Kolūkmetis okupuotos Lietuvos kaime
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The analysis of political, legal, economic, social, and managerial aspects of the soviet party resolutions, legal acts, research findings and numerous media materials of the kolkhoz times was carried out to verify the main methodological approach of the monography: “the authorities of the Soviet Union created institutions that were subordinated and controlled by them and were supposed to depict their representative nature <…> in fact ruled the occupied territory of Lithuania through them under repressive structures” (please refer to the chapter Methodological approach). The research in soviet times was difficult due to the soviet reality: one was thought (ideas of the party dictatorship), the second was declared (legal acts, censored press or radio) and the third was implemented (actual handling of the lives of village people). This apocalyptic triad strongly oppressed the villages of occupied Lithuania. In Russia, kolkhozes were established under different circumstances. It was mainly determined by the community tradition obshchina that was characteristic to Russia of the second half of the 20th century. The reform of P. Stolypin which was intended to create European style farms ruled by land owners and not by communities collapsed. After 1917 October revolution Lenin signed a decree that land belongs to the ones who work it which had provoked the civil war and destroyed farming. Nationalization of the land and compulsory expropriation of food had led to unprecedented famine in Russia. The destruction of land ownership in Russia led to forced collectivization by Stalin which ended in 1937 resulting in assignment of 93 percent of villagers and 99 percent of all cultivated land to kolkhozes. The peasants and rustics who hoped for land from bolsheviks were painfully deceived – they became kolkhozers with no land and rights. After the Declaration of Independence of Lithuania in 1918, the land reform became the most important goal of the state. During the first three years of Independence 40 thousand hectares of land were distributed to war volunteers and their families. In 1923-1926 the land reform accelerated. By the end of 1937 10.642 war volunteers were granted land. The success of the land reform was mainly due to the prelate Mykolas Krupavičius. Cooperatives were well developed in Independent Lithuania and farmers were significantly supported by such cooperatives as Lietūkis, Pienocentras, Maistas, later by Linas and Sodyba. During 20 years of Independence Lithuania became the 3rd butter exporter in Europe and 5th in the world. At that time Lithuania was also the main exporter of meat (bacon), linseed and linen. In 1919–1939, 159 118 farmsteads were set up in Lithuania. It was convenient, economical and practical to have a homestead and fields on the same land plot. About 300 000 farmsteads were established during this time. Village communities were established. During 20 years of Independent Lithuania, such institutions as Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Agricultural Academy in Dotnuva, Veterinary Academy in Kaunas, and 6 other higher education institutions of agriculture were launched. The monograph presents the overview of the challenges the occupied Lithuanian villages faced according in different times of kolkhoz development.