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Training in the USSR, in Elena Marushiakova - Vesselin Popov (eds.) Roma Voices in History: A Sourcebook: Roma Civic Emancipation in Central, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe from the 19th Century until World War II, Brill, 2021,



Remzi Mustafa was one of the Gypsy tobacco workers affiliated with the TKP and whom the party administration sent to the USSR for training. While the file enlightens his personal experiences in USSR during this period, it also sheds light on the life course of a Gypsy Communist in Turkey and the USSR. He was born in Drama, Greece, in 1908. Both of his parents were tobacco workers, and he resumed his family tradition, becoming a tobacco worker in Istanbul. His first experiences in factory based worker movements led him to an affiliation with the Communist Party of Turkey at the beginning of the 1930s. He was elected as the secretary of the Party’s local branch in Kasımpasa, a locality with a considerable Roma concentration and a working-class location in general.
Elena Marushiakova, Vesselin Popov (Eds.)
Roma Voices in History
A Sourcebook
Roma Civic Emancipation in Central, South-Eastern
and Eastern Europe from the 19th Century
until World War II
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 ---- (e-book)
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  
5.4 Training in the USSR
5.4.1 Remzi Salih Mustafa
. .
[] .
. – .
/   8/III-35 .
  , –    . [1], [] 
, [19]34 .     .     
     .     
   / ,     -
.     ,    
        ,
     .
10/III [19]35 .
Top Secret.
Very Urgent.
To comrade Gorb.
Ref: Your letter dated March 8, 1935.
Papa Konstantinovich Istavridis whose real name is Remzi M., is a member of the
Communist Party of Turkey (TKP). He was sent to USSR for training in 1934. It was
decided to give him a chance to practice before he starts his education and sent to Rostov
on Don Tobacco Factory on condition that he should not reveal himself. His ocial docu-
ments were issued with the name of Greek Istavridis, but in fact he is a Turkish Gypsy.
He was called to the Rostov branch of NKVD [2], and he continued to keep secrecy
and in this way he misinformed the staf there.
March 10, 1935.
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.   
5.4.2 The Opinion Report
Görüş raporu
İstavrds (Remz Mustafa): 1908 Yunanstan doğumlu Çngen. Tütün şçs. TKP’ye
1932’de grmştr. Aynı yıl tutuklanmış ve 4 yıl hapse mahkûm olmuş, 1 ½ yıl yatmış ve
1934’te genel aa salıverlmştr. Partsnn tavsyes üzerne okumak çn 1934’te kaçak
olarak SSCB’ne gelmştr. Moskova’ya vardığında ülkesndek part çalışmaları ve tutuk-
luluk sırasındak tavrı hakkında brçok yanıltıcı ve yanlış blg verdğ ve ECCI’e sunmak
üzere part MK’nden aldığı mektubu kaybettğ çn KUTV’a kabul edlmemştr. İstavrds
Rostov-Don Brnc Devlet Tütün Fabrkası’na şe gönderlmştr ve halhazırda bu fabr-
kada çalışmaktadır. Fabrkadak tutum ve tavrı ydr. Daha sonra kends teknk engeller
yüzünden ülkesine geri gönderilmemiştir.
İstavridis tarafımızca kendisinden yararlanabileceğimiz ülkesine geri gönderilmelidir.
Parti temsilcisi Ferdi … [İmza].
Kadro raportör yardimcisi Galcan … [İmza].
Secretly KP Turkey.
July 28, 1936.
Opinion Report
Istavridis (Remzi Mustafa): He was born in Greece in 1908. A Gypsy. Tobacco worker. He
became aliated to the TKP in 1932. In the same year he was arrested and sentenced to
4 years, stayed in prison for one year and a half and was released with a general amnesty
in 1934. He came to USSR illegally for training, on the recommendation of the Party. After
his arrival in Moscow, he was not accepted to KUTV [3] because of some embellished
and giving some deceptive information about his work in the party, and his attitude dur-
ing his arrest, and losing a letter given to him by the Central Committee of the party for
delivery to the Executive Committee of Komintern [4]. Istavridis has been sent to work
in the Rostov-on-Don First State Tobacco Factory, and he still works there. His attitude
in the factory is right. Subsequently he has not been sent to his country due to technical
Istavridis has to be sent to a country where we can use him.
