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„Jede Erinnerung an Gott muß überwunden werden“: Kollektivierung und Kirchenabbruch in einem altgläubigen Rajon Sibiriens

Eva Maeder
Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas
Neue Folge, Bd. 48, H. 2 (2000), pp. 233-249
Published by: Franz Steiner Verlag
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41050527
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
„Jede Erinnerung an Gott muß überwunden werden“: Kollektivierung und Kirchenabbruch in einem altgläubigen Rajon Sibiriens
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Abstract

The Soviet struggle against religion and the closing of churches in the 1930s is usually depicted from a macrohistoric viewpoint, as a side-effect of collectivization or as a confrontation between Party and Church leaders. This article focuses on the local level. It shows how central Party directives were fulfilled in a Siberian district and in what way the population - Old Believers - reacted to them. For this purpose documents from regional state and Party archives were combined with oral history. After collectivization, dekulakisation, the elimination of the spiritual elite (ustavščiki), as well as the violent repression of uprisings, the villagers had no more possibilities to oppose the closing of their churches and prayer houses. In pseudo-democratic proceedings believers and village assemblies had to agree to the "reusing of the churches for cultural purposes." This-meant most often their destruction and was experienced as the beginning of Apocalypse. But, not surprisingly, religion didn't disappear from village life. Secret services, baptisms, and Christian funerals continued, after World War II they were even tolerated by the officials. Yet the dissolution of the original communities and the loss of spiritual instruction further added to the general secularisation begun by Sovietization of the village in the late 1920s. In the long run the struggle against religion seemed to be "successful." The dissolution of the Soviet Union gave birth to a reinforced consciousness of tradition and a new identity as "Old Believers." "Traditional culture" has become an important subject in school. Young priests were sent by the traditional orthodox (drevnepravoslavnyj) church of Novosypko and churches are being rebuilt. These are foundations for a new religious life. The life return to traditional values and spirituality before the Soviet "Fall" is no longer possible, however.

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