsomol0 skaya pravda, 16 June 1957 and 27 July 1957. 58 GARF, f. 8581, op. 2, d. 457, ll. 1–5. 59 TsAOPIM, f. 4, op. 104, d. 31, l. 11, 170; TsAOPIM, f. 4, op. 104, d. 30, l. 28. 60 GARF, f. 8581, op. 2, d. 457, ll. 49–50. 61 GARF, f. 8581, op. 2, d. 457, ll. 44–47. 62 TsAOPIM, f. 4, op. 104, d. 31, l. 14. 63 GARF, f. 8581, op. 2, d. 457, ll. 5–6, 8. 64 TsAOPIM, f. 4, op. 104, d. 31, ll. 134, 161, 170, 182, 211–15. 65 ‘50 let nachala Vsemirnogo festivalya molodezhi i studentov v Moskve’, 27 July 2007 http://www.svobodanews.ru/Transcript/2007/07/27/20070727180009190.html, (accessed 17 March 2008). 66 M. Hindus, House without a Roof: Russia after Forty-three Years of Revolution, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1961, p. 76. 67 See A. Troitskii, Back in the USSR, St. Petersburg: Amfora, 2007, p. 21. 68 Interview with a Russian woman festival participant, born in 1935, 23 May 2007, Moscow. 69 Gerasimova, ‘K voprosu’, pp. 56–57. 70 Interview with a Russian woman, born in 1942, 29 September 2007, Moscow. 71 K. Taylor, ‘Socialist Orchestration of Youth: the 1968 Sofia Youth Festival and Encounters on the Fringe’, Ethnologia Balkanica, vol. 7, 2003, p. 54. 72 F. Barghoorn, ‘Soviet Cultural Diplomacy since Stalin’, Russian Review, vol. 17, no. 1, 1958, p. 54; Roth-Ey, ‘Loose Girls’, pp. 82–84. 73 Roth-Ey, ‘Loose Girls’, p. 86, note 47; Personal communication with Russians during 2006–8; N. Davydova, ‘15 dnei, kotorye potryasli stolitsu’, Izvestiya, 27 July 2007. Roth-Ey speculates that the story of festival children might be only an urban legend constructed after the festival. It is not important how many festival children

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74 75 76 77 78

79 80

65

were actually born, however, but the fact that the festival is still remembered because of the deti festivalya. A. Kozlov, ‘Kozel na sakse’ – i tak vsyu zhizn0 , Moscow: Vagrius, 1998, p. 102. ‘Information Bulletin of the Government of Moscow’, no. 18 (69), 2007; A. Makarov, ‘Deti festivalya’, Izvestiya, 10 July 2007; N. Davydova, ‘15 dnei’. Gould-Davies, ‘The Logic’, pp. 206, 210; Hixson, Parting the Curtain, p. 193. A. Gorsuch, ‘Time Travellers: Soviet Tourists to Eastern Europe’, in Turizm, pp. 207, 226. For a discussion on partial openness in youth culture and policy under Khrushchev, see J. Fürst, ‘The Arrival of Spring? Changes and continuities in Soviet Youth culture and policy between Stalin and Khrushchev’, in P. Jones (ed.) The Dilemmas of De-Stalinization: Negotiating cultural and social change in the Khrushchev era, London: Routledge, pp. 145, 148–50. Zubok and Pleshakov, Inside the Kremlin, p. 77. Gorsuch, ‘Time Travellers’, p. 207.

4

The scientist, the pedagogue and the party official Interest groups, public opinion and decision-making in the 1958 education reform Laurent Coumel

After the introduction of the October 1918 decree on ‘united labour schools’, education remained a major concern of the Soviet government. The government aimed both to train specialists and to raise Soviet citizens in the spirit of socialism. As part of his aim to re-launch the communist project in the Soviet Union, Khrushchev introduced a revision of the education system. The 1958 education reform has been seen as both the product of socialist ideology and the Party-state’s views in the field of education. It was also the result of a compromise between various actors in the Soviet decision-making process, as well as of a strong desire to modernize the Soviet economy.1 Its failure (a decree abolishing one of its main propositions was issued as early as August 1964) has been seen as the result of an internal struggle between the majority of the intelligentsia and the nomenklatura (Party functionaries), which aimed to defend its prerogatives and privileges.2 The ‘general discussion’ that followed, in the press in particular, the publication of the Party’s proposals, revealed deep-seated tensions over some of the main issues of the forthcoming perestroika in education, as it was referred to in the official texts. Contemporary Western observers noted that some academics and pedagogues were willing openly to criticize the proposals. This chapter focuses on the motivations and impact of these criticisms on policy-making, and asks one central question: did their authors want to be recognized as official experts, or to establish themselves as an ‘interest group’? This chapter draws on new evidence from the Russian archives and autobiographical materials to identify different groups and visions among the actors in the policy-making process. It begins with an overview of the reform agenda and its main issues, and then analyzes the signs of relative pluralism that were evident not only during the ‘general discussion’, but also at internal meetings and in the discourses of the various actors. The chapter focuses particularly on the ‘scholars’: the question here is whether their main aim was to defend their own interests or that of a particular role and authority in ‘public opinion’. Finally, the chapter examines the alternative visions that were promoted by different groups during discussions of 1958 reform, and their achievements in the decade that followed.

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Objectives and genesis of the 1958 reform During the first forty years of Soviet power major changes took place in the education system. In summary, two main goals were assigned to the schools and universities: in pedagogy and curricula, ‘polytechnism’ was identified as a means to combine manual labour and intellectual work; and ‘proletarization’ was the positive action taken to train children from worker and peasant families as a new kind of elite. By the mid-1930s, these two issues had more or less been abandoned. Traditional (pre-revolutionary) curricula and systems of ranking came back into schools (including the awarding of gold and silver medals to ‘excellent’ pupils), and the ‘class-based policy’ of recruitment to institutes of higher learning (the VUZy) was stopped.3 After a long period of conformism and stability in this field, the 1958 reform concerned both secondary and higher education. Its main objective was to persuade young people to opt for technical and vocational training rather than classical or general academic studies. The Soviet government saw this as a means to increase the attractiveness of ‘secondary specialized education’ and ‘technical higher education’. Khrushchev himself declared at the XIII Congress of the Komsomol (the Communist Party’s youth organization) in April 1958, in a speech seen as the first step towards the perestroika of the education system: Our ten-year schools only prepare students for admission to higher educational institutions [VUZy]. Life has shown for a long time that such a conception of secondary schooling is incorrect. [ … ] Take a look at what is actually going on. In the country’s VUZy we can admit about 450,000 people a year, with half in daytime courses. And the majority of young people who have studied for ten years and finished secondary school fail their exams and are not prepared for practical life. [ … ] Some of them go unwillingly to work in factories, and collective and state farms, and regard this as an insult.4 One of the main concerns identified by Khrushchev was the need to change the perceptions of an important segment of Soviet youth, who insisted in being allowed access to higher education in preference to any kind of physical work. Khrushchev, who at this time was forecasting the ‘building of communism’, condemned such an attitude from a moral point of view. The selected slogan of the reform – ‘strengthen the ties between school and life’ – reflected the ideological foundations of the proposals, drawing directly on catchphrases from the 1920s.5 Economic reasons also played a role in the proposals. Another hidden agenda was to improve the social composition of the student body. According to reports from the Central Bureau of Statistics, the situation in the mid-1950s no longer reflected the ideology of the proletarian State.6 Positive discrimination in favour of workers and peasants had halted in 1936 after the class struggle was officially stopped.7 As seen in table 4.1, in all types of VUZy, the proportion of workers and peasants in first-level

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courses had fallen from 62 per cent in 1935 to 37 per cent by 1955. As a consequence, the country had returned to the situation that existed at the end of the 1920s, before the mass proletarianization of the universities and engineering institutes had begun. Further proof of concern about changes to the social composition of the student body is provided by the fact that between 1935 and 1955 the Central Bureau of Statistics stopped collating this data and no longer provided reports to the Central Committee and the Council of Ministers. After Stalin’s ‘revolution from above’ and its concomitant social upheavals, the return to ‘Leninist norms’ under Khrushchev, proclaimed in many speeches and official decrees, signalled a return to communist principles. Soviet leaders sought a return to the policies of 1928–36, but the achievement of socialism had generated a new social division: ‘young people with an experience of production’ would become the new privileged group. Ideological, moral and socio-economic motivations seem to have been strongly related in Khrushchev’s thinking concerning education. Khrushchev’s Memorandum on education reform was first published in September 1958, after a draft had been submitted to the Presidium of the Central Committee in June.8 Khrushchev and his team announced radical measures: it was suggested either to remove the last two years spent in secondary schools, replacing them with work in production in conjunction with evening or correspondence courses, or similarly to abolish the first two years of the curriculum in daytime VUZy courses. This would mean that all students would begin their higher education studies having dedicated two full years exclusively to work in industry or agriculture, again alongside evening or correspondence courses. This would involve a significant interruption (at least two years) in students’ studies. Special secondary schools for particularly gifted children in sciences and the arts (hereafter ‘special schools’) were to be created (with daytime and more intensive courses) on the model of the foreign-language schools that had been established in Moscow and Leningrad from the end of the 1940s. Table 4.1 Social composition of newly admitted students in Soviet higher educational institutions (VUZy) (%) Type of VUZ/year All types of VUZy /1935 All types of VUZy /1955 Industrial and technical VUZy/1935 Industrial and technical VUZy/1955 Agricultural VUZy/1935 Agricultural VUZy/1955

Workers 39.6 24.4 54.8 24.7 30.4 21.9

Peasants 22.9 13.0 7.6 8.3 41.6 25.7

Other categories 37.5 62.6 37.8 67.0 28.0 52.4

Source: RGAE, f. 1562, op. 33, d. 2717, l. 226. The table appears in this form in the original document. 1955 figures are given for a 20 VUZy sample.

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In September 1958, the Memorandum’s call for a nationwide discussion (vsenarodnoe obsuzhdenie) seemed to be little more than a ‘democratic ritual’, to quote one Russian historian.9 Even so, the liberalization of the public sphere, as seen in art, literature and even social questions, including pedagogy – designated by Il0 ya Ehrenburg’s 1954 novel as The Thaw – allowed some critical voices to be raised.

General discussion and public critique10 Organized debates in the press, controlled by censors, took place under Stalin (for example, the discussions around the new Constitution and the law on abortion in 1936). Khrushchev’s leadership made use of similar campaigns to give voice to ‘public opinion’, especially after the removal in 1957 of the political opposition posed by the ‘Anti-Party group’. However, as contemporary Western Sovietologists noted, after prominent personalities such as President of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences Ivan Kairov and Minister of Higher Education Vyacheslav Yelyutin had expressed their support for Khrushchev’s ideas in Pravda in early September, a little before the Memorandum was published, other critics emerged.11 Mathematician Sergei Sobolev warned against the risk of weakening Soviet science.12 More surprising was the article by the Director of Leningrad Polytechnic Institute, Vasilii Smirnov, who explained that Khrushchev’s proposals would be very difficult to achieve.13 Chemist and 1956 Nobel Prize winner Nikolai Semenov published an article in October, entitled ‘Remarks on some points of the perestroika’, where he clearly denounced the idea of interrupting the curriculum: It would be relevant for [engineering] VUZy to admit mostly young boys and girls directly from secondary school, because early age and uninterrupted study are very important conditions for the development of young people’s scientific creativity and access to the complex of knowledge … 14 In November 1958, the ‘Thesis of the Central Committee and the USSR Council of Ministers on strengthening the ties between school and life’ was published. It is important to note that these new proposals contained amendments of the earlier version. First, most of the secondary schools were to be retained, even if the ‘principal way’ of delivering secondary education was to be via evening and correspondence courses. Moreover, in higher education the requirement to ‘combine study with production’ was to be determined by each individual VUZ and it was no longer necessary for pupils to spend two years in production after secondary school. Students with production experience, however, would be given priority in admission to higher education. Nevertheless, these proposals gave rise to another wave of criticisms, although these represented only a minority amongst the mostly positive responses. In November and December 1958, many articles were published in

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specialized journals and newspapers about school reform in general.15 Most emphasized the need to ‘make school closer to life’, as the official motto said, but others criticized the new direction in secondary and higher learning. Again, scholars were the most vociferous, far more so than officials and university representatives. Attacks on the main proposals of the reform came simultaneously from young academicians, such as physicists Yakov Zeldovich and Andrei Sakharov (the future dissident), and from other leading figures, such as mathematician Andrei Kolmogorov, who defended a system of priority access to higher education being given on the basis of academic performance, and the President of the Soviet Academy of Sciences himself, Aleksandr Nesmeyanov.16 Nesmeyanov strongly warned against the interruption of studies, arguing that aptitude for learning, ‘the young brain’, as he expressed it in a materialist formulation, worked at its most efficient between the ages of 17 and 23.17 This argument was important, coming as it did from the head of the country’s most prominent academic institution. All of these articles urged the need to retain a generalist, classical curriculum at least for the best pupils intending to enter higher education. Many analysts have come to see in this discussion the signs of an unprecedented pluralism. According to Yaroslav Bilinsky, writing in 1962: Superficially, the passage of the bills seems to be just another example of the well-known pattern of Soviet decision-making: a resolution made in the top party and government councils, the rallying of public opinion in an officially sanctioned and officially controlled discussion, and the Supreme Soviets affixing their rubber stamps after a brief and perfunctory debate. What makes this particular case somewhat extraordinary is the presence and comparatively free expression of real differences of opinion among party officials, educators and parents.18 Joel Schwartz and William Keech went further: If we compare Khrushchev’s September Memorandum with the actual law adopted in December 1958 we find that the two differ not only in detail but in basic principle. [ … ] The maintenance of continuous secondary full-time education must be seen as a rebuff of Khrushchev’s demands.19 Thus, many analysts have concluded that the expression of criticisms in the press led to a reformulation of the official draft. This is especially true in the case of uninterrupted study in scientific and university subjects, even if no significant changes were made after the publication of the Thesis (see Chronology in the Appendix to this chapter). As a matter of fact, the ‘general discussion’ is just the tip of the iceberg. The debates about Khrushchev’s radical proposals had already begun at internal meetings in September 1958, even before the publication of the Memorandum.

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September meetings and relative pluralism Research in the Russian archives now provides the opportunity to present a micro-history of the making of the 1958 reform. It shows how Party officials themselves influenced the writing of the law. The major events in question here are the meetings convened in mid-September, before the publication of Khrushchev’s proposals in the press. By studying the discourses of the participants and organizers of these meetings it is possible to elucidate some of the strategies used in the decision-making process. A series of parallel steps is in evidence. First, the Communist Party Presidium adopted the initial draft of the reform in June 1958. Khrushchev subsequently proposed a Memorandum (zapiska), which was published in Pravda on 21 September. Second, in parallel with these events, the Party organized a consultation exercise in order to finalize the details of the reform. The two Departments of Science and Schools, headed by Vladimir Kirillin and Nikolai Kaz0 min, convened a series of nine meetings with ‘representatives’ (predstaviteli) from a number of institutions and professions. It is not clear whether Kirillin and Kaz0 min were asked to create an official ‘commission’; the documents mention the commission, but not systematically. The three leading participants in the work of the commission were Ivan Kairov, president of Academy of Pedagogical Sciences, Genrih Zelenko, chief of the Administration of State Labour Reserves (an institution created in 1940),20 and Vyacheslav Yelyutin, Minister of Higher Education. Third, the result of these discussions was the redrafting of the reform: the so-called Thesis of the CC CPSU and of the Council of Ministers of USSR, the text of which directly contributed to the law ‘on the Strengthening of the Relationship between School and Life, and on the Further Development of the System of Public Education’. Indeed, the law of 24 December 1958 proved to be flexible on the two polemical points mentioned above: first, that most of the secondary school provision would be delivered at daytime schools, alongside an increase in the provision of evening and correspondence courses; second, the stipulation of two years spent in production at the beginning of higher education would be organized differently in each VUZ, and for universities, as well as for specialties such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. It would not be made compulsory, although pupils with production experience would be given priority entry at any faculty. Thus, as a result of Kirillin and Kaz0 min’s internal pressure on the participants, the second version of the official proposals, the ‘Thesis’, was already more moderate than Khrushchev’s initial proposals. Several actors at the apex of the Party-state system participated in the preparation of this text (see Table 4.2). Nevertheless, the September meetings were more a consultation of several professional and institutional groups than a proper negotiation. They helped the moderate Party bureaucrats, Kirillin and Kaz0 min, allied with Kairov and Yelyutin, to amend Khrushchev’s initial draft. Instead of opposing Khrushchev directly, many speakers criticized Zelenko’s proposals on secondary education,

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Table 4.2 Meetings at the CPSU CC’s Departments, 16–27 September 1958 Day

Represented institutions and professions

16.09 Directors and chief engineers of large industrial enterprises in Moscow and other cities 17.09 Presidents of collective farms, managers of state farms and other workers in agriculture 19.09 Scholars 20.09 Teachers, officials of public education and of the state labour reserves 20.09 Officials of Soviet army and navy 23.09 Industrial workers 25.09 Secretaries of propaganda and heads of departments of science, VUZ and schools in the republics CC 26.09 Secretaries of propaganda and heads of departments of science, VUZ and schools in the republics CC, ministers of public education and officials of the state labour reserves in the republics 27.09 Secretaries of propaganda and heads of departments of science, VUZ and schools in the republics CC, ministers of public education and officials of the state labour reserves in the republics Total

Chair; other members of the ‘Commission’; (recipient of the report)

Number of participants/ speakers

Kirillin Kaz0 min, Kuzin, Zelenko, Yelyutin, Kairov (Furtseva) Kuzin (Furtseva)

29/17

27/18

Kaz0 min Zelenko, Kuzin (Brezhnev) Kuzin Rudnev (Brezhnev)

31/17

Meretskov?

?/?

29/21

Kirillin 34/10 Afanasenko (Brezhnev) Kirillin 15/9 Kairov, Zelenko, Yelyutin, Semichastnyi, Afanasenko (Brezhnev) Kirillin, then Kuzin ?/18 Zelenko (Brezhnev)

Kirillin 47/11 Kuzin, Elyutin, Zelenko, Afanasenko, Kairov (Brezhnev)

About 250/ about 130

Source: own evaluation. A few participants/speakers are counted twice, or more times, in this table.

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using him as a scapegoat. It seems likely that the Party apparatus orchestrated the debate on Zelenko’s (that is, Khrushchev’s) radical proposals.21 The political function of the September meetings should not disguise their impact on the public discussions. For the first time since the end of the 1920s, Party officials consulted openly with different groups of administrative and professional representatives to determine their views on an official project. The very form of these meetings – oral discussion under strict regulation, but also partly open debate – instead of written reports (as was usual in Soviet bureaucracy) is the first sign of a change in the Party officials’ mentality. As if he wanted to stress this change, Kirillin opened the first meeting on 16 September with a bold invitation: There is no single point of view so far, and it would be interesting to hear your opinion. Regarding obtaining qualifications, it is also interesting to listen to your points of view as business leaders, and as pupils’ fathers and mothers, and as simple citizens because we are all greatly interested in this issue.22 The difference in atmosphere compared with the end of the Stalin period is obvious. Under Stalin, one participant at the Central Committee’s departmental meeting on genetics recalled: ‘Comrade Stalin told us that in the Party we do not have such things as personal opinions or personal points of view; there are only the opinions of the Party’.23 There was the same sense of an unprecedented open discussion at the meeting of higher education officials on 22 September. Nikolai Zhavoronkov, rector of Moscow Institute of Chemistry and Engineering, opposed deputy minister Stoletov, who wanted to close the discussion on the principles of the reform, stressing the unusual configuration of the debate. Zhavoronkov declared: ‘Here, of course, there may be different views, and that is why it is perfectly natural that in com[rade] Khrushchev’s article, it is clear that this issue will be submitted to a general discussion’.24 The most obvious signs of pluralism, however, came from the ‘scholars’ at the September meetings. The proposal to place priority on evening and correspondence courses for the last three years of complete secondary education and/or the first two years of higher education was regarded as a significant threat to the training of young specialists, especially scientists. Two days before the publication of Khrushchev’s Memorandum, thirty-one key scholars discussed ‘questions of the reorganization of the educational system’. Among them were the president of the Academy of Sciences, Nesmeyanov, two vicepresidents, seventeen academicians and six associate members, three professors and the rector of Moscow State University, Ivan Petrovskii. Indeed, some of the country’s most famous scholars expressed their doubts about the proposals at this meeting. Mathematician and academician Sergei Sobolev said that he saw ‘great danger in the way’ the reform was taking shape and that in reality workers’ children would experience more difficulty

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than others in returning to studying after such a break in the curriculum.25 Other academicians, including physicist Sergei Khristianovich and mathematician Andrei Kolmogorov, also expressed their anxiety about extending the path to higher education. Associate member Aleksandr Tselikov explained that even in the training of engineers, students who had finished evening courses did not have the same theoretical knowledge as those who studied in daytime institutes. Furthermore, some scientists thought that the entire progress of science and technology would completely eradicate the need for physical work, and predicted the dawn of a new era of automation and informatization. For example, the famous physicist Piotr Kapitsa wrote to Khrushchev on 21 October 1958: ‘As a matter of fact ( … ), the time is near when the role of physical work will be practically reduced to nothing’.26 Official ideology, however, did not conform to this kind of scientific understanding that was very popular amongst the Soviet intelligentsia at the beginning of the 1960s.27 Simultaneously, the ‘scholars’, along with Nesmeyanov, denounced the ‘caste nature’ (kastovost0 ) evident in the training of young specialists in universities; they called for a revision of the entrance examinations, denouncing the ‘lottery’ of the concourse.28 The Academy of Sciences was not the only place where such criticisms were heard. A few days later, at the meeting of rectors and directors of VUZy in the Ministry of Higher Education, only the representatives of technical institutes declared that the training of young engineers would benefit under the new system; and not all of them agreed. A Soviet historian demonstrated in the mid-1980s that the directors of technical institutes had not prepared for the reform, and had other ideas about the reorganization of the curriculum in relation to the place of production work.29 The rector of Leningrad State University, mathematician Aleksandr Aleksandrov, said that it was a mistake to interrupt the process of acquiring knowledge and illustrated this with the example of Russian poets Lermontov, Dobrolyubov and Pisarov, who all died when they were between twenty-six and twenty-eight years old. These young men had already written their masterpieces, although they were not mathematical geniuses, in whom ‘capacities grow earlier’, he added ironically.30 Moreover, he warned against the risks of higher education by correspondence courses with regard to both the academic level achieved and the student’s health, a point that Petrovskii also mentioned. Other criticisms came from the director of the Moscow Chemical-Technological Institute, Nikolai Zhavoronkov, and deputy-director of Moscow Higher Technical College, Nikolaev. The Rector of Yerevan State University, Davtyan, also presented an unorthodox interpretation of the official catchphrase of the reform: It is necessary to make it explicit: what does it mean to bring VUZy closer to life? We have to think about it. I consider that if at the faculty of mathematics and physics teaching of computer science is not expanded enough, then there is a divide between university and life.31

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The speech bore little relation to Khrushchev’s initial proposals – even if the First Secretary would probably have agreed that the Soviet Union should not be backward in any branch of science. Moreover, it contributed to the reshaping of the whole meeting. Yelyutin and his supporters argued that this was not the place for discussing the very principles of the reform. They asked Aleksandrov and Petrovskii to present specific examples of its implementation. Yet an important group of rectors and professors (including the mathematician Bermant and the physicist Fabrikant) still refused to discuss the matter in the traditional Soviet bureaucratic way; they pointed to a series of problems and dilemmas in the training of engineers and scientists. Party and government officials had not anticipated such strong opposition from the scientists. More than a classic conflict of authority, it could be seen as the coming of age of the ‘experts’ or as the making of a new ‘interest group’.

From ‘opinion’ to ‘interest’ group: the case of scientists The study of these discourses shows that the main goal of the actors was to defend their prominent role in the general discussion on school and higher learning, rather than a specific material situation. The desire for social and public recognition seems to have been more important to them than the privileges they enjoyed at work or in their everyday lives. The discourse of some scientists proves their willingness to influence decisionmaking. For example, Nesmeyanov insisted at the beginning of his speech: ‘The issue we are discussing today is an extraordinarily worrying one. … and from this point of view, I regret that interventions here will not be heard directly by the leadership’.32 Kapitsa’s letter to Khrushchev (on 21 October) also stressed the importance of founding a ‘public opinion’ that would help the political powers to draw a line under scientific questions: It is well known that many orders of the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences … remain on paper, not because they are bad, but because they are made without taking into account public opinion and without its support. Not only the planned development of science, but a bold advanced science can only exist in the country if they are based on public opinion.33 Paradoxically, Kapitsa did not intervene at the September meeting. His colleagues, however, strongly criticized some aspects of the proposals. They argued in favour of not interrupting the studies of the best pupils in sciences at the universities, and they denounced ‘special schools’ as a new form of privilege for the elite. As noted above, Khrushchev promoted the establishment of such schools in order to guarantee the training of young scientists over the next few years while the reform was being implemented. Many officials criticized this view, especially after mathematician Mikhail Lavrent0 ev’s article appeared in Pravda at the end of November. Nevertheless, John

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Dunstan has pointed out that some scientists (Andrei Sakharov, Yakov Zeldovich, Andrei Kolmogorov and Nikolai Semenov) supported the idea of ‘special schools’, which he uses as proof of division amongst the ‘scholars’: the 1958 debate provides evidence for Skilling’s hypothesis of the possible identification, within occupational groups, of strong opinion groups, constellations whose stars are by no means all fixed.34 Still, the scientists managed to put a stop to this particular proposal: the law took into account their opposition. Moreover, the echoes of the scientists’ disagreements are evident among other actors of the educational system. At least one schoolteacher wrote a letter to Nesmeyanov to congratulate and thank him for his article in Literaturnaya gazeta.35 On the contrary, Party officials presented the disagreements as a defence of particular interests. A report addressed to Leonid Brezhnev (who does not seem to have played a direct role in the preparation of the law) in early October clearly states: Many of the participants (associate members of the USSR Academy of Sciences Aleksandr Tselikov and Ivan Novikov, president of the Academy of Sciences Nesmeyanov and others) declared that evening and correspondence teaching must not be the main way to acquire general secondary and higher education. [ … ] Many speakers argued that the number of schools offering complete secondary education without a break for work in production should not decrease. [ … ] In our opinion, many of the speakers had not yet undertaken a sufficiently serious and thorough analysis of the deficiencies of our education system and the means to correct them. Although all of the speakers recognized the need to strengthen the ties between education and life and presented interesting proposals, many speeches did not take into account the interests of the further development of the national economy as a whole or of the national culture.36 Officials from the departments of science (otdely nauki), VUZy and schools, organizers of the meetings in September, thus reveal a compartmentalized vision of Soviet institutional and social reality. The presentation of the speakers as ‘representatives’ of this or that group, assessing their words as ‘taking into account’ or not the ‘interests’ of the school system or the economy, confirm that impression. The speakers themselves reflect this classification, for the sake of both clarity and legitimacy. Starobinskii, a professor at Moscow Medical Institute No. 1, on 23 September said that he and his colleagues in higher medical education had met the previous day to ‘express [their] collective point of view’, having had the opportunity to do so at the USSR Ministry of Health. Thus, he could represent ‘[their] general opinion’ to the officials. Professor Fabrikant claimed to speak as a representative of physicists working in VUZy. Young pedagogue Vasilii Sukhomlinskii also

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pretended to represent the ‘opinion’ of teachers and parents of pupils at his school. He was not alone in considering that parents, by definition an invisible group, played an important role in expressing objections about the draft under discussion. In mid-September, an industry official said: ‘Here, we are faced with resistance (protivodeistvie) from parents. It must be said that it also comes from teachers of all ranks, and from our intelligentsia’.37 In local reports of the ‘general discussion’ that can be traced back to the central party organization, we can find the same terminology of clearly defined categories. This applies, for example, for ‘industry representatives’, many of whom were concerned about the conditions of employment at youth schools; they were supposed to undertake vocational training alongside schooling.38 Officials denounced such corporatist responses as opposed to the ‘building of communism’. This was precisely the rhetorical strategy adopted by Yelyutin when faced by VUZ managers. Actually, the concerns of ‘scholars’, most of them also working in higher education, joined the VUZ managers in some of their statements. Yet this is not the only point of contact between different institutions: the positions taken in the press show that a consensus existed between the representatives of various professional spheres. Many secondary school teachers took action against the ‘special schools’, as did academicians Lavrent0 ev and Nesmeyanov; at meetings, a majority emerged among scientists, but also pedagogues, theorists and practitioners, against this type of school. University officials were concerned about the fate of secondary education institutes, as evidenced at the beginning of the briefing by the Deputy Minister of Education, Aleksei Markushevich, – a mathematician and a pedagogue – who was invited to a meeting of VUZ managers on 23 September. When he announced his intention to ‘say a few words about secondary school perestroika’, someone in the audience called out, ‘It is the most important issue!’39 Conversely, many pedagogues were sensitive to the intrusion of scientists in the debate, for example, about ‘special schools’. Some said that they agreed with Lavrent0 ev’s article, published a few days earlier in Pravda, on this subject.40 Finally, it could be argued that ‘interest group’ here is not limited to one institution or profession. This coalition of different professional and intellectual groups against the official proposals was nevertheless contested by Party officials. The officials preferred to denounce particular interests, rather than openly to recognize their legitimacy. Khrushchev expressed this in his own words at the graduation ceremony of Moscow University’s Faculty of Physics on 20 January 1959: An acquaintance told me this autumn, when the decision on the perestroika of education was being prepared, that his wife (I know her, she is an honest woman) said: ‘If only my little girl Masha could finish her tenyear education and enter a VUZ, then you could undertake your perestroika of the school.’ (LAUGH) We can understand her, on a human level; but this reflects a serious defect.41

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This view, however, does not take into account the profound gap between Khrushchev’s vision of modernity and that of his opponents.

Alternative visions of Soviet education At the beginning of the 1960s, former opponents of the 1958 reform managed to resurrect the debate with the aim of developing their own experimental educational models within the broader Soviet system. More than an epilogue to (or a revival of) the ‘general discussion’, this episode elucidates the motivations of its main actors. Western sovietology has considered the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences, whose president officially supported the reform while other members were clearly opposed to it, as ‘a conservative and resolutely independent institution’.42 In reality, some of the Academy’s officials played a decisive role in the abandonment of the idea of work in production. From 1962 to 1964, an offensive was conducted in the press denouncing the idea of shifting education to work in production in the last years of secondary school. Analysed at the end of the 1960s by Philip Stewart as providing an example of the successful action of an interest group, this movement confirmed the existence of pluralism on educational issues.43 Several actors claimed a role in education policy: Aleksandr Arsen0 ev, academician at the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences since 1959 and Director of the Institute for General and Polytechnical Education, declared in October 1963 that his institution supported the reestablishment of ten-year schools, and that in general the involvement of teachers in decision-making should be systematic, ‘rather than episodic as in the past’.44 While Kairov remained silent, Khrushchev seems to have retained only one ally in support of the idea of work in production, RSFSR Minister of Education Afanasenko. Khrushchev became more silent on this subject. After the XXII Party Congress, he made his only speech on education reform in April 1964.45 Occupied by internal and external problems, Khrushchev appears to have lost control (or the will to control) in an area that had been so dear to him just six years earlier. A decree issued by the Central Committee and the USSR Council of Ministers on 10 August 1964 reduced to two years (instead of three) the final years of secondary education, effective from 1965/1966.46 This marked a return to the ten-year schools that had existed up to 1958. In a report published by the RSFSR Ministry of Education, Afanasenko justified the decision by explaining that the last year was most often ‘a waste of time’, which aroused dissatisfaction ‘among pupils, parents and public opinion (obshchestvennost0 )’.47 In February 1966, a new decree stipulated that secondary school students should undertake vocational training only where the conditions were ‘required’. This was the logical outcome of the decision of August 1964. It appears to be the case that most of the scholars who opposed the reform in secondary and higher education found ways to bypass it and to develop their own methods for training young specialists, and especially young scientists. Two specific

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examples illustrate this strategy. The first was the founding in Novosibirsk, Siberia, of a new kind of university with a strong emphasis on science. The second was the extension of ‘special schools’ for gifted children, but under the control of scientists. In May 1958, academician Lavrent0 ev, the founder of Akademgorodok, the ‘city of science’ founded in Novosibirsk in 1957, promised to open a university there.48 The coincidence of this event with the official launching of school reform, a few weeks earlier, can be seen as a sign of the gap between general policy decided in Moscow and the experiment that would begin in the heart of Siberia. The University of Novosibirsk was created during the discussion about school reform. During the autumn of 1958 the Soviet Ministry of Higher Education asked the Council of Ministers to allow ‘particular rules of admission’ for the brand new university, with the support of Nesmeyanov.49 The State Planning Commission, Gosplan, also received a request from Lavrent0 ev. He asked for scientists to be allowed to select the best students from Moscow State University to work in Akademgorodok’s research institutes.50 His main objective was to promote research and to secure the best conditions for work in Novosibirsk at the new university. As the wife of mathematician Gurii Marchuk reported in her memoirs, it was intended to be a university of a new type, where teaching would be directly related to work of the research institutes, and the teachers would be people working in science … The main theoretical lectures were to be given by eminent scholars from the Academy of Sciences.51 This quite clearly involved a separation between the academic curriculum and work in production. Lavrent0 ev preferred young, talented students to be isolated in special places for intensive training in science rather than having to be in contact with local factories and farms. Another clear result of this strategy was the creation of a ‘summer school in mathematics and physics’ in 1962 to prepare students for the final phase of the first Siberian Olympiads in mathematics and physics. This became the first boarding school of its type (fizmatshkola) in the country in January 1963, thanks to Lavrent0 ev’s persistence.52 After Novosibirsk, other boarding schools offering intensive training in mathematics and physics opened in Moscow (under the authority of Kolmogorov himself), Leningrad and Kiev.53 These differed from Khrushchev’s initial proposals for schools for ‘gifted children’ in a small but significant manner: the scientists themselves (via the major city universities) would be in charge of the selection of the pupils, and they would have control over the curricula. Novosibirsk University was not the only VUZ to be granted particular rules of admission. From 1958, some higher education institutions began to ask for more ‘complementary admission quotas’. Several complaints about the low number of students in daytime courses were addressed in the following years by rectors and professors from Moscow and Leningrad State Universities in particular, and especially in physics, chemistry and mathematics courses.

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For example, in the summer of 1958 Moscow State University’s rector, Petrovskii, asked Gosplan directly to be allowed to take more students in sciences and history. Having listened to the ‘opinions of the most important scholars’, Gosplan agreed to increase the plans for admission.54 Many officials believed that it was really difficult to combine study and work in production in these subjects. In March 1963, describing the results of the university reforms, the RSFSR Minister of Higher Education, Vsevolod Stoletov, explained that a survey had been conducted by sociologists from Leningrad State University of evening and correspondence students (that is, those working while studying) in its faculties. One of the questions was: ‘Do you manage to study and find time to rest and relax?’ Only 10 to 12 per cent of physicists, mathematicians and geographers and 15 per cent of biologists were able to answer in the affirmative.55 In other words, the combination of work in production and academic study did not allow young people to extend their intellectual capacities. The Minister summoned the rectors of Moscow and Leningrad State Universities to listen to their concerns about this problem. Later at the same meeting, the vice-chair of the RSFSR committee for the coordination of scientific research, A. I. Gorbanev, referred to the organization of Novosibirsk State University and its relationship with Akademgorodok’s research institutes as ‘one of the most important forms of improving the training of cadres by bringing scholars and students closer together’.56 Five years after its creation, some political observers had come to view the Siberian ‘city of sciences’ as a model for higher education. In education, scientists and pedagogues worked alongside each other. Kolmogorov, Lavrent0 ev and Markushevich worked together in order to establish special boarding schools, and to initiate the reform of the mathematics curriculum at the beginning of 1964. They also needed the support of Party officials. Vladimir Kirillin, a bureaucrat, scientist and researcher at the Moscow Energetic Institute, may have helped them to fulfill their vision.57 The adoption of methods that differed significantly from the official policy of ‘strengthening the ties between school and life’ in many special schools and in universities, on the example provided by Novosibirsk, may be taken to prove that the scholars’ primary aim was to protect their own patterns of training young scientists, and that this was a pattern of self-reproduction. Yet it could also be seen as important to specialists, at this time, to express their views and to exploit their scientific standing in order to re-establish their own authority within the limits offered by Soviet society and ideology. For Soviet statisticians in the 1920s, it has been argued that, Their standing provides the recognition by others of a series of prerogatives, which allows people or institutions, as a result of their position in the decision-making process or of their competence in a particular field, a preponderant voice in decision-making. Their authority emanates from the recognition of this standing by all of the people or institutions concerned with these decisions.58

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The most critical views, and the most obvious attempts to bypass the reform, were assumed by strong personalities, such as Semenov, Nesmeyanov, Kolmogorov and Lavrent0 ev. These academicians tried to play the role of experts using political influence through several different channels and methods. Some of them could be characterized as ‘specific intellectuals’, according to Michel Foucault’s definition, if they were able to mobilize public opinion in a democratic country. The ‘specific intellectual’ is ‘an intellectual who does not work in the sphere of “universal”, “exemplary”, “right-and-true-for-all”, but in specific sectors, on precise topics, where his/her professional or life situation has placed him/her (housing, hospital, asylum, laboratory, university, family relations)’.59 This social affirmation found favourable ground in the nationwide discussion of the education reform, in the press and at internal meetings in various institutions. This can be regarded as a result of the ‘Thaw’: the relative liberalization of public and non-public debates allowed for group intervention, competing for authority over educational issues. In contrast to the scientific elites of the 1920s, who gave up teaching in higher education when it became sovietized, among the scholars who criticized the 1958 reform were true communists, whose ideology was a mix of positivism (faith in scientific progress and technique) and Marxism-Leninism.60 Even though Khrushchev held in high regard the achievements of science and technology, as a former product of (incomplete) professional training himself, he did not share the scientists’ views on education, and this is probably one of the many reasons why he chose a different path and thereby, in part, lost their confidence. In the general education system, the existence of exceptions and tendencies to bypass many arrangements compromised the implementation of the reforms. Finally, the solution may have turned out worse than the initial problem: if scholars remained more or less able to train young people as they wanted, many pupils were barred from entry to VUZy because of admission rules. Children of the nomenklatura had strategies of their own (by studying in vocational schools for a few years, for example). As a result, the social composition of the student body does not seem to have changed a great deal in the early 1960s.

Conclusion: the 1958 reform as victim of the ‘Thaw’ The evidence presented above demonstrates that in the discussion of the education reform proposals a particular form of debate rose, motivated by both group interests (as a kind of corporatism) and intellectual reasons based on a certain understanding of academic knowledge. This can be viewed as ‘conservative’, but it also contained a vision of the future based on the idea of scientific and technical progress. Some of these ‘scholars’ promoted an alternative ideology, which can be seen as presenting a different vision of schooling, of scientific education and of social democratization in access to higher learning, and an alternative view of the communist future.61 In addition to the boarding schools specializing in mathematics and physics, another strategic outcome of the counter-reform was the University of

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Novosibirsk. One can see here an alternative model to Khrushchev’s idea of higher education, based on a close tie between learning and research. This scientists’ model was based on differentiation of the curricula in secondary school, and was oriented towards fundamental and integrated research in higher learning. The catchphrase of making schools ‘closer to life’ was not understood in the same manner by the political leadership as it was by representatives of the academic and scientific world. Rather than an interest group, the ‘scholars’ and the pedagogues who succeeded in partly reshaping Khrushchev’s educational policy may be understood as prominent figures in a new public sphere where the modernization of the whole Soviet system was under discussion.62 One can assume that their main ‘interest’ here was a symbolic one: they aimed to establish for themselves an influential position on educational issues and to participate in the policy-making process. If Khrushchev’s project is deemed a failure, the first reason for this may be that it met with strong opposition not only at a specific, institutional level (with the interest group of parents defending their children, as Khrushchev identified), but also in the social and intellectual spheres of science, pedagogy and higher education. Scholars and pedagogues can be seen as presenting a vision of modernity which opposed that of Khrushchev. Khrushchev’s desire to mobilize opinion through a ‘general discussion’ was turned against him. Prominent scholars contributed to the emergence of a genuine public opinion. Some, though, were not content with the results: in the early 1960s, they acted openly to circumvent the new law and promote their own approaches to teaching and training in academia. They achieved this with the support of some officials inside the Party apparatus and the Ministry of Education. The 1958 education reform debate and its consequences demonstrate the emergence of a pluralism that did not fit with the leadership’s understanding of ‘public opinion’. Once again in the history of the Soviet Union, as Gabor Rittersporn put it, ‘modes of action, patterns of conduct, lifestyles, solidarities and opinions interacted with the state and contributed to shape it’.63 Once again, the modernist scheme did not succeed, not only because of the conservatism of some of the actors, but also because of the lack of support among them, and because other models were proposed. In this sense, Khrushchev’s education reform can be viewed as a victim of the ‘Thaw’.

Appendix Chronology: from Khrushchev’s speech to the laws 1958  January: first draft of a Memorandum submitted to the Presidium of the Central Committee of CPSU (CC CPSU) and creation of Novosibirsk University  18 April: Khrushchev’s speech at the Komsomol Congress

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 12 June: Khrushchev’s Memorandum presented at the CC CPSU Presidium  16–27 September: Meetings at the CC CPSU’s departments of science, VUZ and schools  21 September: publication of Khrushchev’s Memorandum in Pravda and Izvestiya  22 September: Meeting of Higher School officials (rectors and professors) in the USSR Ministry of Higher Education  16 November: publication of the Thesis of the CC CPSU and of the Council of Ministers of USSR in the Pravda and Izvestiya, official beginning of the ‘general discussion’ in the press  25 November: General Assembly of RSFSR Academy of Pedagogical Sciences  24 December: adoption of the Law ‘on the Strengthening of the Relationship of School with Life and on Further Development of the System of Public Education’ by USSR Supreme Soviet 1959  20 January: Khrushchev’s speech at the MGU Faculty of Physics  27 January–5 February: XXI Extraordinary Congress of CPSU  April: adoption of the republican laws on public education

Notes 1 The latter view is developed by J. Smith, ‘Khrushchev and the Path to Modernisation through Education’, in M. Kangaspuro and J. Smith (eds), Modernisation in Russia since 1900, Helsinki: SKS, 2006. This discussion uses Smith’s analysis as a starting point. 2 See, for example, D. Filtzer, The Khrushchev Era: De-Stalinisation and the Limits of Reform in the USSR, 1953–1964, London: MacMillan, 1993, pp. 34–37. 3 On this period, see in particular L. Holmes, ‘Magic into Hocus-Pocus: The Decline of Labor Education in Soviet Russia’s Schools, 1931–37’, Russian Review, no. 51, 1992, pp. 558–64; and E. Ewing, The Teachers of Stalinism: Policy, Practice, and Power in Soviet Schools of the 1930s, New York: Peter Lang, 2002. 4 Pravda, 19 April 1958. 5 For a more detailed review of the debate on ‘polytechnism’, see D. Weiner, ‘Struggle over the Soviet Future: Science Education versus Vocationalism during the 1920s’, Russian Review, vol. 65, no. 1, 2006, pp. 72–97. 6 For an overview of Khrushchev’s reform, see: A.V. Pyzhikov, ‘Reformirovanie sistemy obrazovaniya v SSSR v period “ottepeli” (1953–64 gg.)’, Voprosy istorii, no. 9, 2004, pp. 95–104. 7 See S. Fitzpatrick, Education and Social Mobility in the Soviet Union, 1921–1934, Bloomington, IN: University of Indiana Press, 1979; and J.-P. Depretto, Pour une histoire sociale du régime soviétique (1918–1936), Paris: L’Harmattant, 2001. 8 For the text of the original document, see A. Fursenko (ed.), Prezidium TsK KPSS 1954–1964, tom 1, Moscow: Rosspen, 2003, p. 313. 9 E.N. Goldshtein, ‘K otsenke shkol0 noi reformy 1958 g. (Istoriko-sotsiologicheskii aspekt)’, in Gumanisticheskie idei, social0 no-pedagogicheskie eksperimenty, byurokraticheskie izvrasheniya v razvitii otechestvennoi shkoly, St Petersburg: Obrazovanie, 1993, p. 132.

