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( 115 .)


who decided how many people would be deported or killed and who signed,

RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 57, ll. 1“3; Alexander Weissberg-Cybulski, Hexensabbat (Frankfurt

am Main: Suhrkamp, 1977), 276“7, 286“7; Michael Gelb, “The Western Finnic Minorities and
the Origins of the Stalinist Nationalities Deportations,” Nationalities Papers 24 (1996): 237“
68; Gelb, “Ethnicity,” 196“7; Papkov, 199; Hiroaki Kuromiya, Freedom and Terror in the
Donbas: A Ukrainian-Russian Borderland, 1870s“1990s (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 2002), 231“4.
RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 57, l. 72; RGASPI, f. 82, op. 2, d. 671, l. 53.
Jorg Baberowski and Anselm Doering-Manteuffel

often on a daily basis, the list provided by local authorities. National oper-
ations continued even as actions against Party members and “socially alien
elements” had passed their zenith. At the end of January 1938, Stalin directed
the NKVD to extend national operations until 15 April in order to eradicate
all enemy spies and saboteurs de¬nitively. One could also say that 1937 was
the year of social cleansing; 1938, the year of ethnic cleansing. More than
350,000 fell victim to national operations, which lasted until November 1938.
During the Polish Operation alone, 144,000 were arrested. Nearly 250,000
lives were extinguished by NKVD execution squads “ more than 70 percent
of which occurred during National Operations. Ethnic cleansing was not a
marginal phenomenon of Stalin™s terror. Rather, it was at the core.127 Socially
“cleansed” environments could only survive as ethnically homogeneous envi-
ronments. Classes existed within nations. It lay in the logic of this kind of
thinking that people had to suffer for their ethnic heritage only when they were
a minority. Typically, Armenians were removed from Khar™kov and Odessa,
but not from the Armenian Republic. Thus, ethnic cleansings did not put an end
to “multinational” empire. Instead, they were violent homogenization strate-
gies that deported minorities from border territories and large cities in order to
remove potential threats as well as to liberate majorities from minorities within
their territories. In the multinational empire of the Bolsheviks, the nationalities
did not live with one another, but rather next to one another.128

After the Great Terror, Stalinism lived off ever-new conspiracies and sought out
ever-more victims. Bolsheviks continued to stigmatize and punish collectives
into the 1940s. But now there were only “objectively” de¬ned enemies, which
no longer required confessions. With this development, the enemy was no
longer complicit in his or her own destruction. Furthermore, Bolsheviks no
longer spoke of kulaks and “former people” when they classi¬ed people into
enemy categories; rather they spoke of “Germans,” “Poles,” and “asocials”
or “criminals.” Asocial elements became generically alien. This fear of others
blossomed in a milieu of Soviet isolation, in which life beyond the borders of the
Soviet Union was cut off and became unimaginable.129 What Bolshevik leaders
did not recognize as being within their own trusted milieu, they interpreted

Barry McLoughlin, “Die Massenoperationen des NKVD. Dynamik des Terrors 1937/1938” in

Stalinscher Terror 1934“1941: Eine Forschungsbilanz, ed. Wladislaw Hedeler (Berlin: Basis-
Druck, 2002), 42; Jansen, Petrov, 99, 103. Limited, erroneous ¬gures available in Rolf Binner
and Marc Junge, “˜S etoi publikoi tseremonit™sia ne sleduet™: Die Zielgruppen des Befehls Nr.
00447 und der Große Terror aus der Sicht des Befehls Nr. 00447,” Cahiers du Monde russe
43 (2002): 207“8.
Weiner, 138“49. For a discussion on the origins of the Bolshevik violence against nationalities

see Weitz, “Racial Politics,” 1“29; Weitz, A Century of Genocide, 53“101; Francine Hirsch,
“Race without the Practice of Racial Politics,” Slavic Review 61 (2002): 30“43.
As noted by the American ambassador in Moscow, Smith, when he spoke with Stalin and his

retinue, Walter Bedell Smith, Meine drei Jahre in Moskau, trans. Werner G. Krug (Hamburg:
Hoffmann and Campe, 1950), 66“7.
The Quest for Order and the Pursuit of Terror 217

