Archives Revealed! Stalin’s Great Purge Victims Weren’t Always Innocent


[ Editor’s Note – at least in the USSR, they kept their records straight with the official line – take the following with a pinch of salt. I don’t doubt the veracity of the ‘old note’ itself, below – J. Flores ]

Going back to the question of “Great Stalin Purges”, this is an old note written by Vladimir Startsev, who worked as an Assistant District Attorney of Leningrad Oblast, Russia, back in the 2000’s (I had to translated it myself):

“In recent years, we have received multiple request forms from the children and grandchildren of those who fell victims of political repressions under Stalin. They want us to find documentation that would allow to legally rehabilitate their parents, as their families would become eligible for reparation payments of up to 800 rubles per month. We pull up old case files from government archives and it often turns out that those who were sent to labour camps or sentenced to death by shooting back then weren’t innocent victims at all. Some got prosecuted for robbery or stealing, some for collaborating with the German occupants. Their children get shocked when they learn the truth.

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I’ve personally had four cases when I was helping families to uncover information about their repressed relatives. Those people have spent enormous amount of time (and, in some cases, money) launching applications to different government archives.

In the end, one of them found out that his grandmother wasn’t sent to jail because she was a “daughter of a Tsarist military officer”, but because she embezzled funds at a factory where she was working as an accountant and then used the money to buy herself a fancy winter coat.

Another guy was shocked to discover that his grandfather was sentenced to jail not because he “told a joke about Stalin”, but because he was a perpetrator in a gang-rape.

Then the other guy found out that his grandfather wasn’t “an unjustly repressed innocent kulak”, but a recidivist criminal who got sentenced to death by shooting for murdering an entire family (a husband, a wive, and two teenage children).

There was only one whose grandfather was truly repressed on political grounds. But, once again, it wasn’t because he “told a joke about Stalin”. It turned out that he was actually helping Germans to police the population on occupied territories during the War.”

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