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The source for these MVD files is the Odessa Martirology Book volume 4. The following is a translation of pages 56 – 59 (Series “Rehabilitated by history”).
Special settlers fall within the largest category of those repressed in the USSR. Numbering in the millions they were people who had been subjected to mass deportation during various periods of the soviets rule. By administrative means they were ejected from their place of permanent residence, deprived of property, and sent to special settlements in the USSR’s most remote regions and were relegated to forced labor. These people had not perpetrated any crime, but rather just belonged to some definite social group (well-off villagers, handicraftsmen, tradesmen, etc.), definite nationalities (Germans, Greeks, Tatars, Bulgarians, Ossetes, Chechens, Kalmyks, Estonians, Lithuanians, Letts, Poles, etc.), definite faith (Baptists, old-believers, Jehovists, etc.), in possession of a different citizenship (volksdeutsche, those interned, repatriates, deserters, etc.) or other social indications based upon that which a soviet official decidedly attributed them in as either a “socially injurious element” or a “socially dangerous element” category. Millions of soviet citizens were also sent to the special settlements after serving their sentences in camps and prisons where they were repeatingly repressed for the same crimes that they had never perpetrated. They were then used to provide the army with a gratuitous labor force at such places as mines, timber industry enterprises and distant construction projects.
When comparing these repressions to criminal prosecution, arrest or investigation, one would have to agree that this is a different kind of repression, precisely administrative and a new category of those repressed — specially resettled. These repressions were based upon such grounds as various government edicts, proper orders of special services, or resolutions of local power executive agencies. This sort of repression might not appear to be as bloody as mass executions and imprisonment into camps. However, if one is to take into account that whole families, khutors and even villages were ejected with the misappropriation of their houses and properties by those who moved them, that the ejected were directed to the most hostile of places (forests, desert, tundra), that they were registered there to be under the supervision of the GPU/NKVD/MGB special commandant offices, that thousands of people died due to inadequate living and labor conditions, and that those born at special settlements automatically became the repressed — it becomes obvious that this kind of repressions is no less cruel or dreadful than other forms. Moreover, the number of people that were subjected to these repressions, even according to preliminary data, is much greater than those are under investigation, and is at least more than those whose cases were discontinued and are, comparatively, available for researchers. As an example, there are files for about 36,000 repressed people kept at the SBU Odessa Regional Department while the MVD Odessa Regional Department in its Collection 7 of “Specially Resettled” has information on about 100,000 people who were subjected to this sort of repression (One also has to take into account that their relatives were also sent to the special settlements).
The main reasons for resettlement in our region were:
- Belonging to German, Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian or Moldavian nationalities or the “unproletarian” social group
People specially resettled were correspondingly registered as:
- German, Greek, etc.
- Socially dangerous element
Most of the files of this collection were not initiated in Odessa. These files were started at the places of the resettlement special commandant offices and after the repressed were deregistrated. The files were then sent to Odessa. It was established after making archival references on the first set of eight thousand files of Collection 7, that the main portion of these files came from the Sverdlovsk, Tomsk and Perm Regional Departments of the Russian MVD. Thus, they are not the initial files started when people were exiled from the Odessa region and Bessarabia, but either personal files originated at the place of resettlement or files of surveillance initiated because of the resettled case reconsideration and carrying out a decision for the individual’s deregistration. As a rule, these files were started at the last place of special settlement and it is difficult to speculate as to where any preceding files were sent.
Most of the files are personal, i.e. each file pertaining to one person. However, since entire families were sent to special settlements, almost every file contains information about spouses, parents, children, siblings and other relatives ejected along with the person or separately. Since most of the families were large and from the countryside, with numerous and complicated relationships, many files contain the names of up to ten and more additional close and distant relatives who also were repressed. The average file for any specially resettled individual will contain additional information on at least four to six other repressed relatives of that individual.
The first Soviet State Security organization formed after the Russian Revolution in 1917 was known as the Cheka. In 1918 the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs (known as the NKVD) was formed to control all the Militia/Police forces, the Secret Police, as well as many other internal functions.
However, due to the instability of the new Soviet government and the perception of the needed internal security and secret police forces, there were numerous reorganizations. The Soviet Security Forces were constantly reorganized with the various units receiving different command structures, titles, and the acronyms associated with them.
In March 1946, the Soviet government again restructured the state security apparatus and all People’s Commissariats (NK) were designated as Ministries (M). Thus the NKVD became the Ministry of Defense (MVD). The MVD remained in effect until 1954 when the successor, The Committee for State Security (KGB) was formed.
Therefore, all of the repression arrests conducted from 1946 to 1954 were under the jurisdiction of the MVD. Additionally, the MVD was now in charge of arresting all the ethnic Germans, who for whatever reason, were in Russia. These arrests included the Black Sea Germans, who for whatever reason had remained in Russia during and after WWII and many of those who were in the labor camps after 1945, which included those who were processed through the filtration camps.
My MVD arrest list consists of approximately 4,500 names. These names were extracted from a list of over 20,000 ethnic Germans who were arrested after 1945. I have narrowed my list to the people who mostly had originated from the Black Sea area of Russia. Copies of arrest records conducted by the MVD can be found in my book, The Sander Family History.
MVD Arrests Part II
This list of approximately 3,000 names is a continuation of names of people who were arrested by the MVD during hte years of 1944 to 1954.
In the case of these Part II files, there is some additional information such as some detailed arrest records. However, the Archive has decided that at this time, this is all of the information that they are willing to release.
I have attached two lists for the Part II arrests. The list labeled Odessa MVD Arrest List 2A is a list arranged by family groups. The lead person of the family is identified as person number 1. The other family members are then identified in their relationship to this person. The list labeled Odessa MVD Arrest List 2B, is the same as List 2A, except that it is arranged in alphabetical order and does not contain the family relationship information.
MVD Arrests Part III
This is an updated list of the MVD arrests of the previous list of 4,500 names. however, the MVD arrest list is still identified as the Odessa MVD Arrest List 1.
The intriguing new information contained in this list is the release of many pictures for the individuals who were arrested at this time. If a picture is available for an individual, it is so noted in the Photo column of the file.
The people in this list were arrested in 1945 and 1946 and the file implies that the pictures were taken at the time of their arrest. However, additional supporting documentation pertaining to the file stated, that if a file photo (such as a passport photo) existed, that it would be used. If such a photo did not exist and if the person arrested had a photo in his or her possession, then it would be used. If neither of the two afore mentioned photos existed, then a picture was taken at the time of the arrest.
MVD Arrests Part IV
The MVD Arrest lists herein identified as the Odessa MVD Arrest Lists of 3 and 3A are a continuation of names of people who had been arrested by the MVD after WWII and incarcerated in the Forced Labor camps.
The information contained in the individuals arrest record is very similar to the sample records which already has been posted.