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The Post War Borders of Poland

Discussion in 'Post War 1945-1955' started by Tamino, May 30, 2013.

  1. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    It is widely accepted opinion that Poland was geographically shifted westwards after the war: the Russians allegedly have taken the eastern part of Poland and compensated the Poles with "regained" German territories. I have also shared that opinion until recently when I have found a map of distribution of languages of the German Empire in 1880 (please, see below).

    If we take that map into consideration, Poles have gained significantly during the first half of twentieth century. At the east, their frontier is almost identical with the language border. Even more, their actual border has been slightly shifted eastwards into the territories of White Russia and Ukraine.

    However, at the west, north and southwest, their territorial gains are significant – at cost of the Germans. In my view, Poland wasn't shifted but significantly increased territories by annexing German territories.

    Of course, my conclusions are valid only if we take into account just distribution of languages in late 19th century. On the other hand, Poles may claim that historically Poland was much larger but I cannot escape impression that Poland has taken a bit too much from traditionally German territories.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. scipio

    scipio Member

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    I think the idea that pre-war Poland was "too far east" was also the view which many British Officials held. I have seen comments that the final border with the USSR was not far from the Curzon Line. Besides it helped to assuage british consciences (about abandoning the Poles) when Stalin dictated the Line of the Border and left them no choice.

    Russia has also gained at German expense in taking Konisberg.

    So have all these German speakers been ejected like the Sudetens?

    I have always wondered about "Ruthenians" shown on your map - who are they and do they have any claim to a separate state?
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I recall that the idea was to turn the whole of Germany ( or what´s left of it ) into a one huge farming land and industry etc would be either shipped away or destroyed so Germany could not start war ever again. I think almost all German speaking people were forced to move west and leave their houses and probably most of their stuff behind. I guess the decision went as 1. Where Stalin wants the border line 2. Where the others want to push the Germans. Just my two cents
     
  4. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Did not a significant number of Germans elect to move west just ahead of the Red Army?
     
  5. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    That is true but evacuation of population itself does not transfer the ownership to invaders. Both Poles and Soviets were aware of that and wanted to have ownership rights in written. Also the Western Allies wanted to create stable and lasting borders in Europe and to prevent ethnic violence:
    This has lead to agreement at Potsdam which has formally transferred the ownership rights to several countries. Destiny of the expulsed Germans has been sealed at Potsdam and the only way to regain these territories is revision of agreements with full agreement of all involved parties or a new war.
     
  6. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    This puzzles me too but I haven't seen yet a convincing answer to that question. Have you also noticed a tag "Klein Russen" indicating Ukraine. That toponym translates as Little or Lesser Rus. It seems that at that time the meaning of these terms were different.
     
  7. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    That's exactly my opinion. And have you noticed how cautiously Stalin has decided to have a "fair" border with Poland although he could have taken anything he wanted, of course, within the limits of tolerance of the Western Allies. Perhaps he has already seen Poland as a new Soviet state and wanted to avoid future internal conflicts.
     
  8. Admiral_Humaid

    Admiral_Humaid New Member

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    Yah..Well what Stalin said, is what happened. He controlled most of Germany and Berlin.
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Stalin and cautious in the same sentence? Never in a million years. How Many Russians he killed in camps alone? Cautiously? Or Poles in Katyn. And he was from Grusia not Russia. Aint that a joke as Russia attacked Grusia several years ago?. And he got half the Europe in WW2 so minor changes with the Polish Border meant nothing as he had the land all the way to DDR.
    And Hitler was Austrian as far as I know but he took German citizenship.
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The Russians in the camps maybe traitors or they may not...Better to be cautious and not take the chance.

    The Polish officers at Katyn may form an anti-communism government later...Better to be cautious and not take the chance.

    Stalin probably could have taken whatever he wanted. But, that likely would have alienated the communist Poles. It certainly would have alienated the Poles the communists were to be governing, which would have led to a collapse and overthrow of the Polish communist government. So, yes, Stalin played it safe to ensure the Poles supported the Polish communists.

    Having the land is transitory if you cannot completely control the people living within said land.
     
  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    What's more ironic...That the Russians attacked Georgia, or that Georgia seceded from the Soviet Union and became a pro-western government/state?

    Russia attacked Georgia because the pro-Russian Georgian territories, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, seceded from Georgia in 2008, sparking armed clashes on the borders of the seceding territories.
     
