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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 turn into tragically pervasive within the twentieth century.... This hugely unique account combines exemplary empirical examine with the sensible program of assorted ways to discover the far-reaching ramifications of 'a complete empire walking.'" -- Vucinich Prize citation"An vital contribution not just to trendy Russian background but in addition to an ongoing repositioning of Russia in broader ecu and international old processes.... elegantly written... hugely innovative." -- Europe-Asia reviews Drawing on formerly unused archival fabric in Russia, Latvia, and Armenia and on insights from social and demanding thought, Peter Gatrell considers the origins of displacement and its political implications and gives a detailed research of humanitarian projects and the relationships among refugees and the groups within which they settled.

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Extra resources 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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Russian troops attacked through Galicia, capturing L’vov only a month after the outbreak of war. But military success, no less than military failure, also bred civilian misfortune. 26 Nor was the Russian army alone in dedicating itself to the deportation of civilians. The newly installed governor Count Georgii Bobrinskii, a devoted and determined russophile, regarded Galicia as an inherent part of Russia that needed to be “cleansed” and integrated with the tsarist empire. With the support of a dedicated group of of¤cials from Russia’s southwestern provinces (Kiev, Volynia, and Podol’ia), Bobrinskii embarked on his puri¤cation program.

In 1914, tens of thousands of Poles followed in the wake of the retreating Russian forces. During the great retreat in 1915, their number swelled still more. 4 But many peasants despaired of continuing to farm when horses and livestock had been badly depleted by requisitioning. ”5 Other motives also came to the surface. 6 Civilians were prompted to leave their homes by the fear of being terrorized by enemy troops. ”7 These verdicts generally supported the view that population displacement was the product of mass panic by civilians who nevertheless exercised a degree of choice.

Parliamentarians and public activists accused the army’s general headquarters (Stavka) of incompetence, cruelty, and lack of foresight. But their criticisms extended also to government ministers, provincial governors, and other servants of the state. Even those less inclined to pass political judgment maintained that the hectic and chaotic movement of refugees underlined the incompetence of tsarist ministers and of¤cials. Anxieties about the consequences of refugeedom for public health and public order spoke additionally of antagonism and con®ict between educated society and the tsarist state.

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