The Amnesty and Rehabilitation of Victims of Stalinist Repression in Belarus
The process of rehabilitation and amnesty of Stalin’s victims, and the destiny of those who suffered, are the least investigated themes in modern Belorussian historiography. To a great extent, this can be attributed to the fact that in the second half of the 1990s, when Aleksandr Lukashenko became head of state, official discourse began to promote nostalgia for the Soviet era and call for a return to Soviet ways and values. The collapse of the USSR was interpreted as traumatic. Henceforth, all state academic and research institutes ceased to explore Stalinism and its consequences, and in particular Stalinist repression. Those scholars who continued research in this sphere faced many difficulties, notably the fact that the KGB archive was completely out of bounds. The few publications that did appear from time to time were mostly based on materials prepared in the first half of the 1990s, oral history sources and documents published abroad.1 In this chapter, I shall attempt to redress the balance by focusing on the confused and tortuous path that rehabilitation took in Belarus in the Soviet era, and shall conclude by examining the legacy of this process for ongoing attempts to achieve justice for Stalin’s victims in the years since the end of communist rule in 1991.
KeywordsCase File Case Review Original Conviction Military Tribunal Labour Camp
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