Immigrant Communes in Soviet Russia (USSR) of the 1920s–1930s: Organization, Functioning, Relations with the Authorities

Publication type Article
Status Published
Rostov State Economic University “RINH”
Don State Technical University
Address: Russian Federation, Rostov-on-Don
Affiliation: Don State Technical University
Address: Russian Federation, Rostov-on-Don
Journal nameNovaia i noveishaia istoriia
EditionIssue 6

The article, based on a wide range of sources, the central elements of which are archival materials, analyzes one of the problems that are not sufficiently covered in the scholarly literature, namely the emergence and functioning of immigrant collective farms in important agricultural regions of the RSFSR (USSR) during the 1920s–1930s. The article substantiates the position that the young Soviet state was interested in placing on its territory the maximum possible number of supporters of the communist doctrine who arrived from abroad and were eager to contribute to the construction of socialism in the RSFSR in every possible way, in particular, by creating collective farms, strengthening them and thereby promoting socialist ideas in the countryside. Therefore, the Soviet legislation adopted and applied the most-favoured-nation regime to foreigners or re-emigrants who expressed a desire to work on collective farms. It is demonstrated that the immigrant farms had significant technical and human resources, as well as ideological and political motivation to make a tangible contribution to overcoming the difficulties experienced by Soviet Russia and to promote the socialist modernization of agriculture. Yet, along with successful immigrant collective farms (communes), which achieved noticeable results in their economic and propaganda activities, several such collective farms failed to gain a footing on Russian soil, among which not the least was the suspicious and distrustful attitude towards foreigners on the part of Soviet party-officials. In the 1930s, the leading trend was a reduction in the influx of foreign volunteers to collective farms since the espionage, suspicion, and intolerance towards foreigners characteristic of Soviet reality turned immigrants into undesirable persons in the USSR.

Keywordsforeign citizens, re-emigrants, collective farms, most-favoured-nation regime, Soviet legislation, agricultural regions RSFSR
Publication date19.10.2021
Number of characters42074
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