Polit Buro and the Church

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  Politburo And The Church, Kremlin Archives

N. Petrovsky, S.G. Petrov

On confiscation of church valuables

"Minutes No. 2 of the meeting of the commission for the confiscation of church valuables of the Moscow province" dated March 14, 1922

No. 23-7


Chairman SAPRONOV 


Order of the day:

1.  About the competence of the commission.

2.  About transport, storage rooms and containers.

3.  On the observation of public peace in the confiscation of valuables.

4.  Instruction on the procedure for work in district and county issues.

5.  The company is oral and printed.

6.  About the redemption of objects and the participation of believers in Pomgol.

7.  About the device.

LISTENED                        DECIDED

1.  Comrade

MEDVEDYA's   The issue of observation should be removed proposal to remove from      the          agenda, obliging                Comrade item 3 from the order MEDVEDY to report it at the next meeting. of the day.

2.  On the Competence Recognize that the existing Competence of the Commission Commission is Moscow. To instruct

T. SAPRONOV.                       Comrade VINOKUROV to clarify the


3. About premises for storage of valuables, transport and packaging.

question of creating an All-Russian Commission for the confiscation of church valuables in the Central Committee and the All-Russian Central Executive Committee.

1.                   Create a technical subcommittee consisting of comrades. ARKUSA, MEDVEDYA and BAZILEVICH. Instruct the commission to develop a technical work plan for the confiscation of church valuables within 4 days.

2.                   Record the statement of Comrade ARKUS that Gokhran 8 has a sufficient number of containers for small items, 100 boxes for large items, another 750 boxes are expected to be received, and it is always possible to produce containers in sufficient quantities. 3. The issue of providing packaging should be charged to develop a technical subcommittee. She will be charged with the question of transport.

4.                   Propose to the technical subcommittee, within 4 days, to draw 1 * on the map of all Moscow churches with a mark on the mood of believers 1 *.

5.                   Instruct the technical subcommittee to sort out the inventory of church property and distribute them by district.

6.                   Establish that the technical subcommittee uses the apparatus of the Gokhran for the preparation of containers, transport and workers' detachments and the apparatus of the Department of the Office for Church Inventories.

7.                   Instruct the technical subcommittee with the participation of comrade SAPRONOV to collect on Thursday 16 p. m. preliminary

4.  About the device.


meeting of regional commissions. Not to be summoned to the first meeting of the chairmen of the county commissions; call them for a second.

Set the place of meetings of the Kremlin [,] VTsIK, the place of duty and reception - the Reception of the Council of People's

5.  Instruction on the order of work of district and county commissions 9 .


To           approve                with       the          following amendments:

a)                   in paragraph 1, delete everything after the words: 4) head. Department of Management.

b)                  Introduce a note to clause 4: "Simultaneously with the inventory compiled by the local Council, request from the groups of believers the old inventory of 1914 and the so-called clerical 2 * statements for the same 1914" c) In clause 6, delete: “not less than one day before arrival at the place” and the phrase in parentheses starting with the word: “at what” and ending with “inventory book”.

d) In clause 7, cross out: "if items are found that are not included in the inventory, they are entered into those." e) To exclude Clause 13 in its entirety and to insert in its place the clause: “when transporting valuables from the place of confiscation to the place of storage, the Commission is guided by special


f) Clause 16 read: "Subcommittees submit to the Central Control Center twice a month by the 5th and 20th day of each month a report on the work for the previous period and information on the confiscated values."

2. To establish that a representative of the District Committee or the Ukom of the RCP must be included in the district and uyezd Commissions and to ask the Central

Committee to issue this order with a secret directive for the localities.

6. About posters.

Approve the posters: a) drawing two groups of the clergy, 6) a portrait of Tikhon, a poster card, and c) a poster diagram. NOTE: Comrade KRASIKOV enters into the minutes that he is against the approval of the first two.

7. About scales for weighing values.

1.                   Instruct the technical subcommittee within 2 days to find out how many weights are needed and oblige the Supreme Council of the National Economy to take measures to supply them.

2.                   Instruct the technical subcommittee to request from the Moscow Finance Department an inventory of the simple church utensils it has.

3.                   Allow the technical subcommittee to transport large, silver items, for which there is no container, in bags.