as a threat. And because the Bolsheviks contaminated Soviet society with a
poisonous “hatred of the foreigner,” Soviet society only received information
that conformed to its xenophobic expectations. When the Bolsheviks expanded
into foreign territory after the Hitler-Stalin Pact, they exported this culture of
hate and xenophobia.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in Eastern Poland, which was allocated
to the Soviet Union after the Hitler-Stalin Pact of September 1939. Here the
Bolsheviks pursued a merciless campaign against priests, landlords, and nobles,
just as they had in the Soviet Union. This terror, however, was no longer
characterized as a social prophylactic. From the start, it aimed to eliminate the
Polish elite in those regions annexed by the Soviet Union. In early 1940, the
Bolsheviks began to arrest representatives of the Polish state, landlords, and
Polish settlers who had immigrated into the region from West Poland in the
1930s and to deport them to Kazakhstan. These deportations occurred in sev-
eral waves. They began in February with shipments of Polish settlers and their
families and ended in June with the deportation of more than 60,000 Jews who
had ¬‚ed from German-occupied Poland. The Cheka surprised their victims:
in only a few days, they arrested over 10,000 people, escorted them to railway
stations, and loaded them in unheated cattle cars. Nobody counted the number
of victims who died from exposure and hunger on their way into exile.130
The Bolshevik leadership left no doubt that they were set on eliminating
the Polish elite. In early March 1940, Lavrentii Beria proposed to Stalin the
execution of 14,700 Polish of¬cers and 11,000 former landlords, industrialists,
and state employees who had ended up in Soviet prisoner-of-war camps and
prisons. A report from Beria to Stalin claimed that Polish of¬cers and landlords
represented “sworn enemies of Soviet power, ¬lled with hate against the Soviet
order.” As such, Polish of¬cers were under no circumstances to be released from
con¬nement. “Each and every one of them awaits release only such that they
can actively participate in the ¬ght against Soviet forces.” Beria saw only one
option: these “incurable enemies” had to be shot en masse. He did not forget
to add that “more than 97 percent” of those incarcerated were of Polish origin.

Jan T. Gross, Revolution from Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland™s Western Ukraine

and Western Belorussia, 2nd ed. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002), 187“224;
S. G. Filippov, “Deiatel™nost™ organov VKP(B) v zapadnykh oblastiakh Ukrainy i Belorussii
v 1939“1941 gg.” in Gur™ianov, 44“76; Oleg A. Gorlanov and Arsenii B. Roginskii, “Ob
arestakh v zapadnykh oblastiakh Belorussii i Ukrainy v 1939“1941 gg.,” in Gur™ianov, 77“
113; A. E. Gur™ianov, “Masshtaby deportatsii naseleniia v glub SSSR v mae“iune 1941 g.,” in
Gur™ianov, 137“75; V. Parsadanov, “Deportatsiia naseleniia iz Zapadnoi Ukrainy i Zapadnoi
Belorussii,” Novaia i noveishaia istoriia 2 (1989): 26“44; Wanda K. Roman, “Die sowjetis-
che Okkupation der polnischen Ostgebiete 1939 bis 1941,” in Die polnische Heimatarmee:
Geschichte und Mythos der Armia Krajowa seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg, ed. Bernhard Chiari
(Munich: Oldenbourg, 2003), 104“6; Keith Sword, Deportation and Exile: Poles in the Soviet
Union, 1939“1948 (London: Macmillan, 1994); Nicolas Werth, Ein Staat gegen sein Volk:
Das Schwarzbuch des Kommunismus (Munich: Piper, 2002), 232“5; Salomon W. Slowes, Der
Weg nach Katyn: Bericht eines polnischen Of¬ziers (Hamburg: Europaische Verlags-Anstalt,
Jorg Baberowski and Anselm Doering-Manteuffel