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10 For a concise presentation of the discussion in the press, see L. Coumel, ‘Obrazovanie v epokhu Khrushcheva: ottepel0 v pedagogike?’, Neprikosnovennyi zapas, no. 28, 2003 http://magazines.russ.ru/nz/2003/2/kumel.html (accessed 14 April 2008). 11 S.V. Utechin, ‘Khrushchev’s Educational Reform’, Soviet Survey, no. 28, 1959, pp. 66–72. 12 Komsomol0 skaya pravda, 19 September 1958. 13 Vestnik vysshei shkoly, September 1958. 14 Pravda, 17 October 1958. 15 For the national dimension of the discussion, see J.R. Smith, ‘Popular Opinion under Khrushchev: a Case Study of Estonian Reactions to Khrushchev’s School Reform, 1958–59’, in T. Vihavainen (ed.), Sovetskaya vlast0 – narodnaya vlast0 ? Ocherki istorii narodnogo vospriyatiya sovetskoi vlasti v SSSR, St. Petersburg: Evropeyskii dom, 2003. 16 Pravda, 19 November 1958; Trud, 15 December 1958 17 Literaturnaya gazeta, 20 December 1958. 18 Ya. Bilinsky, ‘The Soviet Education Laws of 1958–59 and Soviet Nationality Policy’, Soviet Studies, vol. 14, no. 2, 1962, pp. 138–57 (p. 138). 19 J. Schwartz and W. Keech, ‘Group Influence and the Policy Process in the Soviet Union’, American Political Science Review, vol. LXII, no. 3, 1968, pp. 840–51 (p. 842). 20 See M. Matthews, ‘The ‘State Labour Reserve: an Episode in Soviet Social History’, Slavonic and East European Review, vol. 61, no. 2, 1983, pp. 238–41; D. Filtzer, Soviet Workers and Late Stalinism: Labour and the Restoration of the Stalinist System after World War II, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 34–40. 21 L. Coumel, ‘L’appareil du parti et la réforme scolaire de 1958: un cas d’opposition à Khrouchtchev’, Cahiers du Monde Russe, vol. 47, nos 1–2, 2006, pp. 173–94. 22 RGANI, f. 5, op. 35, d. 93, l. 10. 23 Quoted in Y. Gorlizki and O. Khlevniuk, Cold Peace: Stalin and the Soviet Ruling Circle, 1945–1953, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 41, citing V.A. Malyshev, ‘Dnevnik narkoma’, Istochnik, no. 5, 1997, p. 135. 24 GARF, f. R-9396, op. 1, d. 870, l. 90. 25 RGANI, f. 5, op. 35, d. 93, ll. 148, 151. 26 Quoted in P.L. Kapitsa, Pis0 ma o nauke 1930–1980, Moscow: Moskovskii rabochii, 1989, p. 335. 27 P. Vail0 and A. Genis, 60-e: mir sovetskogo cheloveka, Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2001, pp. 100–111. 28 RGANI, f. 5, op. 35, d. 93, ll. 166–68. 29 N.I. Feshchenko, ‘Soveshchanie rabotnikov vysshei shkoly v Moskve 22–24 sentyabriya 1958 goda i ego rol0 v podgotovke ‘zakona o shkole’ (1958 g.)’, Gorky, 1986 – unpublished manuscript deposited in the library of the Institute for Scientific Information in Social Sciences at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. 30 GARF, f. R-9396, op. 1, d. 870, ll. 50–51. 31 GARF, f. R-9396, op. 1, d. 870, l. 200. 32 RGANI, f. 5, op. 35, d. 93, l. 165. 33 Kapitsa, Pis0 ma, p. 334. 34 J. Dunstan, Paths to Excellence and the Soviet School, Windsor: Humanities Press, 1978, p. 121. 35 ARHIV RAN, f. 1647, op. 1, d. 249. 36 Report by V. Kirillin and N. Kaz0 min, 4 October 1958. RGANI, f. 5, op. 35, d. 93, ll. 142–43. 37 RGANI, f. 5, op. 35, d. 93, l. 135. 38 For Moscow oblast0 , see, for example, RGANI, f. 5, op. 37, d. 45, l. 128. 39 GARF, f. R-9396, op. 1, d. 870, l. 146. 40 GARF, f. R-10049, op. 1, d. 2441, l. 158.

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41 AP RF, f. 52, op. 1, d. 309, ll. 165–74. Istochnik, no. 6, 2003, pp. 97–100. 42 D. R. Little, ‘The Academy of Pedagogical Sciences – Its Political Role’, Soviet Studies, vol. XIX, no. 3, 1968, pp. 387–97 (p. 393). 43 P. D. Stewart, ‘Soviet Interest Groups and the Policy Process: the Repeal of Production Education’, World Politics: a quarterly Journal of International Relations, vol. XXII, no. 1, 1969, pp. 29–50. 44 Izvestiya, 20 October 1963. 45 Pravda, 9 April 1964. 46 Pravda and Izvestiya, 13 August 1964. 47 Uchitel0 skaya gazeta, 13 August 1964. 48 P. R. Josephson, New Atlantis Revisited: Akademgorodok, the Siberian City of Science, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997, p. 12. 49 GARF, f. R-5446, op. 92, d. 123, ll. 12–20. 50 RGAE, f. 4372, op. 57, d. 263, ll. 171–72. 51 O.N. Marchuk, Sibirskii fenomen: Akademgorodok v pervye dvadtsat’ let, Novosibirsk: Novyi Khronograf, 1997, p. 24. 52 Marchruk, Sibirskii fenomen, 1997, pp. 53–99. 53 For further details, see Dunstan, Paths, 1978, pp. 116–50. 54 RGAE, f. 4372, op. 57, d. 263, ll. 297–308. 55 GARF, f. A-605, op. 1, d. 1563, ll. 21–22. 56 GARF, f. A-605, op. 1, d. 1562, l. 176. 57 Kirillin stepped down as head of the Central Committee Science Department in 1963, and became vice-president of the Academy of Sciences. From 1965 to 1980 he directed the State Committee for Science and Technology (Gostekhnika), as deputy Prime Minister. He had close links with Aleksei Kosygin in the Brezhnev era. 58 A. Blum and M. Mespoulet, L’anarchie Bureaucratique: Statistique et Pouvoir sous Staline, Paris: La Découverte, 2003, pp. 352–53. 59 M. Foucault, ‘La fonction politique de l’intellectuel’, Politique-Hebdo, no. 29, 1976, in Dits et Ecrits, tome II, Paris: Gallimard, 1995, p. 109. 60 D.A. Aleksandrov, ‘Sovetizatsiya vysshego obrazovaniya i stanovlenie sovetskoi nauchno-issledovatel0 skoi sistemy’, in M. Heinemann and E.I. Kolchinsky (eds), Za ‘Zheleznym zanavesom’. Mify i realii sovetskoi nauki, St. Petersburg: Dmitrii Bulanin, 2002, pp. 152–63. 61 This argument draws on M. Vasilyev and S. Gushchev (eds), Reports from the Twenty-First Century: Stories of Twenty Seven Soviet Scientists on Science and Engineering of the Future, Honolulu, HI: University Press of the Pacific, 2002. This is a reprint of a 1958 publication in which twenty-seven Soviet scientists predicted what the world would be like in 2010 in such fields as metallurgy, mining, automatic oil fields, power resources, biology, radio, travel, magnetic photography, Siberia, remaking the planet, Lunar City, and interstellar travel. 62 For a brief survey of the debates on public spheres and issues that warrant the use of an enlarged version of this concept, see G.T. Rittersporn, M. Rolf and J.C. Behrends (eds), Sphären von Öffentlichkeit in Gesellschaften sowjetischen Typs. Public Spheres in Soviet-Type Societies, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2003, pp. 23–35, 423–52. 63 G. T. Rittersporn, ‘Reflexes, Folkways, Networks: Public Spaces in Soviet Society’, paper presented at the conference on ‘Solidarities and Loyalties in Russian Society, History and Culture’, University College London, School of Slavonic and EastEuropean Studies, London, May 2007, cited with the consent of the author.

5

Lone mothers and fatherless children Public discourse on marriage and family law Helene Carlbäck

In 1944, as the Second World War was coming to an end, the Communist Party and state leadership in the Soviet Union released a legal document on marriage and family matters.1 On a few important points the decree drastically altered previous legislation. The 1944 decree abolished the rights of unmarried mothers to have the paternity of their children established by a court in order to make the father pay maintenance, thereby withdrawing the right for children to know the name of their father. It also abolished the right for married couples to divorce without impediments. In many ways the decree ran contrary to legal norms that both the Party and the state had been propagating for decades as distinctive qualities of Soviet socialist society. This chapter focuses on the Khrushchev era, but in order to identify changes in attitude over a longer period it examines the evolution of legal reform in the late Stalin period and ends in the early Brezhnev period. It begins with a short overview of the basic principles and norms on which Soviet family legislation was based up to 1944.2 Shortly after the October Revolution, the new Bolshevik government issued marriage and family laws that in many respects broke with the legislative norms of Tsarist Russia. First, the prerogative of the Orthodox Church to regulate family matters was abolished. New rules stated that only marriages registered at national registration offices, installed by the Soviet government and civic in character, would be legally valid. Second, the legal norm of making the man the head of family, with the exclusive right to ultimate decision-making on matters regarding the upbringing of children or the family economy, was abolished. Thus, the aim was to break the hold of the church over the family and the hold of the husband over the wife. Third, the right to free divorce was stated in the new law. No specific reason for seeking a divorce was needed; if both spouses agreed, the procedure would be quick. The only action the spouses were obliged to take was to announce their intention to divorce at the nearest national registration office. Fourth, legislation guaranteed the equal status of children born within and outside of marriage. In comparison to the rest of Europe, with some exceptions, this can be regarded as an advanced feature of early Soviet legislation.3

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Gradually, the legal responsibility of the parents (here read ‘fathers’) was tightened up when de facto (informal) marriages were put on a par with officially registered marriages. Thus, according to the 1926 Marriage and Family Law, a father was obliged to pay maintenance for his children after he had separated from the child’s mother even if they had not been in an officially registered relationship. A decree issued in 1936 increased the criminal punishment for the non-payment of maintenance to include up to two years’ imprisonment.4 All through the interwar years and during the Second World War much of the original revolutionary thinking behind early Soviet marriage and family legislation remained in place.5 It remained the case that marriages were valid only when registered officially, by civic authorities.6 However, the validity of marriage as an institution was already deflated by the regulation on informal marriages in 1926. Further, the decision whether to divorce or not remained in the hands of both spouses throughout the period.

Discourses and attitudes It is clear that the 1944 decree created a sharp break from earlier legislative norms. This study focuses solely on the issue of unmarried mothers and their children. After 1944, the name of the father of children born out of wedlock was not stated on the birth certificate; only the name of the mother was noted. By this action, the authorities negated the earlier widely and proudly propagated principle, laid down originally in 1918, that no difference in legal status should be made between children born within or outside of wedlock – ‘in the Soviet Union all children are treated equally’, as the slogan went. One specific aspect of the 1944 law was that fathers, who for various reasons would not or could not marry the mother of their child, but who still wished to acknowledge their paternity, were not allowed to do so. The lower courts tried several ways to avoid this, for example by allowing the father to adopt his own child, but the written law often made even this solution impossible. This problem was not resolved until 1960 when a decree was issued that enabled men to be acknowledged as the biological father if they so wished themselves. The adoption of the 1944 decree was certainly related to the political leadership’s significant concern about the demographic crises arising as a consequence of the devastating loss of life among fertile men during the war years, as well as the break-up of families as a result of constant population dislocation due to evacuation, deportation and occupation. ‘One of the most crucial goals of the edict of 8 July 1944 is to stimulate the birth rate’, wrote the USSR Deputy Procurator-General for Juvenile Affairs, V. Tadevosyan, in the Russian law journal Sotsialisticheskaya zakonnost0 (Socialist Law) in November 1944.7 The solution to the demographic predicament was to exercise a distinct pressure on the population to have as many children as possible. Unmarried mothers would receive financial help from the state as well as

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access to free childcare in state-run institutions, with the explicitly stated right to remove the child whenever they wanted. Fathers would not have to take responsibility for children born out of wedlock, whilst bachelors and other childless adults would have to pay a special tax. The proclaimed aim of the decree was to strengthen the family and public morality by making only registered marriages count as legal relationships. At the same time, however, the law encouraged men to have extramarital relationships, thus contradicting the overall moral ambitions concerning marital fidelity and sexual moderation.8 This chapter examines how different groups in Soviet society received and talked about the new law, and the expectations they expressed during the process of legal reform from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s.9 Attention is paid to specific groups within the Soviet state and society, such as parliamentary (Supreme Soviet) deputies and legal experts, as well as ordinary citizens. Since the demise of the Soviet Union, a considerable amount of research has been conducted into citizens’ letter writing as a communicative strategy and as a literary genre.10 It is worth noting, however, that opinions on family issues expressed in the form of letters from ordinary citizens has not been examined in-depth as part of this earlier research.11 Western scholars have examined the changes in family and marriage legislation after the Second World War. In the 1940s and 1950s, Rudolf Schlesinger connected family law to overall Soviet welfare and gender policies, comparing them, for example, to the Swedish system.12 In the 1950s and 1960s, Peter Juviler spent considerable time in Moscow during the process of legislative reform, conducting interviews with both legal experts and law practitioners. Juviler points to Communist Party leader Nikita Khrushchev as the main decision-maker responsible for delaying the introduction of a new law, primarily because Khrushchev had been the principle driving force behind the introduction of the 1944 decree and was reluctant to see it changed.13 Recently, Mie Nakachi has explored the role played by Khrushchev in the passage of this decree.14 However, previous research has not paid specific attention to the process of change in attitudes and discourses. During this crucial period of legislative change, popular reaction was reflected in the letters from ordinary citizens directed, for example, to the Supreme Soviet Law Commissions. The analysis here also draws on protocols and minutes of the meetings of the Law Commissions.15 These findings are supplemented by findings arising from recent informal conversations with Russian colleagues and friends. What then was the popular reaction to legislation that allowed the state to interfere in people’s lives in a domain that had previously not been touched by the state? What did society think of a state that so abruptly changed the hitherto dominant official discourse about children being equal regardless of whether they were born within or outside of marriage? Is it possible that the new legal principles were, in fact, more in tune with dominant popular discourses? Or did a ‘public opinion’ develop that was directed against the law?

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Can we even talk at all about there being a ‘public opinion’ in a country lacking a civil society and a public sphere, as well as having a rigidly centralized control over the printed and spoken word? In her book on Soviet society in the decade after the Second World War, Elena Zubkova argues that ‘maybe it was in the 1950s that private opinion emerged as a social phenomenon, an independent public opinion’.16 Public opinion in this sense though was expressed predominantly in fiction. However, parts of the Soviet periodical press were also beginning to communicate expressions of public opinion after Stalin’s death.

Discourses in the late Stalin years At an early stage, legal experts questioned the 1944 decree, however cautiously and certainly not in public. Two specific amendments introduced by the 1944 decree were questioned by the experts: first, the complicated divorce process with its expensive administrative rules and humiliating practice of having to publish the intention to apply for divorce in a newspaper; and, second, the unequal status of children born within and outside of marriage.17 This becomes clear when one reads the documents reflecting the process of legislative revision that started in 1947. By then, marriage and family legislation was a veritable patchwork of various decrees and provisions. Furthermore, even if the decrees that were issued during the 1930s and 1940s tended to unify family and marriage legislation, the law still diverged on important matters between different Soviet republics and even between various regions within the Russian Federation.18 Also the Soviet Union had extended its territorial borders considerably as a result of the Second World War and now encompassed areas that had only recently become part of the Soviet Union and which had their own judiciary. Consequently, in 1947 an amendment was passed to article 14 of the Soviet Constitution. According to this, the jurisdiction of the Soviet Union, as represented by its ‘higher organs of state power and organs of state administration’, should extend to ‘definition of the fundamentals of legislation on marriage and the family’.19 The fundamentals (henceforth ‘Basic Law’) were to provide a basis for subsequent legislative work in individual republics. The Law Commissions of the two Supreme Soviet chambers should execute the work. According to the Constitution, the Law Commissions of the Supreme Soviet were the proper organs to guarantee that the parliament, the Supreme Soviet sessions, would be served ‘in time’ with draft laws of ‘high quality’. To pursue their goal the Commissions could turn to other organizations for help. To this end a governmental committee – the Juridical Committee of the USSR Council of Ministers – was created in 1948 to draw up a draft Basic Law on the family and marriage.20 The Committee seems to have undertaken the fundamental work of drafting the legislation, consulting continuously with the Council of Ministers and with the Central Committee of the Communist Party.21 The Law Commissions played the role of commentator and discussant of the

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various drafts that were produced over the next few years. It was ultimately the responsibility of the USSR Supreme Soviet to pass the Basic Law.22 Henceforth in this chapter, ‘Law Commission’ refers to the Law Commission of the Union Chamber of the USSR Supreme Soviet, since the source materials deal specifically with this commission. In reality, the two Law Commissions of the Union Chamber and the Chamber of Nationalities cooperated in law-making by creating joint working groups and subcommittees. One of the legal experts called to make a statement on what the Basic Law should contain was Grigorii Sverdlov, senior researcher at the Institute for Law at the Academy of Sciences. ‘To put children born to unmarried mothers on equal par with children born to parents within officially registered marriages’ ought to be one of the guiding principles to underpin any legal revision, Sverdlov wrote in a memo in 1946.23 Also, legal experts sitting on the Council of Ministers Juridical Committee suggested a change to the legislation so that children born outside of marriage should be entitled to carry their father’s name, provided that the father himself gave his consent to this. We should note, however, that the Committee did not allow the possibility of establishing paternity at the request of the mother alone. Still, even this modest step away from the regulations established in 1944 did not meet with the approval of the Law Commission. Unlike the Government Committee, the Commission was made up not only of people with legal training, but also of ordinary citizens, as well as representatives of various state and Party institutions, and the press.24 Minutes of the meetings with the Commission demonstrate that only a small minority of the members, for example law professor Bratus, voted for change. The remaining members hesitated to make any substantial changes to existing legislation, since this would mean acknowledging the institution of informal marriage and this was regarded as something that should be avoided in order to ‘fight polygamy’.25 In this respect the views of the legal experts coincided with what appears to have been a rather powerful popular norm according to which it was basically irrelevant if people were officially married or not.26 Members of the Supreme Soviet Law Commissions, however, were surrounded by an official discourse about the need to avoid informal marriages. Recent conversations with Russian friends and colleagues have revealed quite a few elderly relatives who were ‘married’ three, four or even five times, meaning that maybe only one of the marriages was officially registered.27 One colleague was even of the opinion that ‘Nikita Sergeevich’ (Khrushchev) himself never officially married his second wife, Nina. Another way of explaining this hesitant attitude is to point to a probably powerful discourse on unmarried women as persons certainly not in need of extra help. One variant of this discourse was the rather widely held notion in Soviet society of women making a living by searching for an eligible man, getting pregnant and then demanding from the court that they make him pay for the child’s maintenance.28 Informal conversations again reveal that people recalled old rumours and anecdotes about women in the late 1930s and early

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1940s who would claim that this or that famous actor was the father of her child – ‘just to make themselves important’. A second variant was expressed in letters to the Law Commissions. According to this discourse, female emancipation had progressed sufficiently for unmarried women to be able to take care of their children themselves. In a letter dating from December 1951, Nikolai Boguslavski, from the city of Zaporozhe, criticized the law for aiming to support these women: ‘To my mind, the law of July has become obsolete, since every citizen in our country has the right to work and this work is well paid; therefore, every lone mother capable of work should be able to support one child’.29 An additional explanation for the cautiousness of the Law Commission could be the simple fact that there were not yet that many children born out of wedlock. According to one source, the number of unmarried mothers who received state subsidies for their children was 280,000 in 1945. By 1950 the number had risen to 1.8 million, and it reached a peak of 3.2 million in 1957. After that the number of lone mothers fell, and by the end of the 1960s the proportion of men to women in fertile age cohorts was in balance, thus making the number of unmarried women much lower.30 Furthermore, the fact that these children were still of pre-school age possibly made them less visible in society. Finally, the members of the 1950 Law Commission seem to have conceived their task primarily as putting together and editing existing legislation, rather than to revise it in a more fundamental manner. ‘Neither the authors of various publications nor the workers or peasants have expressed negative opinions of our laws’, the chair of the Commission asserted.31 The alleged silent popular support for the legislation was, however, not entirely in accordance with real life. People did indeed express complaints, especially on those provisions concerning fathers having to pay too large a sum of maintenance to their former families, but they also raised the question of unmarried mothers and their children. One of the members of the Commission was the editor-inchief of the magazine Sovetskaya zhenshchina (Soviet Woman), Mariya Ovsyannikova, and she told the other members about complaints from her readers concerning the law using the term ‘lone mothers’: ‘We get many letters from unmarried mothers expressing hurt feelings about being called “lone”. Why do we call them lone? After all they are not really alone, they have their kids!’32 In a letter written in 1952, addressed to the chair of the Supreme Soviet presidium, Nikolai M. Shvernik, an anonymous woman questioned the very morality of the 1944 decree: Please forgive me, but I cannot refrain any longer from expressing my views on behalf of myself and hundreds of other Soviet women, the unmarried mothers … I have decided to tell you the truth about what I and other women have to endure … I am a Soviet woman and I work in a Soviet institution … My child is two and a half years old … I was deceived by the father of the child … and as a result I am left alone with

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We also find a few writers defending the 1944 decree. Thus, A. Semionov wrote a letter in 1950 about how happy he was that the ‘preposterous’ rule that maintenance could be imposed on men to support children born out of a casual relationship had been abolished in 1944: Before this … every woman who had given birth to a child was entitled to ‘name’ any citizen the father of her child, even if this person didn’t have any connection at all to this child. Today, when we have entered the path to communism it is necessary in general to look through and revise the rules for how payments should be imposed on ‘fathers’ who pay maintenance to children born out of casual relationships and who have their own family with children.34 When reading such opinions from the late 1940s and the early 1950s it becomes obvious that legal experts viewed the regulation on children born outside of marriage as problematic. The legacy of the tradition that all children should be equal before the law was a norm that was not easy to abandon. However, such doubts could not be communicated to ordinary citizens in public, and even less could they be mentioned in publications aimed at readers outside of the Soviet Union. Thus Grigorii Sverdlov, author of a book in English on marriage and family law, praised Soviet legislation that decreed the ‘complete equality of father and mother in respect to the child and the maintenance of the child’.35 In this publication, Sverdlov totally ignored the provision on children born to unmarried mothers. Some years later, the same author, this time in a textbook for university students, did mention ‘children born by lone, unmarried women’ as a separate legal category, now assuring them that the fact that these children would inherit only from their mother would in no way ‘cast a shadow over them’.36 Thus, the gap between what law experts would say behind closed doors and what they would communicate publicly was considerable. The same could be said about the difference between what ordinary citizens brought up in their letters to the state and what the state communicated back to the citizens. With relatively few people expressing a negative view on the situation of lone mothers and fatherless children in the decade after the publication of the 1944 law we can hardly talk about there being a public opinion on this subject. According to Zubkova, there was no public opinion at all in the post-war Stalin

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years. However, there were forebodings in the early 1950s of what was to come. Il0ya Ehrenburg wrote in his memoirs, ‘The beginning of the just evaluation of the injustices of the past was not accidental … Critical thought simply spilled out, stimulating the wish to find out one thing, to examine another’.37

Public opinion emerges The number of letters to official authorities from ordinary citizens commenting on family and marriage legislation increased considerably in the postStalin years. The mass media also began to pay more attention to readers’ feedback. In early 1954, an article headed ‘Life calls for an amendment’ appeared in Literaturnaya gazeta (Literary Gazette), the newspaper of the Writers’ Association. This publication was not normally at the forefront of the new liberal climate represented by parts of the intelligentsia; still it was the first to print something on the topic of unmarried mothers. The readers were told the story of a seven-year-old boy who, for the first time in his life, came to understand what it meant not to have known his father. This happened on his first day in school, when his classmates and teacher asked him about his father. The author suggested that it could be painful enough for a child to say ‘my father doesn’t live with us’, but it was certainly much more painful and sad for a child to say: ‘I don’t have a father’.38 The message conveyed was that the child suffered morally from the social stigma of not having an acknowledged father. Thus, the author raised this as an ethical dilemma, not as a material problem. In real life, when citizens, predominantly women, wrote to the authorities raising this issue they argued on both accounts, that is the difficultly of being a fatherless child and the economic strains that mothers experienced by receiving much less than divorced mothers would be paid for maintenance.39 We have already seen a letter in which the writer called the 1944 decree ‘a huge political mistake’. Literaturnaya gazeta, however, did not yet openly criticize the decree; instead the author cautiously suggested that it ‘probably would be wise to consider a formulation in the law allowing the notification of the biological father’s name on the child’s birth certificate’.40 The article, nevertheless, evoked a flood of letters from readers to the editors; the letters were analysed and commented upon later on the same year.41 As a rule, political, economic and social periodicals often made reference to the speeches given by the top leadership at the most recent Communist Party congresses. Certain key phrases and concepts that were expressed at these events would be repeated and thus confirmed by the mass media. During 1956 a recurring theme was the need to return to ‘true Leninist norms’ and to look for advice in the writings of Lenin, something that had been propagated, for example, at the XX Party Congress in February 1956. Certainly, this was not the first time that Lenin was referred to; on the contrary, this was standard during the whole Soviet period. ‘In all periods of Soviet history “Lenin” played the role of the central legitimizing sign of Soviet ideology, its Master

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Signifier’, Alexei Yurchak has recently written. In all historical periods, he argues, all transformations of the Soviet system were formulated as attempts to overcome previous distortions of Lenin’s thoughts and return to the ‘true, authentic Lenin’.42 However, the legacy of Lenin could be used in different ways according to changes in the ‘rules’ over time. The legacy of Lenin and his writings was put forward in the Literaturnaya gazeta publications on fatherless children in 1956: ‘Lenin stressed the fact that the Bolshevik revolution had been the only really democratic revolution when it came to matters of marriage, divorce and children born out of marriage’; Lenin was ‘proud that the responsibility for children was shared equally between men and women’. The newspaper conveyed the message that it was necessary to change the law in order to make it more in tune with Leninist ideas.43 Lenin as the protector of children’s interests was a recurrent rhetoric in the letters from the citizens as well. In the late 1950s, Lenin’s name seems to have been used frequently. In a letter of August 1956, sixteen ‘lone mothers’, workers at the Kuibyshevgidrostroi Hydroelectric power plant, demanded the right for women to apply to the courts with paternity suits. The authors reinforced their claims by assuring that they adhered to ‘the commandments of Lenin’. They wrote that, knowing Lenin’s love for children and his care for them, it was impossible not to be upset with this unjust law.44 Another example of the discourse on the child-friendly Lenin was a letter from fifteen women, writing from the city of Lvov, demanding ‘Leninist principles for equality between children’, which also said that parents should share equally the responsibility for the maintenance and upbringing of their children.45 In October 1956 Literaturnaya gazeta printed an open letter signed by four extraordinarily prominent personalities of Soviet cultural and scientific life. Under the heading ‘Life has proved the opposite’, composer Dmitrii Shostakovich, writers Il0 ya Ehrenburg and Samuil Marshak and pediatrician Georgii Speranskii talked in troubled terms about the ‘thousands of tragedies that hit women who were called “lone mothers” and their children being regarded as “illegitimately born” by people of “philistine” convictions’. The authors quoted Lenin to support their case, assuring readers that ‘Vladimir Ilich Lenin had regarded the full equality of children as one of the most important achievements of the revolution’.46 This letter is indeed interesting. It could be viewed as part of a new social trend emerging after Stalin’s death, what Zubkova calls ‘a new form of public initiative – campaigns of letters addressed to the leadership’.47 In this case it is not clear if the authors simultaneously sent the letter to the Party and state leadership, but still the letter had a similar function. It also fits well into what Zubkova calls the ‘great ethical tradition of Russian literature and especially the moral quests of the Russian intelligentsia, the search for truth and the meaning of life’ that inspired publications in journals such as Novyi mir (New World) in the early post-Stalin years.48 Thus, a new public discourse arose in the mid-1950s questioning the 1944 decree when it came to regulations on children born out of wedlock and the

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situation of unmarried mothers. With the help of well-known representatives of the cultural intelligentsia the topic reached the public agenda. A trace of this new discourse can be found in a textbook on law for university students written by Grigorii Sverdlov. Reference was made above to the 1951 edition of this book by pointing to the author’s formulations on ‘lone, unmarried mothers’. In the 1958 edition, Sverdlov simply called them ‘unmarried mothers’.49 The new critical public discourse on the situation for unmarried women had reached the editing houses. The first professional, union-wide publication to raise the issue of lone mothers was Sovetskoe gosudarstvo i pravo (Soviet State and Law). Two pieces were printed in the early autumn of 1956: ‘Problems in the Soviet family law’ by Igor Gurevich; and ‘The official status of illegitimate children must be changed’ by Aleksandra Pergament. Both authors drew on Lenin’s writings to reinforce their arguments. They had both trained as lawyers, contributing to works on family and marriage legislation from the late 1940s. Pergament later held an important post as a judicial expert to the parliamentary Law Commissions, as well as to the Government Committee. In their 1956 articles, they both criticized the 1944 decree, but differed in the way they expressed their criticism. Gurevich was the more cautious of the two, demonstrating a degree of understanding for a law that had been passed under quite different circumstances.50 Pergament, on the other hand, was more forthright in her critical remarks. She maintained that the 1944 decree could not be justified even bearing in mind the conditions of the time: ‘Of course, the war had devastating consequences that called for steps to be taken, but one might question if such radical change in the legislation was really necessary’.51 The years 1954 to 1956 constituted a discursive shift in the way the 1944 decree was talked about. After this, it was possible to criticize the law in public, when before it was not. However, far from all parts of the press took up the matter in the manner expressed by Literaturnaya gazeta and Sovetskoe gosudarstvo i pravo. Sovetskaya zhenshchina, for example, continued to skirt around the most critical aspects of the debate. Under the heading ‘Letters to the editor’, correspondence was published from a reader in the UK, Edith Boyle, asking whether the Soviet Union ‘devoted special attention to the children of unmarried women’.52 Pergament, who was at the frontline of critical comment eighteen months later, was the person to reply to the letter. The answer did not contain a word about the predicament of the fatherless children. Instead, Pergament listed the various forms of support that the Soviet state granted to unmarried mothers in ‘all possible ways’.53 In its turn, Pergament’s reply provoked reactions from the readers of the magazine. ‘I noticed the answer you gave to the English reader Edith Boyle because it made me want to ask you a few questions myself ’, wrote Aleksandra Perepechina from the city of Yakutsk. She had lived for one and a half years with a man who then abandoned her when she became pregnant. ‘Could you please tell me how to force these “criminal fathers” to help their

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own children? Please let me know how the legislative revision will deal with questions like these’, Perepechina concluded.54 The archival documents do not reveal what kind of answer she received from the editors, and the topic was certainly not brought up in the pages of the magazine itself. Open criticism of a document emanating from the highest levels of the Soviet state or Party was certainly a sensitive issue. The 1944 decree had been issued by the previous regime under Stalin; as the legislative process developed, the decree was more and more openly rejected by the new Khrushchev regime. Still, letters from Soviet citizens show that this was not entirely accepted. One correspondent was upset about the open letter in Literaturnaya gazeta, juxtaposing the 1944 decree to a Soviet morality, even to the Constitution. Shostakovich and the others had used Lenin’s name to strengthen their own arguments, but in fact they distorted the ‘revolutionary consciousness’, wrote M.F. Nadolnyi, ‘former worker, nowadays army officer’, in a letter to the Law Commission in 1956. Deeply concerned about the state of matters, Nadolnyi asked the Commission if they really thought it was right for the press openly to criticize Soviet legislation: ‘Doesn’t this run counter to the aim of strengthening people’s willingness to follow socialist laws?’55 In the account compiled by the office of the Law Commission, letters of this type were regarded as reactionary or untypical. However, we might question if the ‘true picture’ can be discerned from letters or newspaper articles claiming that children born out of marriage in general were discriminated against and harassed. Informal conversations with women who grew up as ‘fatherless children’, with a dash in their birth certificate instead of a father’s name, suggest that at least in the big cities this was not really a problem. Such women remember being treated in a tactful manner or simply in a neutral way when in school or elsewhere. ‘People just seemed to take it as a natural thing when I said I don’t have a father’, one woman said. On the other hand, it might well be that the attitude was quite different in the countryside or in provincial towns. This points to the difficulty of proving the typicality of source materials such as letters to the authorities, as well as attempting to derive the ‘truth’ from documents that, in fact, were often petitions with an underlying material interest.

Citizens pushing for change To what extent were the legislators – the Government Juridical Committee and the Supreme Soviet Law Commission – affected by the complaints of the citizens? As was the case twelve years earlier, the 1962 Commission started from a draft Basic Law worked out by the Government Committee. This time the Committee had invited external experts with broad experience of family law, such as Aleksandra Pergament and Grigorii Sverdlov.56 In comparison to 1950, the Committee now took a step forward by proposing not only that paternity could be registered with the consent of the biological father, but that it could also be established through the courts on the request of the mother. A memo from the Office of the Government Committee sent to the Department

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for Administrative Organs of the Communist Party Central Committee noted that the rights of children born out of wedlock should be ‘completely restored’.57 The Government Committee had also started to put special effort into systematizing and making use of the letters from ordinary citizens that were constantly being sent in.58 In comparison to the 1950 Commission, the 1962 Supreme Soviet Law Commission was more willing to accept changes. Their aspiration to respond to letters from citizens in a more systematic way was also evident. This should be viewed in the broader context of the new Communist Party Programme of 1961, which proclaimed the need to make legislative work more public and to involve ordinary citizens in this work.59 The records of letters written by the office of the Commission show that they were composed differently in the early 1960s compared to earlier. A tone of active involvement by the record keeper can be detected. It was repeatedly emphasized that many citizens demanded public discussions of the draft Basic Law.60 The members referred to letters from citizens during meetings of the Law Commission in 1962. Sergei Denisov, vice chair of the Commission, emphasized the need to take into account their suggestions: ‘These matters engage and affect people … no other legal issue has evoked such a flow of letters and suggestions from the toiling masses. It is, therefore, necessary to make a few changes’.61 One letter was specifically mentioned in the records. It was signed by thirteen ‘old Bolsheviks’, some of whom had been members of the Communist Party since 1904. They were upset about the long delay in publishing the draft Basic Law on marriage and the family. A revised law was badly needed, they argued, since the 1944 decree was ‘one of the most significant examples of deviation from Leninist policies taking place in the era of the cult of personality during Stalin’s time’. To support their claims, the authors referred to the 1961 Communist Party Programme according to which ‘important draft laws’ should be open to wide popular referenda.62 In August 1962 the Law Commission prepared an edict for the Council of Ministers, stating that the draft Basic Law should appear in the newspapers Izvestiya and Komsomol0 skaya pravda as well as the women’s magazines Rabotnitsa and Krest0 yanka for a nationwide consultation with the readers. The Council of Ministers, however, did not issue this edict. The reason for the delay remains unclear. The draft Basic Law was not published until 1968 under the new political administration headed by Brezhnev. Still, for the Supreme Soviet Law Commission the case of unmarried mothers and fatherless children was not an easy one. Again, in comparison to the Government Committee consisting only of people with legal training, this Commission was made up of deputies of the Supreme Soviet, and a mixture of steel-workers, teachers, directors, law professors, editors-in-chief of women’s magazines, law practitioners and others. With new rules passed after the XX Party Congress in 1956 that demanded more decentralized legislative processes,63 and also the Party Programme in 1961, according to which the ‘toiling masses’ should be involved in the lawmaking process, more frequent contacts had to be made between the Supreme Soviet and constituencies in the various

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Soviet republics. According to a decision taken at the XXII Party Congress in 1961, Supreme Soviet deputies should be released from their jobs in order to work more extensively on the various tasks of the commissions, and so on.64 The delegates of the Law Commission travelled to different republics to meet with ordinary people. To give a few examples, deputy Kholyavchenko visited a textile mill in Dagestan, where 600 women gathered to listen to him. Later, he told the Commission: ‘Can you imagine how surprised I was when the women in a united voice told me never to make men pay maintenance for children born from a casual relationship?’ Otherwise, ‘we women will not know how to behave’, they told him. Deputy Orlova went on a mission to Armenia, where the majority of people she met were of the opinion that children born out of wedlock without exception should have the right to receive maintenance from their fathers. ‘With passion’ people emphasized that all children were equal in the Soviet Union and that ‘already the great Lenin said that once and for all Soviet power has ended the unreasonable difference between children born outside and within marriage’, Orlova told the members of the Law Commission, adding that in Armenia children born out of wedlock and unmarried women were often looked upon with contempt. She added that this was something, by the way, that ‘occasionally happened in Russia too’. Finally, deputy Avdyukov paid a visit to the Ukraine and wherever he met people, especially law practitioners, they would plead that nothing should be changed in the law on this matter. People told him that under the old law a man often received several lawsuits since the woman could not always tell for certain who the father was.65 In the end the commission agreed to accept the proposal from the legal experts sitting on the commission that paternity should be established through the courts. However, the members were very particular about stating that a woman would win the case only if she could prove that the man had been living with her at the time she became pregnant; and the other way round, when a child was the result of a passing liaison no paternity would be established. Now, a few female members with legal training, among them Aleksandra Pergament, asked what a woman was to do when she was ‘deceived by a man’ and then fell pregnant? The way the draft law was formulated it freed married men from all responsibilities. Pergament pointed out that, ‘This is what the law communicates to men: since you are married and live with your wife you are allowed to start a love affair with whomever you like without any obligations.’ Consequently, Pergament proposed the following addition to the formulation on co-habitation as a demand: ‘and other circumstances proving that this person is the father of the child’. However, the members of the Commission did not accept the proposed supplementary sentence.66 Epilogue The revised ‘Law on Marriage, Family and Custody’ was not passed until 1969. It basically followed the proposals of the Juridical Committee and the

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Law Commission of 1962 concerning the right for children born out of wedlock to have a father identified on their birth certificate. In addition, the system of state support to unmarried mothers was substituted by regulations on maintenance to be paid by the biological father. However, the mother could only apply to the courts if she had obvious proof that she and the father had been living together at the time the child was conceived. Children resulting from casual relationships were not granted the right to receive support from their fathers. It is worth noting also that, concerning the much-debated question of divorce, a legal revision had already been issued in 1965 simplifying the procedure considerably.

Conclusion The legal experts of the late 1940s tended to be reluctant to accept some of the regulations of the 1944 decree.67 They were unwilling to acknowledge the implication of the law depriving ‘illegitimate’ children of their rights to a father’s name and support. Ordinary citizens also protested against the new regulations in their letters to the Supreme Soviet Law Commission. At the same time, others expressed their feelings of satisfaction that the old law, which had enabled the courts to chase absent fathers on the request of women, was now abolished. Thus it is difficult to point to a uniform discourse on the topic of children born out of wedlock. One thing is clear, however: the perceived shortcomings of the 1944 decree were not publicly talked about under Stalin’s regime. This issue was only publicly identified as a problem in the mid-1950s.68 The number of letters sent by ordinary citizens to the authorities went up, a phenomenon that can be attributed to several factors. First, articles in the press that openly took the side of fatherless children and unmarried mothers encouraged people to raise their own concerns. Second, the changed atmosphere of the post-Stalin years promoted the quest for truth and frankness and supported the case of those who wanted to criticize the law. Still, we find competing discourses on the subject, with some strongly defending the right of unmarried mothers to be treated equally with married mothers, while others saw no reasons for special treatment. Statements made at the Communist Party Congresses between 1956 and 1961, as well as in the 1961 Party Programme, pressing for involvement of ordinary citizens in the political and social life served as signals for people to turn to the authorities with their complaints and suggestions. Evidently, people did write letters in the Stalin era as well, but there were now signs of the beginning of an increased willingness of the authorities to respond. In fact, when Stephen White states that the early Brezhnev years saw the beginning of a more systematic treatment of the citizens’ letters, there is evidence that this process had already begun in the early 1960s, under Khrushchev.69 Finally, one might ask about the gendered framework of this study. To a large extent, both men and women placed the primary responsibility for

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sexual relationships that might result in pregnancy on the woman. In this, Soviet society expressed discourses on sexual morality that resembled norms and discourses in many other places elsewhere outside the Soviet Union. Officially it was called ‘socialist morality’, but in reality it expressed a rather mainstream conservative objective to control women’s sexuality and to counter promiscuous lifestyles. Previous studies have shown that the Khrushchev era saw the return of the ‘woman question’ to the official political agenda.70 Statements made by lawyers such as Nina Sergeeva, vice chair of the Supreme Soviet Law Commission, when she argued that ‘the existing laws do not contribute to a respectful attitude towards women, but instead lead to unequal gender relations’, were well in tune with official Party ideology.71 However, it is doubtful whether this really affected thinking on a broader level about male and female roles and responsibilities as fathers and mothers, or even views on women’s sexuality more generally.

Notes 1 The full title was ‘Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on increase of State aid to pregnant women, mothers with many children and lone mothers; on strengthening measures for the protection of motherhood and childhood; on the establishment of the title “Heroine Mother”; and on the institution of the order “Motherhood Glory” and the “Motherhood Medal”’, issued 8 July 1944. For the text of the decree in English see Rudolf Schlesinger (ed.), The Family in the USSR: Documents and Readings, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1949, pp. 367–76. 2 For a comprehensive account of the legislation on these matters, from 1918 to 1944, see Schlesinger, The Family in the USSR. See also Wendy Z. Goldman, Women, the State and Revolution: Soviet Family Policy and Social Life, 1917–1936, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993; Beatrice Brodsky Farnsworth, ‘Bolshevik Alternatives and the Soviet Family: the 1926 Marriage Law Debate’, in D. Atkinson et al. (eds), Women in Russia, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1977, pp. 139–65. 3 The Nordic countries deviate from European norms of separating children born out of wedlock from other children. For a study on Sweden in this respect, see Helena Bergman and Barbara Hobson, ‘Compulsory Fatherhood: the coding of Fatherhood in the Swedish Welfare State’, in Barbara Hobson (ed.), Making Men into Fathers: Men, Masculinities and the Social Politics of Fatherhood, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 92–124. 4 Schlesinger, The Family in the USSR, pp. 278–79. 5 For different views on Soviet family and marriage laws compared to the legislation in other parts of Europe, see Schlesinger, The Family in the USSR, pp. 1–23, 391– 406; Maria V. Antokolskaya, ‘Development of Family Law in Western and Eastern Europe: Common Origins, Common Driving Forces, Common Tendencies’, Journal of Family History, vol. 28, no. 1, January 2003, pp. 52–69; Helene Carlbäck, ‘Tracing the Roots of Early Soviet Russian Family Laws’, in I. Asztalos Morell et al. (eds), Gender Transitions in Russia and Eastern Europe, Stockholm: Gondolin, 2005, pp. 69–84. 6 Wedding ceremonies were often held under very modest conditions in the everyday working environment of the registration office. 7 As cited in Peter H. Juviler, ‘Family Reforms on the Road to Communism’, in P. Juviler and H. Morton (eds), Soviet Policy Making: Studies of Communism in Transition, London: Pall Mall Press, 1967, pp. 32–33.

