Document 15

Report to Kolkhoz Center on collectivization in Belorussia, 26 September 1930

RGAE, f. 7486s, op. 1, d. 102, ll 226-225 ob. Typed original.

To Comrades [N.I.]Yezhov [at that time a deputy member of the Narkomzem of the USSR.] and [T.A.]Yurkin [President of the Kolkhoz Center (Kolkhoztsentr)]:

On the instructions of Comrade [G. F.] Grinko [at that time a deputy member of the Narkomzem of the USSR] I send you extracts from confidential reports of recent date concerning shortcomings in the kolkhoz movement in the BSSR so that instructors (Communists) sent to provincial raions of the BSSR will be acquainted with them and so that appropriate measures are taken to correct the shortcomings described by the facts cited below:

Signed: Shakhov

26 September 1930

Received by the Kolkhoz Center 27 September 1930.

In Starobinsk Raion of Bobruysk Okrug the chairman of "Colossus" Kolkhoz, G. Gerasimov, was a gangster in 1921 and dealt in contraband 1923-24. In Lepel' Raion the post of chairman of "Overcome" Kolkhoz is occupied by the former gangster and horse thief Vashchenko. In Kopyl' Raion of Minsk Okrug the chairman of "Communard" Kolkhoz, Vikenty Zenko, in the past was a Red Army deserter and for contraband activity served eight months in prison. In Vitebsk Raion of the same okrug the chairman of the Kolkhoz Named for the Red Army, Ermolaev, is the son of an Old Believer priest. In Mezhinsk Raion the chairman of the kolkhoz is a prominent kulak who before the Revolution owned sixty five desiatina of land.

In the "Spark of Socialism" and "Freedom" Kolkhozes in Rogachev Raion of Bobruysk Okrug farming machinery is completely mismanaged.

In Zhitkovichi Raion of Mozyrsk Okrug the chairman of Detovsk Kolkhoz, Trantsevsky, sold off the kolkhoz's rye.

In Goretsk Raion of Orsha Okrug the secretary of "Fighter" Kolkhoz, Goshman, is selling off kulaks' belongings transferred to the kolkhoz and has transferred two hogs and twelve piglets to acquaintances as their personal property. He himself makes illegal spirits from kulak grain transferred to the kolkhoz.

In Krichev Raion of Mogilev Okrug on account of the management's lack of administrative abilities, five hundred poods of grain taken from kulaks and transferred to the kolkhoz have perished.

In the Kolkhoz Named for Stalin in Sosnian Raion of Vitebsk Okrug the administration distributed manufactured cloth it had received among the prosperous peasants and the poor peasants got nothing. The chairman of the kolkhoz, Vasilievsky, took the best piece for himself.

In Tolochin Raion of Orsha Okrug the chairman of "Yasnaia Poliana" Kolkhoz, Pleskin, supplied his own relatives--peasants of average means--first with manufactured goods. As a result many poor peasants left the kolkhoz, but those of average means remaining on the kolkhoz announced: "You can all leave. We'll treat you to more vodka if you'll just leave."

The chairman of the Kolkhoz Named for the Twelfth Party Congress in Tolochin Raion of Orsha Okrug, Pekarsky, a worker from Minsk and a VKP(b) member, drinks heavily all the time and passes his time in drunken quarrels with members of the kolkhoz. In Kopyl' Raion, the chairman of the horticulture and vegetable farm artel, Sankovich, worker and VKP(b) member, treats the members of the artel crudely and manages the artel by issuing orders and decrees. His authority is not respected.

Members of the "Dawn" Agricultural Commune, celebrating a religious holiday at a cemetery, were to a man drunk. During the drinking bout the kolkhoz's threshing floor burned and many pieces of agricultural equipment were lost. At the Kolkhoz Named for Stalin in Surazh Raion vodka is traded; the collective farm members often get outrageously drunk and commit violent acts.

At "Red Ray" Kolkhoz in Kliuchev Raion of Bobruysk Okrug, kolkhoz member Sadovsky with the knowledge of the kolkhoz chairman sold 150 poods of potatoes belonging to the kolkhoz. In connection with this the kolkhoz members say: "We don't have a collective farm but a place to be robbed, everyone takes what he can. Our leader knows about it and does nothing whatsoever.

In several raions when meadows were set aside for kolkhoz farmers, independent peasants declared a boycott of kolkhoz members. Peasant carpenters are refusing to work on kolkhoz building projects. During a fire at one of the kolkhozes (Krasno-Sloboda Raion of Bobruysk Okrug) the peasants said: "Why go there. If one or two kolkhozes burn, to hell with them, as long as people haven't been burned up."

In the village of Chizhevichi in Starobinsk Raion of Bobruysk Okrug relations between independent peasants and collective farmers have become very strained. Cattle of "Freedom" Kolkhoz have to stay in their sheds because independent peasants prevent them from being let out to pasture.

In the village of Rostkovo in Liadnensk Raion of Orsha Okrug, independent peasants proceeded to systematically mow meadows belonging to the "Red Day" Kolkhoz.