A Whole Empire Walking: Refugees in Russia during World War by Peter Gatrell

By Peter Gatrell

"... a sign contribution to a transforming into literature on a phenomenon that has develop into tragically pervasive within the twentieth century.... This hugely unique account combines exemplary empirical examine with the really appropriate software of various how to discover the far-reaching ramifications of 'a complete empire walking.'" -- Vucinich Prize citation"An vital contribution not just to fashionable Russian historical past but additionally to an ongoing repositioning of Russia in broader eu and international ancient processes.... elegantly written... hugely innovative." -- Europe-Asia experiences Drawing on formerly unused archival fabric in Russia, Latvia, and Armenia and on insights from social and important thought, Peter Gatrell considers the origins of displacement and its political implications and offers an in depth research of humanitarian tasks and the relationships among refugees and the groups during which they settled.

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Additional info for A Whole Empire Walking: Refugees in Russia during World War I (Indiana-Michigan Series in Russian and East European Studies)

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63 Other commentators, particularly in the liberal press, took a less coy line, openly acknowledging the routine use of compulsion, particularly as applied to Jews and Poles. 64 TARGETING MINORITIES Russia’s minorities continued to suffer the consequences of military paranoia throughout 1915. At the beginning of May, all Jews in Kaunas (Kovno) and Kurland provinces, living west of the Kaunas–Ponevezh–Posvol–Bauske line, were ordered to leave their homes and move east. 65 Around 200,000 Baltic Jews were affected by the “reprisal” for the supposed betrayal of Russian troops by their co-religionists in Kaunas.

Using as a pretext the events at Van, and in accordance with emergency legislation ordering the deportation of communities suspected of espionage or treason (or whose presence was not conducive to military effectiveness), the Turkish authorities turned on the entire community. Hundreds of thousands of Ottoman Armenians were butchered, or were driven from their homes and forced to endure long and humiliating marches to the south, from which many never recovered. 102 German of¤cers stationed in Turkey were instructed to maintain strict silence on “the Armenian issue,” and German newspapers, acting on government orders, made no mention of the massacres.

Refugees sometimes installed boilers in unheated railway freight cars, creating a ¤re hazard. 127 Those who traveled on foot or by oxcart faced other kinds of dif¤culty. The quality of roads in European Russia and in Poland left much to be desired, and during the autumn rains many of them turned into quagmires, trapping the wheels of carts, which were often abandoned. Roads jammed with retreating troops made it impossible for refugees to move at anything other than a snail’s pace. 128 Those who went east by road had to ¤nd or make what shelter they could.

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