Dnipropetrovs’k University under the Pressure of Stalinism of the 1930s

  • V. V. Ivanenko University of Customs and Finance
Keywords: Dnipropetrovs’k University, Ukraine, Soviet power, totalitarian regime, political repressions, state terrorism, «saboteur», «nationalist», «trotskist»


The article uses Dnipropetrovs’k University to exemplify the nature, dynamics, scope and peculiarities of the Soviet penal policy and practice of the 1930s regarding the intellectuals as the most educated and active part of Ukrainian society. The emphasis is placed on the fact that millions of Soviet citizens, including hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, fell innocent victims to the state terrorism. Most of them, being labeled «nationalists», «saboteurs», «trotskists», «enemies of the people», have for numerous years been artificially erased from the historical memory of Ukrainians and subjected to oblivion, which significantly weakened the nation’s gene pool, the background and traditions of the national self-awareness and intellectual potential of Ukraine.Substantial evidence makes it possible to trace the lives of numerous university workers, mainly from the cohort of professors and senior managers. In total, we identified the names of 96 people who had been prosecuted or oppressed by the authorities in the mentioned period. Many of them were physically destroyed, that is, shot. The author argues that those were irretrievable losses among the most highly-qualified staff members of the university, those who, through their intelligence, talent and commitment, determined the main trends and content of the university development under deep social transformations of the 1930s. It obviously made a significant impact on the efficiency of both educational and academic activity of the university as one of the leading centers of classical higher education in Ukraine.In turn, the atmosphere of overall suspiciousness and fear caused, to high extent, by the repressions existingin the-then Soviet society despite the parade reports of the Communist Party leaders, and coupled with other negative factors in the system of government greatly affected the rate of economic growth, development of education, science and culture as well as the country’s defense capability in pre-war years.


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How to Cite
Ivanenko, V. (2018). Dnipropetrovs’k University under the Pressure of Stalinism of the 1930s. Grani, 21(10), 8-16. https://doi.org/10.15421/1718025