Podkulachnik

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Podkulachnik (Russian: Подкулачник, literally: "Person under the kulaks") was a political label used in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s to brand people considered traitors to the Soviet Government.

History[edit]

Podkulachnik is considered by many to be a Stalinist neologism from the late 1920s.[1] After the Russian Revolution, the Kulaks - relatively affluent and well-endowed peasants - were persecuted by the Soviet Government as class enemies of the poor, and hence enemies of the Revolution itself.

In every village, there were people who in one way or another had gotten in the way of local activists. [Following the revolution, it] was the perfect time to settle accounts with them of jealousy, envy, insult. A new word was needed for these new victims as a class- and it was born. By this time it had no 'social' or 'economic' context whatsoever, but it had a marvelous sound: Podkulachnik - 'a person aiding the kulaks.' In other words, I consider you an accomplice of the enemy. And that finishes you. The most tattered laborer in the countryside could quite easily be labeled a podkulachnik.[2]

In other countries[edit]

In Hungary under Mátyás Rákosi, a Podkulachnik was called Kulákbérenc, meaning Kulak Hessian

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Kotsonis informs us that the term podkulachnik or 'kulak stooge' – thought by many to be a Stalinist neologism from the late 1920s – was already used before the war." Lars T. Lih. Experts and Peasants. Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 2.4 (2001) 803-822. Referenced to Yanni Kotsonis, Making Peasants Backward: Agricultural Cooperatives and the Agrarian Question in Russia, 1861–1914. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999. x + 245 pp. ISBN 0-312-22099-5.
  2. ^ Solzhenitsyn, 56-57