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. 1 of the meeting in the GPU on the campaign to confiscate church valuables. March 8, 1922

No. 23-2 TOP SECRET.



UNSHLICHT presides.



1. Informational Report of Comrade BAZILEVICH about the failed Report of Comrade GALKIN in the house of the SEAL and information from Comrade UNSHLICHT about TIKHON's letter to the faithful and discussion of it during the service in a number of churches.

1.  In view of the publication of the resolution of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee on the withdrawal of church valuables from existing churches, to carry out such decisively. But, given that the political apparatus of agitation did not show the maximum work to properly prepare the masses for such an act, while the apparatus of the clergy, headed by Tikhon, is expanding its work more and more, the moment of practical implementation of the withdrawal was postponed until the decisive results of our political campaign were obtained.

Political agitation itself can be raised to the proper height only when the Central Committee entrusts the local Gubkoms with the obligation to allocate especially for this work the maximum number of its best workers, obliging them to report weekly on practical achievements in this direction to the Central Commission for ideological and political preparation for the removal of values.

2.  To ask the Central Committee to approve the permanent composition of the Central Commission: chairman comrade STEKLOV, members: com. UNSHLIKHT, GALKIN, VORONSKY, SOSNOVSKY, BAZILEVICH, ASHMARIN.

3.  To oblige the editors of all newspapers to publish articles on the issue of confiscation of valuables on a daily basis.

4.  To involve the State Political Administration staff in this work.

5.  To charge the Gubkoms with the organization of debate reports with the wide involvement of groups of hungry people. Disputes of this kind should be conducted in a more organized manner with the mobilization of all party forces.

6.  Consider it necessary for the Central Committee to urgently develop abstracts for agitators and instructions for organizing public opinion (letters of gratitude from hungry provinces, reports of representatives of believers accompanying the routes, decisions of church parishioners, etc.).

7.  To consider it necessary to broadly cover the state of the starving provinces by organizing mobile exhibitions, cinematographs, the release of transparencies, maps, posters, diagrams, leaflets, etc. Involve Shchentralny ROSTA and the Supreme Editorial Council as organizers and executors of these tasks.

8.  Propose to the Central Committee of POMGOL after the first receipt of the valuables to arrange immediately the dispatch of food routes to the starving provinces with an indication that they were obtained through the realization of the valuables.

In view of the enormous interest shown in it, mainly by groups of believers who were hostile, which turned out to be a failed dispute, due to the tightness of the premises, the Conference proposes to oblige the MK to organize on Monday the 13th s / m. a report on the same topic in the Column Hall of the House of Unions, taking steps to mobilize all party forces.

CHAIRMAN Unshlicht

8 / 3-22 1 *

- L. 5 — rev. Typewritten original, signature, date and protocol number - autograph. On l. 5 stamp on the document's belonging to the office work of the Politburo meeting, minutes No. 111, paragraph 33 of March 13, 1922 (No. 23-5).

Notes and Comments:

The file contains a cover letter on the letterhead of the GPU, sent on March 8, 1922, on behalf of I.S.Unshlikht, to V.M. On the letter there is a note: "It was decided without entering in the protocol [about] p / b No. 110 from 9 / III-22" and a stamp on the document's belonging to the office work of the Politburo meeting, minutes No. 111, paragraph 33 of March 13, 1922 (No. 23-5). (L. 4).

1 * Corrected within the meaning, in the document by I.S.Unshlikht 8 / 3-21.