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Soviet Special Camps of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs in Germany: Background, Course and Results of Their Liquidation (1947-1950)
Abstract.The subject of this study is the liquidation process of special camps of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR, which operated in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany during the period of 1945 - 1950. Based on a wide range of sources, above all sources from the State Archives of the Russian Federation (GA RF) and the Archives of Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation (AVP RF), the author analyzes the complex of reasons (pertaining to both foreign and domestic policies) that prompted I. V. Stalin to make the decision to gradually release the detainees from the special camps (consisting, for the most part, of interned German citizens). The author gives particular attention to the examination of the features behind the operation of special camps in the period under review. The methodological basis of this study is constituted by the principles of historicism, analysis and synthesis, as well as the historical-genetic method, which allowed the author to consistently analyze the stages of the camp network closure within the context of the Soviet policy towards Germany. The article demonstrates how the need for the dissolution of special camps, due to their inefficiency and the high costs of their operation, gradually saturated at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, as well as presents an analysis of this process' ties with Stalin's policies in East Germany. The article substantiates the idea that the easing of the repressive policies in East Germany was directly linked to the creation of the German Democratic Republic and Stalin’s desire to consolidate as wide a range of citizens as possible around the ruling party (SED - Socialist Unity Party of Germany) to further Sovietize the country.
Keywords: Soviet-German relations, USSR, Ivan Serov, Stalin’s repressions, internment, SMAG, special camps in Germany, Gulag, soviet foreign policy, Stalin
Article was received:05-11-2018
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .