Tug on survival

"Bread War" raged and at any moment could go into a civil — against the hungry fed. What to do?

As we wrote, "bread of war", tightened from year to year, each season blanking put the country on the brink of starvation public (local hunger and so came every year). The reform plan, the government had. Good plan — a sturdy middle peasants and progressive co-operative poor. But lacked the time. It would have a good collectivization voluntarily and gradually, but ten or fifteen years, as suggested by theorists, the country was not. There was not even five years old. Time does not remain. "Bread War" raged and at any moment could go into a civil — against the hungry fed.

What to do? You can catch a private traders to distraction, but it's like to fight against mosquitoes, sitting at the swamp. The problem should be solved not where bread was sold, and where grown — in the village. And her decision was known. And if such trouble with the time — hence, the terms should be reduced.

Zero cycle

Fixed assets of the village were still very pitiful. Refill them until it was impossible and not necessary — in the first five-year plan laid several tractor and combine plants, had only to hold out for just two or three years, until the village en masse will not go tractor. Agricultural machinery was very small, and it was too expensive, so that it could buy low-power farms, not only individually but even the collective, even on the most favorable terms — still could not. And take care of them men do not know how — to give them a hand tractor meant ditching equipment.

Output prompted Ukrainian farm Shevchenko, who first organized a "machine-tractor column" — of this initiative later grew the machine and tractor stations, famous MTS. By the fall of 1928 the number had reached a truly cosmic scale: in the USSR existed as much as thirteen (13) columns, which had 327 tractors and farms served by 6138 the total area of 66 thousand hectares. And by the spring of 1929 only in the Hlebotsentra number reached 45 mts (1,222 cars), and they accounted for already 322 thousand hectares. We remind you that only the Soviet Union, there were about 25 million peasant households, and the total area under grain was about a million acres.

It is also centrally came to other peasant needs — in particular, the preparation of seed grain and agricultural tools rental. In the 1927/28 financial year, there were 16,097 mashinoprokatnyh and winnowing points for sowing grain was cleared 1093 thousand tons, of which 222 thousand tons of seed was a loan. Naturally, the interest on the loan was more profitable than the fist: even at the state grain prices 8-10% of the money will be less than half of the traditional harvest. Yes, and not just farmers received grain and seeds, cleaned of weeds and fungus that gave hope for a decent crop. Hire agricultural stock in the cooperative Rentals also cost in two, and the public — is three times cheaper than renting at the "benefactor."

MTS served as a powerful stimulus for the formation of collective farms — tractors to plow the poor and middle peasants strip originally had no meaning, the tractor there is simply nothing to do. Therefore, only around MTS for the year 203 came TOZAN that united 16 872 hectares of land.

A total of 1929 in the USSR, there were 38,460 farms, uniting 660 thousand households, a total of — 3.7% of collectivization. In Ukraine, the data 14 306 285 thousand and 5.6%, in Belarus — 1027, 10.7 million and 1.4%, respectively. And across the country on July 1, 1929, there were 57,045 farms, uniting 1007.7 thousand farms. To speak of a reform with such indicators is ridiculous.

These early, yet voluntary collective farms were really poor man's associations. According to the Commission of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) shall be made in the summer of 1928 a survey of the social composition of the collective farms, in the communes of the poor were 78%, 21% of middle peasants and wealthy 1% in cooperatives — respectively 67%, 29% and 4%. and TOZah — 60%, 36% and 4%. Interestingly, those who were well-off? Forward-fists or the most fanatical "uplifters", wait for the realization of the dream?

That same summer of 1928 on a farm had an average of 12-13 households in a year — 17-18 households. The average size of poor peasants wore at the time was about 3 hectares of farm laborers — about 2 hectares. From here you can easily estimate the total area of farm land: 40-60 hectares. Truly agrogiganty — but still at least some, and progress …

First stage: the normal flight

Floated the idea of accelerating the process in the air, or who should have prompted her time — but at the end of July 1929 Chapaevsky District Middle Volga region took the initiative to transform it into the area of complete collectivization. What is interesting — the country's leadership is not considered leftist venture, by contrast, has approved it. Although certainly not flatter yourself about what things will turn out.