Stalin immediately agreed and, on 5 March 1940, the Politburo sanctioned the
execution of Polish of¬cers and state of¬cials. Forty-¬ve hundred of them were
murdered in the Katyn forest.131 The deportation of families of prisoners of
war and of imprisoned state of¬cials began two weeks later “ in total, more
than 26,000 families.132
Immediately following the occupation of Poland, Soviet security forces began
to remap the ethnic makeup of occupied territories. All Polish nationals living
along Soviet-German occupation borders were summarily deported. In order
to break the traditional power of landowners and government of¬cials, the
Bolsheviks incited Ukrainians, White Russians, and Jews against their Polish
neighbors. In many regions, hate propaganda provoked Jews and White Rus-
sians to lynch former Polish of¬cials and landowners. In October 1939, the
Politburo decided to separate Jewish, Ukrainian, and White Russian prisoners
of war from Polish of¬cers and sent them home.133 The Bolsheviks publicly
depicted themselves as the defenders of Ukrainian and White Russian peasants,
whom they had liberated from the yoke of oppression. From this perspective,
incorporating the conquered territories into the White Russian and Ukrainian
Soviet Republics was far more than a simple formality. It re¬‚ected the Bolshe-
vik inversion of ethnic hierarchies. The idea of establishing a Polish republic
was never seriously contemplated.
The situation of the Jewish population in Poland also changed as a result
of occupation. For many Jews, Soviet victory symbolized, more than anything
else, an end to the discrimination that they had suffered under Polish rule.
They initially viewed the Bolsheviks as a protective force that would save them
from the incursions of Ukrainian peasants and Polish of¬cials. The Bolsheviks
also provided “secularized” Jews with new opportunities for social mobility. In
many villages, Jews actually ¬lled the positions of expelled Polish functionar-
At the same time, however, the Bolshevik terror was in no way limited to the
Polish population. Shortly after occupation, all foreign citizens, including Jews
who had ¬‚ed German occupation, were registered and deported to Central
Asia. Indeed, nearly all Jews deported from the Soviet-occupied zone during
1940 had come from German-occupied Poland. It was of no consequence that
they were ¬‚eeing Nazi terror. All “foreigners” in Soviet-controlled territory
were suspected of being potential troublemakers or spies, regardless of their
motivation for ¬‚eeing their native land. In the end, nearly 60,000 Jews and

R. G. Pikhoia and Aleksandr Geishtor, eds., Katyn™: Plenniki neob”iavlennoi voiny (Moscow:

Mezhdunarodnyi Fond “Demokratiia,” 1997), 384“92.
Pikhoia and Geishtor, eds., Katyn™, 526“7.

Pikhoia and Geishtor, eds., Katyn™, 118“19; Roman, 93; Gross, Revolution, 35“70, 114“22.

Werner Benecke, Die Ostgebiete der Zweiten Polnischen Republik: Staatsmacht und offentliche

Ordnung in einer Minderheitenregion 1918“1939 (Cologne: Bohlau, 1999); Gross, Revolution,
263, 267“8.
The Quest for Order and the Pursuit of Terror 219

200,000 Poles “ nearly 10 percent of the entire Polish population in Soviet-
occupied Poland “ fell victim to these deportations.135
Between May and June 1941, deportations extended into the annexed Baltic
provinces, Bessarabia, and the Finnish-Soviet border region. And, once again,
the Bolsheviks sought to rid the territories of intellectual elites. With the emer-
gence of mass opposition to forced collectivization in the Western Ukraine and
White Russia, elites there too were targeted. And because elites were typically
members of titular nations, terror was always also a form of ethnic cleansing.
Cumulatively, more than 85,000 “ primarily Ukrainians, Latvians, Estonians,
Lithuanians, and Romanians “ were deported to Central Asia between May
and June 1941.136
Both the Stalinist and National Socialist regimes conducted wars of anni-
hilation against internal and external enemies “ enemies that they classi¬ed in
terms of class, race, and nation. Thus, when the Wehrmacht invaded the Soviet
Union on 22 June 1941, it was not only armies that met on the battle¬eld, but
also respective ideological delusions, as the murderous behavior of the one only
con¬rmed the imagination of the other: namely, that races and nations were
responsible for the destruction of order. That is why the Second World War
did not result in the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, as the myth of the
Great Patriotic War might suggest. The war only con¬rmed Bolshevik expec-
tations, and it con¬rmed them because National Socialist occupation policies
left those subject to its rule no other option than to accept those ethnic and
racial categories that the National Socialists assigned them. In other words, the
National Socialists inadvertently collaborated in the Stalinist objecti¬cation of
the enemy.137
In the Ukrainian and Lithuanian-Belorussian border area, the eruption of
war represented a reversal of mass terror. Already on 24 June 1941, Beria
ordered NKVD operatives in the Ukraine and the Baltic to murder all impris-
oned “counterrevolutionaries.” Retreating soldiers of the Red Army destroyed
villages and killed or deported their inhabitants. When the Chekists had extra
time before the arrival of German troops, they shot prisoners. The West
Ukrainian city of L™vov experienced a particularly brutal massacre: more than
12,000 people were shot or tortured to death. Many prisoners could not be
evacuated before the arrival of German troops, but many others died in death
marches into the interior of the Soviet Union. In the city of Lutsk, the Chekists