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8 Mie Nakachi, ‘N. S. Khrushchev and the 1944 Soviet Family Law: Politics, Reproduction, and Language’, East European Politics and Societies, vol. 20, no. 1, 2006, p. 47. 9 I thank Yulia Gradskova for providing valuable comments on my text as well as helping me with source material. 10 See, for example, Sheila Fitzpatrick, ‘Supplicants and Citizens: Public Letter-Writing in Soviet Russia in the 1930s’, Slavic Review, vol. 55, no 1, 1996, pp. 78–105; Pis0 ma vo vlast0 , 1928–1939: Zayavlenya, zhaloby, donosy, pis0 ma v gosudarstvennye struktury i sovetskim vozhdyam, comps. A. Ya. Livshin et al., Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2002, pp. 5–12. 11 It is clear that letters on these matters were received. See, for example, Lewis Siegelbaum and Andrei Sokolov (eds), Stalinism as a Way of Life: a Narrative in Documents, New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 2000, pp. 199, 204, 342–43. 12 Schlesinger, The Family in the USSR, pp. 4–6. 13 Juviler, ‘Family Reforms’, pp. 31, 50, 52; Peter H. Juviler, ‘Whom the State has Joined: Conjugal Ties in Soviet Law’, in Donald D. Barry et al. (eds), Soviet Law After Stalin. Part I. The Citizen and the State in Contemporary Soviet Law, Leyden: A.W. Sijthoff, 1977, p. 124. 14 Nakachi, ‘N. S. Khrushchev and the 1944 Soviet Family Law’, pp. 40–68. 15 This material was also used by Kabzuko Kawamoto in her licentiate dissertation: Dvadtsatiletnyaya popytka izmenit0 pravovoe polozhenie detei, rodivshikhsya ne v zaregistrirovannom brake posle Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny, Moscow: Rossiiskaya Akademya Nauk, Institut Rossiiskoi Istorii, 2002. See also L. N. Denisova, Sud0 ba russkoi krest0 yanki v XX veke. Brak, sem0 ya, byt, Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2007, pp. 29–39. 16 Elena Zubkova, Russia After the War: Hopes, Illusions, and Disappointments, 1945–1957, trans. and ed. by Hugh Ragsdale, Armonk, NY and London: M.E. Sharpe, 1998, p. 160. 17 For studies on the debate on divorce, see, for example, Juviler, ‘Family Reforms’; Deborah A. Field, Private Life and Communist Morality in Khrushchev’s Russia, New York and Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007, ch. 5. 18 Regulations varied, for example, on the minimum age of marriage. 19 Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1972, p. 25 (article 14: XXIII). 20 M. A. Gedvilas, S. G. Novikov, ‘O deyatel0 nosti kommissii zakonodatel0 nykh predpolozhenii Verkhovnogo Soveta SSSR’, Sovetskoe gosudarstvo i pravo, no. 9, 1957, p 14. 21 Communication with Party organs as a necessary part of the process does not appear to have been mentioned in public. See, for example, Gedvilas, ‘O deyatel0 nosti kommissii’. 22 GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 213, l. 10. 23 GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 213, ll. 1–3. 24 GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 213, ll. 70–71. 25 GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 357, ll. 81–93. 26 In several other areas, such as the Transcaucasian and Central Asian republics, the 1926 law allowing informal (de facto) relationships to count as officially registered marriages was never introduced. 27 For a study confirming this thesis, see the interviews in Yulia Gradskova, Soviet People with Female Bodies: Performing Beauty and Maternity in Soviet Russia in the mid 1930–1960s, Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2007, pp. 237–38. 28 Lauren Oakley Kaminsky, ‘Maintenance Hunters: Duty and Deceit in Soviet Family Life’, paper presented to the 38th National Convention of the AAASS, Washington DC, November 16–19, 2006.

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GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 229, l. 112. Literaturnaya gazeta, 25 January 1967, p. 10. GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 264, l. 22. GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 265, ll. 32–36 GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 229, ll. 72–73. GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 215, l. 165. Grigorii M. Sverdlov, Legal Rights of the Soviet Family: Marriage, Motherhood and the Family in Soviet Law, London: Soviet News, 1945, p. 38. Grigorii M. Sverdlov, Sovetskoe semeinoe pravo, Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel0 stvo yuridicheskoi literatury, 1951, p. 125. Cited in Zubkova, Russia After the War, p. 163. E. Serebrovskaya, ‘Zhizn0 vnosit popravky’, Literaturnaya gazeta, 16 January 1954, p. 2. It should be noted, though, that there were often significant problems in getting men to pay maintenance. Serebrovskaya, ‘Zhizn0 vnosit popravky’, p. 2. E. Serebrovskaya, ‘Ot imeni syna: po pis0 mam chitatelei’, Literaturnaya gazeta, 28 August 1954, p. 2. Alexei Yurchak, ‘If Lenin was Alive, He Would Know What to Do: Bare Life of the Leader’, paper presented to the Open Seminar, Södertörn University College, Stockholm, May 2008. By the same author, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: the Last Soviet Generation, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006 E. Serebrovskaya, ‘Eshche raz o metrikakh’, Literaturnaya gazeta, 7 June 1956, p 2. GARF, f. 7523, op. 45a, d. 232, ll. 193–96. GARF, f. 7523, op. 45. d. 439, ll. 146. S. Marshak, et al., ‘Eto otvergnuto Zhizn0yu’, Literaturnaya gazeta, 9 October 1956, p. 2. Zubkova, Russia After the War, p. 159. Zubkova, Russia After the War, pp. 156, 160, 174. Grigorii M. Sverdlov, Sovetskoe semeinoe pravo, Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel0 stvo yuridicheskoi literatury, 1958, p 194. I. S. Gurevich, ‘O nekotorykh voprosakh sovetskogo semeinogo prava’, Sovetskoe gosudarstvo i pravo, no. 9, 1956, p. 55. A. I. Pergament, ‘Pravovoe polozhenie vnebrachnykh detei dolozhno byt0 izmeneno’, Sovetskoe gosudarstvo i pravo, no. 9, 1956, pp. 65–66. Sovetskaya zhenshchina was translated into a number of foreign languages and distributed to various countries, often through the Associations for Friendship with the Soviet Union. Aleksandra Pergament and M. Anastas0 ev, ‘Otvechaem na voprosy nashikh chitatelei’, Sovetskaya zhenshchina, no. 1, 1955, p. 46. GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 218, ll. 190–91. GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 218, ll. 298–302. GARF, f. 9514, op. 1, d. 44, l. 62. GARF, f. 9514, op. 1, d. 154, l. 62. GARF, f. 9514, op. 1, d. 47. For more on the 1961 Communist Party Programme, see the chapter by Alexander Titov in this volume. GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 439, ll. 156, 175, 201, 222. GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 357, ll. 81–93. GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 439, l. 154. Gedvilas, ‘O deyatel0 nosti kommissii’, p. 18. GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 357, l. 18. GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 357, ll. 81–93. GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 357, ll. 81–93.

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67 In fact, there had been discussions among lawyers since the late 1930s about whether to let people decide for themselves to live together informally or to have their liaison officially registered. See, for example, discussions between Boshko and Godes in the law journal Sovetskaya yustitsiya in 1939, as cited in Schlesinger, The Family in the USSR, pp. 348–62. On the perception of de facto marriages in various regions of the Soviet Union, see A. Goikhbarg, ‘Fakticheskii brak v Sovetskom prave’, Sovetskoe gosudarstvo i pravo, no. 1, 1949, pp. 70–81. 68 When talking to middle-aged Russians today one gets the impression that this is not what people remember most as being talked about in connection with family and marriage issues. Instead, the problems of getting a divorce and the heavy interference in people’s private lives seem to have stayed longer in people’s memories. 69 Stephen White, ‘Political Communications in the USSR: Letters to Party, State and Press’, Political Studies, volume 13, issue 1, 1983, p. 45. Published Online, 22 December 2006. 70 Melanie Ilic, ‘Women in the Khrushchev Era: An Overview’, in Melanie Ilic, Susan E. Reid and Lynne Attwood (eds), Women in the Khrushchev Era, New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, pp. 5–22; Mary Buckley, Women and Ideology in the Soviet Union, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1989. 71 GARF, f. 7523, op. 45, d. 357, ll. 81–93.

6

What did women want? Khrushchev and the revival of the zhensovety Melanie Ilic

In recent years, Russian television has been broadcasting a daily lunchtime soap opera called Ne rodis0 krasivoi (Don’t be Born Beautiful).1 The setting for the programme is a fashion design company. The company was originally headed by a male boss, but most of the employees – the secretaries, administrators, accountants, etc. – are women. These women office workers are portrayed in the programme as spending most of their day standing around talking together and listening in on meetings in the president’s office. Eventually, the male boss was ousted and replaced by one of the female secretaries, who set about ordering smart clothes for her colleagues. The point of interest in the soap opera for this chapter is that this particular group of women office workers is often referred to in the programme – harking back to the Soviet period of Russia’s history, and in a rather ironic and derogatory tone – as the zhensovet (zhenskii sovet; women’s council). The text of the soap opera, then, portrays these women as time-wasting and eaves-dropping gossips. Yet the subtext provides a more intriguing story: the zhensovet serves to preserve and promote women’s interests at the company, as well as to pursue their own ends, both individually and collectively. This chapter aims, through a study of the zhensovety, to explore the impact of what might be considered women-centred and family-friendly thinking on political, economic and social decision-making and policy formation during Khrushchev’s period of office. So far, most of the Western literature on the Khrushchev period, up to recently at least, has paid scant attention to Soviet social policy in these years, and few published studies focus exclusively on women.2 Some more extensive work has been published on the role of women in the Soviet economy and labour force participation under Khrushchev.3 The zhensovety themselves have also already received a limited degree of coverage in the Western literature, but their role and function in policy formation and governance under Khrushchev now warrants further attention.4 The source base for this study is somewhat limited. There are no records relating to the work of the zhensovety currently available in the Russian central government or Communist Party archives in Moscow. Records of their operation held elsewhere are not easily accessible and it is likely that much of the documentation relating to their work at a local and enterprise level no

Khrushchev and the revival of the zhensovety 105 longer exists. For example, the archival records of Rabotnitsa (Woman Worker), the women’s magazine that was assigned a coordinating role in the work of the zhensovety, have since been destroyed.5 I rely here, then, by necessity, on the contemporary published resources on this topic and anecdotal data arising from discussions of this research. Fortunately, the formation of the zhensovety in the late 1950s and early 1960s was sufficiently novel that it brought about a minor flourish of publications detailing the work of various women’s councils in different areas of the Soviet Union. During Khrushchev’s period of office, a number of short booklets and pamphlets were published about the formation and work of the zhensovety, mostly by regional publishing houses.6 These took a variety of forms. Most offer brief accounts of the work of the zhensovety and are usually somewhere between 20 and 40 pages in length; a few bring together a collection of short articles and are slightly longer, running between 70 and 100 or so pages; one takes a more fictionalized approach to the role of the zhensovet in the Murmansk region.7 They were generally issued in limited print runs, sometimes of only a few hundred copies, and rarely more than a few thousand. They were variously illustrated, often with photographs, and were printed in no larger than A5 format. These seemingly insignificant publications, taken together, provide a useful guide to the activities and achievements of the zhensovety throughout the Soviet Union in the years following their emergence. The work of the zhensovety was also discussed in official Communist Party publications and journals (such as Kommunist and Partiinaya zhizn0 ) and the women’s magazines (Rabotnitsa and Krest0 yanka), as well as being worthy of mention in contemporary newspapers.

Khrushchev on women’s roles in the Soviet Union Like his predecessor (Stalin), Khrushchev made very few direct public pronouncements about the position and role of women in Soviet society, and he spoke only infrequently to a specifically female audience. His speeches to the extraordinary XXI Communist Party Congress in January–February 1959 and the XXII Party Congress in October 1961 – both of which provided important platforms for the setting out of Khrushchev’s political and ideological agenda – included only brief statements on the important contribution to be made by women in the ‘building of communism’. As part of his speech on communist upbringing and public education to the 1959 XXI Party Congress, Khrushchev urged the Communist Party and the government to develop a new Soviet mentality, and to raise Soviet people in the spirit of collectivism, devotion to work, socialist internationalism and patriotism.8 These qualities were clearly reflected in the work of the zhensovety. Khrushchev pointed to the impoverished conditions under which women had lived in tsarist times, and continued to live under in some capitalist countries. With the help of Soviet power, he argued, women in the Soviet Union were now regarded as active participants in all spheres of the state, and

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in the political, economic and cultural life of the country. Women enjoyed equality with men, and used their rights as full citizens of a socialist society.9 He pointed out, however, ‘Yet many women are occupied in house work, in caring for children, which makes it difficult for them to participate actively in public affairs’.10 His solution to all of this was the proposal to create a network of childcare facilities, canteens and public welfare services, which would allow women to use their rights, knowledge and talents in the pursuit of productive and socially useful activities. Two years later, at the 1961 XXII Party Congress, Khrushchev confidently declared that ‘Millions of women have been freed from house work. They are recruited to the ranks of workers employed in the national economy’.11 Nevertheless, all may not have been what it seemed. Although previously non-working women were finding their way into the Soviet labour force, they were not well represented in the managerial echelons of the economy, despite their recognized abilities and qualities for holding leadership posts. Khrushchev acknowledged this situation in a speech to collective farm workers in Kiev on 22 December 1961: You already know what a huge role women play in all spheres of communist construction. Yet for some reason there are few women in this room. You need a pair of binoculars to spot them. How do you explain this? You could say that it is mainly workers in managerial roles who are represented here. It turns out that it is men who do the managing and women who do the work. (Commotion in the hall; applause) This is a poor explanation. The party organizations in the republics still badly conduct the selection and promotion of women to managerial work. And I am able to give you a number of examples where women have been promoted and they work no worse and even better than men. Our women are models of self-sacrificing labour, and they need to be promoted as brigade leaders and chairs of collective farms, to party and council work. We need to improve the conditions of work and everyday life for women on collective and state farms, to build more maternity homes, nurseries and crèches, canteens, laundries, bakeries. The better we provide for the daily lives of women, the more we will be able to free them from domestic labour.12 Importantly, women’s role in Soviet society was also acknowledged beyond their economic contribution. At a meeting convened at the Kremlin of delegates of women collective farmers and state farm workers from the Ryazan district on 16 October 1959, Khrushchev recognized that, in sharp contrast as he claimed to women’s position in the capitalist countries, Soviet women played an important role in the building of communism: ‘In our country (u nas) a woman is an active builder of a new society; she participates in the construction of all material and spiritual (dukhovnyi) values. She is a mother,

Khrushchev and the revival of the zhensovety 107 and we know how much of her heart and soul she gives to the raising of the next generation’.13 Women were assigned a role, therefore, not only in working towards building the material and technical bases of communism, but also in weaving its delicate social and moral fabric.

Origins of the zhensovety The formal organizations of the zhensovety mostly had their origins in the late 1950s, but the initial emergence of women’s committees such as these can be traced back to an earlier, post-revolutionary phase in the Soviet Union’s development. In their political and education work, the zhensovety can, in part, be seen as the heirs of the Zhenotdel (Zhenskii otdel; the Communist Party Women’s Department), which was established by the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution in 1917 specifically to conduct work amongst women. The Zhenotdel, with its nationwide network of delegatki (delegates), had a chequered history in the 1920s and the department was eventually closed down in 1930 when its work was declared to be complete. Work amongst women continued in the Stalin years, sometimes under the auspices of the trade unions and the People’s Commissariat of Labour, and through organizations such as the various Committees for the Improvement of the Life and Work of Women. This work, however, was now conducted with less central coordination and with reduced official sanction. In their celebration of women’s achievements in the workplace, the zhensovety of the Khrushchev period echoed the praise heaped on the udarnitsi (shock-work) and Stakhanovite heroines of the Stalinist norm-breaking, pre-war economic production campaigns. In their voluntary social and community work, the zhensovety of the Khrushchev era were partly reminiscent also of the dvizhenie zhen and obshchestvennitsa (wife-activist) movements, which reached their peak in the late 1930s, but continued to operate in many areas of the country in the post-war years and provided the template for the formation of some of the zhensovety as they emerged in the 1950s.14 One commentator has noted, however, that the formal women’s organizations of the war and post-war years rarely extended to rural areas of the country, so the zhensovety were still novel formations in many agricultural regions and villages when they were established in the late 1950s.15 In fact, many of the booklets on the work of the zhensovety under Khrushchev continued to refer to the women participants as ‘obshchestvennitsy’; the terms ‘aktivisty’ (activists) and ‘delegatki’ (delegates) were also used. The official state body with responsibility for overseeing women’s interests at the national and international level was the Soviet Women’s Committee, which had its origins in the Soviet Women’s Anti-fascist Committee that had been established in 1941 and was renamed in 1956. The remit of the committee was to unite women across the Soviet Union and abroad in the struggle for peace and national security. Its work was closely allied with that of the Women’s International Democratic Federation. The Soviet Women’s Committee published its own magazine Sovetskaya zhenshchina (Soviet Woman)

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that was translated into ten different languages and distributed around the world. The chair of the Soviet Women’s Committee throughout the whole of the Khrushchev period was Nina Vasil0 evna Popova (1945–68), who also served as a secretary to the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions from 1945 to 1957. In addition to providing justification for the continued work of the various women’s organizations after 1941, the valiant sacrifices of women on the home front, in the civil and military defence of the country during the Second World War and in post-war reconstruction all constituted part of the official commemorations of the war effort and loomed large in the Soviet collective memory. The active participation of women in Soviet public life was not to be forgotten after Stalin’s death. As part of an attempt to reinvigorate participatory politics through a broad programme of public consultation campaigns, once in office Khrushchev called for the mobilization of a range of different social groups, and this resulted in the revival of formal women’s organizations. As a result, zhensovety began to be formed throughout the Soviet Union at grassroots level from 1957. They continued in existence, though in rather moribund form and despite an attempted revival under Gorbachev in the late 1980s, until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.16 In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the zhensovety were no longer simply regarded as the facilitators of women’s emancipation (the role served by the Zhenotdel a generation earlier); they were now looked upon as the very markers of women’s equality in the Soviet Union. One contemporary commentator regarded her local zhensovet as the ‘staunch defender of women’.17 Nevertheless, as Genia Browning’s study has pointed out, their status was rather ambiguous, and their role is often reported as being somewhat contradictory. Moreover, their important role in the politicization and socio-economic mobilization of Soviet women has often been ignored or dismissed by subsequent observers. The question arises here as to whether the zhensovety served principally as a means through which women could, at a grassroots level, express their desires and discontents about international, national and local affairs and have these addressed at a higher level, or if the women’s councils performed the significantly more crude task of transmitting central Communist Party and government policy directives downwards to women. Perhaps both processes were in evidence, operating simultaneously, so that an even more complex interaction was at play here. On the surface, the self-appointed remit and aims of the zhensovety were wide-ranging: to encourage women to take a greater interest in the political affairs of both their own region and the country as a whole; to enable women to take a more active role in the running of their local community; and to mobilize non-working women for economic production. Meetings were held, often chaired by local Communist Party functionaries, where women were invited along not only to be educated and informed of the latest central and regional policy directives, but also to be entertained and canvassed for their opinions on matters of neighbourhood interest and concern.

Khrushchev and the revival of the zhensovety 109 From a different perspective, however, it could be argued that the zhensovety also provided a forum for the further incursion of the Soviet state into private, domestic and family life – itself, one of the defining features of Khrushchev’s period of office, as yet little discussed in the scholarly literature and poorly recognized in official discourse.18 In addition, it could be argued that the zhensovety provided a platform for the extension of women’s participation in national economic development without providing concomitant relief from their domestic duties, thereby serving to reinforce not only Soviet women’s already existing ‘double burden’, but also their ongoing function as a ‘reserve army of labour’.

The zhensovety in profile Beyond the inclusion of specifically named individuals who had been appointed to the organizational structure of the individual women’s councils, few of the zhensovety publications provide estimates of the numbers of women who became involved in their work, making it difficult to assess how widespread was the support for the work of the women’s councils at a local level. One exception here is the report of the Saratov zhensovet. According to this account, there were 105 women’s councils operating in the enterprises of Saratov alone by 1961. A further six regional women’s councils had been established, and 235 zhensovety had been organized in industrial enterprises, in the transport and construction sectors, in educational establishments, social institutions and house management committees. A total of 1,713 people from a range of backgrounds had been elected to the work of these women’s councils. They were identified as ‘the best workers from the factories and mills, engineering-technical workers, office personnel, academics, pensioners and housewives’.19 The booklet outlining the work of the Sverdlovsk zhensovet suggests that women who had been active in the events of the Russian Revolution and during the early years of Soviet power, once they had reached pensionable age in the 1950s, were not satisfied with a quiet life in retirement and actively sought out voluntary work in the women’s councils.20 Anecdotal data also suggest that some of the women who served on the zhensovety were able to give their time freely in the absence of the demands of paid work, either because of a husband’s military career or because the woman’s own childcare responsibilities kept her at home.21 In February 1963, Rabotnitsa reported on the achievements of the zhensovety in Chelyabinsk (home of the famous tractor and tank factory, lending the city the name ‘Tankograd’). This article was referenced in the following year in the regions own publication about the work of its women’s councils. These reports claimed that there was an ‘army’ of 10,000 women active in 320 different zhensovety in Chelyabinsk, where women’s councils had been established in industrial enterprises, educational institutions and apartment blocks.22 Here, then, the participation of women in the work of the local

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zhensovety was by no means insubstantial. In Vorkuta, there were 54 zhensovety involving more than 1,500 people. Here, it was claimed by one observer, the volunteer women’s movement had taken on a ‘mass character’.23 Even in one outlying settlement in another area of the country, where there were only 50 women, 5 had become members of the local zhensovet.24 A separate publication detailing the work of the zhensovety in the Chelyabinsk region provides an interesting profile of the membership of the women’s council in the town of Miass, where 55 women were elected to the zhensovet. Of these, 5 had been educated to higher level, 40 to middle level and 10 had received a basic education. Twelve were members of the Communist Party. The members were both young and old, some with direct experience of the 1917 October Revolution. In terms of their employment status, 11 were pensioners, 24 were housewives and 20 were workers. Twenty-eight of the 55 members lived and worked in the new part of the town, where the party offices had recently been relocated. The Miass town zhensovet oversaw the work of 34 local women’s councils operating in the workplace and in educational institutions.25

What did the zhensovety do? Once established, the individual zhensovety often set up different ‘commissions’, ‘sectors’ or ‘troiki’ (three-women committees) to carry out various aspects of their work. For example, the zhensovet in the Buryat okrug had ‘production’, ‘cultural-welfare’ and ‘sanitation-hygiene’ sectors to oversee its activities.26 The zhensovet of the ‘Nikol0 skii’ state farm in Yustinskii district had sections on ‘parenting’, ‘everyday life’ and ‘political upbringing’.27 Many of the zhensovety reported having sections dealing with various aspects of ‘production’, ‘mass cultural work’ and ‘daily life’. Others had specific sections dealing with ‘the protection of labour and everyday life’ or ‘children and youth’. On the whole, even though there was no set agenda for the zhensovety, their role and functions can be divided into four broad areas of concern: Political mobilization During Khrushchev’s period of office, the Soviet Union could boast of significantly high levels of formal political engagement by women in terms of their election to central, regional and local government offices. In comparison with the Western democracies (with the USA and UK frequently taken as comparators), Soviet women were well represented in public office. By 1959, there were 366 women in the USSR Supreme Soviet, constituting 27 per cent of the membership. More than 693,000 women (constituting 38 per cent of the total) held office in the union and autonomous republics and in local soviets.28 Even greater numbers and proportions of women had been elected to public office by 1962.29 At the same time and in increasing numbers, women were also becoming full and candidate members of the Communist

Khrushchev and the revival of the zhensovety 111 Party, and young women were becoming active in the Komsomol (the Party’s youth organization). Although the zhensovety were formally independent of the Communist Party, they are often reported as adopting an organizational and hierarchical structure similar to that of the Party and of soviet institutions. Many, if not all, of the office-holders and serving personnel were drawn from the local and regional party membership, and it is probable that in practice the zhensovety worked closely with local party and government organizations and the regional trade union bodies. The functions of the zhensovety included: drawing women in to more active participation in the public affairs of their locality, including mobilizing women to vote in elections; informing women of national policy developments and engaging women in their implementation; and encouraging more women to stand for election to public office and selection for membership of the Communist Party and Komsomol. They supported the promotion of women in state and government institutions. The zhensovety also served to propagate the ideological goals of the Communist Party in the ‘building of communism’, by ensuring that the text and policy decisions of the Party Congresses and Central Committee Plenums were widely disseminated, for example. All of these activities were designed to raise the levels of women’s political awareness and social consciousness. Economic mobilization By the time that Khrushchev came to power in 1956, Soviet women had already achieved high levels of economic participation in paid employment. At its peak during the war and post-war years, Soviet women constituted well over 50 per cent of the paid labour force. By 1958 this proportion had fallen slightly, but the 25.6 million women in paid employment still constituted 47 per cent of Soviet blue- and white-collar workers.30 Women also formed the mainstay of workers in Soviet agriculture. The Soviet authorities recognized that the success of the Seven-Year Plan (1958–65) was partly dependent on drawing more women in to paid employment. Moreover, the 1959 All-Union Census revealed that there were significant numbers of economically inactive women in the Soviet Union. We must remember here that, in Soviet estimations and in accordance with Lenin’s thinking in the early 1920s, women’s emancipation and their full and active public participation was closely allied to engagement in paid employment. One of the most widely acknowledged functions of the zhensovety, therefore, was to draw economically inactive women – mostly housewives, but also recent school leavers – into productive labour and paid employment. This was to be achieved principally through the extension of material incentives and practical support, particularly childcare (see below), to non-working mothers. The zhensovety served to break down barriers to female employment in areas where traditional sexual divisions of labour persisted. In the northern reaches of the tundra, for example, local women were introduced to work in the fur

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and fishing industries, both long-established male preserves.31 As the Khrushchev-inspired house-building projects began to take off throughout the country, women took up jobs as plasterers, painters and decorators, and even helped directly in construction.32 The Dagestan zhensovet boasted that 101 women had received training and were working in a range of jobs in the building industry in their region by 1963.33 In the Komi republic, improvements in mechanisation contributed towards the breakdown of the sexual division of labour in the timber industry.34 In addition, zhensovety emerged in collective farms, on the factory floor, in mining districts and at enterprise level to support women already in employment. It is likely that they worked closely with the established local trade union organizations and workers’ committees in areas of shared interest and responsibility. The women’s councils served to stimulate increases in levels of productivity and output, and to improve the quality of production, by organizing shop-floor work campaigns, for example. They celebrated the production and norm-breaking achievements of individual women workers in agriculture and industry. They encouraged women to take part in ‘innovation’ and ‘invention’ in the work place and to make the most rational use of available resources through the introduction of measures to reduce labour and production costs. Women’s achievements were often recorded not only in the zhensovety’s own publications, but also in the women’s magazines and in the newspapers of the period, in much the same way as the Stakhanovite heroines of the 1930s had been feted. The zhensovety were also responsible for improving the overall conditions of employment for women, by drawing attention to shortfalls in health and safety provisions, by campaigning for improvements in the supply of workplace facilities and work clothes for the female labour force and, with the aid of the trade unions, by the strict enforcement of protective labour legislation if necessary. One of the local zhensovety of the Chelyabinsk region campaigned vigorously for improvements in the ventilation system in the Kolyushchenko factory to ensure that women worked in an environment with clean air.35 One of the aims of the zhensovety was to reduce the incidence of workplace injury. Some showed particular concern for women’s industrial well-being. They established health clinics in factories, advice centres and first aid posts, as well as organizing blood donor sessions in some cases. The zhensovety also took steps to ensure that women received their constitutional guarantee of ‘equal pay for equal work’. For example, at the Dagelektromash factory in Dagestan, the zhensovet questioned why women employed in the same job as men were being paid at a significantly lower rate. They also questioned long-standing practices that underpinned the sexual division of labour by reserving specific jobs and professions for men.36 All over the country, the women’s councils oversaw the introduction of machinery to the production process, and they supervised the transfer of women workers from areas of heavy agricultural and industrial employment to lighter jobs.

Khrushchev and the revival of the zhensovety 113 Often through personal example, the zhensovety encouraged working women to improve their workplace skills and to train for the professions. In some cases, on the initiative of the local zhensovet, work-based training was organized specifically for women, such as the 150-hours theoretical and practical programme set up for fifteen young women to train as galvanizers at the Dagelektromash factory. On this model, training courses were established in other areas of the factory to prepare women to work as press operators, lathe turners, etc., as well as crane and scooter drivers and welders.37 The women’s councils took an active role in maintaining labour discipline in the workplace. By offering such support to women, the zhensovety attracted women not only to their own organizations, but also to take an active part in other factory and work-based committees. As a result of their engagement in the work of the zhensovety, women also began to take up roles in enterprise management. Social activism At a grassroots level, perhaps the most significant area of the zhensovety’s work was in encouraging women to take a more active role in the running of their local community. While some of the work of the zhensovety in their social function may also have been closely tied to their remit of economic mobilization, it is in this area where the women’s councils are likely to have had the greatest impact in local communities and, significantly, on Soviet women’s own everyday lives. First and foremost, in order to free up the time of non-working mothers and housewives for paid employment, something needed to be done about childcare and to reduce the amount of effort spent on other aspects of domestic labour and household management. Plans for the expansion of such facilities and services had been developed in the 1930s, but were curtailed due to lack of finance and, perhaps, also a lack of political will to follow them through. According to official statistics published by the Central Statistical Administration (TsSU), there were childcare places in permanent nurseries for 907,200 children in 1955. This figure increased rapidly over the next few years: to 1,134,900 in 1958; 1,260,200 in 1960; and 1,323,200 in 1961. In addition, approximately 3 million children were served by seasonal placements in playgrounds and summer camps.38 One of the most important social functions of the zhensovety, therefore, can be seen in their organization of crèches, kindergartens and nurseries, both in residential communities and in places of work. At least one contemporary commentator linked the growth in female employment in these years directly to the expansion of childcare provision and the extension of public services in local regions.39 The women’s councils also tried to ensure that these were being run to the required standard. In addition, they organized after-school clubs, as well as day trips, sports activities and holiday camps during the long school vacations, when parents were still at work. Nevertheless, anecdotal

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evidence suggests that mothers were not always happy with the standard of care provided by state-run organizations, where the sheer numbers of children in attendance meant that illnesses and infections, and sometimes injuries, were frequent, and the food provided was not considered to be wholesome. Young mothers continued to rely on their own mothers, or mothers-in-law, to provide individual childcare while they went out to work. The role of the zhensovety in social activism can also be seen in two of the defining aspects of Khrushchev’s period of office: first, the extensive programme of residential construction and, second, improvements to the production and supply of basic consumer durables.40 When new housing development projects were at the planning stage, the zhensovety organized consultative meetings with potential residents on the desired layout of the new single-family apartments. They secured priority access to suitable accommodation for families most in need. Once people had moved into the new blocks of flats, the zhensovety organized open evenings and individual visits to consult and advise on interior design and decoration of the apartments, on techniques for keeping the home clean and tidy and doing the laundry, for example. The zhensovety offered advice on budgeting and other aspects of household management. They sometimes encouraged parents to involve their children in financial decisions about the running of the household so that these young Soviet citizens would be raised in the spirit of collectivism rather than individual egotism. The zhensovety that were based in local communities – sometimes in the new apartment blocks themselves – also organized social events, at which women could exchange recipes and cooking hints, where they could exchange knitting and clothing patterns, dressmaking techniques, sewing and embroidery ideas, and where they could exchange health and beauty tips. In Tadzhikistan and elsewhere, such groups are often reported as being referred to locally as ‘universities of culture’ and daily life in apartments.41 The women’s councils also ran classes on childcare, motherhood and parenting, sometimes referred to as ‘universities for parents’, where educational specialists, medical experts and legal representatives gave lectures.42 More than 150 women attended the ‘university of health’ classes held in the Metallurgical district of Chelyabinsk.43 The zhensovety also had a further role in reducing the time-consuming burdens of housework. They consulted with women in residential areas on the supply of public services and welfare provisions. As the new satellite towns and city suburbs were developing, the zhensovety campaigned for the opening of public laundries to which women could take their washing. They lobbied for canteen services to be made available both in the workplace and on the ground floor of apartment blocks, so that wholesome ready-made meals could be picked up on the way home from work and heated up in the new domestic kitchen. They carried out rigorous inspections of hygiene standards along with both the quality and quantity of food supply in these local canteens. They also campaigned for the extension of transport links to these new

Khrushchev and the revival of the zhensovety 115 residential communities and for improvements in existing communications networks. They worked to improve the facilities of local health-care institutions. In addition, the zhensovety organized entertainment evenings for local women – serviced with on-the-spot childcare – with invited guest speakers, film showings, concerts or singing and dancing. Yet perhaps the most sensitive area of the zhensovety’s work in connection with their function of social activism was to be seen in their willingness to engage in family intervention. Whilst this was undoubtedly to be welcomed in some households, it is also likely to have generated a good deal of resentment and hostility in others. In this area of their operation, the publications of the zhensovety attempt to pay tribute to the important work conducted by many of the women’s councils in providing material and emotional support to some of the most needy and disadvantaged individuals in their local communities. In its broader perspective, however, the zhensovety’s role in encouraging social activism through family intervention can also be interpreted in part as promoting Soviet-endorsed forms of social regulation and control, particularly by attempting to combat such negative activities as child neglect, hooliganism, delinquency and alcoholism, for example. On a basic level, zhensovet intervention may have been as simple as acting as a liaison between local schools and families. Representatives of the zhensovet (sometimes local school teachers themselves) would report to parents on their children’s progress and performance, and sometimes one-to-one tuition would be offered to individual children. The zhensovety also organized for clothing and food to be supplied to poorer households, to single parents or to large families, often those most in need of material support. They helped to supply medicines to the sick and they offered emotional and material support to bereaved families. They helped the elderly to request and collect their pension entitlements. The zhensovety also took action in cases of household disputes and family breakdown. They offered advice to wives with alcoholic husbands, as well as counselling women on not making alcohol at home.44 They offered protection from domestic violence, sometimes by removing the abuser from the household. They offered support to children neglected or abandoned by their parents. They counselled parents whose children were suspected of hooliganism and delinquent behaviour. Mishova, chair of the Ukhtinsk zhensovet, explicitly noted that one of the aims of her women’s council was to divert young people’s attention away from the harmful influences of ‘Western bourgeois culture’ to which, unfortunately, they were being exposed.45 Cultural-Educational-Welfare work: Some of the functions of the zhensovety in connection with their cultural, educational and welfare remit overlap with their aim to promote political and social activism, as outlined above. At all times, the zhensovety were careful to project an overall moral and ethical stance that was both promoted by and

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acceptable to the Soviet state.46 They clearly identified their educational and cultural roles in the propagation of socialist values. Part of their self-declared remit was to promote the correct aesthetic and moral values considered necessary in the building of communism.47 Some zhensovety established reading rooms, ‘red corners’ and literature circles for women, offering a physical space where women could go to relax and to read. These were sometimes furnished with televisions, to which few Soviet citizens would have had individual access in these years. The women’s councils also set up wall newspapers, displays and exhibitions, making use of the public space available in the local ‘palaces of culture’. One such wall newspaper in the Komi republic, for example, was called Golos zhenshchin (Women’s Voice).48 A number of the zhensovety publications make reference to establishing women’s choirs or drama groups. Open evenings allowed women to share their skills and celebrate their achievements, and in some areas to recognize their own cultural and national diversity.49 One district zhensovet in Mordova declared the fifteenth day of every month as ‘women’s day’, when local women were invited to a club in the evening; practical groups, including sewing and cooking, were organized to keep women busy during the long winter months.50 Many of the zhensovety provided their own advice sheets on issues such as child rearing, parenting and family relationships. In addition, the zhensovety supported school children who wanted to organize their own newsletters and publications. In undertaking such activities, the zhensovety were promoting ideals of rationalised and cultured leisure, much favoured by the Soviet state. The structured organization of public meeting places, spaces and events allowed not only for local residents to be educated and entertained, but also promoted social integration and encouraged residents to develop a pride in their immediate surroundings. In some areas, the zhensovety organized voluntary neighbourhood street cleaning days, for example clearing away fallen leaves in the autumn, shovelling snow and ice after the long winter, or picking up discarded litter from the roadside. They encouraged local residents to plant flowers and maintain gardens around the apartment buildings, and generally to take care of their local environment. Such ‘subbotniki’, or ‘voskresniki’ (volunteer Saturdays and Sundays) were already a regular feature of the Soviet calendar. From a more critical perspective, though, the public nature of such events also meant that they could be closely monitored by local officials. Such aspects of the role of the zhensovety, it could be argued, presented an opportunity for closer moral regulation and social surveillance by the Soviet state. Soviet state and socialist values were also evident in other areas of the zhensovety’s educational and cultural work in local communities. This can be seen in two specific areas of their operation. First, explicit amongst the tasks of a number of the zhensovety was combating the influence of religion and the church. Many of the zhensovety were actively engaged in the state-sponsored anti-religious campaigns of the 1950s and 1960s, and in the promotion of

Khrushchev and the revival of the zhensovety 117 ‘scientific atheism’.51 In the Donbass region of the Ukraine, for example, public lectures were given on topics such as ‘Science and Atheism’.52 In Mordova, lectures were held on the dangers of religious rituals, and in Komi zhensovety activists tried to dissuade women from attending church services or having their children baptised.53 Anti-religious activism by the zhensovety was evident not only in the traditional Russian Orthodox areas of the Soviet Union, but also in the Muslim-dominated republics of Central Asia.54 In relation to this area of their work, the zhensovety also took steps to counter the influence of folk medicine and to warn against the services traditionally offered by village midwives. Their function, then, was to challenge superstition in all of its guises. Second, some of the zhensovety took part in the women’s peace campaigns and anti-war activism of these decades. They promoted the values of pacifism and peaceful reconciliation in their own work. Local activists raised money for the ‘Peace Fund’, which helped to provide material support for women and children abroad, especially in Africa. The Chelyabinsk zhensovet had a special ‘international relations’ section to oversee its work in this area and ran international evenings on themes such as ‘Women of the World in the Struggle for Peace’, attended by over a thousand local women.55 The Odessa zhensovet ran its own local newsletter called Dlya vas, dorogie zhenshchiny (For you, dear Women) from July 1960. The first page of the inaugural edition ran a ‘not long and not boring’ article entitled ‘If women from all over the world say no to war’.56 Activities such as these led some of the zhensovety into close association with national Soviet women’s organizations, and with the international women’s peace movement more broadly, with some women’s councils establishing direct links with the Women’s International Democratic Federation. Some of the zhensovety worked closely with the Soviet Women’s Committee in the organization of the World Congress of Women convened in Moscow in June 1963, and if they were not able to send delegates to the congress itself, they sent locally crafted souvenirs to the participants and held local events to coincide with it.57 Many of the zhensovety often served as the official hosts to overseas delegations, such as trade union groups, visiting their region, and through such activities were able to establish regular correspondence with women’s groups abroad. Members of the Odessa zhensovet, many of whom were the wives of local naval personnel, exchanged letters with women in Brisbane, Australia, and Bulgaria.58 The zhensovety were interested not only in the lives of women in their region, but also in the lives of women abroad.

What did women want? From this study of the role and functions of the zhensovety under Khrushchev it could be argued that the women’s councils were seemingly less interested in what Soviet women themselves wanted, but were motivated instead more by what the state perceived that women needed in order to participate more fully

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in the public life of the country. In the crucial years of the ‘thaw’ in international relations, it undoubtedly served the regime’s ideological agenda to be able to promote the relatively advanced political standing of women in the Soviet Union in comparison with the Western democracies. In domestic policy, the Soviet ideological drive towards the building of communism also required the active participation of women in economic production (away from the economically non-productive functions of childcare and housewifery), and measures were again taken in the years of Khrushchev’s office to mobilize available female labour reserves to this end. Yet this is not all that the zhensovety achieved. Unlike the Zhenotdel of the 1920s and the national level, officially sanctioned Soviet Women’s Committee of the Khrushchev era, the zhensovety had a close engagement in the everyday lives of women and were more firmly rooted in their local communities. Although the ‘woman question’ was reopened and given official endorsement in the Soviet Union under Khrushchev, it was now less rhetorical than it had been in the immediate post-revolutionary period. The zhensovety also served to highlight the problem of men; of wayward sons, absent fathers and feckless husbands. This was virtually unheard of in earlier decades. Through the work of the zhensovety, women were able to claim their own – this time very public – sphere of influence. It is likely, therefore, that the women’s councils brought about real and enduring improvements to many individual women’s lives at a local level, not least in highlighting the shortcomings in the provision of goods and services in residential areas, as well as providing material and emotional support for households and families experiencing difficulties. It is possible that much of this work often went unnoticed and unappreciated except by the direct beneficiaries themselves. The zhensovety operated in the spirit of voluntarism and collectivism to promote the ideals of social responsibility, neighbourliness and engagement in its fullest sense in the public life of the Soviet Union. It is difficult to determine exactly how much influence the zhensovety would have had on policy formation itself under Khrushchev, but their roles and functions in local communities and work places to ensure that policies with regard to women were fully and properly implemented must surely have facilitated many aspects of Soviet governance in this period.

Notes 1 The name of the programme is taken from the Russian proverb ‘ne rodis0 krasivym, a rodis0 schastlivym’ (don’t be born beautiful, but be born happy). I am grateful to Natalia Vinokurova for telling me about this programme. It is the Russian equivalent of the US hit series Ugly Betty. 2 For a useful collection of essays, see M. Ilic, S.E. Reid and L. Attwood (eds), Women in the Khrushchev Era, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2004. 3 See, for example, Donald Filtzer0 s work, which offers the most detailed insight to date into women’s labour force participation in the Khrushchev era: Soviet Workers and De-Stalinisation: The Consolidation of the Modern System of Soviet

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4

5 6

7 8 9 10

11

12 13

14

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Production Relations, 1953–1964, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992; reprinted 2002. His chapter on women is reprinted, in edited form, in Ilic, Reid and Attwood (eds), Women in the Khrushchev Era, pp. 29–51. See also N.T. Dodge, Women in the Soviet Economy: Their Role in Economic, Scientific and Technical Development, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press, 1966. See particularly G. Browning, Women and Politics in the USSR: Consciousness Raising and Soviet Women’s Groups, Brighton and New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1987, and M. Buckley, Women and Ideology in the Soviet Union, London and New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1989. I am grateful to Susie Reid and Natasha Tolstikova for this information. I have so far secured copies of nineteen of these booklets published between 1958 and 1965, and have the titles for a further two. I have also made use of works on the zhensovety published after 1964 to inform this chapter. I would like to thank David Moon, Junbae Jo and Alexander Titov for their assistance in locating some of these materials. M. Buzhkevich, Zhivet dlya drugikh chelovek, Moscow: Izdatel0 stvo ‘Sovetskaya Rossiya’, 1964 [print run 50,000]. Vneocherednoi XXI s00 ezd kommunisticheskoi partii sovetskogo soyuza, 27 yanvarya–5 fevralya 1959 goda: stenograficheskii otchet. Tom 1, Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel0 stvo politicheskoi literatury, 1959, p. 55. The notion of sexual equality in the Soviet Union was enshrined in the 1936 ‘Stalin’ Constitution. XXI s00 ezd, p. 60. See also N.M. Gurova and N.A. Krivenko, Zhenshchiny Donetskogo magistrali, Stalino-Donbass: Knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1960 [print run 4000], p. 8, and A. P. Polegeshko, Nashi aktivistki, Ul0 yanov: Ul0 yanovskoe knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1961 [print run 3000], p. 4. XXII s00 ezd kommunisticheskoi partii sovetskogo soyuza, 17–31 oktyabrya 1961 goda: stenografichsekii otchet. Tom 1, Moscow: Politizdat, 1962, p. 205. A. Alkhazova, Dela zhensoveta, Makhachkala: Dagestanskoe knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1964 [print run 2000], p. 28, points to the important role of the zhensovety in realising the historic decisions of the XXII Party Congress. Pravda, 25 December 1961, p. 3. Pravda, 17 October 1959. See also Yu. Almazova, ‘Sovetskaya zhenshchina – aktivnyi uchastnik stroitel0 stva kommunizma’, Vestnik statistiki, no. 3, 1960, pp. 16–23 (p. 17), and I. Rotin, ‘Zhenshchina strany sovetov’, Kommunist, no. 4, 1960, pp. 67–72 (p. 71), but neither of these sources provides the reference for the citation. V. N. Nikolaev, Bespokoinye lyudi; iz opyta raboty zhenskikh sovetov, Sverdlovsk: Knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1958 [print run 2000] pp. 3–4, A. G. Dmitrina, ‘Aktivnye uchastnitsy stroitel0 stva kommunizma’, pp. 5–25, and V. I. Lyatieva, ‘Slovo staroi kommunistki’, p. 102, in Nashi sovremennitsy: po materialam pervogo Komi Respublikanskogo S00 ezda zhenshchin, Syktyvkar: Komi knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1960 [print run 500], Polegeshko, Nashi aktivistki, p. 3, and A.S. Stoyakina, Zhenskie sovety, Moscow: Sovetskaya Rossiya, 1962 [print run 7000], p. 6, in particular, make passing reference to some of the earlier forms of Soviet women’s organisation. Gurova and Krivenko, Zhenshchiny Donetskoi magistrali, pp. 8–18, provides a detailed account of early forms of Soviet women’s organisations in the Donbass region. The zhensovet in Odessa on the Black Sea dated its formal origins back to 1949; see N.A. Koval0 , Podrugi moryakov, Moscow: Izdatel0 stvo ‘Mor0 skoi transport’, 1961 [print run 2500], p. 4. See also I. Rakhimova, ‘Zhenshchina – aktivnyi stroitel0 kommunizma’, Partiinaya zhizn0 , no. 10, 1967, pp. 57–62. See also A. A. Muzyrya and V. V. Kopeiko, Zhensovet: opyt, problemy, perspektivy, Moscow: Izdatel0 stvo politicheskoi literatury, 1989, pp. 18–33. M. Vezhevatova, ‘Zhenshchiny nashego sela’, in Zhenskie sovety za rabotoi, Saransk: Mordovskoe knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1962 [print run 2000], p. 5.

