On Tuesday, April 20 at 12pm (EST) our co-organiser, Dr Olena Palko, will be speaking, and taking questions on the topic “Attempted genocide? The Soviet regime and its ‘population politics’ in the early 1930s. The case of the Polish minority”.
Link to join Webinar: https://iu.zoom.us/j/83870845745
Abstract: The repressive character of the Soviet regime towards its minorities during the 1930s is well known. In case of the Soviet Union’s Poles, some scholars go as far as to define their treatment as the first case of the Soviet ethnic cleansing. Following a short episode of ostensibly generous treatment of national minorities during the 1920s korenizatsiia period, during which ethnic group, no matter how small, were provided with equal access to state and party institutions, judicial defence, and education in native languages, the early 1930s were marked by Russification and terror, which included ethnic-based forced resettlement, dekulakisation and finally, deportations. Poles became one of the first ‘enemy nations’ of the Soviet Union. But what were the reasons behind those actions of the Soviet government? Did they aim at the ultimate extermination of the Polish, and indeed other, minorities? And if so, how does it compare to the Nazi population politics? Building on the scholarly debate about Soviet ‘racial politics’, this talk aims to offer some preliminary reflections on the concept of race in the Soviet context and its manifestations.