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

By Hiroaki Kuromiya

© 2012

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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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.9in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP003360

  • PUBLISHED MAR 2012

    From: $51.75

    Regular Price: $69.00

    ISBN 9781442644618
  • PUBLISHED MAR 2012

    From: $51.75

    Regular Price: $69.00

Quick Overview

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.

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

By Hiroaki Kuromiya

© 2012

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.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.9in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    ‘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.’


    Robert H. Greene
    Slavic review; vol 72:02:2013

    ‘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.’


    Kayla Hester
    H-War(H-Net Reviews), February 2014

    ‘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.’
    Christopher Gilley
    Europe East Asia Studies vol 66:05:2014

    Conscience on Trial once again confirms Hiroaki Kuromiya as an excellent storyteller, as well as a major authority on the Stalin period known widely for his solid, archival-based work. Kuromiya's lucidly written and highly engaging new book tells the fascinating story of the inner world of Soviet citizens and the workings of the Stalinist repressive apparatus - an interesting and important topic that has received little coverage in the literature. In a manner reminiscent of Carlo Ginzburg's celebrated The Cheese and the Worms, this excellent book unfolds as a human-interest narrative with many elements of mystery.‘
    Serhy Yekelchyk, Department of History, University of Victoria
  • Author Information

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

  • 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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