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16 On the work of the zhensovety in the late Soviet period, see, for example, A.A. Ryndina and V.V. Kopeiko, Reshaet zhensovet, Moscow: Moskovskii rabochii, 1987. 17 M. Kuznetsova, Yest0 v Suzemke zhensovet, Bryansk: Izdatel0 stvo ‘Bryanskii rabochii’, 1962 [print run 3000], p. 16. 18 See Deborah A. Field, Private Life and Communist Morality in Khrushchev’s Russia, New York: Peter Lang, 2007. 19 A. S. Belyaeva, Zhenskie sovety, Saratov: Saratovskoe knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1962 [print run 3000], p. 8. 20 Nikolaev, Bespokoinye lyudi, pp. 8–9. 21 This was reported to be the case in one Saratov apartment block zhensovet. Personal email communication, 18 March 2008. 22 See Rabotnitsa, no. 2, 1963, p. 8; and N. I. Cheremnykh, Sily v nikh kroyutsya neischislimye: o rabote zhenskikh sovetov goroda Chelyabinska, Chelyabinsk: Yuzhno-Ural0 skoe knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1964 [print run 4000], pp. 8–9. 23 K. Ya. Terekhina in Nashi sovremennitsy, p. 47. 24 Zhenshchiny – peredoviki semiletki (pervoe soveshchanie zhenshchin Anadyrskogo raiona), Magadan: Oktyabr0, 1960 [print run 650], p. 12. 25 K. Zel0 dich, ‘Dveri otkryty nastezh”, in K.P. Kuznetsova, (ed.), Zabotlivye ruki, shchedrye serdtsa: o rabote zhenskikh sovetov Chelyabinskoi oblasti, Chelyabinsk: Knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1961 [print run 4000], pp. 27–28. 26 Ts. Dugarzhapova, ‘Zhenskie sovety’, Partiinaya zhizn0 , no. 17, 1965, pp. 53–55 (p. 53). 27 N. Katysheva, Vyidi za porog: iz opyta raboty zhenskikh sovetov, Elista: Kalmytskoe knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1965 [print run 750], p. 10. 28 These data are taken from: ‘Zhenshchina – aktivnyi stroitel’ kommunizma’, Partiinaya zhizn0 , no. 5, 1960, pp. 3–7, (p. 4); and Almazova, ‘Sovetskaya zhenshchina’, p. 21. 29 K. Solov’eva, ‘Sovetskaya zhenshchina – aktivnyi stroitel0 kommunizma’, Vestnik statistiki, no. 3, 1962, pp. 3–8 (p. 6). 30 Almazova, ‘Sovetskaya zhenshchina’, p. 17. 31 P. Korobeinik, Zhenskie sovety – provodniki kultury v natsional0 nykh selakh, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii: knizhnaya redaktsiya ‘Kamchatskoi pravdy’, 1961 [print run 1000] p. 7. See also Zhenshchiny – peredoviki semiletki for women and fur farming. 32 See the section on ‘women workers’ in R.W. Davies and Melanie Ilic, ‘From Khrushchev (1935–36) to Khrushchev (1956–64): Construction Policy Compared’, in J.R. Smith and M. Ilic (eds), Khrushchev in the Kremlin, London: Routledge, [2009]. 33 Alkhazova, Dela zhensoveta, pp. 14–16. 34 Nash sovremennitsy, pp. 32, 94. 35 K. Pavlova and I. Chernyadeva, ‘Khozyaiki bol0 shogo goroda’, in Kuznetsova (ed.), Zabotlivye ruki, shchedrye serdtsa, pp. 8–14. 36 Alkhazova, Dela zhensoveta, p. 5. 37 Alkhazova, Dela zhensoveta, pp. 7–8. 38 For these and other related statistics, see Women in the USSR: Brief Statistics, Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1960, pp. 86–90 (published in Russian as Zhenshchina v SSSR: kratkii statisticheskii spravochnik, Moscow: Gosstatizdat, 1960), and Women and Children in the USSR: Brief Statistical Returns, Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1963, pp. 131–36 (published in Russian as Zhenshchiny i deti v SSSR: statisticheskii sbornik, Moscow: Gosstatizdat, 1961). 39 Rakhimova, ‘Zhenshchina’, p. 62. 40 See the section on ‘Managing the home’ in M. Ilic, ‘Women in the Khrushchev Era: an Overview’, in Ilic, Reid and Attwood, Women in the Khrushchev Era, pp. 10–12. Speaking at an important builders’ conference in 1954, Khrushchev stated that ‘one should value the labour of women and lighten their work as far as possible’. See T. P. Whitney (ed.), Khrushchev Speaks, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1963, p. 178.

Khrushchev and the revival of the zhensovety 121 41 See, for example, Rakhimova, ‘Zhenshchina’, p. 60, and Cheremenykh, Sily v nikh kroyutsya neischislimye, p. 26. 42 See, for example, Ye. F. Brazhnikova, Zhenskie sovety na Altae, Barnaul: Altaiskoe knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1961, p. 9; and M. Makeeva, ‘U nas v Slavyanske’, in Zabotlivye ruki: iz opyta raboty zhenskikh sovetov. Sbornik statei (comp. V. I. Koldoba), Stalino-Donbass: Knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1961 [print run 6000], p. 14. 43 Pavlova and Chernyadeva, ‘Khozyaiki bol0 shogo goroda’, in Kuznetsova (ed.), Zabotlivye ruki, shchedrye serdtsa, p. 4. 44 See, for example, E. L. Baraksanova, ‘Initsiatory slavnykh del’, in Nashi sovremennitsy, p. 106. 45 A.D. Mishova, ‘Krupitsy opyta’, in Nashi sovremennitsy, p. 86. 46 See, for example, the speech by R. B. El0 darova, ‘O zadachakh zhenshchin v pod0 eme khozyaistvennogo i kul0 turnogo stroitel0 stva’, printed in G. Zdorovets (ed.), Khozyaiki strany gor, Makhachkala: Dagestanskoe knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1961 [print run 2000], p. 75. 47 A good example here is provided by Nikolaev, Bespokoinye lyudi, pp. 18–21. 48 Dmitrina, ‘Aktivnye uchastnitsy’, in Nashi sovremennitsy, p. 27. 49 Zhenshchiny – peredoviki semiletki, pp. 1–4. 50 Ye. Shulimova, ‘Lyudyam na pol0 zu’, in Zhenskie sovety za rabotoi, pp. 16 and 20. 51 For more on Khrushchev’s anti-religious campaigns, see I. Paert, ‘Demystifying the Heavens: Women, Religion and Khrushchev’s Anti-religious Campaign, 1954–64’, in Ilic, Reid and Attwood, Women in the Khrushchev Era, pp. 203–21. 52 Zabotlivye ruki. Sbornik statei, pp. 61, 63. 53 Zhenskie sovety za rabotoi, pp. 6 and 56; Lyatieva, ‘Slovo staroi kommunistki’, in Nashi sovremennitsy, p. 103. 54 See, for example, N. Zaripova, ‘Zhenshchiny – aktivnye stroiteli kommunizma’, Kommunist, no. 12, 1965, pp. 26–33 (p. 33), which examines the work of the zhensovety in Tadzhikistan. 55 Cheremnykh, Sily v nikh kroyutsya neischislimye, p. 59; N. Cheremnykh, ‘Pis0 ma dalekim podrugam’, in Kuznetsova (ed.), Zabotlivye ruki, shchedrye serdtsa, pp. 49–52. 56 Koval0 , Podrugi moryakov, pp. 11–12; the Russian title of the article is given as ‘Yesli zhenshchiny vsego mira skazhut voine – net’. 57 For Khrushchev’s speech to the World Congress of Women in Moscow, see Pravda, 25 June 1963, p. 1. 58 Koval0 , Podrugi moryakov, pp. 23–26.

7

Dismantling Stalin’s fortress Soviet trade unions in the Khrushchev era Junbae Jo

With his secret address at the XX Communist Party Congress in February 1956 Khrushchev launched a long-term reform that lasted for almost a decade. The reform aimed to liquidate Stalin’s legacy, which, Khrushchev thought, had been a serious obstacle to the sound development of Soviet society. Khrushchev considered that Stalin’s long dictatorship had left the Soviet system in a deep stagnation; the removal or overcoming of its heritage would be a stepping stone to advance further both the Soviet regime and communism itself. The de-Stalinization process was carried out in all areas of the Soviet system, including the Party and government, the economy and social organizations, such as the trade unions. The trade unions were included in Khrushchev’s reform agenda from a very early stage. Khrushchev judged that for the democratization of Soviet society and in order to secure support for his reforms it was necessary to encourage people’s voluntary participation in the decision-making process. This had been virtually unheard of under Stalin. To this end, Khrushchev decided to activate mass organizations, of which the trade unions were the most representative. Thus, in his report to the XX Party Congress Khrushchev revealed his intention for the unions to be at the foundation of his reform. He severely criticized the bureaucratic performance of the Soviet trade unions in earlier years: Union work is evidently distanced from the demands of public life and the tasks that the Party presented. … The unions are mainly required to show fighting spirit, creativity, a flash of wit, sagacity, discipline, and initiative in presenting radical, and life-related important questions.1 This chapter examines how and to what extent Khrushchev’s ambitions for the trade unions were achieved. Existing Western scholarship on this topic has provided neither a systematic explanation for nor a chronology of Khrushchev’s trade union reform, not to mention its background. Filtzer and McAuley very briefly touched on trade union reform in relation to Soviet labour policy and labour disputes, and Brown looked at the unions in the context of labour relations.2 Conquest examined the structural changes in the

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trade unions in the 1950s and 1960s, but left out the whole process of their reform.3 The present chapter, therefore, explores these changes and their background in trade union work and structure during the Khrushchev era, thus providing a detailed case study of one aspect of Khrushchev’s reform programme. The main stages of trade union reform are identified in chronological order with an examination of the decision-making process at the highest level. In addition, the impact of trade union reform on the shop floor is addressed briefly in order to measure the extent to which the changes in the unions had an impact on the workforce. This chapter also examines the trade unions in the Khrushchev era in comparison with the Stalin years in order to highlight continuities and discontinuities between the two periods. Such an approach may help to identify parallels between these two periods in other areas of the Soviet system. The chapter draws considerably on reports published in Soviet newspapers, such as Pravda and Trud. Some use is made of VTsSPS (the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions) documents, but the main aspects of Khrushchev’s trade union reform can be identified by using Soviet publications. Material on the sub-committee in charge of trade unions under the Communist Party Central Committee is critically important but not referred to here as it has not yet been declassified. Instead, records of Party congresses and plenums are used to examine the decision-making process at the upper level.

The first union reform in the late 1950s Signs of reform and its preparation Even before the beginning of serious trade union reform, signs of the forthcoming changes were already being indicated in various ways. These generally involved the bureaucratic working style of the unions, which Khrushchev regarded as a hindrance both to reactivating their performances and to democratizing Soviet society. Whilst the XI Trade Union Congress was in session in June 1954 (the first to be held since the death of Stalin), Pravda severely criticized the unions for the red tape (kantselyarshchina) and bureaucracy that was deeply rooted in their leading organizations, including VTsSPS. According to a Pravda editorial, endless conferences and paper directives dominated union work, and this created a wide gap between the leadership and lower-level organizations.4 N.M. Kovalev, chair of the chemical industry trade union, was reported as being critical of the formalism that was prevalent from top to bottom in organizing socialist competition.5 N.V. Popova, a VTsSPS secretary, even argued that a new provision should be included in the rules (ustav) of Soviet trade unions to encourage them to develop self-criticism, particularly criticism from below, and to wage a struggle against red tape. According to Popova, all union officials should pay attention not to decrees, decisions and circulars, but to actual organizational work.6

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In addition to the discussion of the trade unions by newspapers and senior union officials, the Party leadership also criticized the unions for their bureaucracy. This criticism can be seen as a preliminary warning to the trade union leadership, indicating the possibility of a shake-up rather than merely encouraging them to be more active. At the Party plenum in July 1955, N.A. Bulganin, a Party secretary, publicly denounced the trade unions for not showing any proper initiative in strengthening labour discipline, improving workers’ welfare or resolving other questions regarding wages and housing.7 Much clearer signs from above were given at the XX Party Congress. In his report to the congress, Khrushchev disclosed that gradual efforts had been made to reduce and improve the structure of the administrative-managerial apparatus over the past two years, and this would extend to the trade unions in future.8 Less than two months later, ground-breaking work was launched for a thoroughgoing trade union reform. The reform aimed to eliminate ‘red tape’ from the upper level of the unions and to make them more efficient. In late March, the VI plenum of VTsSPS discussed trade union tasks in relation to the propositions made at the Party congress and resolved to promote union democracy, to improve the role of the union presidiums, and to develop widely criticism on the deficiencies of union work. In addition, a rule was proposed on the regular convocation of union plenums. The VTsSPS presidium, union central committees and union councils were instructed to put forward proposals on the restructuring of union organizations with the aim of reducing their overall number and cutting costs.9 The plenum was followed by a personnel shake-up of trade union organizations, which was similar to Stalin’s reorganization of the trade unions in the years from 1928 to 1932.10 V.V. Grishin, former second secretary of the Moscow regional Party organization and a close associate of Khrushchev, was elected as the new chair of VTsSPS in place of N.M. Shvernik.11 A large number of high-ranking union officials were removed from their posts through elections. Two thirds of those sitting on union central committees were replaced and one third of their presidium personnel was replaced. Nine chairs and secretaries of union central committees were changed.12 Now the new union leadership was in place for the first all-out trade union reform of the Khrushchev era. IV plenum of VTsSPS, July 1957: decentralization The first trade union reform was launched in parallel with changes to economic administration. Up to this date, the Soviet economy was administered on the production principle, whereby all major decisions on economic issues were made in Moscow. Under Stalin, factories were presented with distorted output targets and new technology was not easily assimilated into the production process. Khrushchev thought that this resulted in excessive centralization, hindering the efficient operation of the economy. Thus, his economic reform in the late 1950s, based on the territorial principle, gave

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more initiative to the localities. The reform of the trade unions was carried out on the same principle. The final decision on economic reform was made in February 1957. The Party plenum introduced a change to the way industry and construction were managed in order to overcome the negative effect of departmentalism (vedomstvennost0 ) within the ministries. The centre of operative leadership over industry and construction was now transferred to the localities. Councils of the national economy (sovnarkhozy) were organized in every economic district. Union and autonomous republics were thereby given more power. The role of Gosplan (the State Planning Commission) was enhanced in terms of its planning and leadership over the economy, and the function and structure of the State Economic Commission (Gosekonomkomissiya) was reduced. By this reform, the production principle, ‘leading to excessive centralization undermining the normal relationship among enterprises of various individual industries’, was replaced by the territorial principle.13 The shift in the management of the Soviet economy was reflected in a corresponding change in the structure of the trade unions. In November 1956, the Central Committee presidium had resolved to address the question of the trade unions at its January plenum of 1957.14 The Party leadership did not work alone, but cooperated closely with trade union leaders. At the March 1957 conference of the Party presidium, Grishin indicated that individual trade unions should be merged.15 Trade union leaders were appointed to take charge of the reform as representatives of the Party, thereby confirming the control of the Party over the unions. In the implementation of the reform, Khrushchev took a somewhat different route from that used by Stalin. First, he announced the reform proposals, and then he opened a forum for further debate to secure popular support for his plans. Thus, in a summary report to the VII Congress of the Supreme Soviet, Khrushchev suggested an outline of the union reform in advance: the merger of the unions; the elimination of redundant leading union organs; the reduction of the paid apparatus; and the wider development of unions’ selfreliance.16 Then he asked for discussions to take place at the national level. In response to his call, the All-Union conference of trade union aktivs (activists) met in Moscow in late March. At the conference, Grishin devoted his time to propagating the rationale for trade union reform by urging that the organizational reconstruction of the unions should be undertaken in line with the changes in the management of the national economy.17 Less than two months later, the VII Congress of the Supreme Soviet provided a wider forum for the discussion of Khrushchev’s reform plans, this time not only concerning the trade unions but also the Soviet apparatus as a whole. Grishin again put forward a plan for trade union reform and publicly mentioned for the first time the idea of strengthening union councils. He argued that local trade union organizations should be able to participate directly in the drawing-up of the industrial and financial plans of enterprises and construction sites, which they had not been able to do in the past.18

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Specific proposals on trade union reform began to take shape during the summer of 1957. In his report to the VII plenum of VTsSPS in June, Grishin revealed a much more detailed programme of trade union reform. Trade union councils were envisaged as competent leading organizations with operative leadership over local unions, and trade union central committees were to address questions of general significance in their corresponding industries.19 The programme was clearly aimed at weakening the power of trade union central committees and transferring their existing powers to local organizations. The plenum resolved to instruct the VTsSPS presidium to draw up a new rule on the rights and responsibilities of trade union councils and to draw up plans for the merger of individual unions.20 In August, Grishin again confirmed the strengthening of local trade union organizations, providing a final version of the union reform programme on the anniversary of the trade unions’ foundation. He argued that, up to now, trade union central committees had exerted leadership over union organizations and that this led to extreme centralization of both powers and finances. Thus, he claimed, trade union councils should henceforth be at the centre of union work and take an active part in the work of the sovnarkhozy. VTsSPS and trade union central committees should address questions that could not be resolved at the local level or in the economic districts. The number of trade unions was to be reduced from forty-seven to twenty-three.21 Less than a week later, a more significant decision was made to give practical powers to trade union councils. The VTsSPS presidium approved a new rule for union councils, which granted them the right to conclude collective agreements directly with sovnarkhozy and to ensure their fulfilment. These rights had previously been vested in individual trade union central committees. By this rule, trade union councils could exert considerable influence over the shop floor as well as in enterprises. In addition, trade union councils were given the rights to hear reports of lower-level local union organizations, to repeal their decisions when they contradicted existing regulations, and to represent the unions at their meetings with corresponding soviet and economic organizations in discussions of questions relating to production and workers’ welfare.22 In terms of finance, trade union councils were to take control over the activities of union organizations at all levels, including planning and accounting concerning trade union properties and budgets. The trade union central committees would no longer be able to intervene in questions of finance and personnel.23 The XIII Trade Union Congress in March 1959 received a summary report on the progress of Khrushchev’s trade union reform. In his report, Grishin argued that the role and rights of the trade unions as social organizations had greatly improved throughout the country. The centre of gravity in union work had transferred to the lower level and, thus, primary union organizations, such as FZMK (factory, mill and local trade union committees), were considerably strengthened. In terms of the structural adjustment of the trade unions, the number of central, republican, territorial and regional union

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committees was reduced from 2,252 in 1954 to 1,742 in 1959; the number of paid union officials was decreased by 20,000 in 1957; the apparatus of the central union organizations, such as VTsSPS and union central committees, was reduced by 70.5 per cent from 1957 to 1959.24 I. P. Gureev, a VTsSPS secretary, reported on the changes to the union rules and confirmed that trade union councils had been established as key union organizations in place of union central committees. Thus, trade union councils took over the operative leadership of work by the local union organs and primary union organizations.25 Exactly six years after Stalin’s death, Khrushchev had completed the first phase of the trade union reform.

Workshops in turmoil Alongside the reorganization of the trade unions, another attempt was made to change the balance of power between the unions and management on the shop floor. Khrushchev aimed to raise the status and power of the trade unions over managers in order to promote workers’ interests in enterprises and on construction sites. By doing this, Khrushchev supported the activation of trade union organizations as a stepping stone towards the democratization of Soviet society. Thus, union organizations were widely encouraged to criticize and argue with managers and even ministries at all levels. In his report to the XX Party Congress in February 1956 Khrushchev expressed his regret that the unions had stopped arguing with managers and, as a result, inertia prevailed.26 Shvernik supported Khrushchev’s criticism by arguing at the congress that, in the past, VTsSPS and the trade union central committees had criticized deficiencies in the work of individual ministries and economic organs without success and he urged the unions to become fighting organizations for the masses.27 Union leaders also began to raise the issue of collective agreements over which conflicts with management frequently took place. In his report to the V plenum of VTsSPS in late June 1956, V.I. Prokhorov, a VTsSPS secretary, argued that it was necessary to prevent arbitrary changes by ministries and administrators in collective agreements by strengthening the responsibilities of both the trade union central committees and the ministries so as not to disorganize production.28 In the discussion of Prokhorov’s report, Oleinikov, from Uralmash, argued that those managers who did not observe collective agreements should be punished.29 Newspapers, through their articles and editorials, supported the trade unions by attacking ministries and managers for their ‘departmentalism’ and red tape. The trade union newspaper, Trud, published an article with the impressive headline ‘comrade minister, please respect the trade union’. The article reported that Kudryavtsev, RSFSR Minister of the Timber Industry, had introduced overtime work without the agreement of the union organization.30 Pravda denounced directors and ministers of the fishing industry in the Baltic, Caspian and Black Seas for their irresponsible work and for their

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insincere reply to the enquiries from union committees about housing construction.31 From the beginning of 1957 criticisms and complaints about managers and ministries were brought together in an attempt to enact a series of laws in favour of trade union organizations and workers’ interests in enterprises and on construction sites. In late January 1957 a new rule was introduced on the settlement of labour disputes. This replaced the regulation introduced in August 1928 giving the Rates and Conflicts Commissions (rastsenochno-konfliktnye komissii or RKK) a central role in resolving labour disputes, but which had virtually ceased to function from 1933. Commissions on labour disputes were established in place of RKK in enterprises, institutions and organizations, and workers’ complaints and conflicts with management were initially to be addressed by these. If not resolved by these commissions, cases were forwarded to FZMK and then to people’s courts. Commissions on labour disputes were constituted by representatives drawn from chairs of FZMK and the administration of enterprises, institutions and organizations. Questions on the dismissal, restitution and transfer of workers to the other posts were not addressed. The decisions of the commissions were to be enforced by the administration within ten days.32 The introduction of these new regulations on settling labour disputes seems to have contributed to the resolution of conflicts between employees and management at the enterprise level. According to one source on labour disputes, the number of cases heard in the Leningrad regional courts was reduced to less than half in 1957 and 1958 when compared to 1955 and 1956.33 Following the enactment of the law on labour disputes, Khrushchev introduced more significant and stronger measures for trade unions and workers on the shop floor. At the Party plenum in December 1957, Grishin presented a summary report on the work of trade unions and, on the basis of this, the plenum decided to transform production conferences in enterprises and construction sites into permanent structures operating at any time.34 This measure was intended to allow the trade unions to check managers more closely and continually. In addition, workers could not be fired without agreement of FZMK. Thus, the authority of managers over workers was weakened and in turn the powers of trade union organizations were greatly enhanced. In fact, the strengthening of production conferences and FZMK was already in process as a means of reducing managerial power and enhancing the role of the unions. In his address to Soviet trade unions in August 1957, on the anniversary of their foundation, Grishin argued that it was necessary to improve the role of production conferences, and managers in turn should take up their responsibilities to report regularly to production conferences on the results of production activities at their enterprises.35 The Party also responded to Grishin’s argument immediately. P. Voronov, Party secretary of Uralmash in Sverdlovsk, published an article in Pravda before the December Party plenum. He pointed out that those factory directors who were slow to

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modernize equipment would be severely denounced by the trade unions supported by the Party.36 The decree discussed by the Party plenum in December 1957 was soon to be transformed into a new rule on the rights of FZMK. In July 1958 the Supreme Soviet presidium approved a new statute on FZMK, in which FZMK were to be granted more extensive powers and rights. FZMK could now take part in drawing up drafts of production plans and receive the reports of enterprise managers on the results of production fulfilment and collective agreements. In addition, FZMK could take over control of the fulfilment by enterprise administration of laws on labour protection, safety and sanitation. Significantly, FZMK would also have the right to raise the possibility of replacing or punishing leading figures in enterprises, institutions and organizations who negated or did not observe their responsibilities on collective agreements or violated labour laws.37 With the introduction of the new statute on FZMK, managers and government officials were more frequently accused of arbitrariness and, in the worst examples, they were fired. Meanwhile trade unions enjoyed enhanced powers on the shop floor. In January 1960 Niyazov, Minister of Agriculture in Turkmenistan, was denounced for his disregard of union advice in relation to workers’ accommodation.38 In June, Trud criticized Yushutin, head of a construction section in Kuibyshev hydro-electric power station, when he fired ten workers without the agreement of the unions.39 In May 1961, the presidium of Bukhara regional union council submitted a report to the corresponding sovnarkhoz calling for Abdulbariev, a factory director, to be dismissed from his post for violation of collective agreements.40 In the L0 vov enamel factory, the director, T.E. Nikulina, was dismissed on the evidence of a workers’ meeting for her violation of democracy and long arrears in the payment of union fees.41 The introduction of the new statute, however, did not mean the end to the idea of single-person management (edinonachalie), which had been a guiding principle in enterprise management from the early years of the Soviet regime. In his report to the Party plenum in November 1962, Khrushchev confirmed that one-person management was still valid: However, directors should be responsible to the state for the situation in enterprises. Production committees of enterprises should be organs for consultation. … The Leninist principle of single-person management does not violate but enhances the role of public-mindedness (obshchestvennost0 ) in managing production in the period of building a communist society.42 Grishin also confirmed Khrushchev’s emphasis on the status and power of managers, arguing that democratic management in production and the enhancement of workers’ role in managing production should be based on the principle of single-person management.43

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Face-to-production for the Seven-Year Plan (1959–65) After the Second World War, the Soviet Union set about the reconstruction of its economy, and the trade unions played an active role in this. The strengthening of the trade unions’ production function, however, also required a shift in their role in promoting workers’ welfare, which had been the main focus of union policy since 1935 when Stalin had instructed the union leadership that welfare should be the central task of the unions. A VTsSPS plenum in 1946 resolved that the main task of the unions should be the organization of workers, engineers, technicians and employees in the struggle to fulfil and over-fulfil the post-war five-year economic plan (1946–50).44 The X Trade Union Congress in 1949 again confirmed that the most important task of the unions was the further development of socialist competition for the successful and early completion of the plan.45 With the rise of Khrushchev to power, however, the role of the trade unions again shifted from mobilization to workers’ welfare as unions were identified as agents in the democratization of Soviet society. Yet this change in trade union policy did not last long. The economic reforms of the late 1950s saw a return to the former role of the unions. Khrushchev considered that the Soviet economy had not sufficiently improved on the basis of the 1957 sovnarkhoz economic reform. According to Khrushchev, there was still a serious imbalance between heavy and light industry, and the chronic delay in agricultural development needed to be addressed. Thus Khrushchev decided to launch the Seven-Year Plan (1959–65), which aimed to boost light industry, in the output of consumer goods, and agriculture, rather than heavy industry which had been at the centre of Soviet economic development under Stalin. The unions were now increasingly required to undertake their traditional function of mobilizing workers to fulfil economic targets. As outlined above in the process of trade union reform, the Party took a similar route to prepare for an increase in production with the aid of the trade unions. The Party firstly published a thesis on the production campaign and then opened a forum for its discussion in order to secure popular support. Thus, a draft summary of Khrushchev’s report to the XXI Party Congress was announced at the Party plenum in November 1958, including the control figures for the Seven-Year Plan.46 Immediately after the plenum, Khrushchev delivered an address to graduates of the military academy on 14 November 1958, titled ‘the grand programme of communist construction in our country’, which was in effect a repeat of his presentation at the Party plenum. Khrushchev revealed his ambitious targets for the Seven-Year Plan: in heavy industry the growth rate should increase by 85 to 88 per cent; in light industry the production of consumption goods should increase by 62 to 65 per cent against 1958.47 The unions faithfully and enthusiastically supported Khrushchev’s grandiose goals. Only a few days after the Party plenum, Grishin declared that Khrushchev’s thesis included a practical programme for what trade unions

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should do in the future. The Party, he argued, had given trade unions the noble task of mobilizing the working class for the fulfilment and over-fulfilment of the Seven-Year Plan in every enterprise.48 VTsSPS in turn ordered trade union organizations to discuss Khrushchev’s draft and to draw up practical measures for its successful achievement.49 Ten days later, a meeting of union aktivs was held in Moscow to provide wider support for the plan. Serafima Kotova, assistant forewoman of the Kalinin factory, argued, ‘let’s fulfil the Seven-Year Plan ahead of time’, which recalled a famous slogan of the Stalinist period, ‘Five-Year Plan (1928–32) in four years’.50 Individual union plenums also began to discuss how to put Khrushchev’s thesis into practice. This marked the beginning of the all-out participation by trade union organizations in the implementation of the Seven-Year Plan.51 The control figures of the Seven-Year Plan were finally approved by the XXI Party Congress in the early months of 1959. In his report to the congress, Khrushchev for the first time publicly urged trade unions to mobilize the masses for the Seven-Year Plan. There was no doubt, he stated, that trade unions would make a valuable contribution to the successful achievement of the Seven-Year Plan.52 In response to Khrushchev’s call, Grishin urged trade unions to devote their efforts to the fulfilment and over-fulfilment of the tasks facing enterprises.53 Now the unions were required to turn their attention to production, which was reminiscent of the ‘face to production’ campaign during the early years of Stalinist industrialization. The XII Trade Union Congress in March 1959 clearly revealed how much the role of the unions had changed. In an editorial celebrating the congress, Pravda declared that the congress stood at the forefront of the struggle for the fulfilment of the Seven-Year Plan.54 The Party Central Committee also sent the congress a congratulatory message emphasizing that the most urgent task of Soviet trade unions was to mobilize the masses for the early fulfilment of the Seven-Year Plan and particularly the tasks for 1959, the first year of the Seven-Year Plan.55 In his report to the congress, Grishin pointed out that socialist competition should be carried out at the local level rather than at the centre as management of the economy had already been transferred to the localities after the 1957 economic reform.56 Despite the vigorous promotion of the production campaign, however, trade union policy on the protection of workers’ welfare on the shop floor was not forgotten. VTsSPS leaders took care in the promotion of the unions’ production function not to incur a backlash from workers, and they continued to pay attention to workers’ welfare. At the XII Trade Union Congress, Grishin stressed the task of looking after workers’ welfare as ‘the most important duty’ of the unions.57 Grishin’s concern for workers was repeated two years later at the VTsSPS plenum which was held after the XXII Party Congress in October 1961. He argued that the protection of workers’ interests should be a principal task ‘in the period of the all-out building of communism’, though it should take second place to the increase in productivity and fulfilment of the plan.58

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As socialist competition became a national movement for the achievement of economic targets, an event was prepared to boost the production campaign. This was similar to the All-Union Congress of shock workers in December 1929. In May 1960 the All-Union conference of brigade leaders and shock workers for communist labour discussed ways to develop socialist competition more widely. In his address, Grishin pointed out that workers should make strenuous efforts towards the wider development of the campaign in celebration of the ninetieth anniversary of Lenin’s birth. As specific goals, he proposed an 80 per cent increase in industrial output during the Seven-Year Plan and a 14 per cent growth in labour productivity in industry for the first two years of the plan, instead of the 11.7 per cent set out in the plan.59 The ambitious targets of the Seven-Year Plan reminded participants of the early years of the First Five-Year Plan (1928–32), when control figures had been endlessly increased with great enthusiasm and the trade unions submitted even higher targets. Grishin concluded his address with an impressive declaration that brigade leaders and shock workers of communist labour were people of a new epoch.60 This recalled a famous comment by Kuibyshev about shock work in late 1929: ‘a new human being is created in production’.61 Khrushchev also gave strong support for the production campaign by stating that Soviet people should not be satisfied with current successes and should strive for more.62 The conference resolved that socialist competition should be further developed for the victory of the Soviet Union in the international economic struggle against capitalism.63 About thirty years earlier, a similar slogan had also been suggested that ‘we should catch up with and surpass capitalist countries of Europe and America technically and economically’.64 The All-Union conference closed with the decision to meet every year to encourage workers’ initiatives in production, which followed the tradition of annual shock worker congresses in the Stalin era. Following the All-Union conference, the unions began to hold their plenums on a larger scale. In May 1961 the VII plenum of VTsSPS employed more than nine reporters from various levels of union organizations to discuss how to develop socialist competition, which was unusual for VTsSPS plenums.65 The plenum positively reviewed the results of the production campaign for the previous year noting that the number of workers in socialist competition had increased from 5 to 12 million. For the further development of socialist competition, the plenum instructed all trade union organizations to discuss how to fulfil ‘socialist responsibilities’ (sotsialisticheskie obyazatel0 stva) from June to July 1961 before the XXII Party Congress.66 In addition to this instruction, Grishin pointed to the permanent production conferences, which now numbered more than 112,000, and argued that they should be more active in the successful development of the production campaign.67 The ambitious resolution of the VTsSPS plenum seems to have given Khrushchev confidence about the successful achievement of the Seven-Year Plan. Five months later, Khrushchev assured the XXII Party Congress that by 1980 the Soviet Union would surpass the USA in per capita industrial and agricultural production.68

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At the same time as expanding the scale of its meetings, VTsSPS also began to hold its plenums more frequently. From 1960 to 1964, when Khrushchev fell from power, VTsSPS plenums met three times a year, something rarely seen in the Stalin era. In addition, the agenda of the plenums were dominated by items of how to achieve production tasks successfully. It is interesting to note also that they took place only a few weeks or sometimes less than a week after the Party plenums. They had the same agenda as that already addressed by the corresponding Party plenums, and were attended by Party secretaries. This illustrates the close link between the trade union leadership and the Party over trade union policy.

The Second Union Reform in the early 1960s: from territorial to production principle The union statute and the 1961 XXII Party Congress Along with the activation of social organizations, Khrushchev also attempted to revitalize the Communist Party as a mass political organization. During the Stalin era the Party ceased to function as a means by which public opinion could influence the decision-making process. Khrushchev also envisaged that the return of the Party to the centre of Soviet politics would strengthen his own power base. He decided to introduce a new Party programme, in which the new directions and goals of the Soviet system would be set out. According to one analyst, the new Party programme was supposed to reunify society in the wake of de-Stalinization and provide a boost to the Soviet economy and society; it claimed ideological continuity with Lenin’s legacy by by-passing Stalin’s deviations.69 In the same vein, a new trade union statute was also drawn up that reflected the goals of the Party programme to democratize Soviet society by way of enhancing democracy in trade union work. In June 1961, a draft union programme, entitled ‘the trade union action programme for workers’ interests and rights in the present stage’, was announced at the fortieth session of the executive bureau of Profintern in Prague.70 The content of the draft was not very specific. It recognized that the powers and rights of workers and trade unions were increasing all over the world, and noted the enhanced status of trade unions in the Soviet Union. From the summer of 1961, trade union and Party leaders began to set out the rationale for the introduction of the new union programme. A. Bulgakov, a VTsSPS secretary, published an article in Trud on ‘a new stage in the development of Soviet trade unions’, which presented a review of trade union work in recent years. He noted that trade union reform to date had been successful and that all union work in 95 per cent of primary trade union organizations was being conducted with popular support.71 More specific indication of the contents of the new trade union statute was given by the Party leadership. In his report to the Party Congress in October 1961,

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Khrushchev declared that the functions of trade unions should be further strengthened as Soviet society was now in transition to communism. Thus, all questions that had previously been addressed by state organizations would now be transferred to trade unions. He also argued that much wider public support should be sought for the work of the trade unions as the development of socialist democracy was closely linked to the enhancement of the role of social organizations.72 The new trade union statute was outlined alongside the adoption of the new Party programme at the XXII Party Congress. The Party programme stipulated that half of the leading officials in social organizations should be replaced at each election and that officials should not be allowed to serve two consecutive terms.73 These provisions were also to form the basis for the new trade union statute. Grishin gave full support to the Party programme without proposing any changes. He argued that the Party programme and Khrushchev’s report provided a general guide for the trade unions in the building of communism.74 The final discussions on the new trade union statute took place at the VIII plenum of VTsSPS in November 1961, only a month after the XXII Party Congress. The plenum regarded the new Party programme as restoring Leninist principles in all aspects of Party, state and ideological work, and indicated that the new trade union statute should follow this example.75 Thus, in his report to the plenum, Grishin confirmed that the Party programme would be applied to the trade unions and that elections to the unions on the basis of the new Party programme were already under way. Once the elections were over, trade union congresses and conferences were to be held to confirm the results.76 The VTsSPS presidium and trade union central committees were instructed to put forward proposals on changes to the trade union statute in accordance with the new Party programme and the decisions of the Party congress.77 The new trade union statute (ustav) was adopted in late 1961. It reflected the changed status and role of the unions in the Khrushchev era. Above all, it included a clause on the new stage of Soviet development. The earlier phrase ‘in the conditions of gradual transition from socialism to communism’ was replaced by the expression ‘in the period of developed construction of communist society’. With regard to the main tasks of the trade unions, workers’ welfare and the organization of socialist competition were given equal status. Interestingly, the targets of socialist competition included not only the traditional goals of increasing productivity and production, but also a new aim of technological progress, which reflected the immediate tasks facing the Soviet economy. Trade unions were in charge of permanent production conferences in enterprises to monitor managers and to defend workers’ interests. Finally, it was stipulated that half of the membership of trade union organizations should be replaced regularly and leading union officials were not allowed to be elected twice in succession.78 The new trade union statute served as a manifesto to return the unions to their function as a transmission belt between the Party and the workers, and

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in this way acted as a supplement to the new Party programme. In his address to the V International Congress of Trade Unions in December 1961, Khrushchev assessed the significance of the new Party programme. The general purpose of the 1961 programme, he argued, was to develop active participation by all Soviet citizens in social affairs and the expansion of the functions of social organizations. In this context, he asserted, the significance of the new trade union statute reflected that of the Party programme.79 The adoption of the new statute led to a significant shake-up of trade union organizations. During the first half of 1962, trade union elections were held, followed by the plenums and congress of individual unions. The results were remarkable. K. Borisov, deputy head of VTsSPS department on organization and structure, revealed that 60.7 per cent of FZMK membership was replaced; 70 per cent of the membership of trade union councils; and 68.6 per cent of trade union central committees. In addition, more than half of FZMK chairs were new to their offices, and these were people who had not previously held leadership positions in primary union organizations.80 Yet the extensive replacement of union officials was not without its problems. According to the new rules, 50 per cent of office holders could not be re-elected, and this virtually brought union work to a standstill and incurred a backlash from the union officials already in post. The 1962 trade union reform: bifurcation of the union structure Less than a year after the adoption of the new Party programme, Khrushchev made a further attempt to introduce changes to political and economic administration. The 1957 sovnarkhoz reform had not proved sufficient to meet Khrushchev’s expectations for economic development and he decided, therefore, to introduce another change to the system of management. This resulted in a partial return to the centralization of economic administration and a concomitant weakening of the regional powers granted by the sovnarkhoz reform. The second trade union reform was launched against this background. Discussion about changes to the Soviet political and economic system began in late 1962. In his report to the November Party plenum on the development of the national economy and Party leadership over the economy, Khrushchev pointed out that weaknesses remained in the existing decisionmaking system, with its multi-level hierarchy of bureaucracy, despite strenuous efforts in recent years to eradicate red tape and departmentalism. Khrushchev’s solution appeared to require further decentralization, but, in reality, it reflected the concerns of the Party about the economy, particularly the agricultural sector. Khrushchev now argued that present economic difficulties were partly the result of the excessive transfer of power to regional officials. He called for more efficient management of the economy by Party organizations and that this should be based on the production principle from top to bottom. In practice, this virtually reversed the territorial principle of

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the sovnarkhoz reform. Khrushchev’s resolution on new economic administration involved the division of the Party into two branches, one for industry and the other for agriculture. For example, each republican-level Party committee would have two bureaux, one for industrial production and the other for agricultural production.81 The trade unions responded immediately to Khrushchev’s call. In his address on Khrushchev’s report at the November Party plenum, Grishin indicated that trade union organizations would also be restructured. He pointed out that the leading union organizations had always run in parallel with economic and Party organizations.82 In late December, after the Party plenum, the XI plenum of VTsSPS decided that in all republican trade union councils two bureaux should be established, one for industry and one for agriculture. In five districts and sixty-nine regions of the RSFSR, the Ukraine, Belorussia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan two trade union councils were established: one for industry, transport, construction and municipal economy, and the other for agriculture. VTsSPS also had two bureaux under the direct command of its presidium.83 The result of the trade union reform is unclear, but its impact on the Soviet economy is more evident. Filtzer has noted that: There were no clear lines of demarcation. Agricultural regional committees were made responsible for factories serving farms or processing agricultural produce. Yet the industrial regional committees were put in charge of a number of services vital to agriculture, but over which the agricultural regional committees now had no control.84 The situation in the trade unions in no way differed from that of the regional committees. The second reform of the trade unions did not last long. The fall of Khrushchev in late 1964 led to the suspension of all attempts to reform the Soviet system or return to the old order. In November 1964, when Khrushchev was no longer in office, the Party plenum decided to re-unify its structure.85 The Party argued that Khrushchev’s structural adjustments had not had desirable results and had weakened the control of the Party over production activities.86 Ten days later, the V plenum of VTsSPS took a similar decision on trade union structures. The plenum decided to reunify trade union organizations between December 1964 and January 1965 through the joint plenums of industrial and agricultural trade union councils and committees.87 Grishin now presented a much different picture, arguing at the meeting of the Party presidium on 13 October 1964 that Khrushchev had never been interested in trade unions.88 With the return to the pre-1962 order, a personnel shake-up took place in the VTsSPS presidium. This was carried out in stages. In April 1965, VTsSPS secretaries S. Nurutdinov and A.A. Sledukhin were removed from their posts at the VI plenum of VTsSPS.89 In November 1965, Sh.A. Dolidze, a VTsSPS

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member, was removed from the presidium and V.G. Arkhipov, chair of the coal industry union, was elected in his place at the VII plenum of VTsSPS. In addition, A.Kh. Abukov, chair of the central council for tourism, and S.P. Okhapkin, chair of Smolensk oblast union council, were promoted to full membership of VTsSPS.90 Grishin survived the personnel shake-up in these years, but he was eventually replaced by A.N. Shelepin, a member of the Politburo, at the XIII plenum of VTsSPS in July 1967.91

Conclusion Khrushchev’s reform of the trade unions must be seen in the wider context of his aim to democratize Soviet society. Khrushchev believed that the activation of social organizations would make a contribution to the sound development of the Soviet system and communism itself. The unions were chosen as representative social organizations and were part of the reform process following the launch of de-Stalinization. Khrushchev expected trade unions to serve as agents to channel popular opinion into the policy decision-making process at higher levels. Khrushchev’s trade union reform was carried out in stages and with different foci. First of all, the replacement of trade union officials before the 1957 reform saw the removal of the old personnel who had served under Stalin. Khrushchev justified the shake-up in his criticism of bureaucracy and red tape, and was partly successful in this. He then proceeded to reorganize the structure of the trade unions, shifting the centre of their work from trade union central committees to local councils. The transfer of power and money to the localities led to the strengthening of lower-level trade union organizations. This resulted in decentralization, and also in effect dismantled Stalin’s administrative principle in the unions. Along with the strengthening of trade union councils, Khrushchev also introduced a rule on the enhancement of trade union and workers’ rights against management on the shop floor. This measure made a great contribution to the restoration of the trade unions as workers’ organizations, as well as encouraging initiative from below. The unions now served, though not completely, as a transmission belt between the Party and the workers, and this influence from below in turn provided a certain popular support for Khrushchev’s various policies. The reform drive focusing on the democratization of trade unions finally led to the introduction of a new union statute in early 1961. The second trade union reform involved a shift in union policy. As Soviet economic performance deteriorated, the general function of the trade unions shifted from protecting workers’ welfare to promoting the production campaigns. Thus another structural adjustment of the trade unions followed the bifurcation of the Party apparatus. Two bureaux for industry and agriculture were organized in every leading trade union organization. Yet this was not particularly successful because the frequent changes in structure resulted in the disorganization of their work.

