Podiilia sugar industry owners under Stalinist struggle for “mono‑majority” in the Soviet society

Abstract

The aim: firstly, to show the essence of Stalin’s understanding of the Anti-Soviet elements in the context of the Socialist Successes, and, secondly, to describe neglected attitude of the authorities to the sugar industry on the example of Podillia. The Source base.  The article is based on the analysis of archived investigation cases of the former NKVD found in the State Archives of Vinnytsia Region, and in “Rehabilitated by History” book series, detailing specific examples of mass arrests of sugar industry owners: from the leadership of the Oblast Sugar Trust to various directors and chief engineers of sugar mills and factories. Research methods. The historical-critical method helped to separate official propaganda from the essence of facts in the analysis of primary sources. This allows to prove the positive dynamics of development and real successes of the sugar industry, as evidenced by the author’s tables. The historical-comparative method leads to actualization of common features of the Soviet totalitarianism with the authoritarian regimes of the 21st century. Main results. Based on the analysis of in-depth reading of documents of the VIII Extraordinary Congress of the Soviets of the USSR and the long taboo regarding the researching of documents of the February-March (1937) plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b), it is evident that the Secretary General of the ruling party reached a strategic conclusion. Stalin succeeded in convincing the party-state elite that the new “enemies of the people” came neither from the capitalist camp, nor from the ranks of “bourgeois specialists”, but rather from inside the party itself, declaring that the economic cadres were “clogged by spies and saboteurs”. The authors highlight the extent of the damage caused by the Great Terror to one of the important industries of Ukraine, which limited the supply of sugar to the population. Conclusions. Mass repression would have been impossible without one party’s absolute control over government and society, which is a lesson for future generations. Practical meaning. The article’s results sufficiently provide an additional justification for further studies of mass repressions and the Soviet totalitarianism, and also constitute a warning to state leaders against such “excesses” in the search for “mono-majority”. The data may be used for textbooks on the history of Ukraine, Vinnytsia Region, Polish community in Podillia, in regional studies, mass media and in fiction. Originality. The article is based on recently opened archives concerning the fate of victims of terror. Scientific novelty. The data from DAVO’s archives on the oppressed personnel of the sugar industry was first introduced into scientific circulation and summarized, the names of little-known owners of the industry are restored. Type of article: analytical.

Author Biographies

Kyrylo Mieliekiestsev, Vasyl’ Stus Donetsk National University

Ph. D. in History, Senior Lecturer at the History of Ukraine and Auxiliary Sciences of History Department, Vasyl’ Stus Donetsk National University

Oleksandr But, Vasyl’ Stus Donetsk National University

Sc. D. in History, Professor, Professor at the History of Ukraine and Auxiliary Sciences of History Department, Vasyl’ Stus Donetsk National University

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Published
2020-12-29
How to Cite
MIELIEKIESTSEV, Kyrylo; BUT, Oleksandr. Podiilia sugar industry owners under Stalinist struggle for “mono‑majority” in the Soviet society. Universum Historiae et Archeologiae = The Universe of History and Archeology = Універсум історії та археології = Универсум истории и археологии ISSN 2664-9950 (Print) ISSN 2707-6385 (Online), [S.l.], v. 3, n. 2, p. 94–106, dec. 2020. ISSN 2707-6385. Available at: <http://uha.dp.ua/index.php/UHA/article/view/100>. Date accessed: 25 sep. 2021. doi: https://doi.org/10.15421/26200209.
Section
History of Ukraine