GARF, f. 9479, op. 1, d. 89, l. 221; Zemskov, Spetsposelentsy v SSSR, 84“9.

Zemskov, Spetsposelentsy v SSSR, 89“91; Roman, 105; Dieter Pohl, “Die Ukraine im Zweiten

Weltkrieg,” in Ukraine: Geographie, ethnische Struktur, Geschichte, Sprache und Literatur,
Kultur, Politik, Bildung, Wirtschaft, Recht, ed. Peter Jordan (Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 2001),
340“2; Mikola Iwanou, “Terror, Deportation, Genozid: Demographische Veranderungen in
Weißrußland im 20. Jahrhundert,” in Handbuch der Geschichte Weißrußlands, eds. Dietrich
Beyrau and Rainer Lindner (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2001), 433.
On the meaning of ethnicities as an enemy category since the Second World War see

Baberowski, Der rote Terror, 209“40; Weiner, 239“97.
Jorg Baberowski and Anselm Doering-Manteuffel

separated Polish and Ukrainian prisoners before they murdered them. There
was no longer any escape from this cycle of violence. Once the Red Army left
the border areas, Ukrainians and Lithuanians unleashed their pent-up rage on
local Jews, who had the reputation of being sympathetic to the Communists.
Frenzied Lithuanian and Ukrainian militias organized pogroms, and now there
was nobody to stand in their way. German soldiers witnessed precisely what
they expected and what National Socialist propaganda had predicted. These
pogroms conducted by Ukrainians, Poles, and Lithuanians against Commu-
nists and Jews during the ¬rst weeks of the war only seemed to con¬rm the
alleged symbiosis between Communism and Judaism. For members of the SS,
it justi¬ed their racial war of annihilation.138
National Socialists forced those under its control to adopt their system of
racial categorization. They registered Jews, Russians, Poles, White Russians,
Ukrainians, Latvians, and Lithuanians in a hierarchy of races. It was impossible
to avoid being assigned to one or another category, for the National Social-
ists not only ordered their own, but also the world of the “other” according
to racial criteria. Whoever wanted to survive had either to adopt or ¬ght
the prede¬ned characteristics of his respective category, whether or not it
contradicted one™s own faith or identity. As a Jew, the chances of survival
were slim. In the hierarchy of races, Ukrainians and Poles stood above Rus-
sians, while Latvians and Estonians stood above Ukrainians and Poles. Even
within prisoner-of war camps, the world was structured according to ethnicity.
Ukrainians could count on receiving better treatment than Russians and Jews.
That is why captured Ukrainian soldiers were typically adamant in identifying
themselves as Ukrainian. Ukrainians were even used to guard Russian pris-
oners. In White Russia, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, German occupation
forces recruited local auxiliary police forces solely from members of the respec-
tive titular nation. Thousands of Ukrainians, as well as Cossacks, Kalmyks,
Crimean Tatars, Azerbaijani, and Georgian prisoners of war enlisted with the
Wehrmacht, the SS, and the NS civil administration and worked toward the


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