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The reform of trade unions in the Khrushchev era in several ways shows evident discontinuity with the Stalin period. Above all, Khrushchev attempted to gain popular support for his reforms, unlike the top-down decisionmaking process that dominated the Stalin period. Party congresses and plenums were used by Khrushchev to present overviews of his reform plans in advance and people were actively encouraged to discuss them for a time before they were officially adopted. The wide participation of the people in the decision-making process, Khrushchev believed, was central to the development of democracy in the Soviet Union, and this principle was applied to questions relating to the trade unions. In relation to structural changes, the territorial principle was introduced as part of the initial trade union reform process, and the centre of gravity in trade union work was transferred to local union organizations along with the strengthening of union councils. This is diametrically opposed to the reform of the trade unions that took place under Stalin in 1931 and 1934, in which the power and status of trade union central committees had been greatly enhanced.92 In addition, under Khrushchev individual trade unions were merged, after having been subdivided under Stalin. In terms of the personnel shake-up, its scale and scope was limited or partial in comparison with the Stalin era. While a great number of the highranking trade union officials had been replaced and even expelled from the Party during the reorganization from 1928 to 1931, Khrushchev’s union reform did not accompany such a large, though considerable, scale of replacements.93 Moreover, the trade union personnel who lost their posts in the Khrushchev era were not executed or exiled as they had been in the period of the Great Terror from 1936 to 1938.94 Despite these evident differences, however, Khrushchev’s trade union reform had some similarities with that of the Stalin period. Above all, structural changes were undertaken in parallel with changes to the governmental apparatus. From 1928 to 1931 the Soviet economy and government underwent considerable reform. In 1934, when the trade unions were subdivided from 44 into 154 separate unions, Rabkrin (the People’s Commissariat of Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection) was also divided into the Party Control Commission and Soviet Control Commission. The division of Rabkrin saw the transfer of its powers at the lower level to corresponding union organizations. Second, and more important, the Party took the initiative in the reform process. Khrushchev put forward proposals for the reform through his addresses and reports and the trade union leadership put them into practice. In his address on the anniversary of the Soviet trade unions, Grishin revealed that VTsSPS was in talks with Khrushchev in the summer of 1957, ahead of the major union reform.95 In addition, A.I. Kirichenko, a Party secretary, attended the XIII Trade Union Congress in March 1959 to encourage the union reform.96 After this, the trade union congresses and plenums of VTsSPS began to be scheduled immediately after the Party plenum, addressing exactly the same agenda. Thus, when Khrushchev was removed from office, trade union reform

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was also thwarted. In November 1965 the VII plenum of VTsSPS resolved to increase the role of trade union central committees;97 and in early 1968 the XIII Trade Union Congress confirmed the recentralization of trade union administration.98 The period of reform was over and ‘the period of stagnation’ had begun.

Notes 1 XX s00 ezd kommunisticheskoi partii sovetskogo soyuza, 14–25 fevralya 1956 goda, stenograficheskii otchet. Tom 1, Moscow: Politizdat, 1956, p. 110. 2 D. Filtzer, Soviet Workers and De-Stalinization: the Consolidation of the Modern System of Soviet Production Relations, 1953–1964, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992; D. Filtzer, The Khrushchev Era: de-Stalinization and the Limits of Reform in the USSR, 1958–1964, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 1993; M. McAuley, Labour Disputes in Soviet Russia, 1957–1965, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969; E.C. Brown, Soviet Trade Unions and Labor Relations, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1966. 3 R. Conquest, Industrial Workers in the USSR, London: Bodley Head, 1967. 4 Pravda, 9 June 1954. 5 Pravda, 12 June 1954. 6 Pravda, 12 June 1954. 7 Pravda, 17 July 1955. 8 Trud, 16 February 1956. 9 Trud, 29 March 1956. 10 For more details on the reorganization of Soviet trade unions from 1928 to 1932, see Junbae Jo, ‘Soviet Trade Unions during Stalinist Industrialization, 1928–37’, unpublished PhD thesis, Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham, 2008, chapter 1. 11 Trud, 17 March 1956. 12 Trud, 10 May 1956. 13 Pravda, 16 February 1957. 14 Presidium TsK KPSS, 1954–1964. Tom 1: Chernovye protokol0 nye zapisi zasedanii stenogrammy, Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2004, p. 211. 15 Presidium TsK KPSS, 1954–1964. Tom 1, p. 238. 16 Pravda, 30 March 1957. 17 Pravda, 31 March 1957. 18 Pravda, 10 May 1957. 19 Trud, 12 June 1957. 20 Trud, 15 June 1957. 21 Trud, 21 August 1957. 22 Trud, 27 August 1957. 23 Trud, 30 August 1957. 24 Trud, 24 March 1959. 25 Trud, 28 March 1959. 26 XX s00 ezd kommunisticheskoi partii sovetskogo soyuza, 14–25 fevralya 1956 goda, stenograficheskii otchet. Tom 1, Moscow: Politizdat, 1956, p. 110. 27 XX s00 ezd, p. 157; Pravda, 24 February 1956. 28 Trud, 29 June 1956. 29 Trud, 1 July 1956. 30 Trud, 14 April 1956. 31 Pravda, 28 December 1956. 32 Trud, 16 February 1957.

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33 McAuley, p. 204, citing Davidovich, Poryadok razresheniya trudovykh sporov, Leningrad: 1959. 34 Trud, 19 December 1957. 35 Pravda, 20 August 1957. 36 Pravda, 9 December 1957. 37 Pravda, 16 July 1958. 38 Trud, 6 January 1960. 39 Trud, 16 June 1960. 40 Trud, 4 June 1961. 41 Trud, 20 July 1961. 42 Pravda, 20 November 1962. 43 Pravda, 22 November 1962. 44 Spravochnik profsoyuznogo rabotnika, Moscow: Profizdat, 1948, p. 15; see also Conquest, p. 156. 45 Trud, 11 May 1949; see also Conquest, pp. 156–57. 46 Trud, 14 and 15 November 1958. 47 Pravda, 15 November 1958. 48 Pravda, 17 November 1958. 49 Trud, 16 November 1958. 50 Trud, 25 November 1958. 51 Trud, 11 December 1958. 52 Vneocherednoi XXI s00 ezd kommunisticheskoi partii sovetskogo soyuza 27 yanvarya– 5 fevralya 1959 g.: stenograficheskii otchet. Tom 1, Moscow, Gosudarstvennoe izdatel0 stvo politicheskoi literatury, 1959, pp. 117–18. 53 Vneocherednoi XXI s00 ezd, p. 67. 54 Pravda, 23 March 1959. 55 Pravda, 24 March 1959. 56 Trud, 24 March 1959. 57 Conquest, p. 158 citing Trud, 24 March 1959. 58 Conquest, p. 158 citing Pravda, 25 November 1961. 59 Trud, 26 May 1960. 60 Pravda, 30 May 1960. 61 T.A. Bondareva, ‘Rol0 profsoyuzov v upravlenie proizvodstvom v 1926–32 gg.’, unpublished kandidatskaya dissertatsiya, Moscow, 1968, p. 106, citing V.V. Kuibyshev, Brigady sotsializma: doklad na 1 vsesoyuznom s00 ezde udarnykh brigad, Moscow and Leningrad, 1930. 62 Trud, 29 May 1960. 63 Trud, 31 May 1960. 64 GARF, f. 5451, op. 13 (1929), d. 9, l. 89. 65 Trud, 25 May 1961. 66 Trud, 30 May 1961. 67 Trud, 31 May 1961. 68 XXII s00 ezd kommunisticheskii partii sovetskogo soyuza, 17–31 oktyabrya 1961 goda: stenograficheskii otchet. Tom 1, Moscow: Politizdat, 1962, p. 225. 69 See the chapter by Alexander Titov in this volume. 70 Pravda, 26 July 1961. 71 Trud, 16 August 1961. 72 XXII s00 ezd, p. 119. 73 XXII s00 ezd, pp. 309–10. 74 XXII s00 ezd, p. 504. 75 Trud, 25 November 1961; Pravda 25 November 1961. 76 Trud, 25 November 1961; Pravda 25 November 1961. 77 Trud, 28 November 1961. 78 GARF, f. 5451, op. 33, d. 2053, ll. 142–43.

Soviet trade unions in the Khrushchev era 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98

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Trud, 10 December 1961. Trud, 21 June 1962. Pravda, 20 November 1962; Trud, 20 November 1962. Trud, 22 November 1962. Trud, 25 December 1962. Filtzer, The Khrushchev Era, p. 80. Pravda, 17 November 1964. Pravda, 18 November 1964. Trud, 29 November 1964. Presidium TsK KPSS, 1954–1964, p. 868. Trud, 17 April 1965. Trud, 2 November 1965. Trud, 12 July 1967. For more details on trade union structural reform in the early Stalin period, see Jo, ‘Soviet Trade Unions during Stalinist Industrialization, 1928–37’, chapter 3. For more detail on the reorganization of the unions from 1928 to 1931, see Jo, ‘Soviet Trade Unions’, chapter 1. On the trade unions during the Great Terror, see Junbae Jo, ‘Soviet Trade Unions and the Great Terror’, in M. Ilic (ed.), Stalin’s Terror Revisited, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2006, pp. 68–89. Pravda, 20 August 1957. Pravda, 29 March 1959. Trud, 5 November 1965. Trud, 28 February 1968.

8

The changing face of repression under Khrushchev Julie Elkner

At the XXII Party Congress in October 1961, Aleksandr Shelepin, chair of the Committee for State Security (the KGB), summed up the recent reforms of the KGB. Shelepin asserted that as a result of the reforms, the KGB’s work was now based on ‘complete trust in the Soviet person’, and that ‘Now chekists can look into the eyes of the party, into the eyes of the Soviet people, with a clear conscience’.1 This speech exemplified the mixed messages sent by the Khrushchev regime about the newly created Soviet security organs. On the one hand, the fact that Shelepin saw fit to justify the security apparatus and to proclaim a ‘clear conscience’ marked a dramatic departure from Stalinist attitudes towards the Soviet security apparatus. Yet read from another angle, the speech can also be seen to mark the effective rehabilitation of the security apparatus in the wake of its unprecedented stigmatization during the Thaw. While purporting to acknowledge and condemn the crimes of the secret police, Shelepin’s speech sent a signal that the period in which it had been acceptable to discuss the Great Terror and to criticize the secret police had come to an end; the subject was now effectively closed. Shelepin’s speech, with its inherent ambiguity, typifies the equivocation, prevarication and ongoing uncertainty of the Soviet leadership during this period over the role and position of the new KGB, which was created in March 1954. The Khrushchev era was a time of flux as far as the Soviet security apparatus was concerned, complicated in particular by the continuing resonances of Khrushchev’s Secret Speech condemning the secret police’s role in Stalin’s Great Terror. In the institutional memory of the Russian security apparatus, the evaluation of this period is unequivocally negative. In the related literature, the Khrushchev era figures strongly as a time of humiliation and catastrophe for the security apparatus. A recent article in Spetsnaz Rossii describes the ‘moral traumas’ that ‘thousands of worthy officers’ suffered as a result of Shelepin’s 1956 reclassification of KGB officer ranks.2 It is indeed the case that a strong stigma adhered to the security organs during the early Khrushchev era, such that the term ‘chekist’ – previously a label denoting purity and untouchability – effectively became a ‘dirty word’ as far as the party leadership was concerned. Two anecdotes from the memoir literature serve to illustrate this point.

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In his memoirs, Vladimir Semichastnyi (KGB chair 1961–67) gives an account of his conversation with Khrushchev in 1961 in which the latter informed him that he had been appointed chair of the KGB. According to Semichastnyi, when he began to protest that he was no chekist, Khrushchev interrupted him sharply: That’s enough! We had plenty of ‘chekists’ there! … Shelepin started to clear [the organs] out … so you continue this. For us it’s important to have at the head of the organs not so much a specialist, as a person who understands why these organs exist, and conducts party policy in them.3 In a similar vein, ex-chekist Mikhail Lyubimov recalled a KGB gathering in 1960 at which ‘some refractory general suddenly began talking from the tribune about the “glorious chekist traditions”. “What traditions?!”, Shelepin interrupted him sternly. “The bloody traditions of the ChK have been condemned by the party congresses!”’.4 At this point, then, the mere mention of the word ‘chekist’ could provoke sharp rebukes, whereby the leadership was effectively communicating the fact that the content of this category had now changed dramatically. The acceptability of set phrases such as ‘glorious chekist traditions’ – previously a standard cliché – could no longer be taken for granted. This period in which the term ‘chekist’ was out of official favour was shortlived, however. By the time Andropov was appointed head of the KGB in 1967 (a post he held until 1982), the term ‘chekist’ had been definitively rehabilitated.5 It is with Andropov’s chairmanship that the apotheosis of the Soviet security apparatus after Stalin’s death is usually associated. Yet it was precisely during the Khrushchev period that the term was ‘repurified’, and the reputation and prestige of the security apparatus gradually restored, albeit by fits and starts. This rehabilitation involved the creation of a new set of discursive associations, aimed at effecting a symbolic break with the Stalinist past. During the Khrushchev era, the term ‘chekist’ was gradually reconstituted, and filled with new content. The newly created KGB adopted an arsenal of practices and euphemisms designed to underline the fact that it had been ‘reconstructed’, and to bolster and prettify its new image. As a KGB internal history put it, as a result of the XX Party Congress, the chekist ‘style’ of work had changed.6 This chapter explores this change of style and rhetoric through a study of the new buzzwords and euphemisms used to describe the KGB’s work during the respective tenures of KGB chairs Shelepin (1958–61) and Semichastnyi (1961–67), who led the campaign to reform and ‘rebrand’ the security apparatus during this period. As Semichastnyi stated in his memoirs, it was he and Shelepin who succeeded in erasing the Lubyanka’s image as a ‘house of horrors’.7 The chapter examines the ways in which the KGB set about defining its role in the post-Stalin era, at a time when Khrushchev’s revelations

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surrounding the secret police’s role in Stalin’s Great Terror were still resonating so strongly. In particular, it highlights the ways in which elements of Brezhnev-era ‘high Chekism’ can already be discerned in the Khrushchev era. The history of the security apparatus under Khrushchev has received little scholarly attention, largely because it has been overshadowed by the Great Terror, on the one hand, and the KGB’s suppression of dissent during the Brezhnev era, on the other. Where the fate of the secret police under Khrushchev is mentioned in the related scholarship, the discussion is generally limited to an account of the sharp decline in the secret police’s status, power and morale during this period. Studies of the Khrushchev era have tended to focus on liberalization and de-Stalinization, but recently declassified archival materials indicate the need to introduce quite substantial correctives into the traditional view of this period. We now know, for example, that 41.5 per cent of all convictions for anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda during the period from 1956 to 1987 period were brought down in 1957 and 1958. This is precisely the period in which the repressive apparatus was ostensibly being reined in.8 One of the main sources for this study is a 1977 KGB classified in-house history of the Soviet security organs, which was used for training senior officers.9 This source offers new insights into the nuts and bolts of particular elements of the KGB’s work (such as the use of secret informers), and the timing of particular decrees and shifts in KGB policy. It also enables us to look at the internal rationale of the KGB’s activities, a dimension which has hitherto been neglected in the relevant literature. This book is used together with complementary open-source materials: the Khrushchev-era press and mass culture (particularly films, which are examined in conjunction with materials from Mosfil0 m studio’s archives), as well as more recent memoir literature and new Russian research on this period.

Shelepin: drawing a line under the past and creating a new face for the KGB Aleksandr Shelepin was appointed head of the KGB in late 1958. He was a new broom, brought in to carry out a demonstrative purging of chekists. Shelepin replaced Ivan Serov (KGB Chair 1954–58). Some commentators have speculated that the skeletons in Serov’s chekist past (his involvement in the Katyn’ massacre, and the deportations of the ‘punished peoples’, for example)10 ruled him out as a long-term leader of the new KGB, especially after the revelations of 1956 and given the new image which the regime sought to project.11 As a professional ‘chekist’, Serov had perhaps had too much institutional loyalty to the security organs; he apparently objected, for example, to additional personnel cuts that Khrushchev was planning.12 At any rate, it seems clear that as far as the KGB was concerned, what was now required was a clean symbolic break with the Stalinist past. Even before Shelepin’s appointment, there were signs of the incipient rehabilitation of Chekism. The 1957 press coverage of Chekist’s Day (20 December,

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the anniversary of the founding of the VChK) remained subdued, especially for a jubilee year, but it also contained new notes.13 One Izvestiya article criticized ‘slander’ of the Soviet security organs, citing Lenin’s 1918 defence of the Cheka against such attacks.14 Another placed a renewed emphasis on ‘enemies’ (for example, in connection with events in Hungary), and hence on the need for vigilance.15 One can also discern a preoccupation with separating Dzerzhinsky’s legacy from that of the NKVD of the late 1930s, when the security apparatus had, in Serov’s words, been taken over by ‘provocateurs’ and ‘careerists’.16 The real turning point, however, came with Shelepin’s appointment as the new chair of the KGB in December 1958. The appointment coincided with the unveiling of the centrepiece of the revived cult of Chekism: the ‘majestic’ statue of Feliks Dzerzhinsky, in the centre of Dzerzhinsky Square, opposite the Lubyanka in Moscow.17 The statue was sculpted in bronze, ‘the metal of the immortal’.18 The unveiling was front-page news in both Pravda and Izvestiya. Press coverage emphasized the fact that thousands (and according to Izvestiya, tens of thousands)19 of Muscovites from all walks of life (‘workers, officeworkers, scholars, writers, artists, teachers, doctors, students, school children. And also Soviet chekists’)20 attended the ceremony, held on 20 December 1958.21 Even after dusk fell, Pravda reported, people kept coming, ‘bringing in their hearts warm love for the hero of October, the fearless knight of the proletarian revolution’.22 There would be, then, no monument to the victims of the Great Terror;23 instead, Dzerzhinsky would symbolize the purity of the Lubyanka’s origins. Untainted by any involvement in the Great Terror, Dzerzhinsky would stand watch over the chekists, a symbolic guarantee of their incorruptibility. From his new position, Dzerzhinsky, the so-called patron saint of Soviet children, now faced the huge ‘Children’s World’ shopping complex, the showcase of the Khrushchev regime’s new emphasis on providing consumer goods to the population. We might think of all of these changes in topography as the symbolic transformation of the Lubyanka as a lieu de mémoire. In the 1950s and 1960s, there was a conscious drive by the party and KGB leadership to erase the negative associations of this most symbolically charged of Moscow’s districts, the nerve centre of Stalin’s terror. As Semichastnyi later put it, the aim was to eradicate the Lubyanka’s image as a ‘house of horrors’.24 This attempted transformation was complete when Semichastnyi closed down the Lubyanka’s internal prison, which had been perhaps the singlemost notorious symbol of the Great Terror.25 The Lubyanka’s makeover was part of a broader process whereby the security organs’ credibility was gradually being restored at the official level. This restoration rested upon the painstaking establishment of a strong linkage between the KGB and Dzerzhinsky’s original Cheka, bypassing the intervening period, or dismissing it by scapegoating ex-security chiefs (such as Lavrenty Beria) as individuals and thus rescuing the honour of the security

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apparatus as a whole. Just as de-Stalinization was presented as a return to ‘Leninist principles’, enabling the Stalinist era to be conceptualized as a temporary aberration, so the self-conscious tracing of the KGB’s roots to the ‘golden age’ of the Cheka was used to construct a new narrative of Soviet history, in which the Great Terror represented a betrayal of the original ‘chekist’ ideals. Continuity had now been restored, and the KGB entrusted with reviving and furthering the work of Dzerzhinsky’s first chekists. This process was reflected in a decisive revival and reconstitution of the official cult of Feliks Dzerzhinsky during the Khrushchev era. In addition to the statue described above, Dzerzhinsky’s life was commemorated in new ways elsewhere throughout the Soviet Union during the late 1950s. In September 1957, a Dzerzhinsky museum was opened in his home town in Belarus, and in September 1959 a Dzerzhinsky museum was opened in Vilnius, where he had lived as a student.26 As the new chair of the KGB, Shelepin was hailed as the rightful heir of ‘Iron Feliks’ Dzerzhinsky, a connection flagged by his nickname, ‘Iron Shurik’. Dzerzhinsky’s early death, and his consequent lack of direct culpability for the Great Terror, made him an exceptionally useful historical figure in the Khrushchev era and beyond. When Khrushchev wanted to rein in the intelligentsia, it was to the example of Dzerzhinsky that he turned, as in his May 1959 address to the Soviet Writers’ Congress in which he cited Dzerzhinsky’s training methods as exemplary (a comment greeted by many with incredulity at the time).27 The newly reconstituted cult of Dzerzhinsky placed particular emphasis upon Dzerzhinsky’s work in the sphere of child welfare in the early 1920s. This had always been easily the most marketable and palatable facet of the cult of Dzerzhinsky. This was the cult’s pride, its showpiece, a ‘bright, unforgettable page from the history of Soviet chekists’.28 Yet it was especially wellsuited to the Khrushchev era, with the latter’s new focus on humanizing socialism and creating a softer image for the Soviet regime. In general, during this period and beyond, much was made of the fact that Dzerzhinsky also held posts in a variety of other spheres of the early Soviet government, in addition to his role as head of the VChK. As a symbolic figure, Dzerzhinsky was thus rearticulated, making him easier to ‘sell’. Meanwhile, Shelepin and Semichastnyi continued and intensified the purging of KGB personnel that Serov had begun, with the stated aim of reasserting party control over the security organs.29 In January 1963, Semichastnyi reported to the party leadership that over 46,000 KGB officers had been dismissed since 1954, with almost half of these dismissals dating to the Shelepin– Semichastnyi era.30 While the overall number of KGB personnel decreased, there were also moves to recruit new chekists to replace those who had been dismissed (especially after the Novocherkassk events of July 1962, which prompted moves to increase KGB personnel, especially in counter-intelligence).31 The KGB’s new recruits were drawn primarily from the Komsomol (the Communist Party’s youth organization).32 During the substantial personnel changes instituted by Shelepin after his appointment as KGB Chair, he

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brought in many other ex-colleagues from the Komsomol, appointing them to high-ranking posts, to the chagrin of the long-standing ‘professional’ chekists.33 The rise of the Shelepin-era Komsomol chekists was reflected in the newstyle chekist heroes in films produced from the early 1960s: young, clean-cut and dressed in suits. This was a change from the preceding period, when the key semantic marker of the chekist had been the leather jacket, symbolizing the masculine virtues of the Civil War and War Communism, and the harsh, ‘extraordinary’ conditions in which the chekists were forced to operate. Now, chekists were no longer ‘leather men in leather jackets’, as Pil0 nyak had described them, but were legitimate, respectable, and fully integrated into the Soviet state system, representatives of a state institution like any other. These new films showcasing the latest generation of chekists were hailed by KGB cinema consultants for showing ‘chekists of the new formation’, and thus bringing ‘joy to Soviet viewers’.34 This shift exemplified the push during the late 1950s and early 1960s to create a new image of the Soviet secret police officer as ‘cultured’. Again, Shelepin set the tone here: unusually for a Soviet security chief, Shelepin was tertiary educated; even more unusually, his education was in the humanities. Films produced in this period featured chekists with similar educational backgrounds. For example, in A Shot in the Fog (dirs Anatolii Bobrovskii and Aleksandr Seryi; Mosfil0 m, 1963; released 1964), much emphasis is placed on the fact that the KGB officers are highly educated in a variety of disciplines. The chekist hero Lagutin is a budding physicist as well as a poetry buff, while the character of the KGB general holds a doctorate in philosophy. In fact this is so overdone that in the stenographic records of the editorial board meetings, one member of the film studio team pleads for it to be toned down, describing this aspect of the film as ‘simply embarrassing’.35 The KGB’s new image projected in cinema and other media employed an arsenal of new or revised practices and euphemisms, explored below.

Restoring trust One of the cornerstones of the KGB’s new image was the concept of ‘trust’. More broadly, the need to regain people’s trust was one of the Soviet leadership’s key preoccupations, illustrated by symbolic actions such as the opening of the Kremlin to the public in 1955. According to Alekandr Yakovlev, Khrushchev had raised the issue of trust even before the XX Party Congress. Yakovlev cites Khrushchev as having said that, ‘We are spending up the accumulated capital of the narod’s trust in the party very extravagantly. We cannot exploit the narod’s trust indefinitely. Each of us communists must, like a little bee, cultivate the narod’s trust’.36 The issue of trust was especially acute when it came to the security organs. This was not the first time that the Soviet security organs had been demonstratively purged, or a ‘revival of socialist legality’ been declared. This was standard practice each time a successive head of the organs fell from the

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mid-1930s onwards. Yet this time around the rhetoric was different. Consider again Shelepin’s speech to the XXII Party Congress in October 1961, in which he summed up the situation: The state security organs have been reorganized, significantly reduced, released from anomalous functions, cleansed of careerist elements … All the activities of the KGB organs now take place under the constant control of the Party and the Government, [and] are built on complete trust in the Soviet person, on respect for his rights and dignity.37 The following year, in December 1962, Semichastnyi’s Chekist’s Day address also emphasized the fact that the KGB had won the trust of the party and the narod.38 Henceforth, these ritualized pledges of trustworthiness were to become traditional elements of the annual Chekist’s Day proceedings.39 Not only did Shelepin invoke the concept of ‘trust’ (not to mention ‘rights’ and ‘dignity’), but he also implicitly acknowledged the fact that trust must run in both directions. In 1961, he declared that: The state security organs – this is already not a bugaboo [pugalo], such as enemies – Beria and his henchmen – tried to make it in the recent past, but genuinely narodnye political organs of our party in the direct sense of this word … Now chekists can look into the eyes of the party, into the eyes of the Soviet narod, with a clear conscience.40 Shelepin’s use of the word ‘conscience’ was also symptomatic of the times. Early Soviet discourse had either dispensed with ‘conscience’ (together with the concept of ‘sin’), or had reinvested conscience in the state.41 Shelepin’s use of the term ‘conscience’ in his speech would suggest that Nadezhda Mandelstam was right: the idea of ‘conscience’ and other related moral values were re-emerging with a vengeance during the Khrushchev era, such that the regime could no longer afford to ignore them.42 The new emphasis on ‘trust’ was further reflected in the winding down of KGB domestic ideological counter-intelligence under Shelepin. The KGB had included a Fourth Directorate dealing with domestic ideological counterintelligence. Formally responsible for ‘the struggle with the anti-soviet underground, nationalist formations and hostile elements’,43 in practice the Fourth Directorate was effectively charged with surveillance of the intelligentsia. Under Shelepin, however, in February 1960, the Fourth Directorate was closed down and merged with several other counter-intelligence directorates, into a single Second Chief Directorate.44 This reform signalled, at least formally, a shift away from the old suspicious and antagonistic attitude towards the intelligentsia (a shift later reversed with the creation of Andropov’s notorious Fifth Directorate in 1967). The new relationship of mutual trust between the security apparatus and Soviet society was encapsulated and celebrated in the concept of the KGB’s ‘link

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with the narod’ (svyaz0 s narodom). From the Khrushchev period onwards, this phrase was used mechanically and ubiquitously in connection with the KGB.45 It appears to have been practically obligatory to make reference to this ‘link with the narod’ in all texts dealing with the chekist theme. During the production of one of the first feature films showcasing the new KGB, the KGB consultants assigned to oversee the film’s production returned to this question again and again, to the point where their repeated insistence on the need to improve the film’s depiction of the ‘link with the narod’ comes across as obsessive.46 The KGB’s own in-house history presented the expansion and strengthening of the KGB’s link with the narod from the mid-1950s as representing a revival of Leninist principles.47 Elsewhere in the same volume the concept is also linked to the revival of ‘the glorious traditions of the VChK’.48 Indeed, underpinning Shelepin’s propaganda campaign was the important supposition that the terror had been the result of the demise of chekist traditions, not their triumph or apotheosis; and that these traditions must thus be reasserted with fresh vigilance as vouchsafe against a resurgence of mass terror.49 In keeping with longer traditions of exploiting the concept of the narod for ideological ends, the KGB used this notion as the cornerstone of the chekist and Soviet claim to legitimacy. This was said to be the crucial feature distinguishing Soviet state security organs from their counterparts in tsarist Russia and in the West. Soviet organs were ‘genuinely narodnye organs’, in contrast to the FBI, for example, which was labelled the ‘okhranka’.50 The chekist’s link with the narod was contrasted to the relations between the security apparatus and the population said to be characteristic of Western capitalist systems, which were lambasted in Soviet propaganda. We might say that it was precisely this link with the narod that made the Soviet organs ‘organic’. In the Khrushchev era, increased glasnost0 was said to be a vital precondition for facilitating expansion and strengthening of the link with the narod, and a new emphasis on glasnost0 was another one of the hallmarks of chekist propaganda.51 Under the banner of glasnost0 , the KGB reached out to the public in unprecedented ways. In May 1959, Pravda ran the first press article containing details of the KGB’s work.52 Leading chekists and chekist veterans were sent out to address workplaces and educational institutions with a view to raising awareness of the work of the security organs.53 Again, this policy was traced to Dzerzhinsky: glasnost0 was said to have been one of his key priorities. This foreshadowed, incidentally, the spin that would be put on chekist history during the Gorbachev era. The link with the narod had always been a crucial element in the legitimization of chekist terror. From very early on, leading chekists sought to present themselves as the mere instruments of the narod’s will, as the beloved ‘child of the narod’ (detishche naroda, a phrase frequently used by Dzerzhinsky).54 According to Menzhinskii, one of Dzerzhinsky’s achievements had been to: merge the cause of the ChK with the cause of the working class itself, so that constantly, all these years, both in days of victory and days of

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The renewed post-Stalinist emphasis on the KGB’s link with the narod was not just a legitimizing device; there was an additional layer of meaning to this phrase. ‘The link with the narod’ also functioned as a euphemism for the KGB’s reliance on informers amongst the general population. Informing and collaborating were manifestations of the profound, almost mystical bond that existed between the narod and the secret police. It was important, therefore, that such practices be represented as entirely spontaneous and voluntary. The case of a key scene in A Shot in the Fog provides an example of how the KGB sought to project the link with the narod. In the original version of the screenplay, villagers were summoned to the local chekist headquarters. The Deputy Chair of the KGB pressed for this scene to be rewritten, recommending that it be made clear that they had ‘not been summoned, but have come on their own initiative, wishing to help in the conduct of the investigation’.56 One concrete manifestation of this aspect of the link with the narod as it developed under Khrushchev was a new policy aimed at expanding the recruitment of a special category of KGB informers: so-called doverennye litsa (a label which can be linked semantically with the new insistence on ‘trust’ [doverie] characteristic of this period).57 From July 1954, after a KGB order on the recruitment of doverennye litsa was issued, the use of doverennye litsa increased steadily.58 In 1959 it was further resolved to expand ‘in all possible ways’ the practice of recruiting informers on a doveritel0 naya (or confidential) basis. In 1960 this was followed by a KGB Order officially defining a doverennoe litso for the first time.59 The concept of the ‘link with the narod’ was explicitly invoked to justify this practice; the KGB in-house history describes the use of doverennye litsa as a form of the link between the organs and the toilers.60 Doverennye litsa differed from other informers and agents in a number of ways. They were not assigned pseudonyms; they were not required to sign a written undertaking to act as informers; no personal file was opened for them; they were not listed on the centralized register; and they reported to their handlers in oral form, producing written statements only in exceptional cases and only after consenting to do so.61 They were recruited, then, with a minimum of documentation; and indeed, the fact that no written agreement was involved meant, according to Albats, that many doverennye litsa were unaware that they were regarded as such by the KGB.62 The contact between the doverennoe litso and the chekist was, as the KGB in-house history stated, a matter of glasnost0 , but the true nature of this contact was to remain secret.63 In other words, the meeting itself would take place openly, but its purpose would be disguised. Thus, Unlike [meetings with] agents, received, as a rule, in conspiratorial and reporting apartments, meetings with doverennye litsa were carried out in

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locations convenient for this, guaranteeing the possibility of a chat with them dealing directly with the assignments.64 In fact, it was expressly forbidden to receive doverennye litsa at conspiratorial or ‘safe’ apartments.65 From the first-hand accounts of ex-informers, it appears that the offices of Personnel or Cadres Departments of workplaces and educational institutions most often served as the ‘convenient locations’ for such meetings.66 This arrangement presumably made it easier for informers to avoid detection and exposure. Another KGB handbook offers a clue to the rationale behind this new policy. It defines doveritel0 nye otnosheniya as follows: A type of intelligence relationship between intelligence officers who, as a rule, conceal the fact that they belong to Intelligence, and individuals bound in some way to Intelligence on the basis of ideological and political affinity, material interest, friendly relations or other grounds, who confidentially carry out from time to time in a form and within limits which they find acceptable [emphasis added], requests and assignments from intelligence officers which are of an intelligence nature but which have been given a plausible cover story. Depending on the interests of Intelligence, confidential relations may be a stage leading an individual towards agent relations, or it may be the final stage of the individual’s cultivation and exploitation.67 In other words, the institution of this new type of relationship appears to reflect a desire to reassure informers, and a sense that it was necessary to take care not to push them too far. The new emphasis on doverennye litsa may thus be a sign of the regime’s jumpiness as far as the issue of secret informers was concerned. This was an extremely fraught and sensitive issue. Feelings were running high. Survivors were returning from camps and exile and confronting the informers who had sent them there, and the taboo against questioning the Stalinist practices of denunciation and informing was tottering. Just as ‘conscience’ was re-emerging, so was public feeling turning against secret informers in some circles. There was even acknowledgement by leading chekists of the damage which the imperative to inform had inflicted on the integrity of Soviet artists.68 Meanwhile, in the literary world, there were calls for justice to be meted out against informers in the name of their victims.69 It must have been a frightening time for the authorities, and for informers, who may have felt abandoned by the state, which was sanctioning unprecedented open discussion of such questions, through publication of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962), for example. Ultimately, the regime survived this crisis; large-scale reprisals against informers were avoided. Yet official glorification of informers nevertheless subsequently became more tentative. The KGB continued to rely upon secret informers, but more subtle methods were now required.

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The decision to rely more heavily on doverennye litsa also reflects a recognition that the informer network more broadly needed to be re-hauled. This was the thrust of a Central Committee (henceforth CC) resolution issued on 12 March 1954, which described the state of the informer network recruited during the Stalin era as ‘abnormal’.70 In particular, the resolution concluded, there were far too many agents; and procedures of selection, vetting, training and running of agents were unsatisfactory.71 Furthermore, as a KGB Order concluded in July 1954, many chekists had failed to absorb the message of the resolutions of the July 1953 CC Plenum and to take appropriate measures accordingly. As a result of the March 1954 CC complaints, the apparatus was purged of those agents who did not inspire trust; or lacked the personal qualities or the ‘counter-intelligence possibilities’ to help the organs; or who had a record of ‘deception, falsification of materials, double-dealing and provocational acts’. It seems, however, that chekists were over-zealous in responding to these demands, to the point where too many agents were purged, resulting in a situation where many operational staff were left with either too few informers or with none whatsoever.72 KGB in-house histories and the regular historiography alike tend to present a picture of an overall trend towards a sharp reduction in the number of informers during the Khrushchev era. Yet this was by no means a linear, straightforward or consistent process. If one examines the various orders issued in this connection through the mid- to late 1950s, it becomes clear that ‘improving’ agent work could sometimes mean not only improving training and recruitment procedures, but also reversing the effects of previous de-Stalinization measures, though it was not explicitly couched in these terms.73 In late 1956, in particular, recruitment of informers amongst the creative intelligentsia and the younger generation was stepped up, and the need to target these two groups for more active recruitment of informers was also flagged at the 1957 Second All-Union Meeting of leading chekists.74 Even when a reduction of the number of informers was the stated aim, we should not automatically assume that this was being done for the purposes of liberalization or de-Stalinization; the rationale was often quite ambiguous. For example, KGB Order No. 00225 issued on 15 July 1959 mentioned not just reducing the number of agents, but ‘cleansing [the agent apparatus] of individuals not deserving of political trust’.75 Furthermore, the political amnesties and rehabilitations of the Khrushchev era often offered the KGB the opportunity for fresh recruitments. Ex-prisoners appear to have been viewed as an especially promising pool of potential recruits, presumably at least partly because of their vulnerability to extortion and the threat of re-arrest. According to the KGB’s own statistics, over 60 per cent of agents recruited in the Ukraine in 1956–57 comprised ex-internees of camps returning home.76 In general, the Khrushchev regime’s rehabilitation of political prisoners was highly conditional. In a speech to the December 1956 CC plenum, Khrushchev used the word ‘impure’ with reference to those who had been rehabilitated, and spoke of mistakes that had been made in

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connection with the rehabilitation process.77 A key role of the newly formed KGB was to keep ex-political prisoners firmly within its sights. Profilaktika While the use of doverennye litsa was not a matter of public discussion, another innovation in the KGB’s work was trumpeted in the media. Perhaps the most important new buzzword in the Shelepin propaganda campaign and beyond was profilaktika, a much-used but vaguely defined term covering a range of preventive or precautionary measures employed by the KGB.78 The KGB 1977 in-house history tells us that profilaktika could take glasnye (public) and neglasnye (secret) forms. The former included public discussions of the given transgression at the perpetrator’s workplace, for example, prompted by the KGB, or media discussions.79 Neglasnye forms included measures involving agents and doverennye litsa, and ‘chats’ with chekists.80 The ‘chat’ (beseda) was the cornerstone of profilaktika. This had now replaced ‘interrogation’ as the preferred term.81 Such chats – cosy heart-tohearts with chekists at once erudite and paternal, with twinkling eyes, which left one feeling relieved, unburdened, reassured and enlightened – were depicted on screen in chekist films such as A Shot in the Fog and State Criminal (dir. Nikolai Rozantsev; Lenfil0 m, 1964). In the case of A Shot in the Fog, the KGB consultants supervising the film’s production specifically intervened to change the references to ‘interrogations’ to ‘chats’.82 The term profilaktika was also used euphemistically. Often, profilaktika effectively meant ‘extra-judicial repressions’, which involved, for example, the destruction of the career prospects of the individual in question.83 We might, therefore, think of profilaktika as representing a concealed form of political repression. Aleksandr Cherkasov of the ‘Memorial’ Society has estimated that the ratio of prison/camp sentences to cases of profilaktika was roughly 1:100 in the late Soviet period.84 The turn towards profilaktika was very much a response to the Soviet Union’s new openness to the outside world. This is flagged metaphorically by the word itself, with its associations with guarding against infection and contamination.85 This element was made explicit in related documents issued by the KGB Collegium in the summer of 1964, which noted that one of the key aims of the policy of profilaktika was to fence Soviet citizens off from bourgeois ideology.86 In general, the abandonment of Stalinist cultural isolationism presented a whole set of new challenges that required creative, more sophisticated responses. It meant operating in a new propaganda environment, and negotiating the pitfalls of increased openness to the rest of the world. The highly publicized policy of profilaktika was a crucial element of the official rehabilitation of the figure of the chekist, now said to be fundamentally benevolent. Thus, chekists were merciful with regard to those whose misdemeanours stemmed from insufficient political consciousness, and made

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wide use of preventive and educational (vospitatel0 nye) measures with regard to such citizens, as opposed to simply punishing or repressing them.87 Profilaktika can also be linked to the desire to improve the Soviet Union’s international reputation. Both of these developments can be linked to Khrushchev’s famous declaration, made at the XXI Party Congress in 1959, that there were no more political prisoners in the Soviet Union. This claim exemplified the regime’s new concern with projecting a liberal face.88 Henceforth, whenever possible, political repression was to be re-packaged and relabelled. According to some commentators, indeed, the introduction of the policy of profilaktika was a measure ordered directly by the CC in order to bring down the arrest statistics.89 By the same token, profilaktika was also about co-opting other ‘public forces’ to play a role in social control and to take over some of the tasks previously fulfilled by the security apparatus. This shift was a key theme of the XXI Party Congress, at which Shelepin hailed the passing of many state functions away from the KGB and other bodies to public organizations as a sign that the USSR was moving closer to communism.90 The shift was explicitly flagged at a countrywide gathering of chekists held after the XXI Party Congress in May 1959, which reiterated that the KGB’s domestic punitive functions were to be reduced and increasingly taken over by public organizations.91 As the KGB’s 1977 in-house history put it, during this period there was a new emphasis on making use of ‘public forces’ (sily obshchestvennosti) for security purposes.92 It noted further that the role of obshchestvennost0 was particularly important when it came to prophylactic work, and that this role grew significantly in the early 1960s.93 The Komsomol appears to have been one of the key new bodies tasked with assisting the KGB here.94 During this period there was an influx of Komsomol cadres into the KGB. Meanwhile, the Komsomol was taking over many of the secret police’s traditional functions, acting as a kind of ‘soft’ punitive arm of the regime. Kuzovkin has demonstrated the ways in which Komsomol and party organizations were used during the Thaw to take on some aspects of the KGB’s ‘dirty’ work, as part of a process of modernizing the regime’s repressive functions. Thus, these bodies could be used to carry out everyday surveillance and social control, avoiding the need for potentially politically inconvenient or embarrassing judicial procedures.95 The memoirs of Armen Medvedev (Komsomol secretary at the cinematography institute [VGIK] in the late 1950s) recount episodes in which the KGB would send a ‘signal’ to the VGIK Komsomol for a campaign against particular students.96 Finally, the Komsomol also spearheaded many of the regime’s attacks on individual artists. According to Semichastnyi, Khrushchev instructed him to make his famous attack on Boris Pasternak at the celebrations marking the Komsomol’s fortieth jubilee in 1958.97 The Komsomol’s increased role as an agency of social control was paralleled by other developments in the late 1950s involving the appropriation of certain aspects of traditional policing by newly created ‘popular’ (narodnye)

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institutions such as volunteer militia-type squads such as the druzhiny and the brigadmily.98 At the XXI Party Congress in early 1959 – a landmark in the development of the regime’s new approach to domestic repression99 – institutions such as the druzhiny were hailed as evidence that the Soviet Union had entered a new stage in its development and was now firmly and irreversibly on the path to building communism.100 Profilaktika was a mark of the regime’s love, benevolence and mercy towards political criminals, who were said to have been ‘led astray’ by provocateurs acting as proxies of the West, and who could be saved and returned to the ‘rightful path’ by the regime’s spiritual shepherds, the chekists. We might thus think of profilaktika as a new, softer approach to heresy. The discourse of profilaktika often used religious-style metaphors, in particular that of the ‘correct’ or ‘righteous path’, with those who strayed from the path being described in the language of apostasy. All of the above innovations were emphatically presented as constituting a return to the essence of the tradition of Dzerzhinsky, and by extension, to Leninist principles. Finally, the turn towards profilaktika represented an attempt to deal specifically with problems related to the younger generation. For the first time in its history, the Soviet regime was facing a generation of critics who could no longer be dismissed as ‘remnants’ of the old regime, since they were themselves the product of the Soviet system, having grown up under socialism. Later, Andropov would pinpoint this problem explicitly. As he put it, hitherto enemies had been vestiges of the tsarist system, but now it fell upon chekists to deal ‘with people who have grown up in the conditions of Soviet reality, but who … for one reason or another have embarked upon an incorrect path. Consequently, we are talking about a different task, a different approach, different methods of struggle’.101 Under Khrushchev, the problem was not couched expressly in these terms, but we can discern a growing preoccupation with the underlying problem. Khrushchev’s demonstrative paternal concern for young people masked a growing anxiety that the post-war generation had been lost to the Soviet project. This anxiety was expressed in the early 1960s in a series of outbursts by Khrushchev on the topic of the ‘generation gap’. During the 1920s, the Soviet leadership had capitalized on generational conflict, explicitly encouraging adolescents to oppose their parents.102 Such a strategy was no longer appropriate. Under Khrushchev, the task of ensuring the loyalty and obedience of young people without resorting to terror, and maintaining generational continuity, became especially urgent, hence, presumably, Khrushchev’s extreme sensitivity to any suggestion that there was such a thing as a generation gap in the Soviet Union. His vehement denial of the existence of a Soviet generation gap was also a response to western observers, who were showing keen interest in the literature and cinema being produced by the rising Soviet generation, watching closely for signs of rebellion and alienation. When it came to responding to the emergence of this new generation of Soviet citizens, the regime resorted once again to the figure of Dzerzhinsky.