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Well, the countries were under the USSR rule for almost 50 years. And would have stayed longer but the USA made them compete in arms race which led to the collapse of the country as the Money ran out. The local military , secret polica and Soviet troops kept the eastern bloc countries in tight control. Like we know tanks and more troops from neighbour countries came to help if needed like the Czech 1968 .

    Katyn would never have happened if the USSR had not invade 1939 the eastern part of Poland and arrested the Officers, propably the so called Elite like teachers, priests, Lokal politicians etc. In the 1930's Stalin United for instance the top communistic leader to Moscov. They never returned. After Ww2 Stalin asked Tito to come to Moscow. Tito refused as he knew there would be no return ticket.

    We also know that after Lenin died somehow Everybody else member of the Politburo if I recall the name correctly were killed except Stalin. They were enemies of the nation.

    What I found highly "interesting" was that the political police was active everywhere during Stalin period and the policy was that there are always enemies of the state. So they had a certain quota per Month to capture. If you did not get enough arrests you were the enemy and ended up arrested...
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I recommend Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's " The Gulag archipelago ".
     
  14. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Don't forget Hungary in 1956.

    Yes, but that was only after the USSR had solidified it's control over the "Eastern Bloc." Had Poland resisted Soviet takeover in 1945, by being reduced to a "rump state", things might have turned out differently. Then, again they might have progressed differently, but to the same end.

    The officers were not arrested, but prisoners of war. They were the leaders and considered "bourgeois" and could possibly lead opposition to the Soviet takeover. So, they were kept and murdered, while the common Polish soldiers were released. The Polish "Elite" were either killed or shipped of to Gulags for the same reason, to remove any possible opposition leadership.

    Would Katyn have happened otherwise? Maybe, Stalin wanted to secure the Soviet borders. So, Katyn may likely have happened in a future war against Germany - whet Soviet armies advance to takeover Poland.

    Toto was never summoned by Stalin, but 2 of Tito's associates were & they went & they returned. You might be thinking of the 3rd COMINFORM meeting, in 1948, that took place in Romania - Tito did not attend, because he feared a Soviet attack. This resulted in Yugoslavia being kicked out of COMINFORM.

    Stalin did not need Tito to come to him. Stalin sent several assassins to kill Tito, but all were caught. This ended when Tito sent a letter to Stalin that ended wit Tito saying that if this did not stop, he would send an assassin to Moscow, and he would not need to send a second one.

    Well, that is not true. When Stalin began his bid for power, he allied himself with the more conservative elements, "Rightists" of the Politburo. Together, they demoted or expelled the "Leftist" Politburo members, and replaced them with Stalin's cronies. When this was completed in the late 20's, Stalin turned on the "Rightist" elements, and replaced or demoted them. It was not until the Great Purge began, that these ex-Politburo members where then killed or sent to die in the Gulags.
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    During the whole of Soviet history it was the First (or later – General) Secretary who always had the crucial vote on key issues in the development of the country. Lenin tried hard to hold his grip on the Politburo until he became seriously ill. Under Joseph Stalin – from 1924 to 1953 - the power of the General Secretary became almost absolute. All that was left to the members of the Politburo was to yield to all the ideas of the “top man”. Any kind of opposition meant an end to their career.
    Politburo – Russiapedia Of Russian origin

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    Joseph Stalin apparently managed to outlive all other member of the first Politburo of the Communist party. This group was elected in October, 1917 "for the purpose of political guidance during the immediate future" at a time when the Bolsheviks were already planning their later successful revolution.

    Stalin Was Last Survivor Of First Soviet Politburo (Published 1953)

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    During the second half of the 1920s, Joseph Stalin set the stage for gaining absolute power by employing police repression against opposition elements within the Communist Party. The machinery of coercion had previously been used only against opponents of Bolshevism, not against party members themselves. The first victims were Politburo members Leon Trotskii, Grigorii Zinov'ev, and Lev Kamenev, who were defeated and expelled from the party in late 1927. Stalin then turned against Nikolai Bukharin, who was denounced as a “right opposition,” for opposing his policy of forced collectivization and rapid industrialization at the expense of the peasantry.


    Stalin had eliminated all likely potential opposition to his leadership by late 1934 and was the unchallenged leader of both party and state. Nevertheless, he proceeded to purge the party rank and file and to terrorize the entire country with widespread arrests and executions. During the ensuing Great Terror, which included the notorious show trials of Stalin's former Bolshevik opponents in 1936-1938 and reached its peak in 1937 and 1938, millions of innocent Soviet citizens were sent off to labor camps or killed in prison.

