Getting lost in Russia: how people rescued themselves from the state in Stalin's times

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Getting lost in Russia: how people rescued themselves from the state in Stalin's times
Getting lost in Russia: how people rescued themselves from the state in Stalin's times
22 September, 18:37SocietyPhoto: Соцсети
The vast expanses of the motherland and the traditional bureaucratic mess often allowed Soviet citizens to avoid repression.

This is not the first time for Russia: flight from the state is one of the most ancient and favorite pastimes of the peoples inhabiting this boundless space. The last such processes took place in Stalin's times.

Better by myself than by stage

Journalist Natalya Barabash in this regard recalls the family stories of that harsh time:

“Grandfather told how they escaped Stalin's repressions. We moved. Friends went to their dachas and did not shine there. But more often - in other cities. Or recruited into some expeditions.

When mass arrests began around him, my grandfather got a job as the head of a remote railway station and went there with his family. A year later, the head of the neighboring one called him: a commission was traveling along the railway and all the station heads were arrested and shot.

Grandfather lost his temper without waiting for the arrival of the commission, and with his family went to another city, I think Abakan. Then they moved two more times. Who could, tried to live not at the place of registration. One of the relatives said: they returned from the dacha, and the neighbor whispers: they came to you. They, without going home, on the train and to distant relatives. And so they were saved. It helped that the country is large and there is a lot of bureaucratic confusion. Who would have thought that such an experience could be relevant today..."

Barabash readers share their stories:

- My great-grandfather went from Moscow to raise Siberia. At home, it was said "better on my own than on stage".

- My grandmother did the same when my grandfather was arrested in 1938 - she went away with her daughter (my mother) and survived.

And my grandmother did the same. Husband was imprisoned. They came for her when she was not at home. She immediately left Moscow for the countryside, and then wandered around for a couple of years. The husband was shot.

- When the atmosphere of legality thickened over my grandfather, he disappeared. Sailed out two years later, as Stalin died. Even Grandma didn't know where he was. That, however, did not prevent him until the end of his life to believe in some kind of correct communism, which would someday be built.

- A distant relative strangled her breast while feeding her own child in order to save everyone. During the war they lived far away in the taiga.

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