The Rural Party Cell 1933–39: Structure, Numbers and Deployment

  • Daniel Thorniley
Part of the Studies in Soviet History and Society book series (SSHS)


An earlier chapter described how the rural party network was radically transformed during the years of the first Five Year Plan, how at a time of massive expansion in party membership figures the cell numbers augmented to accommodate the new recruits, at the same time as many changed their location from Soviet and village bases to be deployed in kolkhozy, sovkhozy and MTS. The 27 039 cells and a rural party membership of 358 936 in July 1929 increased to 63 135 with a membership over 800 000 in July 1932. The environment in which the rural cells existed in the years of the second Five Year Plan was to be entirely different. The rural party membership shrank drastically during the purges with a consequential fall in cell numbers, whilst at the same time the rural cells’ operational role was reassessed. This chapter discusses the effect on the rural cell network of the major reorganisation of June 1933, the decline in cell numbers resulting from the purges and the new system designed to accommodate a shrinking and scattered rural party membership.


Candidate Group Party Member Party Organisation Collective Farm Party Membership 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    A. Sadler, ‘The Party Organisation in the Soviet Enterprise, 1928–1934’, unpublished M.Soc.Sci. thesis, University of Birmingham, 1979, p. 79.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Daniel Thorniley 1988

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  • Daniel Thorniley

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