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Dzerzhinsky was held up as the ideal model to be emulated by Soviet citizens, and by children and young people in particular. Most famously, Mayakovsky had enjoined young people to build their lives on Dzerzhinsky’s example, in a poem that was frequently quoted in speeches and articles glorifying the Cheka.103 The new discourse of profilaktika was especially useful when it came to coping with the problem of rebellious young people. This discourse made it possible to depict such individuals as driven not by genuine political or moral grievances, but by ‘political immaturity’, or because they had been misled by foreign enemies.104 In other words, opposition was not a sign that the Soviet system had serious internal problems that needed to be addressed; it was merely a manifestation of youthful foolishness and/or a regrettable side-effect of the regime’s new openness to the outside world. Furthermore, this was a manageable problem. The chekist was guided by his calling to help those who had strayed to return to the ‘correct path’.105 Assisted by helpers from the narod, he had the tools to nip the problem in the bud, removing it with surgical precision without resorting to terror. In other words, the discourse of profilaktika could be usefully invoked in order to explain away the existence of dissent, an imperative that was becoming especially urgent during the Khrushchev era.

Conclusion For all their talk of clear consciences, trust, and the harmonious connection with the narod, one has the sense, when reading the texts cited in this chapter, that their authors were protesting too much. Throughout the Khrushchev era and beyond, chekist propaganda continued to betray a fundamental unease, one of the roots of which was the nagging fear that while the narod might love them, the crafty and duplicitous intelligentsia were laughing at them behind their backs. Chekists were warned explicitly to watch out for this at a countrywide gathering of KGB investigation staff in June 1958. The acting head of the USSR KGB’s Investigations Directorate related the case of an interrogation during which ‘the arrestee was mocking the investigator, but the latter, obviously, did not notice this’.106 This extraordinary sensitivity arose partly out of an awareness of the intelligentsia’s superior education. Chekists often feared that they were being laughed at for their lack of culture. They might also be laughed at if they failed to pick up on disguised Aesopian references to the repressive apparatus, especially in cinema, and they had to be doubly vigilant in order to prevent this. This paranoia became endemic in the post-Stalin era, when greater artistic freedom offered new scope for hidden or indirect criticism of the regime. Chekists might demand that writers, historians and film-makers hold up a mirror reflecting a pure and noble visage, but they could never be absolutely certain that the flawless image reflected back at them did not conceal a mocking grin. In the end, what most characterized the propaganda produced by the Soviet security apparatus was the deep-seated insecurity which it betrayed.

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Notes 1 Cited in Aleksandr Kokurin and Nikita Petrov, ‘Struktura Tsentral0 nogo apparata KGB pri SM SSSR (1954–67). (Vtoraya chast’. 1961–67 gg.)’, Memorial website, http://www.memo.ru.history/NKVD/STRU/index.htm (accessed 11 April 2008). ‘Chekist’, the term for employees of the Soviet and post-Soviet security apparatus, is derived from VChK, the acronym for the Soviet Union’s first security and intelligence agency (1917–22). 2 Andrei Sidorenko, ‘Zhizn0 , otdannaya sluzheniyu otechestvu’, Spetsnaz Rossii, no. 6, June 2004. 3 Cited in V. Semichastnyi, ‘Nezabyvaemoe’, Komsomol0 skaya zhizn0 , no. 7, 1988; reproduced in Yu. V. Aksyutin, (ed.), Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev: Materialy k biografii, Moscow: Politizdat, 1989, pp. 52–53. 4 Mikhail Lyubimov, ‘Den’ chekista. Tri avtora’, Moskovskie novosti, no. 49, 15 December 1998. 5 See, for example, N. Zakharov, ‘50 let na sluzhbe Rodine’, Pogranichnik, no. 23, December 1967, p. 3: ‘It is no accident that the honourable term “chekist” enjoys deep respect amongst our narod. When a person is called a “chekist”, then it is considered that this is a person of crystal purity, of selfless dedication to the party’s cause, fearless in the struggle with enemies’. 6 V.M. Chebrikov et al. (eds), Istoriya sovetskikh organov gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti. Uchebnik, Moscow: 1977, p. 502. 7 ‘Dom na Lubyanke – ne dom uzhasov’, Komsomol0 skaya pravda, no. 65, 4 November 2002, p. 21. 8 V.A. Kozlov, ‘Kramola: inakomyslie v SSSR pri Khrushcheve i Brezhneve, 1953– 82 gody’, Otechestvennaya istoriya, no. 4, 2003, p. 98. See also the chapter by Robert Hornsby in this volume. 9 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov. This book was acquired in a Latvian archive and made available on the internet via the Online Document Archive of Harvard University’s Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at http://www.fas. harvard.edu/~hpcws/documents.htm (accessed 11 April 2008). 10 See N.V. Petrov, ‘Pervyi predsedatel’ KGB general Ivan Serov’, Otechestvennaya istoriya, no. 5, 1997, p. 25. 11 Others also argue that Serov’s dismissal may have been linked with the spate of defections and double agents during his chairmanship; see John J. Dziak, Chekisty: A History of the KGB, Lexington, MA and Toronto: Lexington Books, 1988, pp. 145–47. 12 See Kokurin and Petrov, ‘Struktura Tsentral0 nogo apparata KGB’. 13 While coverage was restrained, the press did carry the standard congratulations from the party and state leadership. See ‘Rabotnikam gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti Soyuza SSR’, Pravda, 22 December 1957. 14 P. Ivashukin, ‘Na strazhe interesov Rodiny’, Izvestiya, 21 December 1957. 15 ‘Sorok let na strazhe bezopasnosti Sovetskogo gosudarstva’, Izvestiya, 24 December 1957. 16 I. Serov, ‘Sorok let na strazhe bezopasnosti Sovetskogo gosudarstva’, Pravda, 21 December 1957. 17 ‘Torzhestvennoe otkrytie v Moskve pamyatnika F.E. Dzerzhinskomu’, Pravda, 21 December 1958. 18 ‘Torzhestvennoe otkrytie’. 19 ‘Besstrashnomu rytsaryu revolyutsii’, Izvestiya, 21 December 1958. 20 ‘Torzhestvennoe otkrytie’. 21 ‘Besstrashnomu rytsaryu’. 22 ‘Torzhestvennoe otkrytie’.

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23 The issue of constructing such a monument was later raised officially at the XXII Party Congress in October 1961, but it was only in 1990 that a monument to the victims of the Great Terror appeared on Lubyanka Square, thanks to the efforts of Memorial. 24 ‘Dom na Lubyanke’. 25 See Aleksandr Vitkovskii, ‘Pamyati Vladimira Semichastnogo’, Parlamentskaya gazeta, no. 260, 17 January 2001. 26 A.F. Khatskevich, Soldat velikikh boev: zhizn0 i deyatel0 nost0 F. E. Dzerzhinskogo, 4th edn, Minsk: Nauka i tekhnika, 1982, p. 459. 27 ‘Sluzhenie narodu – vysokoe prizvanie sovetskikh pisatelei. Rech0 tovarishcha N. S. Khrushcheva na III s00 ezde pisatelei 22 maya 1959’, Pravda, 24 May 1959. 28 Leningradskaya pravda, 20 December 1977. 29 In February 1954, the Central Committee resolved to cut KGB personnel by 20 per cent. By June 1957, Serov had dismissed around 18,000 chekists. See Leonid Mlechin, KGB. Predesedateli organov gosbezopasnosti. Rassekrechennye sud0 by, 3rd edn, Moscow: Tsentrpoligraf, 2002, p. 441; and Petrov, ‘Pervyi predsedatel0 KGB’. 30 Cited in Pikhoya, ‘Pochemu Khrushchev poterial vlast0 .’ 31 On Novocherkassk, see also the chapter by Joshua Andy in this volume. 32 See Pikhoya, ‘Pochemu Khrushchev poterial vlast0 .’ 33 Resentment directed at these new Komsomol chekists is reflected in chekist memoir literature. See, for example, Vadim Kirpichenko, Razvedka: litsa i lichnosti, Moscow: Geiya, 1998, pp. 160–61, and T.K. Gladkov, Lift v razvedku. ‘Korol0 nelegalov’ Aleksandr Korotkov, Moscow: OLMA-PRESS, 2002, pp. 564–66. 34 RGALI, f. 2453, op. 4, d. 637, l. 30. 35 RGALI, f. 2453, op. 4, d. 693, l. 62ob. 36 Cited in Aleksandr Yakovlev, Omut pamiati, Moscow: Vagrius, 2001, p. 113. 37 Kokurin and Petrov, ‘Struktura Tsentral0 nogo apparata KGB’. 38 Pravda, 20 December 1962. 39 See also Shelepin’s earlier 1959 Congress address, in which he reassured the Soviet population that ‘every Soviet person can be certain that this shameful affair – the violation of revolutionary legality – will never again be repeated in our country’; ‘Rech0 tovarishcha A.N. Shelepina’, Pravda, 5 February 1959. 40 Kokurin and Petrov, ‘Struktura Tsentral0 nogo apparata KGB’. 41 See, for example, a 1932 article by Marina Tsvetaeva, ‘Art in the Light of Conscience’; M.I. Tsvetaeva, ‘Iskusstvo pri svete sovesti’, in D.K. Burlaka (ed.), A. S. Pushkin: pro et contra, vol. 2, St Petersburg: Russkii Khristianskii gumanitarnyi institut, 2000, p. 89. 42 Nadezhda Mandelstam, Hope against Hope: A Memoir, trans. Max Hayward, London: Collins and Harvill Press, 1971. 43 A.I. Kolpakidi and M.L. Seryakov, Shchit i mech. Rukovoditeli organov gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti Moskovskoi Rusi, Rossiiskoi imperii, Sovetskogo Soyuza i Rossiiskoi Federatsii. Entsiklopedicheskii spravochnik, Moscow and St Petersburg: Olma-Press and Neva, 2002, p. 488. 44 Kolpakidi and Seryakov, Shchit i mech, p. 489. 45 See, for example, ‘Vsesoyuznoe soveshchanie rukovodyashchikh rabotnikov organov gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti’, Pravda, 18 May 1959. 46 See, for example, RGALI, f. 2453, op. 4, d. 693, l. 20; and RGALI, f. 2453, op. 4, d. 1573, titul0 nyi oborot. In one case a KGB officer sitting in on an editorial meeting complained that it was disturbing that, ‘The film is made without the narod. One doesn’t see how the narod is helping [the KGB] … This question was raised when the screenplay was being read on Dzerzhinskii Square, but the requisite attention has not been paid to it’. RGALI, f. 2453, op. 4, d. 637, l. 36. 47 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 502. 48 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 286.

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49 The KGB’s own internal literature implied that the use of informers was a kind of antidote or alternative to terror (as opposed to a practice that helped to make the Great Terror possible); see Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov. 50 A. Stenin, ‘Rodine vernye’, Pogranichnik, no. 22, November 1967, p. 38. 51 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 504. 52 ‘Vsesoyuznoe soveshchanie’, p. 2. According to Pozharov, this aroused great public interest. See A. I. Pozharov, ‘KGB SSSR v 1950–60-e gody: problemy istoriografii’, Otechestvennaya istoriya, no. 3, May–June 2001, p. 142. 53 See, for example, Bobkov’s account of the KGB public relations campaign launched in 1956: Filipp Bobkov, KGB i vlast0 , Moscow: Veteran MP, 1995, pp. 257–58. 54 Chasovye sovetskikh granits. Kratkii ocherk istorii pogranichnykh voisk, 2nd edn, Moscow: Politizdat, 1983, p. 24. 55 Cited in V.A. Kutuzov et al., Chekisty Petrograda na strazhe revolyutsii, Leningrad: Lenizdat, 1987, p. 58. 56 RGALI, f. 2453, op. 4, d. 693, l. 10. 57 Not to be confused with doveritel0 nye svyazi, or ‘confidential contacts’, the term used to categorize foreigners recruited in this way. Doverennye litsa were sometimes also referred to as neshtatnye sotrudniki. 58 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, pp. 503 and 508. 59 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 558. 60 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, pp. 503, 508. 61 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, pp. 558–59. 62 Yevgenia Albats, State within a State: The KGB and its Hold on Russia – Past, Present and Future, trans. Catherine A. Fitzpatrick, New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1994, p. 58. 63 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 558. 64 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 559. 65 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 559. 66 See Yurii Shchekochikhin, Raby GB. XX vek. Religiya predatel0 stva, Samara: Izdatel0 skii dom ‘Fedorov’, 1999, p. 63. 67 Vasiliy Mitrokhin (ed.), KGB Lexicon: The Soviet Intelligence Officer’s Handbook, London: Frank Cass, 2002, p. 33. 68 Thus in the late 1950s, the head of the KGB’s Fourth Directorate condemned the fact that acting as an informer was effectively a compulsory stepping-stone to attaining the heights of Soviet culture; see Yevgenii Zhirnov, ‘Odna zhizn0 Filippa Denisovicha’, Kommersant0 -Vlast0 , 5 December 2000. 69 These issues were especially acute in the literary world; some informers were expelled from the Writers’ Union, for example, for their past as collaborators. Calls were also being made for informers to be put on trial and brought to justice. 70 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 506. 71 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, pp. 506–7. Note, however, that even before Stalin’s death, the party leadership had called, in 1952, for a reduction in the number of agents. 72 See Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 507. 73 See, for example, Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 508. 74 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 508. 75 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 557. 76 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 523. 77 See further Gennadii Kuzovkin, ‘Partiino-komsomol0 skie presledovaniya po politicheskim motivam v period rannei “ottepeli”’, in Korny travy. Sbornik statei molodykh istorikov, at http://www.memo.ru/library/books/korni/index.htm (accessed 11 April 2008).

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78 The KGB’s in-house history describes profilaktika as an important focus of the KGB’s work in the mid- to late 1950s, and as an ‘organic part of all agentoperational activities’; Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, pp. 503 and 596. 79 For example, Bulat Okudzhava was ‘prophylacticated’ by the Moscow Writers’ Organization on the basis of materials provided by the KGB; ‘“Stuk, stuk, stuk – ya tvoi drug … ”’, Argumenty i fakty, no. 11, March 1992, p. 5. 80 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 583. 81 See, for example, Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 559. 82 RGALI, f. 2453, op. 4, d. 693, l. 17. 83 The KGB file of Azadovskii, for example, states that he had rebuffed a recruitment approach in 1967, and further notes that ‘In 1969 he was prophylacticated via obshchestvennost0 and expelled from postgraduate studies’; cited Shchekochikhin, Raby GB, p. 255. According to some of the dissident memoir literature, ‘profilaktika’ was also used as a euphemism for particular methods of psychological torture in the prison system. See G.O. Altunyan, Tsena svobody: Vospominaniya dissidenta, Khar0 kov: Folio, Radiokompaniia+, 2000, ch. 19, ‘Profilaktika’. 84 Aleksandr Cherkasov, ‘Den’ Gazonokosil0 shchika, ili Kanun Vsekh sviatykh’, www.polit.ru, 30 October 2003 (www.polit.ru/world/2003/10/30/628158.html; accessed 15 June 2008). 85 Profilaktika also resonates with ‘organs’ (the standard shorthand form of ‘state security organs’, i.e. the KGB). 86 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 584. 87 See, for example, A. S. Velidov, ‘Predislovie ko vtoromu izdaniyu’, in A. S. Velidov (ed.), Krasnaya kniga VChK. T. 1, 2nd edn, Moscow: Politizdat, 1989, p. 14. 88 Note that Khrushchev also declared during this congress that it would be ‘stupid and criminal’ to abolish the state security organs. Cited in Vladislav Minaev, Tainoe stanovitsya yavnym, Moscow: Voenizdat, 1960, p. 326. 89 See Shchekochikhin, Raby GB. See also Andropov’s comments in this connection, cited in Boris Prozorov, ‘Yurii Andropov. Bez grifa “SEKRETNO”,’ Fel0 dPochta, no. 20, 8 March 2004. 90 Note that in the same breath Shelepin proclaimed that the ‘dreams’ of imperialists and revisionists who wished to see the security organs weakened would never come to pass; ‘Rech0 tovarishcha A.N. Shelepina’, p. 8. 91 ‘Vsesoyuznoe soveshchanie’, p. 2. 92 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 551. 93 Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, p. 583. 94 See ‘Rech0 tovarishcha A. N. Shelepina’, p. 8. 95 Kuzovkin, ‘Partiino-komsomol0 skie presledovaniya’. 96 See Armen Medvedev, ‘Tol0 ko o kino’, Iskusstvo kino, no. 3, March 1999. 97 Vitkovskii, ‘Pamyati Vladimira Semichastnogo’. 98 See Darrell P. Hammer, ‘Law Enforcement, Social Control and the Withering of the State: Recent Soviet Experience’, Soviet Studies, vol. 14, no. 4, April 1963, pp. 379–97; and Louise I. Shelley, Policing Soviet Society: The Evolution of State Control, London and New York: Routledge, 1996, pp. 44–45. 99 See further A. V. Pryzhikov, ‘Problema kul0 ta lichnosti v gody khrushchevskoi ottepeli’, Voprosy istorii, no. 4, 2003, pp. 33–43. 100 Hammer, ‘Law Enforcement’, p. 379. 101 Cited in Prozorov, ‘Yurii Andropov’. 102 Peter Kenez, The Birth of the Propaganda State: Soviet Methods of Mass Mobilization, 1917–1929, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985, p. 186. 103 See, for example, ‘Besstrashnomu rytsaryu revolyutsii’, p. 3, and ‘Torzhestvennoe otkrytie’, p. 2. 104 This is how Andropov put it in April 1971: ‘Decisively suppressing hostile activities … we must at the same time avoid onesidedness, [we must] know how to

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separate from the enemy those individuals who have ended up in hostile circles by chance, are losing their way politically or are being used by the opponent’; cited in O.M. Khlobustov, ‘Perechityvaya zanovo’, Lubyanka: Istoriko-publitsisticheskii al0 manakh, no. 1, August 2006. 105 See, for example, Chebrikov, Istoriya sovetskikh organov, pp. 584, 586. 106 Cited in Yelena Papovyan, ‘Primenenie stat0 i 58–10 UK RSFSR v 1957–58 gg.’, in Korni travy. Sbornik statei molodykh istorikov (at www.memo.ru/library/books/ korni/ index.htm) (accessed 11 April 2008).

9

Voicing discontent Political dissent from the Secret Speech to Khrushchev’s ouster Robert Hornsby

Marshall Shatz has likened the dissent of the post-Stalin period to the peasant rebellions of Tsarist times.1 While not an entirely appropriate analogy for the Brezhnev era dissident movement, during the Khrushchev period the comparison has some resonance. Shatz was right in the sense that the dissent of the Khrushchev years was generally disorganized and ephemeral, yet also fervent and widespread. On the other hand, these were most often individual acts of rebellion with a striking lack of commonly shared principles and were almost completely without cohesion. The most important point to proceed from is a clarification of what constitutes ‘dissent’ and particularly ‘political dissent’ for the purposes of this chapter. In the context of post-Stalin Soviet history ‘dissidence’ has a fairly well-understood meaning, though this is perhaps now too strongly associated with the predominantly open and legalistic struggle of the Brezhnev years to reflect properly the dissent of the Khrushchev period. Perhaps most useful is Frederick Barghoorn’s definition of dissent as ‘the persistent – and from the official point of view – objectionable advocacy of policies differing from or contrary to those which the dominant group in the supreme CPSU control and decision making bodies … adopt’.2 The only significant point on which this study differs from this definition is by omitting the term ‘persistent’. A vital qualification of ‘dissent’ for this chapter is that these were behaviours with some public facet that was neither sanctioned by the authorities nor acceptable to them. What this means is that entirely private activities, such as listening to foreign radio broadcasts or expressing criticism of the regime solely within one’s own family, are not treated as dissenting activity, even though they undoubtedly occupied a position somewhere on the spectrum of what constituted dissent. Similarly, what could be termed ‘cultural dissent’ in the Khrushchev period also falls outside the remit of this chapter. Even extremely significant and controversial works such as Dudintsev’s Not by Bread Alone (1956) and Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962) were published with official sanction and, therefore, represent a distinct category of dissenting behaviour. ‘Political dissent’ is, to an extent, an artificial categorization, though largely because it involves a diverse range of behaviours that have so far not been

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properly classified. Essentially, it incorporates acts of protest and criticism that were not predicated on national or religious feeling. These were acts of dissent that can be broadly defined as ‘protest and criticism involving language and behaviours either reflecting or implying political discontent at the policies, representatives and principles of the Soviet regime’. The reason for excluding nationalist and religious behaviours from consideration here is partly one of scope and partly of intended aims; it is certainly not any indication that they were in some way less important. Perhaps the most important consideration in looking at political dissent in isolation is that it was often specific to the events and personalities of the Khrushchev period, whereas the themes of nationalist and religious dissent were liable to transcend contemporary issues to a greater extent. Furthermore, as a period in which dissenting behaviour as a whole has not been widely researched thus far it is useful to look at its individual components before tackling the theme as a whole. To a certain extent, the Brezhnev era dissident movement has left the dissenting individuals and events of the Khrushchev period somewhat in the shadows, though some Russian-language scholarship has been produced on this theme in recent years. Archival research, in particular, has been rather scant on dissent as a whole, largely because the majority of sources on dissent were written during the 1960s and 1970s, when gaining access to official documents was all but impossible for researchers. The only widely available sources were dissidents themselves, often residing in exile. This has largely resulted in what Ben Nathans has termed a ‘person-centric approach to dissent’.3 It is an approach that has considerably less applicability for the Khrushchev era, when individuals rarely rose above the crowd and certainly never occupied the global status of later figures such as Andrei Sakharov and Anatoly Shcharansky.

Secret Speech The Secret Speech did not represent any kind of ‘year zero’ for dissenting activity in the Soviet Union. Sarah Davies, for example, has demonstrated that prior to the Second World War dissenting outbursts were not as rare as one might have imagined. A diverse range of themes, such as the assassination of Kirov, the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and the 1940 Labour Decree, provoked a flurry of critical and hostile remarks among the public. Secret police reports occasionally showed ballots filled out in the name of ‘Trotsky’ or ‘the Tsar’ and there were instances of swastikas crudely daubed onto walls.4 However, the Secret Speech does seem to have represented the start, or perhaps more accurately an acceleration, of several fundamentally new developments in dissenting behaviour, particularly in the way that well-reasoned and quite sophisticated critiques of the authorities came to be offered in addition to longer-standing hooligan-type dissenting behaviour. When one looks at the forms of dissent immediately following the Secret Speech, a number of interesting themes become clear. For the most part, people’s reactions were not as

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immediately volatile as may perhaps have been expected. With the exception of the riots in Tbilisi on 8 and 9 March 1956, the cause of which was at least partly nationalistic according Vladimir Kozlov, the vociferous protest that some members of the regime had feared failed to materialize.5 The majority of contemporary accounts of personal reactions to the Secret Speech indicate primarily a sense of shock rather than anger.6 In fact, what one sees in the dissenting remarks voiced after the XX Party Congress is that there was initially a genuine sense of enthusiasm for the putative ‘re-launch’ of the communist project that Khrushchev’s speech seemed to offer. However, it is also clear that in many instances dissenters’ conceptions of how this renewal of the system ought to proceed were very different from those of the Party leadership. Largely as a result of this, it is possible to trace a very distinctive process of growing disenchantment with Marxist-Leninist ideology and at the overall regime from the late 1950s. Perhaps the most important long-term impact of Khrushchev’s attack on Stalin was the realization that, although still likely to lead to some form of punitive response, the risks entailed in voicing an honest and critical opinion about the political situation and the regime had decreased greatly. While one could certainly not suggest that fear of the authorities died with Stalin, it is clear that the kind of fear usually associated with the worst excesses of the Stalin years was in serious decline even prior to the XX Party Congress.7 Another important result of the Secret Speech was a general atmosphere of confusion and uncertainty that lasted throughout 1956, referred to by Michael Scammell as a ‘chasm of doubt’.8 In particular, there was confusion over what constituted permissible comment in the wake of Khrushchev’s revelations. One of the most useful testimonies to this confusion can be seen in a report sent to the Central Committee’s General Department from the Department of Party Organs that provided a summary of questions submitted at meetings held to discuss the Secret Speech. The three most commonly submitted questions were: ‘why was Khrushchev’s report so limited in its contents?’; ‘why was there no self-criticism or open discussion of the report?’; and ‘what guarantees are there that there will not be another cult?’ Amongst other frequently asked questions were: ‘are not other Presidium members also guilty? They must have known but will not admit it’; ‘why was the report not discussed at the Congress?’; ‘is there not a cult around Lenin too?’; and ‘how could the newspapers lie for so long and now change so easily?’9 All of this reflects the fact that much of the dissent taking place at this time, particularly at Party and Komsomol meetings, was essentially loyal in nature and bore little or no genuine hostility towards the regime. It was generally anti-Stalin rather than anti-Soviet. For the most part, this bout of ‘truth-telling’ seems to have been prompted by the heightened enthusiasm and idealism that the Secret Speech engendered among many young people in particular. Dissenters rarely attacked fundamental aspects of the Soviet regime, but instead targeted ‘perversions’ of Leninist ideals and specific abuses or individuals who were seen to have conducted themselves improperly.

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Perhaps the best demonstration of this could be seen in events at the 5 March 1956 meeting of the Party cell attached to Moscow’s Thermo-Technical Institute. At this meeting, arranged in order to discuss the Secret Speech, four speakers gave strongly worded critiques against the present state of the regime, including Yuri Orlov’s declaration that the state needed to undergo greater democratization and that society had become pervaded by a sense of moral decay. As he put it, ‘we are all still holding our fingers in the wind’ (meaning that people continued to judge the prevailing political situation before acting). His colleague, Robert Nesterov, even went so far as to demand that the workers be armed in order to prevent future abuses of power by the authorities.10 Even fifty years later, Orlov insisted that these comments were in no way intended to be anti-Soviet, but were simply the honest thoughts of loyal citizens and Party members.11 Not all those who engaged in dissenting activities in the wake of the Secret Speech intended to do so in a loyal and constructive manner, however. In Arkhangel’ province, for example, Boris Generozov was arrested in April 1956 after producing six leaflets attacking the authorities’ revelations about Stalin and subsequently reading them to his fellow workers at a forestry enterprise. Included in Generozov’s leaflets were the following statements: The Stalinist Communist Party has nothing to do with Lenin’s Party. It is now criminal and against the people (anti-narodnyi). The Party hides Stalin’s crimes from the people and is now run by cowards and degenerates. The soviets and trade unions are used only to terrorize the people. Do the people need such a Party? Or a Party at all? No! It is not needed! All of the country is striving for communism, we do not need exploiters. The Party is not creating the conditions for this transition. Is it possible to believe in this government? No! Never!12 Although this is a far more strident attack on the authorities than previous examples, it is nonetheless easy to see the ideological basis of Generozov’s comments. This, in particular, was clearly not caused by confusion; no interpretation of Khrushchev’s report could stretch so far as to consider the above statements potentially acceptable to the authorities. Generozov was not alone in viewing the Secret Speech as little more than eyewash. Like a considerable number of others, Leningrad geo-physicist N.N. Smirnov wrote to the Central Committee demanding that Stalin’s crimes be examined and exposed in a more rigorous and open fashion and with punishment for those who were found to be deserving of blame. Smirnov was subsequently confined to a psychiatric hospital.13 Another form of dissenting behaviour resulted from the exposure of Stalin: that of opposition to Khrushchev, and to a lesser extent also Bulganin, on the grounds of defending Stalin. Two reasonably distinct trends can be observed. One was driven by genuine political support for Stalin and the second

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(discussed later in this chapter) was primarily a means of defending Stalin in order to attack Khrushchev. The first, generally muted, wave of pro-Stalin dissent followed the Secret Speech (most famously in the Tbilisi riots of 8 and 9 March 1956). A second phase took place in the wake of the June 1957 expulsion of the ‘anti-Party group’, which saw prominent arch-Stalinists, including Molotov and Kaganovich, removed from the leadership. The subsequent renaming of towns and enterprises named in honour of Stalin or certain of his high-profile acolytes also seems to have resulted occasionally in considerable localized outbursts of dissent. Both of these spells of protest and criticism were most commonly manifested in sharply critical letters and public remarks whereby Khrushchev was attacked as a liar and a usurper who was seeking to establish his own authority at the expense of Stalin’s reputation. Naturally, this was a theme upon which the regime’s violent past impacted. It has long been asserted by some commentators that many dissidents were close relatives of victims of the Stalin era and that this was, therefore, a formative factor in their opposition to the authorities.14 The most commonly cited examples of this trend are Roy and Zhores Medvedev, whose father was repressed as an enemy of the people during the 1930s. However, Zhores Medvedev himself stated that this was not the main reason that he found himself adopting a critical attitude toward certain aspects of the regime.15 Aleksandr Esenin-Volpin lost a brother in the late 1930s but did not see it as the cause of his own non-conformism.16 Similarly, Boris Vail0 ’s father spent many years in the gulag, yet Vail0 himself did not suggest this to have been a conscious motivation for his own political activity.17 While there would surely have been a link for certain individuals, it seems that the case for a wider trend has perhaps been overstated. Mikhail Aksenov recalled that it was the influence of meeting gulag returnees, rather than having any personal link to Stalin’s victims, that destroyed the last of his faith in the regime and turned him into a dissident.18 As Miriam Dobson has shown, there were numerous instances following the amnesties of 1953 when former prisoners wrote anti-Soviet leaflets and engaged in political outbursts with the intention of having themselves sent back to camp as a result of their limited prospects outside.19 Much the same thing happened in the releases that followed the Secret Speech, with many of those who were re-sentenced having been apprehended for outbursts at train stations, on trains or elsewhere shortly after being released from camp. One of the most common themes of dissent among serving prisoners was what has been termed by Vladimir Kozlov as ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’.20 There are examples of an eclectic group of figures, such as Eisenhower, Stalin, Mao, Molotov and Hitler, all becoming quasi-hero figures among the camp population solely on the basis that they were seen as opponents of Khrushchev.21 Other behaviours included daubing swastikas on walls and inscribing anti-Soviet tattoos, such as ‘Slave of the CPSU’ or ‘Khrushchev’s whore’. At first glance, the aim of these behaviours was simply to offend the political sensibilities of the Soviet authorities. Undoubtedly for some, this was the

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primary catalyst. Yet for others, there was a more rational stimulus for these acts of self-mutilation and abuse of authority. Incorrectly believing rumours that political prisoners were held in better conditions and subject to lower work norms than criminal prisoners, many attempted to have themselves reclassified as ‘politicals’ by engaging in such behaviours.22

The Hungarian rising and after While the Secret Speech generally resulted in loyal and considered criticisms, the events of the Hungarian revolution produced a much more immediate and visceral response, particularly among young people and members of the intelligentsia. Political developments in Hungary, and the subsequent Soviet invasion, proved to be the main catalyst for what seems to have been a marked growth in dissenting activity across the Soviet Union from November 1956 and throughout much of 1957. This time there was minimal confusion between permissible and impermissible behaviour. Instead there were more examples of deliberate and heated acts of protest and criticism that often came to take on plainly impermissible and even quasi-subversive forms, such as underground group activity and the distribution of anti-Soviet leaflets. The rise in sentences for anti-Soviet behaviour during 1957 was particularly dramatic. Although changes in the regime’s repressive policy should also be accounted for in these totals, it is nonetheless worthwhile to cite the fact that, according to KGB figures, 1,964 individuals were jailed for ‘anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda’ in 1957. This total far exceeded any other year of the post-Stalin era.23 Even allowing for the utilization of more consistently harsh responses to dissent throughout 1957, the evidence still indicates a real growth of dissenting behaviour. For example, a confidential review of anti-Soviet activity carried out in 1958 by the State Procurator explicitly pointed to a significant increase in ‘anti-Soviet activity’ and to the Hungarian rising as the main factor in prompting this upsurge in dissent.24 It is possible to discern two separate ways in which the Hungarian events featured in dissenting activity. The first was essentially convenient shorthand for offending the sensibilities of the authorities and the second was a more genuine sense of deep and lasting disappointment or anger. The two were, of course, not entirely exclusive of each other, and the distinction was at times blurred, but this contrast does help to separate dissenters who actively opposed the regime’s policy in Hungary from those who primarily sought to cause offence or confrontation with the authorities. These differing motivations for dissenting behaviour reveal a considerable amount about the attitudes and intentions of those involved, the kinds of behaviours engaged in and the challenge they posed to the regime. The former category often involved individuals publicly declaring their support for the Hungarian rebels and spontaneously calling for an analogous revolution in the Soviet Union. V. F. Kubyshkin made a public outburst that ‘we will soon cut up communists like in Hungary’.25 I.V. Yaniv declared in a

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Drogobych bus station café that ‘communists should be attacked and overthrown like in Hungary’.26 These were reflective of a great many cases involving individuals sentenced for anti-Soviet activity at this time. The outbursts were actually often prompted not by the situation in Hungary but by a desire to attack the authorities and to cause trouble, usually under the immediate impact of drunkenness or personal confrontation with authority, but arguably also in the longer-term context of poor living standards and accumulated resentment. Without reaching a critical mass (as could potentially have happened in the summer of 1962) or fusing with more fundamentally political discontent, the threat posed by such behaviour was rather limited and more easily managed by the authorities. This flags up one of the more noticeable patterns of dissent during the period. Workers’ complaints were primarily based on material dissatisfaction and, therefore, were easier for the authorities to placate. Dissenting members of the intelligentsia tended to voice grievances that were rooted in genuine political dissatisfaction. Unlike, for example, Poland in the 1970s and 1980s, there was ultimately no real convergence of worker and intelligentsia dissent until the Gorbachev era. The second category of dissenting responses to Hungary proved to be the more challenging for the regime. As with the 1968 Prague Spring, many of those who hoped for domestic liberalization viewed events in Hungary with a sense of hope for the Soviet system, believing that if a degree of flexibility and plurality could be implemented elsewhere then the Khrushchev regime may eventually accept a similar scenario in the Soviet Union. For many people, the great hopes and enthusiasm that had been aroused by the Secret Speech were cruelly and decisively dashed by the invasion of Hungary and led to even more bitter resentment.27 Collective student and youth protests flared for a time in late 1956 and 1957 at a number of universities in cities including Perm, Moscow, Erevan, Sverdlovsk and Kaunas. There were also numerous protest activities at events including the 1956 Revolution Day parades around the country. One example included several Leningrad University students joining the main parade in 1956 shouting anti-Khrushchev slogans and declaring their opposition to the ongoing Soviet action in Budapest.28 In Yaroslavl, the student Lazaryants and two friends interrupted the main parade by marching toward the tribune with a banner demanding the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops from Hungary.29 Major state occasions, such as 1 May and 7 November, along with election days, regularly demonstrated a marked increase in dissenting behaviour. It is worth pointing out, however, that these were not only times of heightened political activity but also periods around which drunkenness tended to be more prevalent, and this was sometimes an important factor in dissenting behaviour at this time. The theme of a forthcoming revolution repeatedly came up in KGB investigation reports and protocols from this time, in the form of oral comments, anti-Soviet leaflets or letters. However, the reality seems to have been that,

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even among dissenters, there was little genuine desire for such a revolution and broad sympathy for the professed ideals of the regime continued to predominate. Instead one can perhaps ascribe such remarks to people simply being caught up in the excitement of the time and ‘playing at revolution’ now that the penalties for doing so were apparently less prohibitive. Furthermore, it has also been suggested that the regime’s own romanticized propaganda about the underground activities of pre-revolutionary Bolsheviks may have had some role in inspiring such behaviour among young people in particular.30 The 1958 Procurator review of sentences for anti-Soviet activity gives some useful statistical detail on the prevailing forms of dissent. Of the 1,964 sentences under article 58–10 in 1957, 91.3 per cent had acted alone, 6.1 per cent in groups of 2 or 3 people and a further 2.7 per cent in groups of 3 or more people. One-off acts constituted 37.4 per cent of all sentences, while repeated acts made up 62.6 per cent. The review discerned four forms of activity: oral expressions of a counter-revolutionary nature (57.3 per cent); anonymous anti-Soviet letters, diaries and songs (22.0 per cent); anti-Soviet leaflets (13.0 per cent); and possession of anti-Soviet literature (7.7 per cent).31 Anti-Soviet leaflets (listovki) were among the most consistently widespread manifestations of dissent under Khrushchev. The total number produced and distributed undoubtedly ran into hundreds of thousands over the course of the period. They were discovered by the KGB in practically every large and medium-sized town throughout the Soviet Union, sometimes pasted to walls and windows of public buildings or scattered on public transport, furtively left in mailboxes, or simply handed out in the street. The Procurator’s report showed that by some way the most common authors of such leaflets were young, educated, urban males. This is exactly the constituency one would expect to be most prevalent among dissenters in almost any society. In the early Khrushchev years these leaflets were most often produced by hand in only a few copies, but by the 1960s they were being reproduced by more technical methods and appeared in their hundreds or even thousands. Anonymous anti-Soviet letters (anonimiki) were another phenomenon that characterized dissenting activity during the Khrushchev years. Most frequently these letters were addressed to official bodies, such as the Central Committee or Supreme Court, individual representatives of the regime, editors of newspapers and journals and managers of industrial enterprises. In later years others were often sent abroad, either to ‘safe’ addresses in Germany and Holland that were broadcast by stations such as Radio Liberty or to foreign political figures, embassies and organizations. Numerous case files clearly demonstrate that those convicted for sending anti-Soviet letters had often sent them repeatedly and over several years until they were tracked down. Underground group activity also seems to have become more prevalent around this time (though it was not represented in the above-mentioned statistics). In most cases the activities of such groups were extremely limited. Most commonly they were made up of only three or four members and were uncovered by the KGB within a few months of being formed, during which

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time they had usually managed only to agree upon a manifesto and to distribute a handful of leaflets. Generally male-dominated, these underground organizations were usually based upon already existing friendship and professional groups. In most cases such groups did not tend to have formal organizational structures or regulations of membership because of their small size and generally informal nature. Later in the Khrushchev period underground groups tended to become more of a worker-based phenomenon and became more radical in their pronouncements, but at this stage they were made up mostly of students and, as Maurice Hindus argued in 1957, ‘The intellectual underground into which the student or any enquiring youth moves produces only talk; protests, parodies, anecdotes, songs for the relief of his frustration; it hides no guns, manufactures no bombs’.32 Names such as ‘The Worker-Peasant Underground Party’, ‘The Union of Revolutionary Leninists’, ‘The Group of Revolutionary Marxists’ and ‘The Union of New Communists’ all testified to the most common ideological trend among underground groups across the entire period. Alternatively labelled as ‘neo-Leninism’ or ‘neo-Bolshevism’, radical communist ideology was an important trend in most dissenting activity of the Khrushchev era, and nowhere more so than among those who participated in underground groups. Evidently, the authorities’ interpretation of ‘return to Leninism’ was not the same as that of many dissenters.

Role of the West In the authorities’ evaluation of the causes behind the rise in dissenting activity, great emphasis was placed on the role of the West in attempting to undermine the socialist bloc by stirring up domestic unrest inside the Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies.33 The parameters of this theme have not yet been widely explored in terms of the activities of foreign powers. More than anything else it seems that the ‘opening up’ of the Khrushchev years led to this situation. Important examples include the 1957 World Youth Festival, the increase in the number of foreign students studying in the Soviet Union, tourism and international cultural exchanges.34 Added to these officially endorsed aspects of ‘opening up’ was a raft of unofficial increases in citizens’ access to the outside world, most notably in the form of increasingly sophisticated and politicized foreign radio broadcasts. For years Soviet propaganda had told of terrible and inhuman conditions in the West, seemingly a factor that had ameliorated the many privations endured by the Soviet people. By the Khrushchev era this was an increasingly obvious lie. Looking at the way in which the people of the world’s only other superpower lived would most likely have had a particularly deflating effect upon Soviet citizens’ assessment of the communist regime. Similarly, this seems to have been the case for citizens of the former German Democratic Republic when comparing the successes and failures of their own state to those of the neighbouring Federal Republic of Germany.35

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The World Youth Festival played an early role in undermining official propaganda by educating young Soviet citizens about the West. According to Vladimir Bukovsky, a fifteen-year-old Muscovite in 1957, ‘meeting people from the West en masse for the first time meant that all this talk of “putrefying capitalism” became ridiculous. The importance of these events was comparable to the exposure of Stalin’.36 Its importance lay not just in exposing the authorities’ lies about the West, and indeed about life inside the Soviet Union as well as recent events in Hungary and Poland, but also in the atmosphere of freedom that briefly accompanied the festival not just in Moscow but elsewhere around the country.37 More than any other Western radio station, Radio Liberty consistently recurs in the case files of investigations against dissenters during this period as a catalyst for their ‘hostile’ behaviour. An important point to note in this respect is that, in line with Soviet accusations, the station actually was part of the United State’s propaganda effort against the Soviet regime. Set up, overseen and covertly funded by the CIA, the long-term goal of Radio Liberty was not dissimilar to that which the authorities alleged, that is to discredit the Soviet regime in the eyes of its citizens.38 The name of its official parent company Amcomlib (an acronym for ‘American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism’) clearly demonstrated that Radio Liberty was not simply an ordinary radio station. One example of this was demonstrated when Gene Sosin, an early Radio Liberty staff member, recalled how during the 1962 missile crisis the station regularly played messages such as ‘for every missile in Cuba, enough money, material and labour have been expended to provide shoes for 25,000 people’.39 Already inflammatory, broadcasting such material in late 1962, not long after a series of risings in protest at shortages and low wages, would undoubtedly have resounded among those who heard it. Even more openly hostile than Radio Liberty, though also partially funded by the CIA, was the Frankfurt-based White Émigré organization ‘People’s Labour Union’ or Narodnyi trudovyi soyuz, known as NTS. Although a semimythical ‘bogeyman’ figure in the campaigns against dissidents during the Brezhnev years, the efforts of NTS to stir unrest inside the Soviet Union during the Khrushchev era were considerable. A July 1956 report to the Central Committee from KGB chair Ivan Serov described the NTS strategy of sending hot-air balloons packed with anti-Soviet propaganda materials from West Germany across Soviet and East European territory. Serov reported that in the preceding six months a total of 806 balloons had been found in the Ukraine, Belarus, and a number of Russian provinces containing over 106,000 leaflets, brochures and newspapers.40 A further KGB report, dated 10 June 1960, warned that NTS had been attempting to establish contacts among Soviet tourists visiting West Germany and had tried to persuade them to smuggle leaflets into the Soviet Union to distribute them there.41 It seems that NTS had its greatest successes with anti-Soviet radio broadcasts. In Stavropol, a doctor’s assistant, M.M. Ermizin, posted tens of anti-Soviet

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leaflets between 1962 and 1964, to local and national newspapers and to the Central Committee Presidium in the name of NTS, calling for others to produce and circulate anti-Soviet materials and to hold strikes and risings.42 A further example is seen in the case against I.I. Unger, I.I. Kuk and V.G. Neifel0 d, all ethnic Germans from Tomsk province, in which the trio had recorded and transcribed a number of NTS radio broadcasts. On 14 October 1962, an election day, they attached the transcriptions to walls of factory buildings and stuffed them into the ballot box. One of the leaflets discovered in the ballot box read as follows: Voice of the People NTS calls on you to join the struggle against the Khrushchev dictatorship. Ask yourself the question: what exactly is ‘Soviet power’? The radio and press say nothing about many events that are happening in our country. For example, the rising in Temirtau, the attempt on Khrushchev’s life at the Soviet–Polish border and the strikes at the Kirov factory in Leningrad. Comrades! The time has come to struggle against the existing order. We have great faith in the strength of the people, Russia is waking up and we are hearing a new sound. It is the future! Of that there can be no doubt! NTS43 One of the less widely publicized themes of foreign promotion of dissenting activity in the Khrushchev era was that of Chinese anti-Soviet agitation. On 4 May 1963, KGB chair Vladimir Semichastnyi reported to the Central Committee that China was ‘continuing to send propaganda into the Soviet Union’ and that in April 1963 alone over 5,000 Chinese-made anti-Soviet brochures were uncovered by the KGB.44 This was followed on 20 May by a further communiqué that explicitly linked the Chinese regime to such documents. An informer named Chzhao Pin-Khyan reported to the KGB that the Chinese embassy in Moscow had been preparing anti-Soviet materials and forcing Chinese students in the Soviet Union to distribute them, as well as holding seminars that included sharp criticism of the Soviet leadership.45 Furthermore, it was soon discovered that the Albanian regime had been colluding with the Chinese in this behaviour. A report from the Ministry for the Protection of Public Order, dated 8 January 1964, stated that over 2,000 anti-Soviet leaflets had been discovered at the site of the recently vacated Albanian embassy in Moscow. Others had been posted to 356 individuals and official organizations around the country including libraries, newspapers and embassies.46 All this Chinese anti-Soviet propaganda was not without success, particularly in the Eastern provinces of the Soviet Union, where their radio broadcasts could best be heard. In August 1963, Komsomol members G.A.

