NDSU Libraries publishes book on persecution in
the former Soviet Union
Feburary 1, 2003
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased
to announce publication of this important work, Hide
Me Within Thy Wounds: The Persecution of the Catholic Church in
the USSR. The author writes in the Introduction: "On
coming to power in 1917, the Bolsheviks condemned religion as the
`opium of the people', and persecution of the Church became for
many years an integral part of domestic policy in the Soviet Union."
"As early as January 1918 they issued a decree on the separation
of Church and state, and the laws deriving from it deprived all
religious groups of judicial rights and declared their possessions
of property of the nation. Such degrees provided the justification
for the mass seizure and destruction of churches, punitive measures
against the clergy and hounding of believers for their religious
convictions. The records of the `organs' show that while 2,429 priests
were arrested in 1923-1924, the figure grew to 19,812 in 1931-1932.
The warriors for ideological purity made no distinctions. All groups
suffered: Orthodox and Catholic, Lutherans, Baptists and other Protestants,
Mennonites, Moslems, and Buddists."
This book describing Soviet persecution of priests and believers
of various persuasions, is devoted to the Catholics. The history
of persecution of the Catholic Church in Russia from 1918 to its
almost complete annihilation in 1939, when only two function Catholic
churches remained, has been described in other books. The distinctive
feature of this book is that it makes available for academic study
and public judgment previously inaccessible material from the central
and regional archives of the Russian Federal Security Service and
the Ministry of Internal Affairs, The Ukrainian Central State Archives
of Public Administration, and the archives of security service in
the republics of the former USSR.
This account of the fate of Catholic clergy and laity caught up
and crushed in the machine of repression draws on material from
investigation records and personal files of prisoners, aggregate
returns of general Soviet camp administration (GULAG), and instructions
and coded telegrams of the secret police.
To purchase "Hide Me Within Thy Wounds", send $35 plus
$3 postage payable to NDSU Library. Mail to Germans from Russia
Heritage Collection, Hide Me Within Thy Wounds Book, NDSU Libraries,
PO Box 5599, Fargo ND 58105-5599.
to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested
by contacting Michael