The Party representative Ferdi [5] … [Signature].
The vice-rapporteur Galcan … [Signature].
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  
5.4.3 The Autobiography
 1908  , .   ,  ,   -
.  , .   .    
1922 . (  ).    [] .
    .  1933   
      . .  
1933 .,    4 ,  .   .
  1.5 ,  ,  .   
      ().  
  . [.] .      -
.    []    .  []  
.  [ ] ,  [  ] ,  
   .  []  ,  [] 
.  []   ,    .
 ().
The Autobiography [6]
I was born in Drama, Greece, in 1908. My name is Remzi. My father’s name is Sali. My
father is a tobacco worker. My mother, Gülsüm Mustafa, is a tobacco worker as well. I
went to Turkey from Greece in 1922 (I do not remember the exact time). I worked in the
Tobacco industry in Istanbul. I participated in the strike in Istanbul. At the beginning of
1933, I became a party member. I was chosen as the secretary of the branch in Kasımpaşa,
Istanbul. I was arrested in 1933 and sentenced to 4 years. I participated in the hunger
strike. I was sent to Ankara.
I stayed in prison for one and a half year, an amnesty was granted, I was released.
After the prison, I became the secretary in Kasımpaşa, Istanbul branch again. The Central
Committee of the TKP sent me to Samsun to strengthen the city committee. Then, the
Central Committee of the TKP sent me USSR for training and gave me a letter. I gave
it to NKVD, and they gave it to me back. Then, the letter was stolen. When I came to
Komintern, I said to them that I had lost the letter. Then, they did not accept me to the
school, and I was sent to work in production.
Remzi (Istavridis).
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.   
5.4.4 References
[] .
 ,    ,  1908 ., . ,
,  -.   . 
.  .  ,   .  -
 .    1932 . 1922 .    . ,
. […]  1939 .       
 . -.  1941 . .    
        .
     .   . 
:  ;      .
, .   – ()  , ,
 .
: .  ,     , .
1908 .   .    1932 .    
.     1 ½ .   
  .
: . -, . , . 13, . 25.
:   .
, .
19  1943 .
(. No. 148).
Top Secret
Remzi Salih, who is known as Papa Konstantinovich Istavridis, was born as a member
of a tobacco worker’s family in Drama, Greece in 1908. His nationality is Gypsy. He is a
Turkish citizen. He graduated from primary school. He can speak Turkish, Greek, and
Russian. He is a tobacco worker. He has been a member of TKP since 1932. He went to
Turkey from Greece in 1922. He worked in a tobacco factory there […] [7]. He has worked
in Alma Ata Tobacco Factory since 1939 March until now. He applied to the legation of
TKP in ECCI to be sent to the front line voluntarily in 1941. Comrade Marat, who is the
representative of TKP in ECCI, has positive impressions about him.
His relatives: His father is a worker. His mother is a housewife. They lived in city of
Samsun, Turkey until the war. His wife – Zinaida Nikiforovna Loshchinina-Istavridis, is
Russian. She is a member of the VLKSM [8].
/@E@47879@. 6@215B8:88-4@@ 6@
  
Conclusıon: Comrade Remzi Salih (known as Papa Konstantinovich Istavridis) was
born in 1908. He is a Gypsy from Turkey. He has been a member of TKP since 1932. He
gained experience in union activities in his country; stayed in prison on his revolutionary
activities for one and a half years. Working in USSR he demonstrated himself positivelly.
Address: Alma-Ata, Dunganchanskaya Street. No. 13, Apt. 25.
Reason: Personal File Documents.
Belov … [Signature]. Novik … [Signature].
1943 March, 19. Protocol No. 148.
5.4.5 The Questionnaire
:  ,       .
: :
       ?   .
1. . .
2.   . , 1908.
3.     . -.
4.     .  10 .
5. . .
6. . .
7.  . . 1 .
8.   , ,  ? 2  ;
1- , 1- .
9.      : -
    .
Remark: The questions have to be responded in detail and complete.
The Questionnaire
Questions: Answers:
Which communist party sent the The Central Committee of the
respondent or who sent him? Communist Party of Turkey.
1. Pseudonym. Papa Istavridis.
2. Date of birth and birthplace. 1908, Drama.
3. Indicate exactly estate or origin. Tobacco worker.
/@E@47879@. 6@215B8:88-4@@ 6@
.   
