Under Soviet Rule, 1917-1957
Few European nations are so little known to the world at large as Belorussia. For centuries this Eastern European country has served as a pawn in the power plays of predatory neighbors. In this, the first detailed study of Belorussia's recent history, the author depicts the successive invasions of German, Polish, and Russian armies in two world wars and the upheavals stemming from the Russian Revolution.
The Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, established in 1919, progressed culturally, educationally, and economically during Lenin's lifetime. Under Stalin, however, her leaders were liquidated in a series of purges, and hundreds of thousands of her people were shot or exiled to Siberia. Thousands more died in the famine that followed the forced collectivization of agriculture. Although Stalin gained the admission of Belorussia to the United Nations, the author concludes that Russian hegemony over Belorussia is as complete today under the Communists as it was for a century under the tsars.