A Whole Empire Walking: Refugees in Russia during World War by Peter Gatrell

By Peter Gatrell

"... a sign contribution to a transforming into literature on a phenomenon that has turn into tragically pervasive within the twentieth century.... This hugely unique account combines exemplary empirical learn with the really appropriate program of varied easy methods to discover the far-reaching ramifications of 'a complete empire walking.'" -- Vucinich Prize citation"An very important contribution not just to trendy Russian background but in addition to an ongoing repositioning of Russia in broader eu and international ancient processes.... elegantly written... hugely innovative." -- Europe-Asia stories Drawing on formerly unused archival fabric in Russia, Latvia, and Armenia and on insights from social and demanding thought, Peter Gatrell considers the origins of displacement and its political implications and offers an in depth research of humanitarian tasks and the relationships among refugees and the groups within which they settled.

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Extra info for A Whole Empire Walking: Refugees in Russia during World War I (Indiana-Michigan Series in Russian and East European Studies)

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A third category comprised workers who left voluntarily. In practice, most workers evacuated themselves more or less spontaneously, clambering onto goods wagons and making their way to the Russian interior as best they could. 96 The consequences for a major imperial city such as Riga were devastating; at the start of the war it numbered 480,000 inhabitants, but by early 1917 only 240,000 remained. 99 26 A Whole Empire Walking The Caucasian front presented an equally disturbed picture. The Russian army crossed the border in early May 1915.

39 The fortresses of Ivangorod (Deblin; located in Kozenitskii uezd, Radom province) and Brest-Litovsk succumbed as well. 40 Farther north, the German army consolidated the gains made during the previous year’s offensive. 41 In Lithuania, the town of Kaunas—with 88,000 inhabitants, half of them Jewish—fell on 4 August. Vilna—more than twice as large, with a mixed Jewish, Polish, and Lithuanian population of 204,000 in 1914—was occupied early in September. 42 Austrian troops reconquered Galicia, capturing Przemysl on 20 May and L’vov on 9 June, allowing them to join up with the Germans in Russia’s southwest.

This is in no way to minimize the signi¤cance of those refugee movements that were a response to genocidal intent and which resulted in colossal human degradation, suffering, and killing. But a focus on spatial mobility does serve to emphasize just how crucial an element in the preparation of genocide is the process of physical con¤nement. 52 In other circumstances, refugees may discover strength in solidarity and even attain a kind of liberation in place of collective bondage. 53 In wartime Russia, displaced people were and remained subjects of the tsar.

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