NAZAROVA T.P., REDKINA O.Yu. The Mennonites in the Civil War (1918–1920s): Survival Practices of an Ethno-Confessional Group

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2022.4.19

Tatjana P. Nazarova

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of Philosophy, History and Law, Volgograd State Agrarian University,

Prosp. Universitetsky, 26, 400002 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1701-9237

Olga Yu. Redkinа

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor,

Department of History and International Relations, Volgograd State University,

Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8978-9575


Abstract. Introduction. The article examines the survival practices of the Mennonites during the Civil War (based on the materials of the European part of the Russian state).

Methods and materials. The memoirs, letters and diaries of the Mennonites; analytical materials on the situation of the Mennonites, prepared by commissions of the RCP(b) were the source base of the study. The methodological basis of the research was formed by the principles of historicism and objectivity, as well as special-historical methods: historical-comparative, historicalgenetic.

Analysis. Analysis of the behavior of various regional groups of Mennonites during the Civil War revealed different practices of their response to wartime conditions and the nationwide crisis caused by them: political neutrality, the organization of self-defense units, active support of opposing forces, internal migration, emigration, attempts to preserve the traditional economic structure, mutual assistance. The following regional factors were identified that influenced the position of the Mennonites during the War: the brutality and proximity of hostilities; the land policy of the Bolsheviks and the acuteness of the agrarian question; the level of ethnophobia towards German-speaking citizens; the scale of repressions, confiscations; activities of the occupying German-Austrian forces, white governments, Makhnovist bands.

Results. The article shows that in the south of Ukraine, where the Mennonites found themselves in the epicenter of fierce battles between Whites, Reds and Makhnovists, emigration abroad began earlier than in other regions; self-defense detachments acted in an organized manner. Ukrainian Mennonites took an active part in the activities of the German-Austrian and White armies. In other regions, the activities of self-defense detachments were less significant, instead of mass emigration abroad, the Mennonites chose internal migration to quieter areas in 1918–1920. T.P. Nazarova analyzed regional material on the development of Mennonite groups, revealed the nature of their relationship with warring political forces. O.Yu. Redkina analyzed historiography, considered the problem of the activities of the Mennonite self-defense units.

Key words: mennonites, Civil War, self-defense units, emigration, religious pacifism.

Citation. Nazarova T.P., Redkinа O.Yu. The Mennonites in the Civil War (1918–1920s): Survival Practices of an Ethno-Confessional Group. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2022, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 215-224. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2022.4.19.

Лицензия Creative Commons

The Mennonites in the Civil War (1918–1920s): Survival Practices of an Ethno-Confessional Group by Nazarova T.P., Redkinа O.Yu. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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