    By the time the terror subsided in 1939, Stalin had managed to bring both the party and the public to a state of complete submission to his rule. Soviet society was so atomized and the people so fearful of reprisals that mass arrests were no longer necessary. Stalin ruled as absolute dictator of the Soviet Union throughout World War II and until his death in March 1953.

    Repression and Terror: Stalin in Control

    ------------------
    Lenin's Testament is the name given to a document purportedly dictated by Vladimir Lenin in the last weeks of 1922 and the first week of 1923. In the testament, Lenin proposed changes to the structure of the Soviet governing bodies. Sensing his impending death, he also gave criticism of Bolshevik leaders Zinoviev, Kamenev, Trotsky, Bukharin, Pyatakov and Stalin. He warned of the possibility of a split developing in the party leadership between Trotsky and Stalin if proper measures were not taken to prevent it. In a post-script he also suggested Joseph Stalin be removed from his position as General Secretary of the Russian Communist Party's Central Committee.

    From the time that Stalin consolidated his position as the unquestioned leader of the Communist Party and the Soviet Union, in the late 1920s, all references to Lenin's testament were considered anti-Soviet agitation and punishable as such. The denial of the existence of Lenin's testament remained one of the cornerstones of historiography in the Soviet Union until Stalin's death on March 5, 1953. After Nikita Khrushchev's On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences, at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party, in 1956, the document was finally published officially by the Soviet government. The original letter is in a museum dedicated to Lenin.

    http://ww2f.com/threads/the-post-war-borders-of-poland.49254/#post-861259

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    I agree that Stalin first made a pact with the other side of the Politburoo, and after getting rid of the other half. he took care of the other half and then he was the only one left.

    In his testament Lenin mentioned that stalin should not get any powerful place in the Politburo yet he managed to destroy his communistic comrades to get full power. We know how Trotsky got the ice pick treatment in Mexico. Then again we know Trotski was a far more aggressive leader and as such, he would have made the the Red Army attack and made close countries communistic while Stalin concentrated on getting the power to himself. And kill his possible inside enemies like Trotsky.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Or East Germany 1953.

    The East German uprising of 1953 (German: Volksaufstand vom 17. Juni 1953 ) was an uprising that occurred in East Germany from 16 to 17 June 1953. It began with a strike action by construction workers in East Berlin on 16 June against work quotas during the Sovietization process in East Germany. Demonstrations in East Berlin turned into a widespread uprising against the Government of East Germany and the Socialist Unity Party the next day, involving an estimated more than one million people in about 700 localities across the country.

    East German uprising of 1953 - Wikipedia
     
  17. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    After Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union concluded their Nonaggression Pact of 1939 and Germany invaded Poland from the west, Soviet forces occupied the eastern half of Poland. As a consequence of this occupation, tens of thousands of Polish military personnel fell into Soviet hands and were interned in prison camps inside the Soviet Union. But after the Germans invaded the Soviet Union (June 1941), the Polish government-in-exile (located in London) and the Soviet government agreed to cooperate against Germany, and a Polish army on Soviet territory was to be formed. The Polish general Władysław Anders began organizing this army, but when he requested that 15,000 Polish prisoners of war whom the Soviets had once held at camps near Smolensk be transferred to his command, the Soviet government informed him in December 1941 that most of those prisoners had escaped to Manchuria and could not be located.

    The fate of the missing prisoners remained a mystery. Then on April 13, 1943, the Germans announced that they had discovered mass graves of Polish officers in the Katyn forest near Smolensk, in western Russian S.F.S.R. A total of 4,443 corpses were recovered that had apparently been shot from behind and then piled in stacks and buried. Investigators identified the corpses as the Polish officers who had been interned at a Soviet prison camp near Smolensk and accused the Soviet authorities of having executed the prisoners in May 1940. In response to these charges, the Soviet government claimed that the Poles had been engaged in construction work west of Smolensk in 1941 and the invading German army had killed them after overrunning that area in August 1941. But both German and Red Cross investigations of the Katyn corpses then produced firm physical evidence that the massacre took place in early 1940, at a time when the area was still under Soviet control.

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    Like previously mentioned the Katyn incident took place to make room for the Finnish officers arrested after the Winter War. The time table fits perfectly well. Then again the Soviets/Stalin were following the Hitler path. Kill the aristocracy or the educated people whoever they are.
     
