Broad Is My Native Land

Broad Is My Native Land: Repertoires and Regimes of Migration in Russia’s Twentieth Century

Lewis H. Siegelbaum
Leslie Page Moch
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: 1
Published by: Cornell University Press
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7591/j.ctt1287dtp
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  • Book Info
    Broad Is My Native Land
    Book Description:

    Whether voluntary or coerced, hopeful or desperate, people moved in unprecedented numbers across Russia's vast territory during the twentieth century.Broad Is My Native Landis the first history of late imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet Russia through the lens of migration. Lewis H. Siegelbaum and Leslie Page Moch tell the stories of Russians on the move, capturing the rich variety of their experiences by distinguishing among categories of migrants-settlers, seasonal workers, migrants to the city, career and military migrants, evacuees and refugees, deportees, and itinerants. So vast and diverse was Russian political space that in their journeys, migrants often crossed multiple cultural, linguistic, and administrative borders. By comparing the institutions and experiences of migration across the century and placing Russia in an international context, Siegelbaum and Moch have made a magisterial contribution to both the history of Russia and the study of global migration.

    The authors draw on three kinds of sources: letters to authorities (typically appeals for assistance); the myriad forms employed in communication about the provision of transportation, food, accommodation, and employment for migrants; and interviews with and memoirs by people who moved or were moved, often under the most harrowing of circumstances. Taken together, these sources reveal the complex relationship between the regimes of state control that sought to regulate internal movement and the tactical repertoires employed by the migrants themselves in their often successful attempts to manipulate, resist, and survive these official directives.

    eISBN: 978-0-8014-5514-8
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-VI)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. VII-VIII)
  3. List of Maps and Tables
    (pp. IX-X)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. XI-XII)
  5. Russian Terms and Abbreviations
    (pp. XIII-XIV)
  6. [Illustrations]
    (pp. XV-XX)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 1-15)

    “Peasants from the warm areas of the Ukraine are being sent to the farthermost northern regions of the USSR,” wrote Stephan G. Prociuk, a son of Ukraine who wound up in New York. A senior analyst at the American Association of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Prociuk had contributed earlier articles to the British-based journalSoviet Studies. In 1967, while writing about “the manpower problem in Siberia,” he lamented not only his fellow Ukrainians “being sent” to northern Russia but also the presence of “nomadic peoples” (presumably from Central Asia) in the metallurgical plants of the Dnieper area and the coal mines...

  8. CHAPTER ONE Resettlers
    (pp. 16-65)

    They left for the most basic of reasons—because of “land hunger,” because the terms of the Emancipation Statute of 1861 had burdened them with redemption payments and cut them off from some of the best lands close to home, because of corrupt local officials, limited employment opportunities, and usurious interest rates on loans. They came to Siberia and the Kazakh steppe because land was plentiful, and making a new start seemed preferable to continuing to eke out an existence back home. This process was known as resettlement (pereseleniein Russian) because it consisted of already settled people moving to...

  9. CHAPTER TWO Seasonal Migrants
    (pp. 66-97)

    Seasonal and temporary migration animated the Russian landscape throughout the twentieth century in remarkably consistent forms. The constancy contradicts the images—and realities—of radical discontinuities of political system, the demographic shift in favor of urban populations, and changes in the technologies of transportation and rural life. Men and women continued to need an infusion of income not available at home, and yet also needed to maintain their household. Employers and enterprises required many more workers in some seasons—or in some years—than in others. Seasonal migration disrupted family hierarchies and took its toll on conjugal relations, but it...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Migrants to the City
    (pp. 98-156)

    The city was the undisputed winner over the village in the twentieth century as rural areas ultimately emptied out in favor of the city. During a century that transformed urban areas and villages alike, cities drew migrants from their immediate hinterlands and far afield. The history of this migration is not uniform, either by kind of city, period, or region. It is rather a complex of attractions, repulsions, and coercions that at some points bound urban and rural areas in a symbiotic relationship and at others pitted the two against each other. Tsarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet Russian governments sought to...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Career Migrants
    (pp. 157-187)

    Pursuing a career often has caused a departure from home, either temporary or permanent. As one of us noted in reference to Western Europe, the bureaucratization of the state in the nineteenth century meant that the majority of career migrants were white-collar functionaries.¹ The employer, in this case the state, typically not only hired the functionary but also designated the location of his or her work. As in Western Europe so in Russia, the state sent schoolteachers and agronomists to far-flung villages, engineers and other technical personnel to resource-extractive enterprises, and officials of all ranks to regional capitals. This institutional...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Military Migrants
    (pp. 188-227)

    Armies imply movement. They presuppose the “mobilization” of human resources and supplies, and conscription takes men away from home. Yet as Joshua Sanborn has observed, “historians of migration have been even less receptive to the notion that soldiers can be analyzed as migrants than historians of armies have been to the idea that soldiers can be analyzed as murderers.”¹ Fortunately, historians of migration are coming to their senses, and in a pathbreaking survey of European migration, Jan Lucassen and Leo Lucassen considered soldiers’ and sailors’ movements as one of the primary types of human mobility. They estimate that over five...

  13. CHAPTER SIX Refugees and Evacuees
    (pp. 228-274)

    War serves as the backdrop for this chapter as it did for Russia’s twentieth century. If soldiers engaged in violent migrations, many civilians faced by an invading enemy abandoned their homes either on their own or with the encouragement and assistance of the state. Authorities not only in Russia but everywhere call those who flee refugees. The word in Russian,bezhentsy, literally means people on the run. It served as the main identifier of the millions displaced by the invasion of Imperial Russian territory during World War I. The term of choice in World War II—the Great Patriotic War...

  14. CHAPTER SEVEN Deportees
    (pp. 275-333)

    The act of deporting—literally, carrying off or away—is among the oldest, most widespread, and decisive measures a state can take against a group or an individual. As part of their “democratic revolution,” the ancient Greeks developed the practice of ostracism (ostrakophoria) to eliminate the threat that prominent individuals posed to the stability of the polis.¹ The Romans preferred exile (exsilium), which could be either temporary or permanent. In the early modern era, overseas colonies provided the opportunity for authorities to disburden the metropole of the indigent, religious dissenters, criminals, and other unwanted individuals of both sexes. The British...

  15. CHAPTER EIGHT Itinerants
    (pp. 334-386)

    This chapter does not fit the typology of migration that has framed our study, nor did the denizens of this chapter fit snugly into the categories employed by respective Russian states to make their populations legible.¹ It is about people who did not seek to be part of a sedentary society, but who rather sought to remain on the margins, or whose lifeways were rooted in migrations. The first group consisted of escapees, tramps, beggars, and orphans fending for themselves, whose ambition it was to fall through the cracks or to begin a new life under a new identity. The...

  16. Conclusion
    (pp. 387-394)

    Amnesty International noted in its newsletter for June 2013 that “more than 42 million people worldwide have now been forcibly displaced by conflict and persecution.” Of these, some 15 million are refugees who fled their country because of abuses or conflict; another 27 million consisted of “internally displaced people,” forced from their homes by conflict within their home country but not crossing an international border.¹ Most of these people are from countries engulfed in civil war, subjected to occupation by a foreign power, or experiencing devastating famines or other untoward conditions misleadingly called “natural disasters.”

    We conceived of this book...

  17. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 395-410)
  18. Index
    (pp. 411-421)