Conscience on Trial: The Fate of Fourteen Pacifists in by Hiroaki Kuromiya

By Hiroaki Kuromiya

Conscience on Trial unearths the startling tale, saved mystery for sixty years, of normal voters stuck up within the difficult equipment of political terror in Stalinist Ukraine. In 1952, fourteen bad, slightly literate Seventh-Day Adventists dwelling at the margins of Soviet society have been clandestinely attempted for allegedly advocating pacifism and adhering to the Saturday Sabbath. the single written documents of this trial have been sealed within the KGB documents in Kiev, and this harrowing episode has before been unknown even in the Ukraine.

Hiroaki Kuromiya has rigorously analyzed those newly found records, and in doing so, unearths a desirable photograph of personal existence and non secular trust lower than the atheist Stalinist regime. Kuromiya convincingly elucidates the mechanism of the Soviet mystery police and explores the minds of non-conformist believers -precursors to the revival of dissidence after Stalin's loss of life in 1953.

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Additional resources for Conscience on Trial: The Fate of Fourteen Pacifists in Stalin’s Ukraine, 1952-1953

Sample text

2 (March 1993), 57. 60 Sapiets, True Witness, 59. 54 50 Conscience on Trial pened even though the 1936 Stalin constitution guaranteed freedom of conscience. There are few data on the fate of Reformed Adventists. Their fate is not hard to imagine, however, in light of the fact that the officially sanctioned Seventh-Day Adventist Church was virtually liquidated.

Stalin concluded the concordat with the Russian Orthodox Church in order to establish and consolidate, in these borderlands, an ecclesiastical order he could control. He reasoned that using the Orthodox Church would help him to overcome ideological barriers with the peoples in the Soviet-occupied territory of Eastern Europe more effectively than by Marxism alone. Stalin also conceived of creating a ‘counter-Vatican’ (or ‘the Vatican of Moscow’) out of the Russian Orthodox hierarchy. Through Orthodox parishes that existed in numerous countries, Stalin envisaged the expansion of Soviet influence throughout much of the world.

Sergei had a criminal record: in 1944, that is, after the liberation of Vinnytsia, he was sentenced to ten years for refusing to serve in the Soviet (Red) Army. With Vasilii Belokon’ lived his wife, Aleksandra, and another son, Mikhail. Neither worked, although Mikhail engaged in ‘illegal trade’ as a cobbler. Belokon’s daughter, Ol’ga, 32, married, was working as a seamstress. Another son, Ivan, 28, married, lived separately in the neighbouring town of Hnyvans’k, working at its local cooperative (2:517–17v).

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