However, the initiative was well — it was too much to see. By September Chapaevsky in the area was organized by 500 farms, mostly TOZov, of whom there were 461 total thing, and in addition, 34 of the farm and five communes. They combined economy of 6441 10 275 (63%) and socialized 131 thousand from 220 thousand hectares, including 82 hectares of arable land (almost 50% of what there was in the area). A simple calculation, we find that the average size of arable land per farm — 1.3 ha. That is really united poorest of the poor, which was to receive.

Areas of collectivization began to appear in other places. In August 1929 it has announced a District — Hopersky in the Lower Volga region. August 27 issue was considered a district committee of the CPSU (b), September 4 — Kolhoztsentrom. However, the deadline was put quite reasonable — the collectivization of the county was supposed to be completed within five-year period, and only four developed areas — in the coming year.

On September 15, the county has been declared for the month of collectivization — and the work began. In the village and the village of District 11 teams left organizers of the number of party and trade union workers a total of 216 people, that is 20 people per team, and almost the same number of party workers from the districts. They held meetings and poor laborers, who were Red Guards and the guerrillas, members of the Komsomol and women — all on whom could somehow rely on the power. In August, the collective pooled around 12 thousand households in October, has more than tripled, and the percentage of collectivization up to 38%. More importantly, about six times the size of farms increased. Contingent they cover one you want 56% of the collective farmers were poor and laborers, 42% — middle peasants. Among the small farms predominated TOZ to large almost all were artel and the commune, where almost entirely socialized working cattle and half — cows and sheep.

Slowly, the process began to spin in all agricultural regions. First came grain-growing areas for which it all began.

The natural center of collectivization served MTS. Here's just one example: in Siberia, Mamlyutskom area to organize collective consisted of MTS in 26% of farms, and after one season of the station that percentage jumped to 88% — loved it! The same thing happened around other MTS and columns — somewhere percentage of collectivization was higher, somewhere below, but is always greater than MTS in remote areas.

Grouped collective farms and state farms near successful. What is also surprising
— exerted its effect example large intensive farms. For example, around 14 farms in the North Caucasus in 1929 came 125 collective farms, in Pugachev district of the Lower Volga region, where it was created eight large grain farms, at the end of 1929 the level of collectivization was 42.6%, and in the neighboring areas — from 9% up to 16%.

In general, the fall of the Soviet Union in 1929 the percentage of collectivization was 7.6%. According to the Russian Federation — 7.4%, in Ukraine — 10.4%. Even better, though still very little else.

Rose sharply, by the way, and the volume of investment in agriculture. Now they say that the government used most of the money in the industry, leaving the agricultural sector is neglected. Well it is official figures expressed at the November plenary session of the CPSU (b) 1929. According to the five-year plan in 1929/30 years of investment in the industry were up 2.8 billion rubles, transport — 1.9 billion in agriculture — 3.5 billion rubles. As you can see, the priority is given to just the agricultural sector. But almost immediately the figures were adjusted: now investing in industry, transport and agriculture sector were to form, respectively, 4000000000, 1900000000 and 4300000000 rubles.

So, to say that the country is siphoned off funds from the country — at least in bad faith. On the contrary, the money is pumped into the agricultural sector to a greater extent than in the industry, despite the fact that commodity production in 1928/1929, he set the state by only 1.3 billion. Even if we accept the amendment that the procurement prices for agricultural products are underestimated by half (in fact, free market prices in the absence of excitement over at most 50% — more lift simply makes no sense), — agriculture still nedotyagivaet to return. All the years in the semi-feudal village will be invested huge amounts of money, but they do not go to the individual farmer loans, and mechanization, the creation of MTS, the construction of power plants, the supply of the village of varietal seeds and pedigree cattle and more necessary to create a modern, high-value manufacturing.

Left Bank

And then the people on the ground, as usual, got a taste. On the one hand, rural asset like "a breakthrough in socialism" on the other — do not underestimate opponents as agrarian reform and the Soviet government as a whole. They are also well known or understood instinctively that the best way to counteract to some cause — is to bring it to the point of absurdity.

