Postwar Everyday Life of Collective Farmers of the Ryazan Oblast on Materials of Complaints to the Government: 1945–1955

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УДК 94(47)+94(470.313)

DOI 10.28995/2073-0101-2019-1-79-88

Vera V. Bozhichko

St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

Postwar Everyday Life of Collective Farmers of the Ryazan Oblast on Materials of Complaints to the Government: 1945–1955


The article analyzes documents from the State Archive of the Ryazan Region as a source for studying the everyday life of collective farmers in 1940-1950s. The post-war restoration of the country was one of the most important historical achievements of peoples of the USSR. Studying the post-war Soviet society is impossible without studying its then largest social group – the peasantry. The Ryazan peasants suffered the hardships of national recovery with the Soviet people and the study of their daily life is of scientific interest. The purpose of the article is to analyze the complaints of collective farmers to the central authorities as an important source. Introduction into scientific use of new archival documents facilitates the detailed reconstruction of the daily life of the villagers. The article analyzes files containing citizens’ letters and complaints to the supreme authorities reviewed by Ryazan obkom of the AUCP (b). Upon a preliminary estimation, there are over 2,000 letters from rural residents. Each file includes a forwarding letter from the next higher state agency, an original complaint, an act of the commission on its verification, and response of the obkom of the AUCP (b) on the measures taken. The time framework is 1945-1955. The territorial framework is the Ryazan region within the boundaries of the period. Letters supplemented by official documents carry more data than complaints themselves. They allow to recreate various details of everyday life, the psychological atmosphere, the organization of work and pastime, the relationship between the villagers and the authorities. The dates of documents attached to the complaints allow to determine the speed of state structures’ response to the appeals. Acts of verification more often than not confirm the veracity of facts in the letters. The obkom responses describe measures taken against kolkhoz and regional managers’ wrongdoing. The article includes examples showing that letters to the supreme authorities are a valuable source for studying the daily life of the collective farm peasants.


Sources, archive, State Archive of the Ryazan Region (GARO), peasantry, post-war village, kolkhoz, complaints to authority, everyday life.

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About author

Bozhichko Vera Victorovna, St. Petersburg State University, Institute of history, postgraduate student, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, +7-905-288-98-36, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Submitted 3.05.2018, published (for citation):

BOZHICHKO, V. V. Poslevoennaya povsednevnost' kolkhoznikov Ryazanskoi oblasti po materialam zhalob vo vlast'. 1945–1955 gg. [Postwar Everyday Life of Collective Farmers of the Ryazan Oblast on Materials of Complaints to the Government: 1945–1955. In Russ.]. IN: Vestnik arhivista / Herald of an Archivist, 2019, no. 1, pp. 79-88. doi 10.28995/2073-0101-2019-1-79-88

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