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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 22, 1947

MEMORANDUM, ARMENIAN COMMUNIST PARTY CENTRAL COMMITTEE SECRETARY GRIGORY ARUTINOV TO JOSEF STALIN, 'ABOUT THE MOOD OF A PART OF THE ARMENIANS REPATRIATED FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES'

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Arutinov reports on the mood of the "repatriated" Armenians, members of the diaspora who were encouraged to move to Armenia by the Soviet government. The report describes assistance given to the over 50,000 repatriated Armenians and efforts to deal with dissatisfied members who were "in favor of re-emigration."
    "Memorandum, Armenian Communist Party Central Committee Secretary Grigory Arutinov to Josef Stalin, 'About the Mood of a Part of the Armenians Repatriated From Foreign Countries'," May 22, 1947, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, National Armenian Archives. Translated by Svetlana Savranskaya https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117338
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SECRETARY CC VCP/b/

Comrade STALIN I. V.

ABOUT THE MOOD OF A PART OF THE ARMENIANS REPATRIATED FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES

Out of 50,945 Armenians, who arrived from foreign countries, 20,900 are able to work; they all were given employment at industrial enterprises, construction, in the teams of craft cooperation, and the peasants— in the collective and state farms.

The main mass of repatriated Armenians adjusted to their jobs and takes an active part in productive activities. A significant part participates in the socialist competition—for early fulfillment of the plans, and many of those exhibit high standards in their work.

There is a small part of the repatriated, who initially switched from one job to another and subsequently engaged in trade and speculation on the markets.  The number of [those individuals] reaches 600 to 700 people.

Among the members of this group exists a sentiment in favor of re-emigration.  According to our information, 21 persons crossed the state border into Turkey at various times.  110 people were detained in the border zone for violations of the border regulations, and they are charged with attempting to cross the border [illegaly].  In addition to that, we know of up to 300 people who are inclined to re-emigrate.  Usually, under interrogation, the detained persons explain their motivation to flee the Soviet Union as due to economic factors.

The analysis of their situation on the part of the CC CP(b) of Armenia shows that all of them were given employment upon their arrival, were provided with housing, and received assistance at their workplaces both in food and money.  All this notwithstanding, they have not settled into their jobs, but engaged in sales on the market.

The majority of these persons are between 18 and 27 years of age.  According to the statements of their parents and family members, they did not work anywhere before their arrival in Armenia and were “separated” from their families.  

The repatriated almost unanimously condemn the behavior of this group of repatriates and call them traitors.  

Taking into account the material difficulties of the first years after relocation, the government of Armenia provides systematic assistance to the needy.

Besides the provision of bread on the ration card system for all relocated Armenians and members of their families, they are periodically given [other] food products—flour, cereals, sugar—and other goods—kerosene, soap, footwear etc.—above the usual provision.

The government of Armenia provided 2,300 thousand rubles from the financial assistance fund to those repatriates who have large families and are needy.

Up to 30 million rubles was provided already for construction of individual houses from state credit.  The repatriated persons are building 3,890 houses, and further selection of plots for such construction is in progress.  

The CC CP(b) of Armenia and the Council of Ministers of the Armenian SSR outlined measures to strengthen the border regime in order to prevent border crossings.  Among those measures in the relocation of the repatriates, who settled in the villages adjacent to the line of the state border, to deeper regions of the republic.

Those people who express re-emigration sentiments are being relocated from the border regions and the city of Leninakan to the deep regions of the republic.

It was decided not to settle arriving Armenians in the villages located in the 5-kilometer border zone in the future.

Joint measures for increasing the number of border posts and checkpoints, as well as the number of border personnel, were outlined to the USSR Ministry of Interior.

We are undertaking measures for strengthening political work among the repatriated Armenians.  

SECRETARY OF CC CP(B) OF ARMENIA

(ARUTINOV Gr.)

22/V-1947

N 513/c