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Svanidze, L.M. Kizilova and V.S. Miminoshvili were caught after pasting up leaflets in Batumi that called for Khrushchev to be overthrown, declaring ‘nash vozhd Mao-dze-dun!’ (our leader is Mao-Tse Tung).47 In December 1963, I.M. Panasetskii was sentenced for writing graffiti on a wall in Chernigov province with slogans such as ‘da zdravstvuet KPK’ (long live the Chinese Communist Party) and ‘da zdravstvuet Mao-tse-dun’ (long live Mao-Tse Tung).48 Leaflets supporting the Chinese position on various political questions were discovered in the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tatar and Bashkir ASSRs along with Novosibirsk and Omsk provinces. Others, such as a former Party worker named Fedoseev and several anti-Soviet groups, including one named the ‘Organization of Idealistic Communists’, had attempted to establish contacts with representatives of the Chinese regime offering to share hostile materials with them and to otherwise agitate on their behalf.49

Attacking Khrushchev From the late 1950s and early 1960s Khrushchev himself increasingly became the target of dissenters’ wrath. That he had alienated and infuriated most elements of society at some stage is not a new hypothesis, but the extent to which he seems to have provoked anger and dissatisfaction is somewhat surprising, especially when one considers the broadly positive light in which he is generally considered by Western historians today. Without accurate opinion polls one can not hope to give a definitive assessment of Khrushchev’s popularity among the entire Soviet public, though the prevailing signs are that it was not great. One example of this trend could be seen in a batch of leaflets distributed around various regions of Moscow by Yuri Grimm and Abdulbai Khasyanov in 1963.50 The pair produced and distributed 500 copies of three different leaflets. The second leaflet read as follows: Comrades! In the name of a happy life for the Soviet people, in the name of a bright future for our children, in the name of saving our country from the disgrace that the windbag Khrushchev has brought us to, demand that the Supreme Soviet quickly removes him from all of his positions together with all his toadies and names them all enemies of the people. Wake up comrades! Don’t wait for a change, make it happen!51 One of the reasons why Khrushchev was so widely resented was that he was deemed in some quarters, particularly among educated citizens, to be an embarrassment as a statesman. In a society that was becoming increasingly well educated, there seems to have been considerable resentment at being

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represented by a leader capable of boorish behaviour. His perceived lack of intelligence and sophistication, particularly when on the world stage, greatly damaged his standing in some circles. Ludmilla Alexeyeva recounted his July 1959 ‘kitchen debate’ with Richard Nixon at the American Exhibition as an event that caused a deep sense of shame in herself and her friends.52 His ‘shoe-banging’ episode at the UN, perceived mishandling of the Cuban Missile Crisis, reputedly frequent drunkenness and unrefined manners also seem to have contributed to undermining Khrushchev as a respected figure. Numerous people spoke out or wrote letters and leaflets criticizing Khrushchev for building his own personality cult. In addition, he was personally associated with a number of important measures that roused considerable anger among the population, such as the price increases of June 1962 and the campaign to sow grain in areas of the Soviet Union that were wholly unsuited to the crop. In his account of the Novocherkassk rising, Samuel Baron cited the case of one women being physically attacked solely because her surname was ‘Khrushcheva’.53 Khrushchev’s frequent and unfulfilled boasts about ‘catching up and overtaking’ the United States or about the improving living standards of the Soviet people also meant that he became the butt of countless jokes and was directly associated with failures and shortcomings in any number of areas. Importantly, however, for the most part the legitimacy of the regime itself was rarely questioned in such attacks on Khrushchev.

The 1960s By the early 1960s much dissenting activity had taken on a markedly more subversive tone, particularly in the realm of group activity among workers. For example, in September 1962 a group of three citizens were arrested in Sverdlovsk province. They had fashioned themselves as ‘The Revolutionary Party’ and had produced a programme of action. They pledged to establish contact with the embassies of capitalist states, to acquire weapons and to launch a wave of terror against the authorities, and to carry out agitational work against the regime from within the army.54 In June 1963, the Belarussian KGB arrested three participants of an underground group in Minsk, the members of which had begun to acquire weapons and explosives. They had drawn up detailed plans to blow up a Minsk radio station and to launch an attack on the militia.55 Although such occurrences were significant in themselves, it almost goes without saying that even groups that did manage to amass a few weapons did not represent any genuine threat to the stability of the regime. The impression remains that such groups were essentially still ‘playing at revolution’, though admittedly taking it to extremes in some cases. The summer of 1962 represents another notable highpoint in the levels of dissenting activity around the country. That this spell of heightened protest was rooted in material dissatisfaction has been well established. Yet,

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conversely, dissatisfaction had become sharper partly because living standards were actually improving, thereby raising aspirations and demands that the regime could not yet meet. Additional aggravating factors included growing resentment at government largesse in assistance to client states and the privileges enjoyed by bureaucrats and members of the political elite.56 The year 1962 saw a major resurgence of dissenting activity, as can be seen in a KGB report to the Central Committee from 25 July. In the first half of 1962, the security organs had recorded 7,705 anti-Soviet leaflets and documents distributed by 2,522 authors, a figure twice as high as that of the same period in 1961.57 Serious troubles were reported in numerous towns and cities.58 The first of these was a rising at Temir Tau in autumn 1959 in which over 500 workers, predominantly from Belarus and the Ukraine, protested against poor living conditions by erecting barricades in the street and throwing rocks at the militia. In Aleksandrov in the summer of 1961, workers went on strike and attacked the local militia station before attempting to march on the prison to free fellow workers. The situation in Vladimir, one of the Soviet Union’s main tourist centres, had apparently deteriorated so badly that the entire town was closed to tourists throughout 1961.59 The Novocherkassk uprising in 1962 was the biggest and most famous of all group protests during the Khrushchev period. According to Baron, it included over 5,000 protesters and resulted in an estimated 24 dead and 100 wounded.60 That the target of the protesters’ rage was not the regime itself but Khrushchev and the price rises with which he was associated further demonstrates both his own unpopularity and the continued general acceptance of the communist system’s legitimacy.61 However, it also demonstrates that social stability had become largely contingent upon the authorities’ ability to provide an acceptable standard of living, suggesting a decline in the importance of ideology in people’s everyday lives. While dissenting behaviour among workers in particular grew increasingly extreme, one could also detect some vital signs of what was to follow in the form of the pravozashchitniki (rights defenders) of the Brezhnev era, mainly drawn from Moscow’s liberal intelligentsia. Issues such as the lack of free speech and absence of a free media were not entirely novel to the early 1960s or unique to the intelligentsia, but it was at this time and among these people that they first came to be raised consistently as a theme of dissenting behaviour. Intelligentsia dissent was already showing signs of moving away from its neo-Leninist ideological base and becoming more politically heterogeneous in the late Khrushchev period, perhaps reflecting a more general decline in enthusiasm for the Soviet ‘project’ among this stratum of society. Among the most significant developments in terms of dissent in the second half of the Khrushchev period were a series of open-air poetry readings held at Mayakovsky Square in Moscow. These readings played an important role in the general fusing of political and cultural dissent during the mid-1960s. When the authorities unveiled a statue of Vladimir Mayakovsky in the summer of 1958 an official reading by approved poets had been followed by a

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spontaneous reading by volunteers in the crowd. These unofficial meetings then became more regular until it was decided that they were developing undesirable political overtones and were accordingly prohibited. In September 1960, Vladimir Bukovsky and Vladimir Osipov decided to revive the unofficial meetings at Mayakovsky Square and were soon attracting hundreds of listeners and readers to the centre of Moscow on Saturday and Sunday evenings.62 There was, however, an ulterior motive to the meetings according to Bukovsky, who claims to have organized the events in order to draw out likeminded people and to forge a network of contacts among other would-be dissidents.63 He was undoubtedly successful in achieving this goal; a short list of attendees included many major figures from the history of the Soviet human rights movement, such as Aleksandr Ginzburg, Yuri Galanskov, Eduard Aleksandr Esenin-Volpin and Natal0ya Gorbanevskaya, as well as Bukovsky and Osipov themselves.64 Samizdat literature – described by Solomon Volkov as ‘one of the main reservoirs of intellectual opposition’ – was an increasingly politicized phenomenon by the late Khrushchev era.65 Although the genre had existed for much of the Khrushchev period, its focus had been primarily cultural, often consisting of prohibited poetry and fiction by authors from both inside and outside of the Soviet Union.66 Among the most important samizdat documents that can be traced back to this period were Aleksandr Ginzburg’s underground literary journal Syntax (1959–60), Aleksandr Esenin-Volpin’s philosophical treatise A Leaf of Spring (1959) and a transcript of the trial proceedings against Joseph Brodsky on a trumped-up charge of parasitism, compiled by Frida Vigdorova (1964). Ironically, there is also some consensus among scholars that Khrushchev’s Secret Speech can be regarded as one of the very first items of political samizdat.67 Aleksandr Esenin-Volpin was undoubtedly one of the main figures in leading this transition of intelligentsia-based dissent away from the underground and toward the kind of legalist protest and criticism of the Brezhnev era. The most widely cited example of this were the events surrounding the February 1962 trial of Ilya Bakstein, Eduard Kuznetsov and Vladimir Osipov for their part in a plot to assassinate Khrushchev in 1961. Although such trials were declared ‘open’, in practice they were very much closed to the public. Vladimir Bukovsky summed up Volpin’s successful entry into the trial by demanding that the guards posted outside the courthouse observe rights guaranteed to citizens by the Soviet constitution: ‘little did we realise that this absurd incident, with the comical Alik Volpin brandishing his criminal code like a magic wand to melt the doors of the court, was the beginning of our civil rights movement and the movement for human rights in the USSR’.68

Conclusions During the early Khrushchev years the majority of dissent was predominantly pro-communist in nature and generally aimed at specific events, policies and

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individuals rather than questioning the overall legitimacy of the regime. However, as the era progressed, a gradual shift towards a wider sense of disillusionment with the regime was demonstrated in many examples of dissenting behaviour, which is something broadly reflective of general attitudes within society from around that time onwards. The extent to which acts of dissent received sympathy or support from the wider population is unclear, not least because it would appear that knowledge of dissenting behaviour was not always particularly widespread. Nonetheless, complaints about low living standards, bureaucratic privilege and shortages of essential goods would most likely have had a broad appeal among the masses. It is notable that most acts of dissent from this period attempted to exert leverage on the authorities by using the threat of domestic instability in the form of calls for strikes and armed uprisings, whereas in the Brezhnev years dissidents came to rely on the West to use diplomatic pressure to force concessions from the Soviet regime. This was a considerably more productive, as well as less dangerous, strategy. The West had, in fact, always been an important dimension in dissent even under Khrushchev, but it was not until the mid-1960s that it became a truly central actor as communication regularly began to flow outward as well as into the Soviet Union. Underground activity was clearly in decline among dissenters by the mid1960s, largely because it had proven ineffective and even counter-productive. Set-piece clashes, such as those of the early 1960s, did not recur on anything like the same scale. Both factors were partly a result of the authorities’ improved handling of discontent within society and also of the fact that the grievances of Soviet workers were increasingly placated by steady improvements in living standards. By the middle of the decade the overwhelming majority of those involved in dissenting behaviour were drawn from the intelligentsia, who were considerably less inclined to engage in such activities, generally regarding them not only as unproductive but even counter-productive. Although dissenting behaviour was considerable in scope in the Khrushchev years, and seems to have caused some anxiety for the authorities, most notably in 1957 and 1962, it probably never presented a realistic challenge to the stability of the regime. There was little genuine will for revolutionary change even amongst most dissenters. Many of those who were jailed were often only superficially or temporarily politicized and ultimately remained loyal to the regime or to the ideology on which it was based. Most of all, though, the authorities were simply too effective at policing society, by punishing serial dissenters, managing ‘borderline’ cases and later by addressing the material conditions that prompted much ephemeral dissent. However, this is not to suggest that the dissenting activity of the Khrushchev era was without an enduring impact, not least in the fact that the Soviet authorities were increasingly forced to take account of the public mood when creating and implementing policies. This was largely a result of the decision to abandon mass terror as a means of social control, but the growth of dissenting behaviour showed that the ‘inertia of fear’, which apparently played such

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a major role in maintaining social obedience, was in steady decline. That the threshold between discontent and protest or even violence had been considerably lowered was succinctly demonstrated in numerous towns and cities during the early 1960s, persuading the regime to take more seriously its role of providing an acceptable basic standard of living for the Soviet people.

Notes 1 M. Shatz, Soviet Dissent in Historical Perspective, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980, p. 10. 2 F. Barghoorn, ‘Soviet Political Doctrine and the Problem of Opposition’, Bucknell Review, no.12, May 1964, p. 5. 3 B. Nathans, ‘The Dictatorship of Reason: Aleksandr Vol0 pin and the Idea of Rights under “Developed Socialism”’, Slavic Review, vol. 66, no. 4, 2007, p. 632. 4 S. Davies, Popular Opinion in Stalin’s Russia: Terror, Propaganda and Dissent 1934–1941, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. 5 V. Kozlov, Mass Uprisings in the USSR: Protest and Rebellion in the Post-Stalin Years, London: M.E. Sharpe, 2002. 6 See, for example, L. Lur0 e and I. Malyarova (eds), 1956: seredina veka, Moscow: Olma-Press, 2007. 7 See E. Zubkova, Obshchestva i reformy: 1945–1964, Moscow: Rossiya molodaya, 1993. 8 M. Scammell, Solzhenitsyn: A Biography, New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1984, p. 404. 9 RGANI, f. 5, op. 30, d. 139, ll. 5–7. 10 K. Aimermakher (ed.), Doklad N. S. Khrushcheva o kul0 te lichnosti Stalina na XX s00 ezde KPSS: dokumenty, Moscow: Rosspen, 2002, p. 288. 11 Interview with Yuri Orlov, Ithaca, December 2006. 12 RGANI, f. 5, op. 30, d. 141, l. 13 13 V. Bukovskii, I vozvrashchaetsya veter, Moscow: Teatr, 1990, p. 179. 14 See, for example, Shatz, Soviet Dissent. 15 Interview with Zhores Medvedev, London, March 2007. 16 Interview with Aleksander Esenin-Vol0 pin, Revere, November 2006. 17 B. Vail0 , Osobo opasnyi, London: Overseas Publications Interchange Ltd, 1980, p. 23. 18 Interview with Mikhail Aksenov in I. Kirk, Profiles in Russian Resistance, New York: Quadrangle, 1975, p. 209. 19 M. Dobson, ‘“Show the Bandit Enemies no Mercy!”: Amnesty, Criminality and Public Response in 1953’, in P. Jones (ed.), The Dilemmas of De-Stalinization: Negotiating Cultural and Social Change in the Khrushchev Era, London: Routledge, 2006. 20 V. Kozlov, Neizvestnyi SSSR: protivostoyanie naroda i vlasti 1953–1985, Moscow: Olma-Press, 2006, p. 119. 21 Kozlov, Neizvestnyi SSSR, p. 119. 22 GARF, f. 8131, op. 32, d. 5080, l. 33. 23 Istochnik, 1995, no. 6, p. 153. There are two important facts to note here in order to maintain accuracy. First, the title ‘article 58–10’ actually only applied to the Russian republic because there was no unified Soviet criminal code; each union republic had its own equivalent article under a different title. Here I have used ‘article 58–10’ as shorthand for all cases of anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda across the entire Soviet Union. Second, article 58–10 was subsequently supplanted by article 70 of the new criminal code, but with little change to its provisions. 24 GARF, f. 8131, op. 32, d. 5080, l. 2.

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25 GARF, f. 8131, op. 31, d. 77322, ll. 1–4. 26 GARF, f. 8131, op. 31, d. 87486, ll. 1–2. 27 See, for example, F. Burlatsky, Khrushchev and the First Russian Spring: The Era of Khrushchev through the Eyes of his Adviser, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1991. 28 GARF, f. 8131, op. 31, d. 89522, ll. 1–4. 29 GARF, f. A-461, op. 2, d. 10996, l. 17. 30 V. Kozlov and S. Mironenko (eds), Kramola: inakomyslie v SSSR pri Khrushcheve i Brezhneve, 1953–1982, Moscow: Materik, 2005, p. 320. 31 GARF, f. 8131, op. 32, d. 5080, ll. 1–6. 32 M. Hindus, House Without a Roof: Russia after Forty Years of Revolution, London: Victor Gollancz, 1962, p. 383. 33 For example, this is a central theme of the KGB’s own account of its work during the Khrushchev era in V. Chebrikov et al., Istoriya Sovetskikh organov gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti: uchebnik, Moscow: Vysshaya krasnoznamennaya shkola komiteta gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti pri Sovete Ministrov SSSR, 1977. 34 On the World Youth Festival, see the chapter by Pia Koivunen in this volume. 35 See J. Grix, The Role of the Masses in the Collapse of the GDR, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000. 36 V. Bukovsky, To Build a Castle: My Life as a Dissenter, London: Andre Deutsch, 1978, p. 113. 37 See, for example, Leonid Plyushch’s recollections of his own youth in Odessa at this time: L. Plyushch, History’s Carnival: a Dissident’s Autobiography, London: Collins and Harvill Press, 1979. 38 See, for example, G. Sosin, Sparks of Liberty: An Insider’s Memoir of Radio Liberty, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999. 39 Sosin, Sparks of Liberty, p. 97 40 RGANI, f. 5, op. 30, d. 141, ll. 54–56. 41 RGANI, f. 5, op. 30, d. 320, l. 12. 42 GARF, f. 8131, op. 31, d. 97853, ll. 1–13. 43 GARF, f. 8131, op. 31, d. 94153, l. 9. 44 RGANI, f. 5, op. 30, d. 424, l. 67. 45 RGANI, f. 5, op. 30, d. 424, l. 82. 46 RGANI, f. 5, op. 30, d. 454, l. 8. 47 GARF, f. 8131, op. 31, d. 96151, ll. 1–3. 48 GARF, f. 8131, op. 31, d. 95901, l. 1. Transliteration as in originals. 49 RGANI, f. 5, op. 30, d. 435, ll. 3–6. 50 GARF, f. 8131, op. 31, d. 96712, ll. 22–23. 51 GARF, f. 8131, op. 33, d. 96712, l. 21. 52 L. Alexeyeva, The Thaw Generation: Growing Up in the Post-Stalin Era, Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1990, p. 105. 53 S. Baron, Bloody Saturday in the Soviet Union: Novocherkassk, 1962, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001, p. 29. 54 RGANI, f. 5, op. 30, d. 412, ll. 34–35. 55 RGANI, f. 5, op. 30, d. 412, ll. 70–77. 56 See, for example, Zubkova, Obshchestvo i reformy. 57 RGANI, f. 89, op. 51, d. 1, ll. 1–4. 58 V. Kozlov, Massovye besporyadki v SSSR pri Khrushcheve i Brezhneve, Novosibirsk: Sibirskii khronograf, 1999. 59 C. Gerstenmaier, The Voices of the Silent, New York City: Hart Publishing Company, 1972, p. 97. 60 Baron, Bloody Saturday, p. 69. See also the chapter by Joshua Andy in this volume. 61 Baron, Bloody Saturday, p. 37. 62 Bukovsky, To Build a Castle, p. 119. 63 Interview with Vladimir Bukovsky, Cambridge, March 2007.

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64 See L. Polikovskaya, ‘My predchuvstvie … predtecha’: ploshchad Mayakovskogo 1958–1965, Moscow: Obshchestvo ‘Memorial’, 1997. 65 S. Volkov, The Magic Chorus: A History of Russian Culture from Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn, New York: Alfred Knopf, 2008, p. 181. 66 These included George Orwell’s 1984, Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms and Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon. Of Soviet writers, Pasternak’s Dr Zhivago and Zamyatin’s We were among the most popular. 67 See, for example, the introductory remarks regarding the Open Society Archive’s holdings in relation to samizdat at: http://www.osa.ceu.hu/db/fa/300–385.htm. 68 Bukovsky, To Build a Castle, p. 131.

10 The Soviet military at Novocherkassk The apex of military professionalism in the Khrushchev era? Joshua C. Andy

Years of Soviet bureaucratic secrecy and silence surrounded the events of the workers’ uprising in Novocherkassk, which took place from 1 to 3 June 1962. It was not until May 1989 that any investigation into the tragic means used to end the uprising was undertaken from within the Soviet bureaucratic system. After the implementation of Gorbachev’s reforms, and the election of the Congress of Peoples’ Deputies, opinions were voiced to open an investigation into the events of June 1962. It was under those auspices that the Chief Military Procurator of the Soviet Union carried out the investigation into the Novocherkassk tragedy over the next several years. Shrouded in secrecy, the uprising in Novocherkassk is an important case study of internal policies in the Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev. It is the specific task of this study to examine the role of the Soviet armed forces during the Novocherkassk uprising. We know that Soviet Army units of the North Caucasian Military District (NCMD) were sent to Novocherkassk, along with internal troop units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD). This study attempts to discover the extent of the role played by standing army troops in suppressing the uprising on 2 June 1962. Did the standing army fire into the crowd gathered on Lenin Square or was that action carried out by troops of the MVD? The second question that this study addresses is the development of military professionalism within the Soviet Armed Forces and the impact of this on the actions of the Soviet military during the events in Novocherkassk. Did the actions of Soviet army officers represent their understanding of military professionalism? Had the Soviet armed forces developed a strong sense of professionalism, with the military as a professional caste, since the death of Stalin? In a study published in 1983, William Fuller, Jr. stated that the Soviet army was not assigned the duty to control internal disputes that arose between the Communist Party and the Soviet government on one hand and the population on the other. He does, however, state that the internal troops of the MVD were tasked with carrying out an internal function ‘relating to the control of dissatisfied elements in the population’.1 Contrary to the work of Fuller is that of William Odom, specialist in civil–military relations in the Soviet Union. Odom, in his work on the disintegration of the Soviet armed forces, states that ‘during the entire post-1945 period, the Soviet military conducted

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combat operations almost exclusively against the peoples inside the Soviet camp’, and that an integral function of the regular military was the ‘maintenance of communist parties’ rule in countries where they already held power’.2 Odom proceeds to state that the Soviet army was used as reinforcement for the internal troops of the MVD to put down domestic uprisings and protests in the Soviet Union, giving as an example Novocherkassk in 1962.3 How to evaluate these studies, which show polar opposites on the role of the military at Novocherkassk, is the primary task of this study. However, pinpointing the exact role of the regular military at Novocherkassk is difficult. A primary hindrance to any study of the Soviet military is a lack of primary documentation, especially from the Central Military Archives held outside Moscow at Podolsk. Military information must, therefore, be accessed from those archives of the Communist Party and the state that are available for research. Given the status of archival work on defence and military issues in the Russian Federation, it may never be possible to pinpoint exactly the role of the Soviet army during the Novocherkassk uprising in 1962; however, through those primary sources currently available, coupled with the secondary sources concerning the subject, this study sheds light on a period of Soviet history that warrants greater evaluation. Dilemmas arise when researching Novocherkassk. Files pertaining to the trials following the uprising are easily accessible; however, those of the Ministry of Defense or the General Staff are inaccessible, particularly to Western scholars. Documents that would provide insight into the operations of the Soviet armed forces in connection with the uprising in Novocherkassk have not yet been made available. The lack of primary documentation from the Soviet military is a problem when researching events in Novocherkassk; the problem will not be solved in the foreseeable future as access to this material remains closed. All information concerning the role of the military in Novocherkassk is in the form given by those military personnel who were present in June 1962. Nevertheless, there is the possibility that these sources are biased in order to skew the events in order to present the interviewee in a better light. The workers’ uprising at Novocherkassk arose from a myriad of reasons. On 17 May 1962, the Central Committee approved a Council of Minister’s proposal to raise the state purchase and sale price of basic foodstuffs, such as meat, milk and butter. Beginning on 1 June, the prices of meat and poultry were to increase by 35 per cent, while the prices of milk and butter were to increase by 25 per cent.4 Dissatisfaction with the decision was widespread throughout the Soviet Union. Leaflets circulated in Moscow, Kiev, Leningrad, Chelyabinsk and Donetsk calling for workers’ strikes to protest the price increase. As we know now, large-scale, and the most dramatic, resistance to the increase in prices occurred at the Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Works named in honour of Budenny (NEVZ). The NEVZ factory employed 13,000 workers at the facility 7 kilometres from the city of Novocherkassk, in the Rostov region.5 To make matters worse, on 1 January 1962, wages of the workers at NEVZ were lowered by

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30 to 35 per cent. This was due to an increased production target, meaning longer hours at the same pay.6 Workers’ take home pay, or real wages, decreased as they were now expected to work longer and produce more. The uprising in Novocherkassk lasted from 1 June through to 3 June. Local militia and police units arrived at NEVZ after a significant number of workers gathered in the main courtyard demanding ‘meat, milk and higher wages’. It was not until the evening of 1 June that the local militia, numbering approximately 220, arrived at NEVZ.7 They were turned away by the striking workers. Subsequent attempts by the militia and local garrison to enter NEVZ were unsuccessful, but thus far there had been no violent clashes between the military and the workers. The situation was greatly inflamed by the poor actions taken by the Party officials from the Rostov regional committee, the Novocherkassk city committee, and the director of NEVZ, B.N. Kurochkin. Kurochkin’s insensitive remarks fanned the flames of an already tense situation within the gates of the factory. A.P. Basov, the First Secretary of the Rostov provincial Party organization, merely restated the government decree on the price increases. These events sent the crowd into frenzy and sparked them to hurl objects at the balcony of the administrative building being used as a rostrum for the speakers.8 At that point the Party officials and administrative staff of NEVZ were captives within the administrative building. They were unable to leave through the ever-increasing crowd of workers. The role of the military during the uprisings in Novocherkassk began in the late evening of 1 June. General of the Army, Issa A. Pliyev, was commanderin-chief of the North Caucasus Military District. Minister of Defence of the Soviet Union, Marshal R. Ya. Malinovsky, on Khrushchev’s instructions, cabled Pliyev on 1 June and ordered him to ready his troops and concentrate them in and around Novocherkassk. V.A. Kozlov states that Malinovsky told Pliyev to: ‘Raise a formation. Do not use tanks. Restore order. Give me a report’.9 Pliyev and troops of the North Caucasus Military District arrived in Novocherkassk on the evening of 1 June. Reports are varied on the interaction between the Communist Party and the military in the early stage of the events in Novocherkassk. Party officials made numerous calls to military commanders to bring forces to Novocherkassk. The calls were rebuffed again and again. Sergei Khrushchev writes that Rostov Party Secretary Basov called a Colonel Shargorodsky and ordered him to reimpose order at NEVZ; Shargorodsky refused on the basis that he, and the military, were not subordinate to the provincial Party apparatus. Pliyev approved of Shargorodsky’s actions in opposing the orders from the Party. Only after the orders came from Malinovsky, as stated above, did the Soviet armed forces take action and move into Novocherkassk. Three thousand Soviet army troops arrived in Novocherkassk under the command of Pliyev. Immediately the military took up positions at the gas depot, the city Party headquarters, police and KGB buildings, the bank, post and telegraph offices, and the radio station. General M.V. Shaposhnikov, Pliyev’s second in command, ordered a curfew for the city, and he posted a military

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guard outside of NEVZ. Accounts differ as to the willingness of the military to become involved in an internal dispute between the Soviet state and its population. Throughout the three days the KGB maintained that ‘officers and soldiers involved lacked determination and stood as if paralyzed’.10 On the heels of the arrival of the Pliyev’s forces, over a hundred KGB operatives came to Novocherkassk. The Communist Party leadership sent Colonel-General Pyotr Ivashutin, the First Deputy Chair of the KGB, to Novocherkassk with the operatives. It was their task to infiltrate the workers gathered at NEVZ and to gather information on the ringleaders, taking note of who was making speeches, secretly taking photographs of those involved. The KGB operatives were dressed in plainclothes as workers.11 When the Soviet army forces arrived at NEVZ the Party bosses from the province and the city, along with the factory administration, were still holed up within the factory, unwilling to venture out of the administration building. According to the account by V.A. Kozlov, it was the regular military units, operating alongside members of the KGB and army intelligence (the GRU), who rescued the men held up within the factory. Late in the evening on 1 June five trucks with soldiers and three armoured personnel carriers arrived at the gates of the factory. They were not there to use force to suppress the strike but to free the Party bosses. The army units stopped short of the gate and took the verbal abuse of the workers while members of the KGB and the GRU liberated the hostages. The units at the gates were intended to distract the workers’ attention while their counterparts safely retrieved the hostages without the use of weapons. At no point in this operation were weapons used against the hostile crowd.12 Samuel Baron paints another picture of the events that led to the successful removal of the hostages from the administration building. According to Baron, orders were given to Pliyev from Kirilenko to send a force in strength to liberate Basov and the others from the factory grounds. Pliyev then ordered the commander of the 406th Tank Regiment, Colonel Mikheev, to go to NEVZ to carry out the order from Kirilenko. Thirty to forty troops accompanied Mikheev but were barred by the workers from entering the factory grounds. That contingent left NEVZ without incident. By the time another sortie to the factory was ordered by Kirilenko, under the command of General I. Oleshko, commanding officer of the Novocherkassk garrison, Basov and the other hostages had already been released by the combined operation of the KGB and military intelligence led by General M.V. Shaposhnikov.13 At that juncture, Shaposhnikov advised the striking workers to send a delegation to state their grievances and needs to the members of the Communist Party Central Committee Presidium who had arrived in Novocherkassk.14 Shaposhnikov was to play a key role in the events of the following day, when the brute force of the Soviet state was brought to bear against those for whom it had been founded, the proletariat. General M.V. Shaposhnikov, awarded Hero of the Soviet Union for his service during the Second World War, played an integral role in the events of

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2 June. Shaposhnikov was born in 1906 in Voronezh; he was educated at university and had been a member of the Communist Party since 1930. He had been Deputy Commander of the North Caucasus Military District since 1960. General Shaposhnikov was a vocal critic of the policies of Nikita Khrushchev, both with respect to the military as well as the Party. Despite the suffering the Soviet officer corps endured under Stalin, he believed more than anything that the XX Party Congress had hurt the image and standing of the Party. Shaposhnikov was a popular Stalinist in that sense; despite this, he believed in the rehabilitation of Stalin’s victims.15 Shaposhnikov disagreed with Khrushchev’s military doctrine, specifically the sole reliance on strategic rocketry. He opposed troop reductions to the conventional forces, as well as budgetary and military expenditure cuts. He was of the opinion that nuclear weapons were nothing more than a diplomatic tool; perhaps in that respect he was very similar to Khrushchev.16 After General Pliyev was given command of the Soviet Group of Forces in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Shaposhnikov became Commander-in-Chief of the North Caucasus Military District. On Pliyev’s return he reverted to his former position as Deputy Commander. In 1966, he was transferred to the reserves.17 However, his misfortune was just beginning. On 7 September 1967, he was indicted on charges under Article 70, concerning anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda. The indictment stated that Shaposhnikov, in July 1962, had ‘prepared and preserved in his apartment an anonymous letter-appeal with anti-Soviet content’, and that he circulated various letters of protest against the Khrushchev regime under a pseudonym.18 Only after an appeal to the head of the KGB, Yuri Andropov, were the charges dismissed, but the damage had been done. Hero of the Soviet Union, General M.V. Shaposhnikov was expelled from the Communist Party. The night before when Shaposhnikov arrived at NEVZ he explicitly ordered those under his command to unload their weapons.19 There was to be no live ammunition. When General Pliyev arrived in Novocherkassk he told Kirilenko that the Soviet army had no role to play in internal disputes between the population and the Soviet government. Its sole mission was to defend the Soviet Union against outside aggression from foreign foes. What was happening in Novocherkassk was the responsibility of the police and the MVD’s internal security forces. Civil disorder did not fall under the purview of the Soviet army.20 Both Shaposhnikov’s and Pliyev’s actions on the night of 1 June illustrated the mindset of the military. Military professionalism had strengthened. Although the Soviet armed forces were born in the violent days of the October Revolution as the Red Guards, with the sole aim of usurping and retaining power, by brutality if needed, they had developed into a modern professional army. The Party’s hold on power was no longer in question, and the Soviet military strongly felt the time had well passed when it should be called upon to defend the Party and the state from an internal threat, especially at the height of the Cold War.21 It was with that mindset that the Soviet military operated throughout the Novocherkassk uprising. Shaposhnikov and Pliyev were first and foremost

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military professionals; both felt that internal policing was not within the framework of a modern military. Shaposhnikov was to play a key role in the events the following day, 2 June 1962. Still in the morning of 2 June, the soldiers posted at NEVZ, under the command of Shaposhnikov, did not have live ammunition; however, forces posted elsewhere, both regular military and troops of the internal forces of the MVD, were given live ammunition on the orders of Frol Kozlov.22 The workers gathered at NEVZ on the morning of 2 June. A decision was made that if the leaders of the Communist Party in Novocherkassk would not come to hear their complaints and grievances, then the workers would go to them. In order to reach the city centre the workers had to cross the Tuzlov river, which served as a natural border between the city and its industrial area. Estimates of the number of people marching to the city centre from NEVZ are anywhere from 5,000 to 12,000 citizens. The procession of workers, women and children has been described by Kozlov as a Leninist march; harkening back to the early days of the Soviet state to a more pure, untainted idea of Marxism-Leninism. Despite the column of workers marching to the city centre behind a large portrait of Lenin and red banners, the crowd became raucous and increasingly aggressive as drunks and loiterers joined the procession.23 Vadim Makarevsky, a member of Pliyev’s staff, compared the procession to that of the workers marching on the Winter Palace in 1917; Baron compared the procession to that of 1905 led by Father Gapon, which ended in the horrible events of Bloody Sunday. General Shaposhnikov positioned his units on the bridge over the Tuzlov river as ordered to by Pliyev.24 He was not to let the procession move into the city and was to stop it at the river. As he had done the previous night, Shaposhnikov made sure that the soldiers and tanks on the bridge were armed but had no ammunition. Despite the presence of armed forces across the span of the bridge, the workers continued their march. At this point the soldiers could have acted forcibly to stop the demonstration; however, Shaposhnikov had no desire to use force against the workers for which the state had been founded. His order not to distribute ammunition is a testament to that. The workers moved in and about the soldiers and tanks making their way across the river and into Novocherkassk. They made their way through the shallow waters of the river or simply over and around tanks. At no time were there serious moves by the military to stop the procession even as workers climbed over and on tanks. The testimonial of one worker, Peter Suida, describes how individual soldiers even helped men and women climb onto and over the tanks blocking the way over the Tuzlov river.25 Those were not the actions of a reactionary military hell-bent on enforcing stringent policies of the Communist Party. In Novocherkassk, the City Committee (gorkom) of the Communist Party had their offices in a building on Lenin Square. It was here that the final confrontation between the Party, the police, the KGB and the military was to occur. Party leadership representatives from Moscow, along with Basov, were in the gorkom building. The workers had decided that if the Communist

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Party would not come to them at NEVZ to discuss their grievances, then they would go to the leadership. Once across the Tuzlov river, the demonstration turned towards Lenin Square. A small group of people, between thirty and fifty, made the decision to go to the headquarters of the police and KGB, housed in the same building, to free the workers who had been arrested the previous night. E.P. Levchenko, a woman arrested on the night of 1 June, called for the workers to liberate their fellow workers from the police and KGB headquarters. Baron describes the events at the headquarters on 2 June; however, documents published in the early 1990s illustrate that already by 2 June those being held by the police and KGB had either been released or been taken out of Novocherkassk.26 The misfortune of attempting to free workers who were no longer there had dire consequences and placed the workers and the Soviet army on a collision course. Once at the KGB and police headquarters the workers proceeded to act very irrationally. The Soviet army had taken up positions in and around the key government office building, along with the 505th MVD Regiment, commanded by N.S. Malyutin. Worker Levchenko told the crowd that there was no chance that the soldiers could shoot all of the 30 to 50 workers converging on the building. The workers entered the building by force, as the soldiers fired a warning shot into the air. The troops inside the building fired another warning shot before one of the workers grabbed for a rifle. At that moment the soldier fired into the crowd. The workers fled into the courtyard, where more troops opened fire. In this exchange five workers were killed and thirty were arrested.27 According to V.A. Kozlov, only one of the attackers was killed by the soldiers. In all the confusion of these events, N.S. Malyutin defends himself stating that he never gave orders to open fire on the protesting workers, and once he got a handle on the situation ordered those in the courtyard to stop firing their weapons. In all the confusion at the KGB and police headquarters it was difficult to ascertain exactly who began shooting. Was it the regular army troops from Pliyev’s divisions, or was it the internal troops of the MVD? We can be certain that the incident was sparked by the forceful entry and subsequent behaviour of the workers led by Levchenko. Loss of life had resulted, but the worst was about to happen on Lenin Square, where it has been estimated that from 50 to 100 people were killed when forces of the Soviet state opened fire on the crowd gathered in front of the gorkom building. Which troops shot into the crowd of thousands, not just workers, but their families, including women and children? Who gave the order to use deadly force? Certainly, the order came from the highest echelons of the Communist Party leadership. Close to noon on 2 June, tanks and personnel carriers of the 18th Tank Division were brought into Lenin Square. General Ivan Oleshko commanded these forces; he was commander-in-chief of the Novocherkassk garrison. He ordered the troops to form a semicircle between the gorkom building and the demonstrating workers.28 However, both V.A. Kozlov and Baron, as a result of their research, challenge this version of events.

