Against Their Will

The History and Geography of Forced Migrations in the USSR
out of print
$35.95 / €29.95 / £25.95
Translated by Anna Yastrzhembska
Publication date: 
444 pages

During his reign, Joseph Stalin oversaw the forced resettlement of people by the millions – a maniacal passion that he used for social engineering. The Soviets were not the first to thrust resettlement on its population – a major characteristic of totalitarian systems – but in terms of sheer numbers, technologies used to deport people and the lawlessness which accompanied it, Stalin’s process was the most notable.

 Six million people were resettled before Stalin’s death. This volume is the first attempt to comprehensively examine the history of forced and semi-voluntary population movements within or organized by the Soviet Union. Contents range from the early 1920s to the rehabilitation of repressed nationalities in the 1990s, dealing with internal (kulaks, ethnic and political deportations) and international forced migrations (German internees and occupied territories).


List of Tables
List of Figures
Foreword to the English Edition
Forced Migrations: Pre-History and Classification

Part I Forced migrations within the USSR

Forced Migrations before the Second World War (1919–1939)
Forced Migrations during and after the Second World War (1939–1953)
Patterns of Deported Peoples' Settlement, and Rehabilitation Process

Part II international Forced migrations

Internment and Deportation of German Civilians from European Countries to the USSR
Employment of Labor of German Civilians from European Countries in the USSR, and their Repatriation
In lieu of a Conclusion: Geo-demographic Scale and Repercussions of Forced Migrations in the USSR

Afterword (By Anatoly Vishnevsky)
Glossay of Russian Terms
Index of Personal Names
Index of Geographical Names

"This big book is a milestone in he publication in English of materials relating to the forced displacement of population in twentieth century Russia. ... Polian covers a huge amount of ground. His impressive scholarly compendium will be an important resource for students of the subject who wish to obtain reliable information on deportations and to analyze it in order to reach their own conluisons. To this extent Polian's careful study has placed scholars of modern Russian history considerably in his debt."
"Meno Pavla Poliana sa oplatí zapamatat'. Uz vyse 10 rokov usilovne a bohato publikuje k téme, ktorá v tunajsom lokálnom variante este lena caka na komplexné spracovanie, k histórii a geografii nútenych migrácií... Knihu doplna mnozstvo tabuliek a máp... Nápomocné sú i styrí velké prílohy...; d'alej extenzívna bibliografia a slovnícek speciálnych vyrazov a skratiek. Dokonaly dojem doplna mal'ba na obálke. Povestná ruka s fajkou v rukáve od uniformy hrnie pred sebou po bielej ploche more malickych l'udí. Téma knihy je strsná, kniha je skvelá."
"The sheer magnitude, inhumane nature, and geographical layout of the deportations documented in Polian's book are mind-boggling. The following historical parallel from a 1923 article by Osip Mandel'shtam, quoted in the book, comes in handy: "Egyptian builders treat the human mass as the material that has to be sufficient and supplied in any quantity" (90). Polian's book is a must for all those interested in the nature and quintessential inner workings of totalitarian political regimes."