Conscience on Trial: The Fate of Fourteen Pacifists in Stalin's Ukraine, 1952-1953

Overview

Conscience on Trial reveals the startling story, kept secret for sixty years, of ordinary citizens caught up in the elaborate machinery of political terror in Stalinist Ukraine. In 1952, fourteen poor, barely literate Seventh-Day Adventists living on the margins of Soviet society were clandestinely tried for allegedly advocating pacifism and adhering to the Saturday Sabbath. The only written records of this trial were sealed in the KGB archives in Kiev, and this harrowing ...

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Conscience on Trial: The Fate of Fourteen Pacifists in Stalin's Ukraine, 1952-1953

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Overview

Conscience on Trial reveals the startling story, kept secret for sixty years, of ordinary citizens caught up in the elaborate machinery of political terror in Stalinist Ukraine. In 1952, fourteen poor, barely literate Seventh-Day Adventists living on the margins of Soviet society were clandestinely tried for allegedly advocating pacifism and adhering to the Saturday Sabbath. The only written records of this trial were sealed in the KGB archives in Kiev, and this harrowing episode has until now been unknown even within the Ukraine.

Hiroaki Kuromiya has carefully analyzed these newly discovered documents, and in doing so, reveals a fascinating picture of private life and religious belief under the atheist Stalinist regime. Kuromiya convincingly elucidates the mechanism of the Soviet secret police and explores the minds of non-conformist believers -precursors to the revival of dissidence after Stalin's death in 1953.

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Editorial Reviews

Robert H. Greene

‘A compelling narrative that sheds light on an otherwise unknown story… It will be read with great profit and much interest by scholars working on the Stalin period and on questions of religious belief and practice in Soviet society.’

Kayla Hester

‘Conscience on Trial is an outstanding glimpse into a fascinating aspect of Soviet history… Kuromiya has provided a valuable and interesting look into the inner workings of the Soviet judicial system in the Stalin era.’

Christopher Gilley
‘This is an excellent piece of scholarship based on exemplary source criticism that gives a fascinating insight into the workings of the Soviet punitive organs and raises interesting questions about private life and the practice of religion in the Soviet Union.’
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442644618
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
  • Publication date: 6/30/2012
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Hiroaki Kuromiya is a professor in the Department of History at Indiana University.
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Table of Contents

Contents

List of Maps and Illustrations
Preface

1 Arrests
2 Stalin, Religion, and the Adventists of Bila Tserkva
3 Interrogations (1)
4 Interrogations (2)
5 Testimonies and Confrontations
6 The Trial
7 Appeals and Exonerations Conclusion and Epilogue

Index

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