Decisions of the November Plenum of the Central Committee and the Politburo resolution "On the pace of collectivization and the measures taken by the State Farm Development" complete collectivization was determined as the main task of the party, government and co-operative organizations. That's how they took it and. Rather than make a break, continued to collectivization. By mid-December in the Lower Volga region have entered into collective farms of more than 60% of farms in the Crimea — 41%, in the Middle Volga and North Caucasus — 35%, in Siberia — 28%, in the Urals — 25%, etc.

Seeing such marvelous performance on the field even more happily broke down in the state of emergency — hooray, we introduce communism! In January and February in the village what the hell was going on — the local leftists waited last name-heart!

There is only one scene of the OGPU documents — but very revealing.

"Comrade. Muratov said, if you do not go to the farm, we think nothing of shoot 10 people out of a hundred or burn you on the four sides, so that none of you will run out tomorrow, you will sacrifice — banged his fist on the table and closed the meeting. On the second day of the meeting came Comrades Preobrazhensky, Deacons and the peasant Yamilin Michael Molofeeva the same village, which has agriculture, one horse and one cow, said: "Come on, old man, to the threshing floor." The old man got dressed and went with them. Family, knowing of the conversations yesterday meeting decided that the old man took to shoot. The old woman, that is, his wife ran off with a fright in another village Bulgakovo located at 6 versts, which was brought to consciousness, and then left half-deaf, and Catherine A. of the same family fell unconscious and lay all day, after which was examined by a doctor and found: if there is a second occurrence of such a fright, it is inevitable insanity "[1].

Not surprisingly, with such methods are derived simply amazing. Number of districts collectivization two months almost doubled. Reaching 1928 (about 2/3 of all parts of the country), they are merged into the county, area. Already in 1929 the Lower Volga region was declared the edge of complete collectivization. By the time the collective farms there had around half of all households, and in some districts — up to 70-80%.

Of course, what good all this could lead. On the one hand, the new farmers were angry violence, on the other — a bloated, not organizationally ready for a sharp rise in collective reigned-Which is the mess! And so what happened in the new, violently knocked together farms — and did not describe. This immediately happily took advantage of all the opponents of collectivization of the kulaks holed up in the villages and townships of tsarist officials and white officers.

The first session, "reposition drain"

However, the government has responded almost immediately. The first fight was a delight to administrative data in the decision of the Central Committee of 20 February 1930 "On the collectivization and the struggle against the kulaks in the national economically backward areas." In fact, collectivization was not carried out at all for the sake of non-grain regions, so why run ahead of the locomotive?

Well, then followed the main shock. March 2, prefacing draw conclusions, came the famous Stalin's article "Dizzy with success", and on March 14 — a decree "On the Fight Against Distortions of the Party Line in the collective motion", where all the local communists very clearly explained what they did wrong.

"… First of all, violates the principle of voluntary participation in the collective farms. In some areas, replaced by voluntary compulsion to join the collective farms under threat of dispossession, under penalty of deprivation of electoral rights, etc. As a result, the number of "kulaks" sometimes gets a part of the middle and even the poor, and in some areas the percentage of "dispossessed" up to 15, and the percentage of disenfranchised — 15-20. Observed facts only rude, ugly, criminal appeal with a population of some grass-roots workers, which are sometimes the victim of provocation by the hangers-revolutionary elements (looting, the carve-up of the property, the arrest of the middle and even the poor, etc.).

… In a number of areas of the preparatory work for the collectivization and patient explanation of the basis of party politics as the poor and middle peasants are replaced by a bureaucratic, top bloated bureaucratic decreeing digital data and artificial blowing percent collectivization (in some areas of collectivization in a few days, "comes" with 10% 90%) …

…Along with these curvatures are observed in some places illegal and detrimental to the facts of the case of forced collectivization of residential buildings, small livestock, poultry, dairy cattle and subsistence in connection with this — trying to leap from blockheaded artel form of collective farms, which is the main link farm movement, to the commune . They forget that the main problem of agriculture is, we do not "bird" or "cucumber" problem, and the problem of grain. They forget that the main link farm movement is currently not the commune, and сельскохозяйственнаяартель. They forget that this is why the Pa
rty considered it necessary to give the model rules are not agricultural communes and agricultural cooperative. As a result of these distortions blockheaded we have in a number of areas discredit farm movement and flow of peasants from some hastily baked and therefore quite unstable communes and cooperatives … "

Then there are specific instructions Party workers, as is proper conduct collectivization. There's a lot of points, but the two are interesting for us because it sharply at odds with the generally accepted notions of the time.