1.  Introduce comrade KRASIKOV to the campaign commission.

2.  Instruct the agitation commission to work

8.     About the company out the issue of exhibitions. oral and printed.3. To ask the 3 * CC 4 * in the party order to

Comrade STUKOV.         issue a secret circular in the localities about a cautious attitude towards the poor, village churches, especially in disadvantaged areas, suggesting,           if             possible,               not           to            make

confiscations           in            such       churches. Draw up a circular for Comrade STUKOV. 4. Get in touch with the Central Committee with a request not to release the comrades mobilized for the agitation company.

1.   To recognize that the redemption of church utensils with bread and food is in no way allowed, in exceptional cases exchange for an equivalent commodity is allowed - values, provided that it is not collected from the peasants and parishioners. The procedure for the exchange of a particular

9.     About the set of instructions that 5 * t charge to

redemption of values

                                               develop.      Vinokourov      and      Krasikov.

and the participation of


2.   Instruct Comrade VINOKUROV to pass

believers in Pomgol.

                                               through     the      Central      Committee     an


10.  Current affairs:

a)                   about printing instructions.

b)                  about the premises for the clergy. instruction on the exchange of church valuables for other 10 and the circular mentioned in paragraph 3 of 8.

3. To take note of the Politburo resolution on the participation of believers in Pomgol and pass it on to Comrade VINOKUROV 11 .

Instruct Cde. MEDVED to print the instruction at the expense of Cde.

SAPRONOV's                                             credits.

Instruct Cde. MEDVED to find and equip appropriate premises for the arriving clergy.




- L. 8-10. A typewritten copy made on March 15, 1922 and certified by A. G. Beloborodov's secretary V. Litsis. On l. 8 at the top is a handwritten note: " Comrade Molotov ." in the bottom left margin there is a stamp of the Secret Archives of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) with a number.

Notes and Comments:

1   * Written to the left of the hand, instead of what was originally printed, outline a plan of seizure in Moscow, regardless of the political mood of the area.

2   * Fixed, in the paper clerical. 

3   * Corrected a handwritten line from the originally typed offer.

4   * Printed unclear, possibly MK.

5   * Fixed in which document .

7  Along with the protocols published in this case and in the annex

No. 1 (No. P-31), No. 2 (No. 23-7), No. 4 (No. 23-27), No. [1] (No. P-

78), No. 9 (No. P-85)

The Commission for the Seizure of Church Valuables of the Moscow Province, we managed to find the following protocols (out of 13 existing):

protocol No. 3 of March 17, 1922 - Central Archive of the FSB, f. 1, op. 6, d.410a, l. 9-11;

Protocol No. 10 of April 20, 1922 - GARF, f. 1235, op. 140, d.59, l. 119;

Protocol No. 11 of April 22, 1922 - ibid., fol. 120; protocol No. 13 of July 17, 1922 - ibid., fol. 121. There is also the minutes of the meeting of representatives of the district commissions for the confiscation of church valuables in the Moscow province of 02.04 1922 (ibid., Fol. 116) and the minutes of the joint meeting of the Moscow CICC, the Moscow provincial and city defense committees of 03.31 1922 - No. P— 73.

For separate numbers of the protocols of local provincial commissions for the seizure of church valuables sent to the central authorities, see: GARF, f. 1235, op. 140, d. 60.

Art. 69). According to this decree, all Soviet institutions and officials had to hand over the valuables they kept to Gokhran. Ciphers of archival documents that repeatedly appeared in 1920-1921. cases concerning the leakage of valuables from the Gokhran, the issuance of diamonds to party leaders using simple notes without a seal, the theft in 1921 of more than 1,500 carats of diamonds by three employees of the Gokhran - see: Vasilyeva O. Yu., Knyshevsky PN Red conquistadors. M., 1994.S. 119-123.

9       The final text of this instruction, printed in the printing house on three pages, taking into account the amendments made at the meeting of the Moscow CICC on March 14, 1922, was preserved in the State Archive of the Russian Federation, f. 1235, op. 140, d.59, l. 4-5. The instruction was signed for the chairman of the Central Committee of Pomgol A. N. Vinokurov and consists of 17 points. At the beginning of the document there is an official heading: "Rules and procedure for the work of regional and district subcommittees on the confiscation of church valuables, in the order of the AllRussian Central Executive Committee decree of 16 / 11-22."

It should be noted that in the provinces, detailed instructions were developed by the local provincial CICC. Some of these instructions, together with the minutes of the meetings of the provincial CICC in the form of reports on the work done, were sent to the Moscow authorities. See: GARF, f. 1235, op. 140, d. 60, l. 854-ob., 55-54-ob., 63-ob. and etc.

10    See the circular telegram of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee: No. P-56.

11    See # 23-5.