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Book cover: Stalin's arm, holding his famous pipe, casually herds people

Against Their Will... The History and Geography of Forced Migrations in the USSR is a historical research book by Pavel Polyan, published by the Memorial society. It is the first comprehensive study of all massive-scale forced migrations within the Soviet Union. The book is based on published materials and archival data made public. It contains a large number of summary tables.

The table of contents gives a fair summary of the book.

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Forced migrations: prehistory and classification
    • Forced migrations before Hitler and Stalin
    • Forced migrations and World War II
    • Classification of forced migrations
  • Part I. Intra-Union Forced Migrations
    • Forced migrations before WWII (1919-1939)
      • First Soviet deportations and resettlements of 1919-1929
      • Dekulakization and kulak exile of 1930-1931
      • Kulak exile and consequences of the famine of 1932-1934
      • Border cleansing and other forced migrations of 1934-1939
    • Forced migrations during and after WWII (1939-1953)
      • Selective deportations from annexed territories of Poland, Baltic States, and Romania of 1939-1941
      • Total preventive deportations of Soviet Germans, Finns and Greeks of 1941-1942
      • Total "retribution" deportations of peoples of North Caucasus and Crimea of 1943-1944
      • Forced preventive deportations from Transcaucasus and other deportations by the end of the war, 1944-1945
      • Compensatory forced migrations of 1941-1946
      • Ethnic and other deportations of 1949-195
    • Geography of the settlement of deported peoples and the process of their rehabilitation in the USSR
  • Part II. International forced migrations
    • Internment and deportation of civil Germans to USSR
    • Labor and repatriation of civil Germans from European countries
  • Conclusion: Geodemographic scale and consequences of forced migrations in the USSR


  • Павел Полян. Не по своей воле...История и география принудительных миграций в СССР (Pavel Polyan, Not of Their Own Will... A History and Geography of Forced Migrations in the USSR). ОГИ Мемориал, Moscow, 2001. ISBN 5-94282-007-4.  
  • Pavel Polian. Against Their Will: The History and Geography of Forced Migrations in the USSR. Central European University Press, 2004. ISBN 9789639241688.  

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