By Kees Boterbloem
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Extra resources for Life and Death under Stalin: Kalinin Province, 1945-1953
Many of the rural activists who enforced collectivization seem to have thought along the same lines. But even if the peasants did not understand the purpose of the agricultural rationalization, it would at least be easier to extort the surplus necessary to finance the ambitious industrialization plans and recruit labour for the expanding industry from the collective farms than from the small private production units of the single-household farms. 43 The quiet interlude came to a close in 1928: at the end of October, the first guberniia conference of poor peasants' (bedniaki) groups took place, "uncovering a perversion of the class line" and of the party's policies in the countryside.
Thus, two and a half years after the excessive first wave of collectivization had been criticized and discontinued in early March 1930, collectivization in Kalinin raion (part of the former Tver' okrug) was again at the same level. 77 In this province before 1929, subsistence agriculture provided for the basic needs of the household; the peasants were not disposed to produce a large surplus that could be sold on the market. Crop cultivation and animal husbandry were traditional, and the resulting output low.
The east escaped severe war damage, but there would be a huge labour shortage owing to the men's departure to the front. 98 At the end of the war, when victory was assured, first party secretary Ivan Pavlovich Boitsov made clear that the later 19305 were to be remembered as a time of unprecedented agricultural success, halted only because the war wreaked havoc: "[a]fter improving their organizational, economical and political relations, the oblast' kolkhozy developed all branches of kolkhoz production and increased their income.