By Hiroaki Kuromiya
Conscience on Trial finds the startling tale, stored mystery for sixty years, of normal voters stuck up within the complicated equipment of political terror in Stalinist Ukraine. In 1952, fourteen terrible, slightly literate Seventh-Day Adventists residing at the margins of Soviet society have been clandestinely attempted for allegedly advocating pacifism and adhering to the Saturday Sabbath. the single written documents of this trial have been sealed within the KGB records in Kiev, and this harrowing episode has formerly been unknown even in the Ukraine.
Hiroaki Kuromiya has conscientiously analyzed those newly stumbled on files, and in doing so, unearths a desirable photograph of non-public existence and non secular trust lower than the atheist Stalinist regime. Kuromiya convincingly elucidates the mechanism of the Soviet mystery police and explores the minds of non-conformist believers -precursors to the revival of dissidence after Stalin's dying in 1953.
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Extra info for Conscience on Trial: The Fate of Fourteen Pacifists in Stalin’s Ukraine, 1952-1953
487 and 491. 14 See Likvidatsiia UHKTs (1939–1946). Dokumenty radians’kykh orhaniv derzhavnoi bezpeky, vol. 2 (Kiev, 2006). V. Shkalovskii, ‘Smena religioznnoi politiki Sovetskogo gosudarstva v gody voiny i ee posledtviia,’ Aktual’nye problemy arkheograﬁi, istochnikovedeniia i istoriograﬁi (Vologda, 1995), 365. 16 Smith, My Three Years in Moscow, 264. Stalin, Religion, and the Adventists of Bila Tserkva 39 was attended by 3000 people. On the eve of Easter in that year, which took place on 5 April, 18 days after Stalin’s death, 7000 ﬁlled St.
This theme is detailed in Sergei Zhuk, ‘The Ukrainian Stundists and Russian Jews: A Collaboration of Evangelical Peasants with Jewish Intellectuals in Late Imperial Russia,’ in Daniel Brett, Claire Jarvis, and Irina Marin, eds, Four Empires and an Enlargement. States, Societies and Individuals: Transﬁguring Perspectives and Images of Central and Eastern Europe (London, 2008), 17–32. ‘In their cultural protest,’ the Sabbatarians and Stundists ‘preferred to associate with German colonists or even Jewish city dwellers rather than the Orthodox peasants’ (31).
He was warned about the illegality of such meetings of unregistered believers. No other ‘compromising information’ was at hand (2:515). Similarly, Padalko submitted another statement to the police on Borzak. Borzak engaged in agriculture before and after the 1917 revolution. In 1933 (namely at the time of the Great Famine in Ukraine), the family dispersed in search of work. Borzak himself left his family and went out for work and retained no contact with his family. In 1948, however, he returned to his wife in the village.
Conscience on Trial: The Fate of Fourteen Pacifists in Stalin’s Ukraine, 1952-1953 by Hiroaki Kuromiya