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The Holodomor and Deportation Policies as Attempts to Russify the Soviet Union

By Chris George

From the faculty nominator, Erica Fraser:

For his senior research project in our East European history seminar, Chris chose an unsettling and contentious topic about the Stalin era of Soviet history: Stalin's attacks on the rights of Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars, and other minority groups in the 1930s and 1940s. In addition to his primary source research, Chris read widely in historiography regarding concepts like ethnic cleansing, genocide, forced migration, and famine, as well nationalist and Marxist theory. Chris then applied these theories to case studies of different Soviet minority groups, examining the wider social and political situation, particularly under Stalin, that has led to the application of certain labels over others - "famine" over "genocide," for the Ukraine in 1932-33, for instance. He conducted wide-ranging research into this topic in the space of the semester and synthesized a number of complex themes, producing a very well-researched essay on the important topic of minority persecution.

From the author, Chris George:

Throughout my undergraduate studies, I was both fascinated and repulsed by nationalism and its effects on individuals, groups, and polities, due in part to my own personal confusion at why people identify so strongly along national lines. Nationalism continued At the same time, I was quite interested in the disconnect between Marxist/socialist theory and Soviet political, economic, and cultural practices - particularly during the Stalinist period. My academic fascination with these ideas in practice ultimately latched itself most strongly to the terror that was the 20th century, in the form of ethnic cleansing and genocide (as well as war and general tension) throughout Europe, as exemplified in the Soviet Union. In essence, this paper is a testament to that fascination: an exploration of the politics, ideology, and human cost of ethnic cleansing.

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