These essays give historical context to the Six Lives under Communism. Explore here.

The Mennonites in Russia


The German-speaking Mennonites had settled in Russia after 1789. By 1917, many were wealthier than their Russian neighbors, but communist rule would dismantle their community.

The Russian Revolution


Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky and other revolutionaries overthrew the Tsar in a 5-year bloody struggle that culminated in battles, banditry, epidemic, and famine.

Lenin's Communism


Lenin's policies created the secret police and the Gulag, and introduced rampant requisitioning and religious repression to the Soviet Union.

The Makhno Bandits


Nestor Makhno and his anarchist army fought for a stateless society, targeting the wealthy Mennonites for special brutality.

Stalin at the Helm


Stalin collectivized agriculture, industrialized the Soviet Union, dismantled his opposition, and won a world war...but at the cost of liberty and up to 20 million lives. 

Collectivizing the USSR


Under communism, factory owners and wealthy farmers had to give their property over to an in incompetent state. This process of "collectivization" was wrought with difficulties and opposition.

Let's Call them Kulaks:

Getting Rid of Opposition


Wealthy and educated leaders opposed collectivization. They were deemed "enemies of the regime" and deported to Siberia.

An Unnecessary Famine:

The Holodomor


In 1932-33, a year with an abundant harvest, 5 to 7 million people starved to death in Ukraine due to state policies. How did this happen?

Exile in the Soviet Union


Political dissidents and ethnic minorities were forcibly relocated from their homes in the Soviet Union to remote places in Siberia. A look at exile in the Soviet Union.

Religion in the USSR


The USSR was an atheist state, and its attack on religion was overt and thorough. By the mid 1930s, most churches were closed and many church leaders had been exiled to Siberia. 

Becoming Refugees


Many families fled the Soviet Union during World War II, leaving their homes behind to seek freedom in the west. Years of poverty and hardship ensued. 

The USSR After Stalin


A series of Soviet leaders, including Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and Androponov continued repressive Soviet policies until Gorbachev came to power. 

Leaving the USSR

1920s, 1940s, 1990s

The repressive policies of the Soviet Union caused people to leave, first in the 1920s between Lenin and Stalin, then again during World War II, and finally after the fall of the Soviet Union. 

  •  Leaving Russia - Hein

© 2020 by A Nakhla