Rehabilitation of the Northern Home: A Multigenerational Pathway
The very beginning of Soviet times was marked by repressive politics of the state, targeting different individuals including prosperous peasants (kulaks). While being rich but hard-working farmers, these families were seen as one of the most important bases for the economic growth of the country. The ‘soft’ collectivisation to consolidate individual land and farms was therefore suggested by state economists and rejected by Stalin. Instead, the expropriation measures and repressive policies (dekulakisation) were largely applied throughout the country, dramatically influencing people’s destinies. A large number of peasant families was relocated to the harsh northern environments in order to build the industrial potential for the country’s prosperity. Later on, subsequent rehabilitation measures undertaken by the post-Stalin government brought little to no relief for the acceptance and understanding of this new Northern home. But this is a changing reality which spreads through several generations.
This chapter is an autoethnography of a member of a family which has been forcibly relocated by the state during early 1930s from Pskov to the Murmansk region. It discusses the development and evolution of identity and the sense of the Northern home through four generations of a single family, from the painful disastrous relocation of great grandparents to the harsh unfriendly Arctic environment, and finally, towards the peaceful triumphant acceptance of the sweet Northern home by their great grandchild.
KeywordsRussia Northern home Arctic identity Relocation Rehabilitation
This research was not financially supported by any funds or grants, but emotionally and mentally supported by my family members. I want to thank all of them for letting me write about our story and to share some very personal nuances of our private lives. I love them with all my heart.
I also want to thank my dearest friend Dr. Nikolas Sellheim for setting the idea of autoethnography in my head, for listening to my concerns and being patient. His motivation was the trigger for development of my self-identification and self-reflection.
The very special Thank You goes to Carl Ballantine and Kyle Mayers for helping me with editing and polishing the text and finding the better words to express my story.
- Bojkov, V. Y. (1983). Kola region: Numbers and facts. Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel’stvo [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Bolotova, A., & Stammler, F. M. (2010). How the North became Home: Attachment to place among industrial migrants in the Murmansk region of Russia. In C. Southcott & L. Huskey (Eds.), Migration in the circumpolar North: Issue and contexts (pp. 193–220). Edmonton: CCI Press.Google Scholar
- Brutszkus, B. D. (1995). Soviet Russia and socialism. Saint-Petersburg: Zvezda [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Dobronozhenko, G. F. (2012). From ideologema “kulak” to the real social group of peasants – Victims of repression (1918–1920-s). Bulletin of Udmurt University: Series “History and Philology”, 3, 114–118 [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Dregalo, A. A., & Ulyanowskiy, V. I. (2011). «Nordman»: Preconditions to social and cultural typology of Northern man. Arctic and the North, 1, 14–34 [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Efremova, T. F. (2000). New dictionary of Russian language. Explanatory and word-building. Moscow: Russkiy jazyk [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Gavrilieva, T. N., & Arkhangelskaya, E. A. (2016). The northern cities: General trends and national features. EKO, 2, 63–79 [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Giuliani, M. V. (2003). Theory of attachement and place attachement. In M. Bonnes, T. Lee, & M. Bonaiuto (Eds.), Psychological theories for environmental issues (pp. 137–170). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Karlova, E. V. (2015). The territorial identity of population of Central Russia. PhD thesis. Moscow: Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Khlinovskaya Rockhill, E. (2010). Living in two places: Permanent transiency in the Magadan region. Alaska Journal of Anthropology, special issue on the Displaced Peoples of Alaska and the Russian Far East, 8(2), 43–61.Google Scholar
- Kiselev, A. A. (2008). GULAG in Murman: repressions in 30–50-s of XX century at Kola Peninsula. Murmansk: MGPU [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Kondratiev, P. N. (2011). Pskovian flax: Past and present. Molodoy Ucheniy, 12(2), 2013–2013 [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Lamin, V. A. (Ed.). (2009). Historical encyclopedia of Siberia. Novosibirsk: Istoricheskoe nasledie Sibiri [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Lantsev, V. V. (2015). The architecture of peasant’s house in Pskov region (the end of XIX – middle of XX century). Pskov: Pskov State University [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Lazhentsev, V. N. (2010). Spatial development (examples of the North and the Arctic). Izvestia Komi Science Center URO RAS, 1(1), 97–104 [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Lekontsev, O. N. (2016). Confiscation of kulak’s holdings at the end of 1920-s – Beginning of 1930-s (by the example of territories of current Kirovsk region and Udmurtia). Vestnik KGU, 3, 40–42 [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Lokhanov, A. S. (Ed.). (2012). Kola North: Encyclopedic essays. Murmansk. [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Murmanskstat. (2017). Official statistical information of Murmansk region. http://murmanskstat.gks.ru. Accessed 30 Sept 2017.
