Право на заступничество: из переписки В.А. Обручева об арестованных геологах Сибири (1949-1954)

Translated title of the contribution: The right for intercession: V.A. Obruchev's correspondence concerning arrested siberian geologist (1949-1954)

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The post-war period in USSR is notable for competing trends in the scientific and educational communities. The first trend kept up mobilization policy of the war years, which consisted in strengthening the scientific and educational potential to solve the country's top problems, made it possible to succeed in the national economy revival and to ensure a breakthrough in the creation of front-rank defense industry. The second, protective trend, was fraught with a significant expansion of the forced labor system (camp-manufacturing complexes), which required an equally grand-scale intellectual and professional support. At long last, repressive sanctions expanded towards a part of scholars whose life and professional work, despite being put to good use incarcerated in special/special technical bureaus ("sharashka"), were deformed because of unfreedom.
The goal of the study is to reconstruct on archival source basis the events related to the internal response of a corporate circle of geologists to the arrest of almost forty lead specialists within the so-called "Krasnoyarsk case of geologists" framed up by the MGB in 1949. Arrests and long five- year jail placement affected the core of Tomsk University geological professors (I.K. Bazhenov, A.Ya. Bulynnikov, M.I. Kuchin, V.A. Khakhlov, F.N. Shakhov), whose close relatives, students, as well as leaders of scientific community fought for exoneration and discharge of the prisoners.
Intercession for those who were purged during Stalin era presents special behavioral phenomenon - a display of self-sacrifice, based not only on traditions and norms of scholarly ethics established in the late imperial period, but also contained individual and group risks accepted by outstanding scientists. One of them was the patriarch of Russian geological science academician V.A. Obruchev, whose self-sacrificing activity resulted both in supporting purged families and in sending requests "upstairs" to review cases of imprisoned Siberian scientists.
Through the use of V.A. Obruchev's personal fund in the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which reposits his correspondence with wives of prisoners and exiles and afterward his appeals to the highest authorities of the State, it is possible to reconstruct certain important aspects of the phenomenon of intercession (motivation, arguments, vocabulary, rate of success, etc.) as a display of scholarly solidarity in opposition to self-advancement and conformism of other part of scientists. Corporative scholar support contributed to the welcoming environment for scientists released in 1954 and resumed their professional activity.
Translated title of the contributionThe right for intercession: V.A. Obruchev's correspondence concerning arrested siberian geologist (1949-1954)
Original languageRussian
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalВестник Томского государственного университета. История
Issue number65
Publication statusPublished - 2020



State classification of scientific and technological information



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