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Amnesty and Rehabilitation of Collaborators in the Soviet Union, 1953–1964

Student: Aleksandra Riabichenko

Supervisor: Seth Bernstein

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities

Educational Programme: History (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2019

The de-Stalinization period is one of the most important stage in the Soviet history, which is characterized by mass exodus from the GULAG a huge number of recently imprisoned “enemies of the Soviet people”. It is known that from the beginning of the Red Army’s return to territories previously occupied by Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union began a long-lasting and large-scale process of arrests under the charge of collaboration. After the death of Stalin, a contested review of these cases for amnesty and rehabilitation began. In March 1954, Moscow government ordered to organize judicial review commissions for reexamining all counterrevolutionary sentences, including those, who convicted for World War II-related crimes, such as collaboration with Nazis. On September 17, 1955, Soviet cabinet issued another significant decree “On Amnesty”, concerned those people, who collaborated with the occupiers during the Great Patriotic War. This paper aims to understand how did the concept of collaboration change in the Khrushchev era. Was the rehabilitation policy for Khrushchev an attempt to restore socialist legality, or an attempt to be forgiven for past crimes? The present research focuses specifically on investigative protocols from the Sectoral State Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine and corpus of published and archival (Belgorod and Moscow) documents, related to the USSR Prosecutor’s Office.

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