Persecution of the Czech Minority in Ukraine at the Time of the Great Purge
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In its introduction, the study recalls the course of Czech emigration to Ukraine and the formation of the local Czech minority from the mid-19th century until the end of 1930s. Afterwards, it depicts the course of political persecution of the Czechs from the civil war to the mid-1930s and mentions the changes in Soviet national policy. It characterizes the course of the Great Purge in the years 1937–1938 on a national scale and its particularities in Ukraine, describes the genesis of the repressive mechanisms and their activities. In this context, it is focused on the NKVD’s national operations and the repression of the Czechs assigned to the Polish NKVD operation in the early spring of 1938. It analyses the illegal executions of more than 660 victims, which was roughly half of all Czechs and Czechoslovak citizens executed for political reasons in the former Soviet Union, both from time and territorial point of view, including the national or social-professional structure of the executed, roughly compared to Moscow. The general conclusions are illustrated on examples of repressive actions and their victims from the Kiev region, especially from Kiev, and Mykolajivka community, not far from the centre of the Vinnycko area, the most famous centre of Czech colonization in eastern Podolia. In detail, it analyses the most repressive action against the Czechs in Ukraine which took place in Zhytomyr where on 28 September 1938, eighty alleged conspirators were shot dead, including seventy-eight Czechs. In this case, fabricated and produced directly in the Zhytomyr Oblast Administration Office of the NKVD, there are clarified the terrorist methods of interrogation and torture of victims, arranged false accusation, which could not been got away, as well as the systematic lying of the authorities on the fate of the victims, which continued after their rehabilitation in 1958, and ended half a century after the executions took place.
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