Mikhail Mitsel. The Final Chapter: Agro-Joint in the Years of the Great Terror

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This book deals with the final chapter in the history of Agro-Joint, an organization created by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which operated in the USSR from 1924 to 1938. Among a large number of “counterrevolutionaries” – the term en vogue during the Great Purges of 1937-38 – the workers of Agro-Joint are one of the lesser-known groups that were suppressed. With the opening of KGB archives in the former Soviet Union, additional aspects of the Agro-Joint venture have begun to emerge in chilling detail.

By virtue of their status as an organization as well as their association with foreigners, many Agro-Joint workers became the direct targets of the “operational orders” of the NKVD, and were persecuted in three regions: Moscow, Ukraine, and Crimea. Employees of three Agro-Joint offices, members of Jewish collective farms (kolkhozniki), and doctors seeking refuge from Hitler’s Germany through Agro-Joint in the USSR were all caught in the same web, accused of “collaboration with the counterrevolutionary organization founded by the director of Agro-Joint, Dr. Rosen.” This work acquaints the reader with the original source material necessary to understand the regional and institutional dimensions of the Great Terror. The account of each geographical group is accompanied by a review of the NKVD apparatus’s activities in each region and how they pertained to Agro-Joint. This volume also includes an analysis of the interrogation files of arrested Agro-Joint employees, kolkhozniki, and German Jewish doctors; lists of individuals and short biographical information; geographical and name indices; bibliographical information.

Mikhail Mitsel. The Final Chapter: Agro-Joint in Years of Great Terror. Kiev: Dukh i Litera, 2012. 464 p., ill. ISBN 978-966-378-273-7

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