Brev om behandling af borgere i retssytemet - 1937

[Brev fra en sovjetborger til Mikhail Kalinin om behandlingen af borgere i det sovjetiske retssystem]

Letter from Tkachenko to Kalinin (June 1937)

To: Mikhail I. Kalinin, chairman of the Central Executive Committee: Mikhail Ivanovich!
Cruel injustice has compelled me to turn to you for help in elucidating an item in the constitution.
Article 127 of the Stalin constitution states: “The citizens of the USSR shall be guaranteed inviolability of their person.” My brother and I have been the victims of a wholly undeserved cruel affront, which goes far beyond the limits of a moral slap in the face.
During the verification of party documents, I was told that I had been concealing my socially alien origin and that my four brothers had served in the Basmach Army (an anti-Soviet movement in Central Asia), and I was expelled from the party. In reality, not one of my brothers has ever served a single day with Basmachi. On the contrary, my brothers served in the Red Army (RKKA). Besides, one of them was killed by the Basmachi.
No one at the KPK (Commission of the Party Control) believed my documents when I presented them. They also did not believe what the documents said about my father, namely, that he was a middle peasant. On the contrary, they added that my father had been dekulakized. (My father died in 19133!) In brief, I have been expelled from the party at all levels “for concealing my socially alien origin and on account of my brothers’ service with Basmachi.”
And so I would like to know – does the constitution, pursuant to Soviet policy, give me the right to demand the surname of my slanderer for the purpose of instituting proceedings against him for slander? Do I have the right, in accordance with Soviet laws, to remove this dark blot smeared on me and my family by the slanderer and because of which my family and I are everywhere met with distrust, suspicion, and insults? I would like to know how far does the fundamental law under Soviet conditions guarantee a sound position and inviolability of person to an honest citizen like myself as well as to the slanderer.
In other words, I would like to know precisely what the following words from the fundamental law of our country mean in reference to me, an honest citizen: ”The citizens of the USSR shall be guaranteed inviolability of their person.”
I ask you, Mikhail Ivanovich, to elucidate this matter in the pages of Izvestia.
My address: Moscow, 144, 2d Izvoznaia St., House no. 29, St. kor # 2, Building 7, apatment 27.
(Handwritten note across top of document:)
To Comrade Markov. Clear this up and find out precisely what this is all about. MK (Kalinin) 4 June 1937.
I summoned Tkachenko personally to give an explanation. 13 June 1937. N Markov.

Kilde: Getty and Naumov, The Road to Terror, London 1999, side 483-484.

Dansk Institut for Internationale Studier
Østbanegade 1172100 København Øtel: +45 32 69 87 87fax: +32 69 88