By Peter Gatrell
"... a sign contribution to a becoming literature on a phenomenon that has turn into tragically pervasive within the twentieth century.... This hugely unique account combines exemplary empirical examine with the really appropriate software of different how to discover the far-reaching ramifications of 'a complete empire walking.'" -- Vucinich Prize citation"An vital contribution not just to trendy Russian heritage but additionally to an ongoing repositioning of Russia in broader ecu and global 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 concept, Peter Gatrell considers the origins of displacement and its political implications and offers a detailed research of humanitarian projects and the relationships among refugees and the groups during which they settled.
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Additional resources for A Whole Empire Walking: Refugees in Russia during World War I (Indiana-Michigan Series in Russian and East European Studies)
113 The opposite view was articulated by G. G. Zamyslovskii, who maintained that those who stayed behind were likely to be conscripted by the enemy to dig trenches, repair railway track, and supply foodstuffs. Whether willingly or not, these civilians would certainly be helping the German and Austrian war effort. Not for him the possibility of partisan bands! 114 In phrases that were to be repeated many times, refugees were described as a 28 A Whole Empire Walking “human wave” and as a “hungry and angry ®ock of locusts” that passed through the Russian interior, devouring everything in their path.
Refugees sometimes installed boilers in unheated railway freight cars, creating a ¤re hazard. 127 Those who traveled on foot or by oxcart faced other kinds of dif¤culty. The quality of roads in European Russia and in Poland left much to be desired, and during the autumn rains many of them turned into quagmires, trapping the wheels of carts, which were often abandoned. Roads jammed with retreating troops made it impossible for refugees to move at anything other than a snail’s pace. 128 Those who went east by road had to ¤nd or make what shelter they could.
149 The Russian public quickly became accustomed to talk of an “unparalleled, spontaneous, indescribable horror” that af®icted hundreds of thousands of civilians close to Russia’s borders. 150 The ®ight of Russian Jews, in particular, was invested with dire expectations. But attempts to determine the direction of Jewish resettlement served only to highlight the degree to which other refugees were now beginning to populate— perhaps even to “overwhelm”—Russian space. If their migration was depicted as “spontaneous,” what certainty was there that refugees would be any more orderly and disciplined when they reached their ¤nal destination?