  18. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The Tito–Stalin Split, or Yugoslav–Soviet Split, was a conflict between the leaders of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, which resulted in Yugoslavia's expulsion from the Communist Information Bureau (Cominform) in 1948. This was the beginning of the Informbiro period, marked by poor relations with the USSR, that came to an end in 1955.

    In addition, Tito was openly supportive of the communist side in the Greek Civil War, while Stalin kept his distance, having agreed with Churchill not to support communism there with the Percentages agreement. Tito planned to absorb Albania and Greece in cooperation with Bulgaria, thereby setting up a powerful Eastern Europe bloc outside Moscow's control. Stalin could not tolerate that threat.

    However, the world still saw the two countries as the closest of allies. This was evident at the first meeting of the Cominform in 1947, where the Yugoslav representatives were the most strident critics of the national communist parties viewed to be insufficiently devoted to the cause, specifically the Italian and French parties for engaging in coalition politics. They were thereby essentially arguing Soviet positions. The headquarters for Cominform were even set up in Belgrade. However, all was not well between the two countries, due to a number of disputes.

    Between the trip to Moscow and the second meeting of the Cominform, the Soviet Communist Party and the Yugoslav Communist Party (CPY) exchanged a series of letters detailing their grievances. The first CPSU letter, on 27 March, 1948, accused the Yugoslavs of denigrating Soviet socialism via statements such as "socialism in the Soviet Union has ceased to be revolutionary".[5] It also claimed that the CPY was not democratic enough, and that it was not acting as a vanguard that would lead the country to socialism. Stalin retorted, "we cannot consider this kind of organization of the Communist Party as truly Marxist-Leninist or Bolshevik. One does not feel any policy of class struggle in the Yugoslav Party.

    The first CPSU letter, on 27 March, 1948, accused the Yugoslavs of denigrating Soviet socialism via statements such as "socialism in the Soviet Union has ceased to be revolutionary. ] It also claimed that the CPY was not democratic enough, and that it was not acting as a vanguard that would lead the country to socialism. Stalin retorted, "we cannot consider this kind of organization of the Communist Party as truly Marxist-Leninist or Bolshevik. One does not feel any policy of class struggle in the Yugoslav Party."

    Tito did not even attend the second meeting of the Cominform, fearing that Yugoslavia was to be openly attacked. On 28 June, the other member countries expelled Yugoslavia, citing "nationalist elements" that had "managed in the course of the past five or six months to reach a dominant position in the leadership" of the CPY.[9] The resolution warned Yugoslavia that it was on the path back to bourgeois capitalism due to its nationalist, independence-minded positions.

    the expulsion effectively banished Yugoslavia from the international association of socialist states. After the expulsion, Tito suppressed those who supported the resolution, calling them "Cominformists".[10] Many were sent to a gulag-like prison camp at Goli otok ("Barren Island").[11] Between 1948 and 1952, the Soviet Union encouraged its allies to rebuild their military forces—especially Hungary, which was to be the leading force in a possible war against Yugoslavia.

    Titoism was denounced by Moscow as a heresy that said communist countries should take a nationalist road to socialism different from that of the Soviet Union. Across Eastern Europe, communist leaders suspected of Tito-like tendencies were purged by pro-Moscow elements.[12]

    After Stalin's death and the repudiation of his policies by Nikita Khrushchev, peace was made with Tito and Yugoslavia re-admitted into the international brotherhood of socialist states.

    Tito–Stalin split - Wikipedia

    Quite a man Tito:

    “Stop sending people to kill me… If you don’t stop sending killers, I’ll send one to Moscow, and I won’t have to send a second.”- part of a letter to Stalin from Josip Broz in 1948..

    https://historycollection.com/josip...-waves-stalins-assassins-hitlers-best-troops/
     
  19. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Red army and Stalin and Poland 1939:

    The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was broken and the new war erupted, the Soviets had already arrested and imprisoned about 500,000 Polish nationals in the Kresy macroregion including civic officials, military personnel and all other "enemies of the people" such as clergy and the Polish educators: about one in ten of all adult males. There is some controversy as to whether the Soviet Union's policies were harsher than those of Nazi Germany until that time.

    The Soviets did not classify Polish military personnel as prisoners of war, but as rebels against the new Soviet government in today's Western Ukraine and West Belarus.