"…To prohibit the closure of markets, bazaars and recover without restricting sale peasants, including farmers, their products on the market.

Resolutely stop the practice of closing churches in the administrative procedure, to hide behind a fictitious social and voluntary wish of the population. Allow closing of churches only in the case of a real desire of the overwhelming majority of peasants and not, except with the approval of the regional executive committees regulations gatherings. For mocking antics against religious feelings of villagers bring the perpetrators to strict liability … "

Occasionally when the Central Committee took so rigid in language and spirit of the document. Thousands of Communists were expelled from the party, a lot of people went on trial, and some were shot and …

Naturally, after the decision of the people in the mass, pulled out of the farms. The Middle Volga in March reached 280 thousand households in the Central Black Earth region — 131 thousand, in Georgia, where the collective and not needed, — 131 thousand in the Leningrad region, which is also little interest in the sense of collectivization — 28 thousand , in the Nizhny Novgorod region — 117.7 thousand, while 23 villages completely.

On the ground, fought as best they could. Moscow was literally inundated with complaints that released from the farm does not give livestock and implements, do not give ground.

For three months the percentage of collectivized farms fell by more than half (from 56% to 23.6%), approximately to the level of January 1930. But still, even with these sad circumstances, the year he rose from 4% to nearly 24% — six times. Another such a jerk — and you can relax …


When you want to … do something quickly and with unsuitable performers, "the principle of swing" — the best option. Did the authorities that collectivization would go with overlap? And that! The main thing — time to push the board back.

When closed, the letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) on April 2, 1930 said:

"Received in February, the Central Committee of the information about mass protests of farmers in the Central Black Earth region, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Siberia, Moscow region opened a position that can only be described as threatening. If it were not then immediately taken against distortions Party Line, there would now be a broad wave of insurgent peasant uprisings, a good half of our grass-roots workers would be massacred peasants, would be disrupted sowing would be undermined collective farm construction and it would endanger our internal and the external position. "

However, measures have been taken in time, and people's "peasant war" has not taken place. A percentage of collectivization has grown six times — and how else could this be achieved?

In the autumn of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) in other enclosed letter demanded "to achieve a new collective-strong recovery." Shortly afterwards, a task — to collectivize a year at least half of all farms, and in the major grain-growing regions — not less than 80%. It all started again.

There are economic and the first results of which we can talk. In the North Caucasus, one of the major grain-growing areas of the country, the yield on the collective farms were on average 20-25% higher than in individual farms, the average farmer's income was 810 rubles, and the individual farmer — 508 rubles. That's an average, and given the fact that many farms were little different from individual farms, the indicators of successful collective command respect.

There were outstanding economy. So, the income of one yard in the "Red Terek" (Northern Caucasus) was 1,120 rubles — four times more than the average individual farmers, in the "First Five-Year Plan" (Middle Volga) — 1000 rubles per household versus 275 in the individual farmers and etc.

How many were they, these farms? Yes, a little, of course. Too many factors had to come together: and the mood of the peasants, and competent management, and the ability to shield the economy from sabotage, and even elementary hleborobskoe luck. Few of them were.

And around these peaks, descending lower and lower, to the low-lying marshes, housed a variety of services. More or less successful, medium, weak, collapsing completely. Economy — like people, each with its own face and his own destiny.

After the new … jerk followed by a new blow to the "peregibschikam," and some of the farmers again yanked from the farms. Nevertheless, the results pleased — after each "roll" in them had more and more farms. In general, and I had to hold on just two or three years — until the plants are under construction of agricultural machinery will not give the products. After that, the question can be considered a final decision.

On July 1, 1933, to the end of collectivization in the Soviet Union was formed 224.6 thousand farms, which included 15.3 million peasant households, or 65.6% of the total number in the country. It can be said that the reform took place: the collective and state farms were the main producers of grain in the country. Further work in the agricultural sector will go under a completely different economic system. But what about the old "usurious" system? Surrendered without a fight? This is the next article.

The magazine "Expert"

writer-historian Elena Prudnikova

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