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Baron states that Soviet army soldiers peacefully cleared the gorkom of any protesting workers. Then General Oleshko, not with regular army troops, but with eighty MVD internal forces soldiers, entered the square. They formed a semicircle in front of the gorkom building, and Oleshko took up a position on the balcony.29 V.A. Kozlov’s research has led him to a similar version of the events on Lenin Square. Under the command of Oleshko, MVD internal forces arrived on the square. Oleshko addressed the crowd, ordering them to disperse and return to work or home. One volley was fired over the heads of the gathered workers as a warning shot. Someone in the crowd on the square screamed, ‘Don’t be afraid, they are shooting blanks’.30 After that was said, men from the crowd rushed towards the soldiers. Another warning shot was fired. A single shot third volley was fired directly into the crowd. Baron disagrees. He states that one warning shot was fired, and then Oleshko counted to three. On three, the soldiers under his command opened fire into the crowd and sustained their fire for three to four minutes.31 However, Baron, through his research findings, has come to the conclusion that Oleshko never gave the order for the second, deadly volley of gunfire.32 V.A. Kozlov strongly stated that Oleshko never gave the order to fire into the crowd; he stood from his vantage point on the balcony of the gorkom building ordering his troops to cease fire.33 Sergei Khrushchev reiterates the position of Kozlov in his own work. According to Sergei Khrushchev, the soldiers fired into the crowd until they had spent all their ammunition, but there had never been an order to open fire on the unarmed, predominantly peaceful crowd. Kozlov stated that there was no evidence that the crowd moved forward to attack the soldiers or reach for their weapons.34 Conversely, William Taubman interviewed Vadim Makarevsky, an officer on Pliyev’s staff, who does give evidence to the contrary. Makarevsky told Taubman that the shooting was accidental when protestors on the square moved forward the grabbed for the soldiers’ rifles.35 However, central to this study is the question of who fired those deadly shots: was it the Soviet army or the MVD internal forces? Roger Reese bluntly stated that internal troops of the MVD fired the deadly shots into the crowd on 2 June 1962. Further, Reese asserted neither Shaposhnikov nor Oleshko would have ordered their men to fire into an unarmed crowd of Russians.36 Baron gave two scenarios as to what occurred on Lenin Square. Captain V.P. Chetverikin, a member of the intelligence battalion in the 18th Tank Division, stated that some regular army soldiers were involved that day.37 However, Chetverikin’s post as an intelligence officer gives more support for a cooperative operation between military intelligence, the MVD and the KGB. Perhaps certain units, and even certain officers, were chosen to take part in the operation Lenin Square. Baron’s conclusion is that the KGB, the MVD and to a small extent the regular army carried out the operation clearing Lenin Square in front of the gorkom building. It can be argued that the MVD and other intelligence agencies of the Soviet state played a much greater role than the Soviet army in the violent end to the

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uprising in Novocherkassk. The MVD and KGB sent divisions of internal troops and operatives to Novocherkassk. Evidence shows that MVD forces were on Lenin Square when the workers were shot. Officers and troops within the MVD were more predisposed to handling internal disputes of the state. It was their main function, unlike that of the Soviet armed forces. V.A. Kozlov stated that the use of weapons was not motivated by any need for a policing action but was more a political necessity.38 This is certainly a valid statement, especially when taken in retrospect and hindsight looking at the whole of the Khrushchev era. Already by the early 1960s, Khrushchev had decided that de-Stalinization had gone too far. He had lost control of it somewhat. Also, through de-Stalinization, Khrushchev had lost the one tool the Soviet state used to maintain compliance with the system, that is coercion. Novocherkassk represented a reimposition of coercive measures. Dmitri Volkogonov stated that Novocherkassk ‘was the Stalinist accompaniment to Khrushchev’s reforms’.39 There were many reports at the time that non-Russian, non-Slavic, military units were brought into Novocherkassk.40 Certainly there were non-Russian soldiers within the North Caucasus Military District solely because of its geographic location. Further accounts by Boiter and Solzhenitsyn, cited by Charles Ziegler, tell of ethnic Russian, Slavic, troops brought in to Novocherkassk, after 2 June, to replace the troops from the Caucasus.41 ‘Although the army could be relied upon to suppress revolt in the satellite nations of the Eastern bloc, its willingness to kill Slavic Soviet citizens was not assured’.42 Moreover, Suida argued that the soldiers at the police and KGB building and on Lenin Square were soldiers from the Caucasus and not of ethnic Russian origin.43 No longer could the Communist Party look to the Soviet armed forces to quell an internal uprising; no longer were the Soviet armed forces to be the coercive baton of Soviet power. By the 1960s, there was already widespread dissatisfaction within the Communist Party with Nikita Khrushchev. Popular dissatisfaction with Khrushchev increased at the same time, especially after the incident in Novocherkassk. For the citizens of Soviet Russia, Novocherkassk epitomized the failure of Khrushchev to forge an alliance with the masses, an alliance necessary to garner support for his ill-conceived reforms.44 By introducing the Soviet army into Novocherkassk, the Soviet government provoked a strong reaction from the gathered masses. None of those gathered at NEVZ, marching over the Tuzlov river or gathered on Lenin Square believed that ‘their’ Soviet army would fire at its own people. V.A. Kozlov’s work on this aspect of the Novocherkassk uprising illustrates how the Soviet government pre-determined the ‘socio-psychological’ shape of events in Novocherkassk.45 Up to 300 citizens were arrested in the search for the key individuals who led the protests. A few days after the shooting on Lenin Square, 146 ringleaders remained in custody awaiting trial. Found guilty, many were sent far from Novocherkassk. Despite amnesties earlier in the Khrushchev period, the penal camp system was still in use against peoples deemed to be politically

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harmful to the Soviet state. Those convicted of anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda were sent to the Komi ASSR.46 Of the fourteen who were brought to a show trial in Novocherkassk in the succeeding days, seven were given death sentences.47 To this day we do not have an accurate figure for those killed at Novocherkassk. Figures from the Chief Military Procurator’s investigation into Novocherkassk, carried out on the orders of the Congress of Peoples’ Deputies in the early 1990s, state that twenty-five people were killed, more than fifty wounded, and over twenty more were injured in the rush to leave the square.48 Immediately after the events, Generals Shaposhnikov and Oleshko were not punished for any actions they had taken in the three-day uprising. As stated above, Shaposhnikov replaced Pliyev, when the former was given the post of commander-in-chief of the Soviet Group of Forces in Cuba.49 General Oleshko was stationed to the Far East as a deputy corps commander. Later he went on to be an instructor at the General Staff Academy. The local Communist Party and NEVZ officials fared much worse than the military commanders. Basov, the first secretary of Rostov region, was removed and joined the diplomatic corps. On 4 June, Kurochkin, the director of NEVZ, was relieved of his post. P.A. Abroskin replaced him; Abroskin was director at NEVZ in the 1950s, he was well-liked, and worked for improvements in the conditions of the workers.50 For its part, the KGB laid the blame for the outcome of events at the feet of the Soviet military. On 4 June 1962, Semichastny reported to Khrushchev grumblings from the military. Semichastny told Khrushchev of ‘unhealthy utterances’ coming from the military. According to Semichastny, the military were blaming Khrushchev’s cult of personality on the woes of Soviet society. Soldiers were overheard stating that under Stalin at least prices had remained stable if not reduced. Semichastny finally reported that the military were heard to say: ‘if the people were to revolt now, we would not try to put them down’.51 The Communist Party leadership remained cemented in their position on the price increases. The leadership took no blame for what happened in Novocherkassk. Khrushchev blamed everyone but himself. He stated it was the ‘local idiots [who] started shooting’.52 The interaction among the top Party leadership in Novocherkassk can only be described as tense. There was a natural division within the group. Kozlov and Kirilenko were allied together in their almost Stalinist, staunch, conservative outlook on the situation in Novocherkassk. When Frol Kozlov arrived in the city he took control of the Party apparatus, the militia and police, and believed he could control the army. However, as I have already stated, Pliyev and his staff ardently stood by their military professionalism and took orders only through the military chain of command, with Minister of Defence Marshal Malinovsky at the apex of that structure.53 Frol Kozlov believed force should be used to crush the striking workers back into submission. Sergei Khrushchev quoted Kozlov as stating that, ‘weapons should be used. A thousand people should be placed in railroad cars and removed

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from the city’.54 As we can see from the interaction between Kirilenko and Pliyev on the first night in Novocherkassk, the latter was ready to use brute force to rescue the Party and factory officials holed up in the factory’s administration building. However, according to Sergei Khrushchev, his father ordered Shelepin and Kirilenko to end the standoff with the workers through peaceful solution. Throughout the three-day uprising, Shelepin and Anastas Mikoyan were the stalwarts; they were always looking for a peaceful end to the Novocherkassk uprising. Mikoyan wanted to go to the workers and discuss their grievances with them. Kozlov vetoed that move. There was to be no negotiation with the anti-Soviet agitators. S.E. Finer, in his work on civil–military relations, wrote that military intervention can act against the wishes of the government, or the military may refuse outright to act when called upon by its own government. Being asked to fire against its own citizens, the Soviet army acted just as Finer predicted and acted against the wishes of the Soviet government and Communist Party. Reese states that Novocherkassk ‘reflect[ed] the growing professionalism of the army in that it rebelled against being used as a police force, and until the late 1980s the regime refrained from putting the army in such a position again’.55 For Finer, any society must be based on the premise of civil supremacy. As military professionalism develops, the military consciously views itself as servants of the state rather than the government in power.56 Certainly by 1962, the military viewed itself as a profession, a separate caste of Soviet society. Marshal Zhukov had seen to it that this was the case, and his successors within the Soviet high command had continued that process. Above all the military was to fight a foreign enemy, not to act as an internal control. Finer went on to discuss the Soviet Union in depth, stating that the Soviets were ‘extremely careful not to use the armed forces as an internal police force; instead it has established hand-picked troops, the MVD regiments, for all such repressive work’.57 The founder of the Soviet state, Vladimir Lenin, was of the same opinion on the primary task of a regular standing army. Lenin argued in 1903 that a Russian state ruled by social democrats needed no standing army for defence or protection. Lenin stated: a standing army is an army that is divorced from the people and trained to shoot down the people. … If the soldier were not locked up for years in barracks and inhumanely drilled there, would he ever agree to shoot down his brothers, the workers and the peasants?58 Writing in 1905, Lenin stated: In every State, everywhere, a standing army serves as a tool against the internal enemy rather than against an external one. Everywhere it turns into a tool of reaction, serving capital against the toilers, a hangman strangling the liberty of the people on the gallows … 59

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Prior to 1917–18, Lenin had argued against a standing army and for the abolition of the tsarist Imperial Army. Nevertheless, once he had taken power with the Bolsheviks, he was a staunch supporter of a standing army because one was needed to maintain the sovereignty and security of the newborn Soviet state. Capitalism and imperialism were the enemies of the new Soviet state from which a standing army was to protect against. That threat had not passed in the 1950s and 1960s. Khrushchev’s Cold War rhetoric necessitated a strong, modern, standing army. Lenin was against a regular standing army used for the internal control of the state; thus, it was a founding tenet of the first socialist state, which Khrushchev, as an avowed pure Leninist, should not have forgotten and put the Soviet army in a position where it had to choose between military professionalism and subservience to the state. Stanislav Andreski, in Military Organization and Society, wrote that ‘so long as the government retains the loyalty of the armed forces, no revolt can succeed’.60 Certainly the uprising at Novocherkassk was crushed with violence. The Soviet armed forces remained loyal to the regime from its inception in October/November 1917 until the final day of the regime in 1991. However, the Soviet armed forces became a strong professional military during the 1950s and 1960s. Released from the Stalinist stranglehold on military professionalism, the Soviet armed forces strongly believed that their role was not as an internal policing unit but to defend the Soviet Union from an outside aggressor. The officers at Novocherkassk – Pliyev, Shaposhnikov and Oleshko – argued time and time again that the military had no role to play in suppressing the uprising, even though it was being thrust upon them by the Communist Party. Shaposhnikov’s individual actions at the gates of NEVZ on 1 June, and at the Tuzlov river bridge the following morning, illustrate the lengths to which the military was willing to go to limit its role in the containment of the workers. Without Shaposhnikov’s actions, the death toll would have been considerably higher. An interview with General Shaposhnikov was published in Komsomol0 skaya pravda on 2 June 1989.61 The interview caught the eye of the Dean of the Law Faculty of Leningrad University, Anatoly Sobchak. It was Sobchak and other members of the soon-to-be Congress of Peoples’ Deputies who called for a formal government investigation into the events of Novocherkassk. The Chief Military Procurator’s office carried out that investigation. Despite the investigation being carried out during Gorbachev’s glasnost0 , the findings were inconclusive on this issue of which forces actually fired upon the crowd gathered on Lenin Square. The verdict, however, does place the blame for the outcome directly on the shoulders of Khrushchev and the Party leadership, as follows: Materials of the investigation allow one to conclude that the decision made on the spot by members of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU to use firearms was not agreed upon beforehand with

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Khrushchev. As already noted, initially Khrushchev was against the use of extreme measures. Then, as the situation deteriorated, he began to demand that order be restored by any method up to the use of weapons – however, with the proviso: if the government offices are seized.62 Thus, from the findings of the investigation, one can conclude that the use of force was approved by Khrushchev in the event that the government offices came under assault. However, the final decision was in the hands of the Communist Party officials, Frol Kozlov, Kirilenko, Shelepin and Mikoyan. It was their decision when force was necessitated by the actions of the striking workers. Military professionalism achieved great status while Khrushchev was in power. However hard he tried to rein the military under the control of the Party, the military resisted. There is no concrete evidence to prove that the military did not play some role in the events at Novocherkassk. Despite this, there is enough evidence from participants, both military as well as worker participants, to conclude that the Soviet armed forces acted with the utmost military professionalism throughout the events of 1–3 June 1962. The soldiers and their officers refused to be pawns of the Communist Party in the execution of its own internal disputes with the workers of the Soviet state.

Notes 1 William C. Fuller, Jr., The Internal Troops of the MVD SSSR, College Station Papers no. 6, College Station, Texas: October 1983, p. 14. 2 William Odom, The Collapse of the Soviet Military, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998, p. 244. 3 Odom, Collapse of the Soviet Military, p. 245. 4 Erik Kulavig, Dissent in the Years of Khrushchev: Nine Stories About Disobedient Russians, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, p. 128. William Taubman, Khrushchev: The Man and his Era, New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 2003, p. 518. Taubman writes that the price increase made economic sense as consumer prices set by the state had never covered the cost of production of those foodstuffs. 5 Samuel Baron, Bloody Sunday in the Soviet Union: Novocherkassk 1962, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001, p. ix. 6 Piotr Suida, ‘The Novocherkassk Tragedy: 1–3 June 1962,’ Russian Labor Review, 1988 [translated from the samizdat periodical Obshchina]. Suida was a worker at NEVZ and participant in the uprising. He was arrested early in the day on 2 June. In the subsequent trial he was given a twelve-year sentence; he served four years and was released in 1966 when his mother made a personal appeal to Anastas Mikoyan. He worked the rest of his life to find the truth of the Novocherkassk tragedy. 7 Kulavig, Dissent, p. 138. 8 Vladimir Kozlov, Mass Uprisings in the USSR: Protest and Rebellion in the PostStalinist Years, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2002, p. 238. Kurochkin taunted the crowd by suggesting, ‘If there isn’t enough money for meat and sausage, let them [the workers] eat pirozhki with liver’ (Baron, Bloody Sunday, p. 26). For a detailed description of the events of 1–3 June 1962, see Kozlov’s and Baron’s writings on the subject.

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9 Kozlov, Mass Uprisings, p. 239. 10 Baron, Bloody Sunday, p. 33. 11 Yurii Bagraev and Vladislav Pavlyutkin, ‘Novocherkassk, 1962-i: tragediya na ploshchadi’, Krasnaya zvezda, 7 October 1995, p. 7. 12 Kozlov, Mass Uprisings, p. 244. However, according to Sergei Khrushchev it was partly an airborne reconnaissance team from the 8th Division which successfully extracted the hostages from the administration building. Sergei Khrushchev goes further to say that those soldiers entered the factory in plain sight of the workers who did not molest them and let them carry out their mission. Sergei Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev and the Creation of a Superpower, University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000, p. 497. 13 Baron, Bloody Sunday, pp. 46–47. 14 Baron, Bloody Sunday, pp. 42–43. Khrushchev sent Frol Kozlov (Central Committee Secretary), Anastas Mikoyan (Deputy Chair of the Council of Ministers, and a close trusted friend of Khrushchev), along with Polyansky, Kirilenko, Illichev, and Shelepin to Novocherkassk on 1 June 1962. Seminchastny (Chair of the KGB) and Shelepin (Central Committee Secretariat, Deputy Prime Minister) stated that they both had orders from Khrushchev to resist the use of arms and to work at all costs to end the strike peacefully. 15 Roger Reese, Red Commanders: A Social History of the Soviet Army Officer Corps, 1918–1991, Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2005, p. 192. 16 Baron, Bloody Sunday, p. 129. 17 GARF f. 8131, op. 36, d. 1808, cited in V.A Kozlov and S.V. Mironenko, editors, Nadzornie proizvodstva prokuraturi SSSR po delam ob antisovetskoi agitatsii i propagande: annotirovannii katalog, mart 1953–1991, Moscow: Mezhdunarodnii Fond ‘Demokratiyia’, 1999, p. 683. 18 Kozlov and Mironenko, Nadzornie proizvodstva prokuraturi SSSR, p. 683. 19 Vladimir Fomin and Yuri Shchekochikhin, ‘Togda v Novocherkasske’, Literaturnaya gazeta, 21 June 1989, p. 13. In the interview in Literaturnaya gazeta, Shaposhnikov stated that he tried to persuade Kozlov to order that troops and tanks not be provided with ammunition. Kozlov flatly rejected that notion stating that Pliyev and the military had their orders. 20 Baron, Bloody Sunday, p. 46. 21 By June 1962 the decision to place medium and intermediate range ballistic missile in Cuba had been made. The largest Soviet logistical, highly secretive, operation since the Second World War was being organized and carried out as events in Novocherkassk unfolded! 22 Baron, Bloody Sunday, pp. 51–52. Shaposhnikov’s men stood by when the workers at NEVZ stopped another train on the Saratov–Rostov line as they had the day before. No orders were given to the soldiers when workers broke down the gates between the factory and administration buildings. 23 Kozlov, Mass Uprisings, p. 259. Throughout the three days of protest there had always been a division among the workers. Some called for the peaceful protest while others thought more assertive measures needed to be taken, such as taking control of key governmental and Party buildings in Novocherkassk. 24 S. Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev, p. 498. Alongside regular military units of the North Caucasus Military District were cadets from the Rostov Military School, who had also been called to Novocherkassk. 25 Suida, ‘Novocherkassk Tragedy’. 26 ‘Novocherkasskaya tragediya, 1962’, Istoricheskii arkhiv, no. 4, 1993, p. 152. 27 Baron, Bloody Sunday, p. 59. 28 Sergei Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev, p. 499. 29 Baron states Pliyev personally chose General Oleshko to clear Lenin Square because he had former ties with the MVD.

The Soviet military at Novocherkassk 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45

46 47 48 49

50 51

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Kozlov, Mass Uprisings, p. 267. Baron, Bloody Sunday, pp. 62–63. Baron, Bloody Sunday, p. 70. Kozlov, Mass Uprisings, p. 267. Kozlov, Mass Uprisings, p. 268. Taubman, Khrushchev, p. 522. Roger Reese, The Soviet Military Experience, London: Routledge, 2000, p. 141. Baron, Bloody Sunday, pp. 72–73. Kozlov, Mass Uprisings, p. 268. Dmitri Volkogonov, Autopsy for an Empire: The Seven Leaders Who Built the Soviet Regime, New York: The Free Press, 1998, p. 215. Albert Boiter, ‘When the Kettle Boils Over … ’, Problems of Communism, vol. 13, no.1, January-February 1964, p. 37. Charles Ziegler, ‘Worker Participation and Worker Discontent in the Soviet Union’, Political Science Quarterly, vol. 98, no. 3, 1983, p. 248. Reese, Soviet Military Experience, p. 141. Suida, ‘Novocherkassk Tragedy’. Alexei Adzhubei, Te deysat let, Moscow: Sovetkaya Rossiya, 1989, p. 283. Kozlov, Mass Uprisings, pp. 249–50. Kozlov showed how, in films, the Soviet masses associated tanks and the use of force with fascism. Soviet propaganda had used World War II as the basis of showing how the Nazis’ use of force was brought to bear again the Soviet Union. That propaganda was turned against the Soviet state at Novocherkassk. In the eyes of the masses, the Communist Party and the government became the enemies of the people. Kozlov quotes one worker from Novocherkassk, Grigorii Katkov, as saying, ‘Good God! So this is how they satisfy the requests of the laboring masses’, when Katkov saw tanks and armoured personnel carriers entering the city. Suida, ‘Novocherkassk Tragedy’. Taubman, Khrushchev, p. 522. Bagraev and Pavlyutkin, ‘Novocherkassk, 1962-i’. Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali, ‘One Hell of a Gamble’: Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy 1958–1964, New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1997, p. 193. Pliyev was a controversial choice for commander of a Soviet Group of Forces, especially one stationed in Cuba, which resulted in the Cuban Missile Crisis. First, Pliyev was an artillery officer by training. Fursenko and Naftali argue that he was given preference of command in Cuba because of his handling of Novocherkassk. Pliyev was also known personally by Khrushchev and the Minister of Defense, Marshal Malinovsky. Dmitri Volkogonov posited that Pliyev was a last minute replacement as commander in Cuba over P. Dankevich, who was the choice of the military high command for overall commander in Cuba. Volkogonov stated that was because of Pliyev’s role in Novocherkassk. Volkogonov, Autopsy, p. 238. Baron argued that posting Pliyev to Cuba was a way to ameliorate the public in Novocherkassk and the surrounding areas. According to Baron, the public opinion of Pliyev was that he was a murderer of innocent workers. Thus, Baron believed he was moved to Cuba to appease the public. Baron, Bloody Sunday, p. 89. I disagree with Baron; in its actions after Novocherkassk, the Communist Party made no attempt to change the public’s view of the events, nor did it rescind the price increases, which would have greatly improved the Party’s standing in the eyes of the workers. Baron, Bloody Sunday, p. 88. ‘Zapiska predsedatel0 ya komiteta gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti pri sovete ministrov SSSR V.E. Semichastnogo pervomu sekretariyu TsK KPSS N.S. Khrushchevu’, in Neizvestnaya rossiya XX vek. Tom. III, V.A. Kozlov (ed), Moscow: Istoricheskoe Nasledie, 1993, pp. 166–69.

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52 Taubman, Khrushchev, p. 522. Novocherkassk is a benchmark event in Khrushchev’s tenure at the head of the Communist Party and Council of Ministers, if not in his lifetime. Yet, he never covers the subject in his memoirs. Sergei Khrushchev argues that the events of Novocherkassk tormented his father until his death. 53 However, Marshal Malinovsky did take his orders from the Communist Party Central Committee Presidium, headed by Nikita Khrushchev. If Kozlov wanted a particular order to be given to the army in Novocherkassk, all he had to do was start at the top, that is have the head of the Party tell the head of the Soviet Armed Forces to order his men into action. 54 Sergei Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev, p. 498. 55 Reese, Soviet Military Experience, p. 141. 56 S.E. Finer, The Man on Horseback: The Role of the Military in Politics, London: Pall Mall Press, 1962, p. 25. 57 Finer, Man on Horseback, p. 105. 58 V.I. Lenin, ‘What Improvements are the Social-Democrats Striving to Obtain for the Whole People and for the Workers?’, Collected Works, vol. 6, Moscow: Foreign Language Publishing House, 1961, pp. 401–2. 59 Cited in Yosef Avidar, The Party and the Army in the Soviet Union, Jerusalem: Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, 1983, pp. 9–10. 60 Stanislav Andreski, Military Organisation and Society, Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 1971, p. 71. 61 Yurii Bespalov and Valerii Konovalov, ‘Novocherkassk, 1962’, Komsomol0 skaya pravda, 2 June 1989. 62 Bagraev and Pavlyutkin, ‘Novocherkassk, 1962-i’.

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Archives

Russia Archive references are noted as f. (fond; fund), op. (opis0 ; list of files), d. (delo; file), l. (list; page) ARHIV RAN: Archive of Russian Academy of Sciences GARF (Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Rossiiskoi Federatsii): State Archive of the Russian Federation RGAE (Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv ekonomiki): Russian State Archive of the Economy RGALI (Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv literatury i iskusstva): Russian State Archive of Literature and Art RGANI (Rossiiski gosudarstvennyi arkhiv noveishei istorii): Russian State Archive of Contemporary History RGASPI (Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv sotsial0 no-politicheskoi istorii): Russian State Archive of Social and Political History TsAGM (Tsentral0 nyi arkhiv goroda Moskva): Central Archive of the City of Moscow TsAOPIM (Tsentral0 nyi arkhiv obshchestvenno-politicheskoi istorii Moskvy): Central Archive of the Social and Political History of Moscow TsKhDMO (Tsentral0 nyi khranitel0 dokumentatsii molodezhnykh organizatsii): Central Archive of Documentation of Youth Organizations [RGASPI-m: Komsomol archive]

Other countries Kansan Arkisto, People’s Archive, Helsinki, Finland. Lenin Museum, Tampere, Finland. Journals, newspapers, serials Argumenty i fakty Arkhitektura SSSR Istochnik Istoricheskii arkhiv Izvestiya

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Kommunist Komsomol0 skaya pravda Krasnaya zvezda Leningradskaya pravda Literaturnaya gazeta Moskovskie novosti Narodnoe khozyaistvo SSSR: statisticheskii ezhegodnik Neprikosnovennyi zapas Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie Otechestvennaya istoriya Partiinaya zhizn0 Pogranichnik Pravda Rabotnitsa Sovetskaya arkhitektura: ezhegodnik Sovetskaya zhenshchina Sovetskoe gosudarstvo i pravo Trud Uchitel0 skaya gazeta Vechernyaya Moskva Vestnik statistiki Vestnik vysshei shkoly Voprosy istorii Zhilishchno-kommunal0 noe khozyaistvo Dissertations, unpublished papers Bittner, Stephen V., ‘Exploring Reform: De-Stalinization in Moscow’s Arbat District, 1953–68’, unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Chicago, 2000. Bondareva, T.A., ‘Rol0 profsoyuzov v upravlenie proizvodstvom v 1926–32 gg.’, unpublished kandidatskaya dissertatsiya, Moscow: 1968 Feshchenko, N.I., Soveshchanie rabotnikov vysshei shkoly v Moskve 22–24 sentyabriya 1958 goda i ego rol0 v podgotovke ‘zakona o shkole’ (1958g.), Gorky, 1986: unpublished manuscript, deposited in the Library of the Institute for Scientific Information in Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. Harris, Steven E., ‘Moving to the Separate Apartment: Building, Distributing, Furnishing, and Living in Urban Housing in Soviet Russia, 1950s-1960s’, unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Chicago, 2003. Jo, Junbae, ‘Soviet Trade Unions during Stalinist Industrialization, 1928–37’, unpublished PhD thesis, University of Birmingham: 2008. Kaminsky, Lauren Oakley, ‘Alimony Hunters: Duty and Deceit in Soviet Family Life’, paper presented to the 38th National Convention of the AAASS, Washington DC, 16–19 November 2006. Rittersporn, G.T., ‘Reflexes, Folkways, Networks: Public Spaces in Soviet Society’, paper presented at the conference on ‘Solidarities and Loyalties in Russian Society, History and Culture’, University College London, School of Slavonic and EastEuropean Studies, London, May 2007. Smith, Mark B. ‘Rubble to Communism: the Urban Housing Programme in the Soviet Union, 1944–64’, unpublished PhD thesis, University of London, 2008.

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Kozlov, V., Massovye besporyadki v SSSR pri Khrushcheve i Brezhneve, Novosibirsk: Sibirskii khronograf, 1999. Kozlov, V., Neizvestnyi SSSR: protivostoyanie naroda i vlasti 1953–1985, Moscow: Olma-Press, 2006. Kozlov, V. and S. Mironenko (eds), Kramola: inakomyslie v SSSR pri Khrushcheve i Brezhneve 1953–1982, Moscow: ‘Materik’, 2005. Kozlov, V.A. and S.V. Mironenko (eds), Nadzornie proizvodstva prokuraturi SSSR po delam ob antisovetskoi agitatsii i propagande: annotirovannii katalog, mart 1953– 1991, Moscow: Mezhdunarodnii fond ‘Demokratiyia’, 1999. KPSS v rezolyutsiyakh i resheniyakh s00 ezdov, konferenstii i plenumov tsentral0 nogo komiteta, Moscow: Politizdat, 1970. Kutuzov, V.A. et al., Chekisty Petrograda na strazhe revolyutsii, Leningrad: Lenizdat, 1987. Kuznetsova, K.P. (ed.), Zabotlivye ruki, shchedrye serdtsa: o rabote zhenskikh sovetov Chelyabinskoi oblasti, Chelyabinsk: Knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1961. Kuznetsova, M., Yest0 v Suzemke zhensovet, Bryansk: Izdatel0 stvo ‘Bryanskii rabochii’, 1962. Lenin, V.I., ‘K istorii voprosa o diktature’, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, 5th edn, Moscow: Izdatel0 stvo Politicheskoi Literatury, 1970, vol. 41, pp. 369–91. Lur0 e, L. and I. Malyarova (eds), 1956: seredina veka, Moscow: Olma-Press, 2007. Marchuk, O.N., Sibirskii Fenomen: Akademgorodok v pervye dvadtsat0 let, Novosibirsk: Novyi Khronograf, 1997. Matuzov, N.I., Subektivnye prava grazhdan SSSR, Saratov: Privolzhskoe knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1966. Medvedev, Armen, ‘Tol0 ko o kino’, Iskusstvo kino, no. 3, March 1999. Mikoyan, A.I., Tak bylo: razmyshleniya o minuvshem, Moscow: Vagrius, 1999. Minaev, Vladislav, Tainoe stanovitsya yavnym, Moscow: Voenizdat, 1960. Mlechin, Leonid, KGB. Presedateli organov gosbezopasnosti. Rassekrechennye sud0 by, 3rd edn, Moscow: Tsentrpoligraf, 2002. Muzyrya, A.A., and V. V. Kopeiko, Zhensovet: opyt, problemy, perspektivy, Moscow: Izdatel0 stvo politicheskoi literatury, 1989. Nashi sovremennitsy: po materialam pervogo Komi Respublikanskogo S00 ezda zhenshchin, Syktyvkar: Komi knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1960. Neizvestnaya Rossiia XX vek. Tom. III, V.A. Kozlov (ed.), Moscow: Istoricheskoe nasledie, 1993. Nikolaev, V., Bespokoinye lyudi (Iz opyta raboty zhenskikh sovetov), Sverdlovsk: Knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1958. Petrov, Nikita, ‘Desyatiletie arkhivnykh reform v Rossii’, Indeks/Dos0 e na tsenzuru, no. 14, 2001. Pikhoya, R.G., Moskva. Kreml0 . Vlast0 . Sorok let posle voiny, 1945–1985, Moscow: Rus0 -Olimp: Astrel0 : AST, 2007. Pikhoya, R.G., Sovetskii Soyuz: istoriya vlasti, 1945–1991, Moscow: RAGS, 1998. Pikhoya, Rudol0 f, ‘Pochemu Khrushchev poterial vlast0 ,’ Mezhdunarodnyi istoricheskii zhurnal, no. 8, March-April 2000. Pis0 ma vo vlast0 : 1928–1939. Zayavleniya, zhaloby, donosy, pis0 ma v gosudarstvennye struktury i sovetskim vozhdiyam, comps. A.Ya. Livshin et al., Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2002. Polegeshko, A.P., Nashi aktivistki, Ul0 yanov: Ul0 yanovskoe knizhnoe izdatel0 stvo, 1961. Polikovskaya, L., ‘My predchuvstvie … predtecha’: ploshchad Mayakovskogo 1958– 1965, Moscow: Obshchestvo ‘Memorial’, 1997.

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Taubman, W., Khrushchev: The Man and his Era, London: Free Press, 2003. Taubman, W., S. Khrushchev and A. Gleason (eds), Nikita Khrushchev, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000. Taylor, K., ‘Socialist Orchestration of Youth: The 1968 Sofia Youth Festival and Encounters on the Fringe’, Ethnologia Balkanica, vol. 7, 2003, pp. 43–61. The Programme of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Adopted by the 22nd Congress of the CPSU October 31, 1961, London: Soviet Booklet No. 83, 1961. Troitskii, A., Back in the USSR, St. Petersburg: Amfora, 2007. Utechin, S., ‘Khrushchev’s Educational Reform’, Soviet Survey, no. 28, 1959, pp. 66–72. Varga-Harris, Christina, ‘Forging Citizenship on the Home Front: Reviving the Socialist Contract and Constructing Soviet Identity during the Thaw’, in P. Jones, Negotiating Cultural and Social Change in the Khrushchev Era, New York: Routledge, 2006, pp. 101–16. Vasilyev, M. and Gushchev, G. (eds), Reports from the Twenty-First Century: Stories of Twenty Seven Soviet Scientists on Science and Engineering of the Future, Honolulu, HI: University Press of the Pacific, 2002. Volkogonov, Dmitri, Autopsy for an Empire: The Seven Leaders Who Built the Soviet Regime, New York: Free Press, 1998. Volkov, S., The Magic Chorus: A History of Russian Culture from Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn, New York: Alfred Knopf, 2008. Voslensky, M., Nomenklatura: Anatomy of the Soviet Ruling Class, London: Bodley Head, 1984. Weiner, Amir, ‘Robust Revolution to Retiring Revolution: The Life Cycle of the Soviet Revolution, 1945–68’, Slavonic and East European Review, vol. 86, no. 2, 2007, pp. 208–31. Weiner, D., ‘Struggle over the Soviet Future: Science Education versus Vocationalism during the 1920s’, Russian Review, vol. 65, no. 1, 2006, pp. 72–97. White, Stephen, ‘Political Communications in the USSR: Letters to Party, State and Press’, Political Studies, XXXI, 1983, pp. 43–60. Whitney, T.P. (ed.), Khrushchev Speaks, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1963. Women and Children in the USSR: Brief Statistical Returns, Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1963. Women in the USSR: Brief Statistics, Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1960. Yurchak, Alexei, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006. Ziegler, Charles, ‘Worker Participation and Worker Discontent in the Soviet Union’, Political Science Quarterly, vol. 98, no. 2, 1983, pp. 235–53. Zubkova, Elena, Russia after the War: Hopes, Illusions, and Disappointments, 1945–57, translated and edited by Hugh Ragsdale, Armonk, NY: London, M.E. Sharpe, 1998. Zubok, V., A Failed Empire: the Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev, Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2007. Zubok, V. and C. Pleshakov, Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996. Websites http://magazines.russ.ru/nz/2003/2/kumel.html (Neprikosnovennyi zapas) www.fas.harvard.edu/~hpcws/documents.htm (University of Harvard, Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies)

Select bibliography www.memo.ru.history/NKVD/STRU/index.htm (Memorial) www.memo.ru/library/books/korni/index.htm (Memorial) http://www.osa.ceu.hu/db/fa/300–385.htm (Open Society Archive, Budapest) www.polit.ru/world/2003/10/30/628158.html http://www.svobodanews.ru/Transcript/2007/07/27/20070727180009190.html

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Academy of Pedagogical Sciences (APN) 69, 71, 78 Academy of Sciences 74, 75, 76, 79 Adzhubei, Aleksei 54 Afanasenko, RSFSR education minister 72, 78 agriculture 12, 13, 138; cattle 12; collective farms 106 Akademogorodok 80 Aksyutin survey 18 Albania 172 alcoholism 20, 115 All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions (VTsSPS) 108, 123 All-Union State Institute for Cinematography (VGIK) 154 amnesties 2, 152, 166, 189 Andropov, L. N. 143, 148, 155, 185 ‘anti-party’ faction 11, 53, 69, 166 ‘anti-Soviet activity’ 6, 59, 144, 148, 164–6, 167–8, 169–75 anonymous letters 169, 185 apparat, see Communist Party armed forces 174; internal role 182, 183, 185–6, 191–2; professionalism 190; at Novocherkassk 182–93 Armenia 98 Article 58–10 169, 178 (note) Arzumanyan, A.A. 10 atomic energy 12, 13 Beria, L. P. 8, 12, 145, 148 birth certificates 87, 92, 93, 96, 99 birthrate 87 Brezhnev, L. I. 21, 22, 72, 76, 97, 99, 144, 162, 177 Brodsky, Joseph 176

Bukovsky, Vladimir 171, 176 Bulganin, N. A. 124, 165 Burlatskii, F.M. 16, 17 Catholic Church 52, 54 censorship 69 Central Committee see Communist Party Cheka 142, 143–7, 148–56 child care 5, 13, 86–99, 106, 110, 111, 113–5, 116–8, 146 children 15, 67–8, 73, 79, 81, 82, 86–99, 145, 156 China, hostility of 172 cinema 144, 147, 149, 153, 154 class struggle 11, 16, 67 Communist Party of the Soviet Union: ‘anti-party’ faction 11, 53, 69, 166; ‘intra-party democracy’ 17; apparat 17, 36, 73, 82, 125, 137, 138, 183, 190; Central Committee 10, 11, 89, 97, 111, 125, 131, 152, 164, 165, 169, 172, 175, 182; changing role 18; in Novocherkassk crisis 181–4; in reform process 8–22; membership 4; Nomenklatura 17, 19, 20, 66, 81; programmes 1, 4, 8–22, 97; XVIII Congress 8; XIX Congress 9, 36; XX Congress 1, 11; XXI Congress 1, 105; XXII Congress 1, 105; XXIV Congress 22 consumer goods 12, 13, 130, 145 cooperatives 13, 188 courts 3, 34, 38, 86, 87, 90, 94, 96, 98, 99, 128, 169, 176

Index criminality 87, 142, 155 Cuban crisis 2, 21, 171, 174, 185, 190 ‘cultural cold war’ 47 culture, Soviet 14, 15, 21, 33, 48, 55, 114, 144, 156 culture, western 22, 46, 47, 57, 58, 61 decision-making 2, 4, 5, 49, 66, 70, 71, 78, 80, 86, 104, 122, 123, 133, 137–8 democratization 81, 122, 127, 130, 137, 165 demography 87 denunciations 151 ‘de-Stalinization’ 1, 4, 6, 16, 46, 53, 61, 123, 133, 137, 146, 152, 189 dissidents 2, 22, 52–3, 70, 162–77 see also protest divorce 86–7, 89, 93, 94, 99 druzhiny 40, 41, 155 Dudintsev, V. D. 162 Dudorov, interior minister 54 Dzerzhinsky, Felix 145–6, 155–6 economy 13, 134, 135, 138; economic reform 124–5, 130, 131; territorial principle 124–5, 138 see also sovnarkhozy education 4, 11, 15, 16, 56, 66–83, 110, 115–6, 147; Akademogorodok 80; boarding schools 79, 80; correspondence courses 68, 69, 71, 73, 74; curricula 74, 79, 80, 82; evening courses 68, 71, 73; higher education 15, 67, 69–72, 74, 76–83; reform 66–83; secondary schools 67, 68, 69–71, 77, 78, 82; special schools 68, 75–6, 77, 79, 80; students 46, 47, 50, 51, 67–70, 74, 78, 79–81, 82; vocational training 67, 77, 78 egalitarianism 10, 40 Ehrenburg, Il’ya 1, 69, 93, 94 Esenin-Volpin, E. A. 166, 176 family 88, 89, 92–3, 95; family law 5, 86–100; 1944 decree 5, 86–99; 1962 law commission 96–9;

213

1969 law 98–9 farming see agriculture fathers 73, 86–100, 118, 166 Fedoseev, P.M. 10 film see cinema Finland 48, 50, 51 foreign policy 11, 48, 53, 54 freedom of information 69 FZMK see trade unions Galanskov, Yuri 176 Generozov, Boris 165 Ginzburg, Aleksandr 176 Gorbanevskaya, Natal’ya 176 Gosplan 34, 38, 79, 80, 125 Gosstroi 31, 35, 37 Grishin, V. V. 124, 125, 126, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 134, 136, 137 GRU (army intelligence service) 184 gulag 2, 28, 166 health care 2, 12, 33, 112, 114, 115 hooliganism 53, 115, 163 house committees 34, 37 housing 9, 26–42; 1957 decree 26, 27; administration 30, 37; allocation 39, 40–1; conditions 27; construction 27, 28, 34, 37; housing districts (mikroraiony) 33–4; infrastructure 35–6; privileges 29; quality 35; rationalization 29–32, 37; rights 27, 29, 38–9, 40; targets 35; technology transfer 31, 32, 37 Hungarian rising 2, 50, 54, 58, 59, 145, 167, 168 ideology 6, 9, 10, 12, 15–18, 20, 22, 28, 55, 66, 67, 74, 81, 93, 100, 153, 164, 170, 175 industry 11, 12, 27, 77, 109, 112, 125–6, 130, 132, 136 inflation 13, 21, 175, 182 informers 144, 150–3, 172 Institute of World Economy 10 intelligentsia 16, 19, 21, 66, 74, 77, 93, 94–5, 146, 148, 152, 156, 167, 168, 175, 176, 177 interest groups 5, 66, 75–82

214

Index

International Union of Students 47 irrationalities 26 jazz 57 Kaganovich, Lazar 8, 166 Kairov, Ivan 69, 71, 72, 78 Kapitsa, Pyotr 74, 75 KGB (State Security Committee) 3, 13, 143–56, 168, 169, 171, 174; at Novocherkassk 184, 185, 187, 188–9; Fourth Directorate 148; image and reputation 143, 146, 147–8; personnel 146; profilaktika 153–6; reforms 143, 144–6, 147 Khrushchev, N.S. 2, 9–22, 39, 61; achievements 2–3, 9–22, 41; and army 192; and family law 88; and ‘generation gap’ 155–6; and KGB 143, 144, 146, 147; and nationalities 15; and trade unions 122–39; and women 90, 105–7; foreign policies 11, 21, 47, 53; goals 2, 9–22, 26, 28; his ‘thaw’ 47; ideology 3, 17; his marriages 90; on education 66, 67, 68, 71, 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, 82–3; personality 31, 32, 54; protests against 166–7, 168, 173–4, 175, 193; ‘secret speech’ 16, 49, 143, 163–5; Kirichenko, A. I. 138 Kommunist 20, 105 Komsomol (Communist Party youth organization) 4, 15, 17, 46, 47, 50, 51, 58, 67, 97, 111, 147, 154, 164, 172 Kozlov, A. 59 Kozlov, Frol 11, 60, 164, 165, 183, 186, 190, 191, 193 Kozlov, V.A. 186, 187, 188, 189, 190 Kucherenko, V. 31, 36–7 Kuusinen, Otto 9–10, 15, 16 labour 21, 67, 106, 107, 111, 112; discipline 113, 124, 128; productivity 112, 132, 183; unrest 127–8, 168, 170, 175, 177, 181, 182–4;

wages and salaries 13, 182–3; working conditions 20, 58, 104, 113, 126, 128–32, 182; working hours 127 Lavrent’ev, Academician 75, 77, 79, 80, 81 law see courts, family law, rights, repression leaflets, anti-Soviet 165, 166, 167, 168, 16–70, 171–2, 173, 174, 175 Lenin, legacy of 2, 9, 11, 16, 37, 38, 40, 68, 93–4, 97, 111, 129, 133, 146, 149, 164, 170 literature 35, 69, 94, 155, 176 Literaturnaya gazeta 93, 94, 95, 96 living standards 3, 9, 11, 12, 13, 41, 168 Lyubyanka 145 Malenkov, G.M. 8 Malinovsky, R.Ya. 183, 190 management, one-person 129 marriage see family Marshak, Samuil 94 media see literature, poetry, press, television, Medvedev, Armen 155 Medvedev, Zhores 166 microdistricts 33–4 Mikoyan, Anastas 9, 14, 18, 191, 193 military see armed forces Ministry of Culture 55 Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) 181, 182, 185, 186, 187–9, 191 Mitin, M.B. 10 moral values 146, 148 Moscow Youth Festival 46–65 Moscow 30, 31, 33, 36, 37, 39, 46–61, 118, 173, 175–6 mothers, single 5, 86–100 music 33, 55, 57 MVD see Ministry of Internal Affairs Narod 147–50 national income 13, 14 nationalism, Russian 14, 22 nationalities policy 14–15 Nesmeyanov, Aleksandr 70, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 79, 81 Nomenklatura see Communist Party Novocherkassk disturbance 2, 175, 181–93; causes 21, 182; events 183–9, 190–1;

Index aftermath 146, 189–90; investigation 181, 190–3 NTS (People’s Labour Union) 171–2 nuclear energy see atomic energy nuclear war 49, 53, 185 Orlov, Yuri 165 Osipov, Vladimir 176 output 2, 12, 14, 34, 130, 132 see also production Pasternak, Boris 154 paternity see fathers peace campaign 117 ‘peaceful coexistence’ 2, 3, 5, 47, 53, 54 pensioners 22, 109 pensions 12, 115 people’s democracies 47, 51, 170 see also Hungarian Rising, Poland planning process 26, 31, 32, 114, 124, 125, 126 Pliyev, I. A. 183–6, 188, 190–1 pluralism in education 66, 70, 71, 73, 78, 82 poetry 147, 175, 176 Poland 2, 48, 50, 168, 171 Politburo 8 political prisoners 2, 152–3, 154, 167 ‘polytechnicism’ 67 Ponomarev, B. N. 10 Popova, N. V. 108, 123 Pospelov, P. N. 10 press 18; freedom of 69, 96, 172; role 18, 66, 69, 71, 78, 81, 89, 95, 97, 99, 105, 127, 145–6 production 3, 12, 13, 110, 126, 127, 129, 130–3 see also output production principle 124, 125, 136 professionals 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 72, 77, 81, 170, 181, 185, 191–2 Profintern 133 propaganda, Soviet 8, 18, 20, 50, 52, 55, 58, 59, 149, 154, 156, 169, 170, 171; anti-Soviet 144, 167, 172–3, 190; Western 37, 48, 55, 57, 172; Chinese 172 protests 35, 99, 163, 171, 174, 175, 182, 189; against destalinization 164; on Hungary 167–8;

215

see also anonymous letters, dissidents, leaflets psychiatry 2, 165 public discussion 18, 70, 73, 97, 153 public opinion 5, 66, 69, 70, 75, 78, 81, 82, 88–9, 92, 93, 132 Rabkrin (Workers and Peasants Inspectorate) 138 Rabotnitsa 97, 105, 109 Radio Liberty 169, 171 Rates and Conflicts Commissions (RKK) 128 religion 54, 57, 58, 116–7, 155, 163 repression 2–3, 16, 17, 40, 41, 60, 142– 56 rights, individual 3, 5, 26, 27, 29, 31, 34, 37, 38–42, 59, 86, 92, 97, 99, 106, 133, 137, 148, 175, 176 Russian language 14, 15, 59 Russian Social Democratic Workers Party 1 Saburov, Maksim 38 Sakharov, Andrei 70, 76, 163 samizdat 176 schools see education science 11, 13, 68, 69, 73, 74–5, 76, 79, 80, 81 security organs see KGB Semenov, Nikolai 69, 76, 81 Semichastnyi, Vladimir 143, 144, 145, 146, 148, 154, 172, 190 Serov, Ivan 144–5, 146, 171 Seven-year plan 111, 130–2 Shaposhnikov, M.V. 183, 184–8, 190, 192 Shcharansky, Anatoly 163 Shelepin, A. N. 47, 48, 51, 137, 142–9, 154, 191, 193 Shlikhter, A.A. 10 Shostakovich, Dmitrii 94, 96 Shvernik, N. M. 91–2, 124, 127 social policy and services see children, education, family, health care, housing, pensions Socialist Competition 36, 123, 130, 131, 132–4 sociology 3, 80 Solzhenitsyn, A. I. 162, 189 soviets, local 15, 39, 41, 110 Sovetskaya zhenshchina 95, 107 Sovnarkhozy 6, 125, 126, 129, 130, 135–6

216

Index

space programme 12, 13 Speranskii, Georgii 94 Stalin, I.S. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 16, 27, 38, 46, 54, 61, 68, 73, 94, 105, 122, 124, 130, 137–8, 164–6 State Economic Commission 125 State Planning Commission see Gosplan state, role of 3, 4, 9, 15–17, 82, 88, 92, 148, 165, 189 Statistics, Central Bureau of 67–8 students see education subbotniki 115 Supreme Soviet 70, 88, 89–90, 91, 110, 125, 129; Law Commission 89, 90, 96, 97–9, 100 Suslov, M. A. 10 Svetlichnyi, E. 32 Tadzhikistan 114 Tbilisi riots 164, 166 technology transfer 31, 32, 37 television 34, 104, 116 ‘thaw’ 1 see also ‘de-Stalinization’ tourism 56, 60, 170, 171, 175 trade unions 3, 6, 17, 107, 112, 122–39, 165; 1959 Congress 126; 1961 statute 134–5; 1962 reform 135; 1964 change of course 137; and management 127–9; Central Council (VTsSPS) 123, 124, 126, 133, 135, 136; criticisms of 123; decentralization 126–7; disputes 129; plant and local union committees (FZMK) 126, 128, 129, 135; plenums 124, 132; reform 122–39; role 130–1, 133–4;

structure 135, 136, 137 Tvardovsky, A. 30 Ukraine 98, 117, 152, 173, 175 Ukrainian language 15 universities see education USA, competition with 10, 12, 110, 132 see also ‘peaceful coexistence’ vigilantism 40 Virgin Lands scheme 4, 12 Voinovich, Vladimir 35 voluntary movements 3 see also druzhiny Voroshilov, Kliment 11 VTsSPS see trade unions women 3, 4, 33, 59, 86–100, 105–6; equality 106, 108, 112; in economy 59, 104, 106, 111–2; in politics 110; marriage and divorce 86–100; Soviet Women’s Committee 108–9, 117, 118 women’s councils see zhensovety workers see labour World Congress of Women 117 World Federation of Democratic Youth 47 Yakovlev, Nikolai 53, 147 Yelyutin, Vyacheslav 69, 71, 75, 77 Youth 46–62 Yudin, P. F. 10 Zelenko, Genrikh 70, 71, 73 zhensovety (women’s councils) 105–18; achievements 109, 117–8; history 105, 107–9; presence 108, 113, 115, 117; proceedings 111, 115, 116–7; role 109–17