    The arrested members of the Polish intelligentsia included former prime ministers Leon Kozłowski and Aleksander Prystor, Stanisław Grabski and Stanisław Głąbiński, and the Baczewski family. Initially aimed primarily at possible political opponents, by January 1940 the NKVD's campaign was also directed against potential allies, including Polish Communists and Socialists. Those arrested included Władysław Broniewski, Aleksander Wat, Tadeusz Peiper, Leopold Lewin, Anatol Stern, Teodor Parnicki, Marian Czuchnowski and many others.[27] The Soviet NKVD executed about 65,000 imprisoned Poles after being subjected to show trials.

    ] Altogether the Soviets sent roughly a million people from Poland.

    To this day the events of those and the following years constitute stumbling blocks in Polish-Russian foreign relations. In 1989 the Soviet Union apologized for its crimes against Poland, however, in 2020 Russian President PUTIN went as far as blaming Poland for starting World War Two.

    To this day the events of those and the following years constitute stumbling blocks in Polish-Russian foreign relations. In 1989 the Soviet Union apologized for its crimes against Poland, however, in 2020 Russian President Putin went as far as blaming Poland for starting World War Two.

    Soviet repressions of Polish citizens (1939–1946) - Wikipedia
     
  20. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    About Stalin and the Communists of Poland in the 1930´s:

    The KPP liquidated by Stalin
    In the mid and late 1930s the KPP became a victim of paranoia and suspicion that engulfed the Stalin-led communist movement. It culminated in the Moscow Trials and purges. A number of KPP members were accused of being agents of institutions of Sanation Poland and liquidated. Next almost the entire leading cadre of the party became embroiled in the purges and murdered. Many were summoned to Moscow for "consultations". Among those killed were: Albert Bronkowski, Władysław Stein-Krajewski, Józef Unszlicht, Adolf Warski, Maria Koszutska, Maksymilian Horwitz, Julian Leszczyński, Stanisław Bobiński, Jerzy Heryng, Józef Feliks Ciszewski, Tomasz Dąbal, Saul Amsterdam, Bruno Jasieński and Witold Wandurski. The leaderless party was then accused of Trotskyism among other "deviations" and in 1938 dissolved by the Comintern. Most of the KPP activists perished in the Great Purge, but among those who survived were some of the future leaders of communist Poland.[

    The KPP was guided by Marxist ideology under a strictly orthodox interpretation. It opposed the establishment of a politically independent Poland. Its activists functioned as party members and government officials in Soviet Russia. The KPP was against land reform (distribution of property to landless peasants). It aimed to organize the working class and to unify the trade union movement. It adhered to policies established by the Comintern in Moscow. Its status was illegal, as it refused to register as a political party.

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    A series of mass operations of the NKVD was carried out from 1937 through 1938 until the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 targeting specific nationalities within the Soviet Union, based on NKVD directives against the so-called diversionist element, according to the notion of the "hostile capitalist surrounding" as defined by Nikolai Yezhov.

    The Polish operation of the NKVD was the largest of this kind.[46] The Polish operation claimed the largest number of the NKVD victims: 143,810 arrests and 111,091 executions according to records. Snyder estimates that at least eighty-five thousand of them were ethnic Poles.[46] The remainder were 'suspected' of being Polish, without further inquiry.[47] Poles comprised 12.5% of those who were killed during the Great Terror, while comprising only 0.4% of the population. Overall, national minorities targeted in these campaigns composed 36%[48] of the victims of the Great Purge, despite being only 1.6%[48] of the Soviet Union's population; 74%[48] of ethnic minorities arrested during the Great Purge were executed while those sentenced during the Kulak Operation only had a 50% chance of being executed,[48] (though this may have been due to the Gulag camp's lack of space in the late stages of The Purge rather than deliberate discrimination in sentencing).

    The wives and children of those arrested and executed were dealt with by the NKVD Order No. 00486. The women were sentenced to forced labour for 5 or 10 years.[49] Their minor children were put in orphanages. All possessions were confiscated. Extended families were purposely left with nothing to live on, which usually sealed their fate as well, affecting up to 200,000–250,000 people of Polish background depending on the size of their families.[49] The NKVD national operations were conducted on a quota system using album procedure. The officials were mandated to arrest and execute a specific number of so-called "counter-revolutionaries", compiled by administration using various statistics but also telephone books with names sounding non-Russian.

    Great Purge - Wikipedia
     

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