- Nikitina, N. P. (1999). Peasants’ land community of the North-West Russia, 1861–1906. PhD thesis. Pskov: Pskov State University. [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Nikitina, N. P. (Ed.). (2012). Socio-economic problems of village of the North-West of Russia in XIX–XX centuries (To 150 anniversary of abolition of serfdom in Russia). Pskov: Sterkh [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Nikitina, N. P. (2015). Testaments of peasants as the source of social space at Pskov village of the beginning of XX century. Pskov: Pskov State University, 42, 121–124 [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Nikulin, V. N. (2009). Trade of peasants in North-West Russia in the second half of XIX – Beginning of XX century: Source studies essay. In S. A. Kozlov (Ed.), Research of source study of Russian history (until 1917) (pp. 252–269). Moscow: Russian Academy of Sciences/Institute of Russian history [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Nordic Council of Ministers. (2015). Arctic human development report: Regional processes and global linkages-II. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers.Google Scholar
- Osipov, Y. (Ed.). (2004). Big Russian encyclopedy. Moscow: Rossiya [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Piazza, R., & Fasulo, A. (2014). Marked identities narrating lives between social labels and individual biographies. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Plisak, M. V. (2008). “Diary of peasant” as the source for the history of peasant world view (1916). Pskov: Science-Practice Historic Journal, 29, 125–129 [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Rubinstein, R. I., & Parmelee, P. A. (1992). Attachement to place and the representation of the life course by the elderly. In I. Altman & S. M. Low (Eds.), Place attachement. Human behavior and environment (Advances in theory and research) (Vol. 12, pp. 139–163). Boston: Springer.Google Scholar
- Russian Federation. (2008, September 18). Basics for state policy of the Russian federation in the arctic for the period of 2020 and for a further perspective. http://www.arcticgovernance.org/getfile.php/1042958.1529.avuqcurreq/Russian+Strategy.pdf
- Russian Federation. (2014). Presidential decree about the land territory of the arctic zone of the Russian federation №296, 2 May 2014. http://kremlin.ru/acts/bank/38377
- Safran, W. (2008). Names, labels, and identities: Sociopolitical contexts and the question of ethnic categorization. Identities-global studies in culture and power. Identities – Global Studies in Culture and Power, 15, 437–461.Google Scholar
- Scheetz, G. H. (1991). Whence Siouxland? Book remarks. Sioux City Public Library.Google Scholar
- Schweitzer, P. (2010). Moved by the state: Perspectives on relocation and resettlement in the Circumpolar North. Alaska Journal of Anthropology, Special issue on the Displaced Peoples of Alaska and the Russian Far East, 8(2), 31–32.Google Scholar
- Shashkov, V. Y. (2004). Spetspereselentsy in the history of Murmansk region. Murmansk: Maksimim [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Shaskov, V. Y. (1993). Spetspereselentsy in Murman: The role of spetspereselenets in the development of production forces at Kola Peninsula (1930–1936). Murmansk: Izdatel’stvo Murmanskogo gosudarstvennogo pedagogicheskogo universiteta [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Shaymukhanova, S. D., & Makalakov, T. Zh. (2012). Role of spetspereselentsy and deportees in economic development of Central Kazakhstan. Modern problems of science and education [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Shubina T. G. (2000). Spinning and weaving in the culture of North and North-West Russian population, XIX – beginning of XX century. PhD thesis. Saint-Petersburg [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Stepanov, M. G. (2009). History of deportation of peasants in the period of forcible collectivization in USSR (1929–1933) within post-Soviet historiography. Bulletin of Chelyabinsk State University, 4(142), 158–163 [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Thompson, N. (2008). Settlers on the Edge: Identity and modernization on Russia’s arctic frontier. Vancouver: UBC Press.Google Scholar
- Vasiliev, M. V. (2013). Civil war and socio-economic changes in peasantry of Pskov region. Pskov: Science-Practice Historic Journal, 38, 119–133 [in Russian].Google Scholar
- Viola, L. (2008). Taiga conditions: Kulak special settlers, commandants, and soviet industry. In D. Filtzer, W. Z. Goldman, G. Kessler, & S. Pirani (Eds.), A dream deferred. New studies in Russian and soviet labour history (Vol. 10, pp. 221–242). Bern/New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
- Viola, L., Danilov, V. P., Ivnitskii, N. A., & Kozlov, D. (Eds.). (2005). The war against the peasantry. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- WCIOM. (2017). Data from survey results. Online press-release. https://wciom.ru/index.php?id=236&uid=2195. Accessed 18 Mar 2018.