4. Your occupation, specialisation, working period. Tobacco worker, ten years.
5. Nationality. Turk.
6. Citizenship. Turkish.
7. Marital Status, members of the family. Married, one daughter.
My wife is a tobacco worker.
8. Do you have brothers or sisters? Where are they? I have two brothers, one of
whom is in Samsun, and the
other one is in Istanbul.
9. The occupation, the source of living of Relatives: tobacco workers.
parents and intimate relatives?
1. There is an error in the original where it is written ‘Remzi R.’.
2. NKVD (See Dictionary of Abbreviations and Neologisms in USSR).
3. KUTV (See Dictionary of Abbreviations and Neologisms in USSR).
4. Komintern (See Dictionary of Abbreviations and Neologisms in USSR).
5. Ferdi was the party name of Şek Hüsnü (1887-1959). He was among the leading, but also the
most controversial gures of the Turkish left, namely the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP). Thus,
his testimonies on Roma tobacco workers deserve careful investigation. For a detailed biography,
see Akbulut (2010).
6. Handwritten document, the original mistakes are preserved in order to keep the authenticity
of the source.
7. Omitted is the repetition of data from the Autobiography.
8. VLKSM (See Dictionary of Abbreviations and Neologisms in the USSR).
Source: TÜSTAV, 495-26 6-73. Istavridis (Remzi Mustafa) Dosyası. I appreciate Erden Akbulut,
for informing me about the above document and TÜSTAV for granting rights of publication, and
Elena Marushiakova and Veselin Popov for comparing Turkish translations with Russian originals.
Prepared for publication by Egemen Yılgür.
Remzi Mustafa was one of the Gypsy tobacco workers aliated with the TKP and whom
the party administration sent to the USSR for training. While the le enlightens his per-
sonal experiences in USSR during this period, it also sheds light on the life course of a
Gypsy Communist in Turkey and the USSR. He was born in Drama, Greece, in 1908. Both
of his parents were tobacco workers, and he resumed his family tradition, becoming a
tobacco worker in Istanbul. His rst experiences in factory based worker movements led
him to an aliation with the Communist Party of Turkey at the beginning of the 1930s.
He was elected as the secretary of the Party’s local branch in Kasımpaşa, a locality with
a considerable Roma concentration and a working-class location in general. Along with
the immigrant Gypsy tobacco workers there have been the settlements of various Roma
sub-groups for a long time (Yılgür, 2018b). Like many other politicised tobacco workers,
he was arrested and sentenced to 4 years and released with amnesty after one and a half
year stay in prison. Then, the party sent him USSR for training along with the other most
talented worker leaders. However, his failure to save the letter given by the local party
/@E@47879@. 6@215B8:88-4@@ 6@
  
authorities for delivery to the Russian ocials caused his rejection by the KUTV, and the
authorities assigned him as a worker in a local tobacco factory. He somehow succeeded
to regain his image after almost seven years of work experience and demanded to be sent
to the front line in 1941.
It is of interest that the complex nature of self and external identication of Roma
tobacco workers emerges in the pages of the le. Although he was a Gypsy in the eyes of
Soviet and TKP ocials, his declared identity is Turkish. The discrepancy between the
external and internal ways of identication exemplies the identity changes and difer-
entiation of the adopted identity from the traditional or attributed ones, a phenomenon
which is also present nowadays (cf. Marushiakova & Popov, 1999, p. 85).
Egemen Yılgür
5.4.6 Mustafa Mehmet (Alekber Ağaoğlu, Petko)
Petko (Mustafa Mamu). Çingene, 1915 doğumlu. Tütün işçisi. 1934’te TKP’ye girmiş ve
aynı yıl partinin tavsiyesi üzerine okumak için illegal olarak SSCB’ne gelmiştir. KUTV’u
bitirince teknik zorluklar nedeniyle ülkeye gönderilmemiş. Seksiyondan geçinmektedir.
Petko tarafımızca yararlanılabileceği ülkesine gönderilmelidir.
Parti temsilcisi … (Ferdi).
Personel yardimci uzmani … (Galcan).
Communist Party of Turkey.
Petko (Mustafa Mamu). A Gypsy, was born in 1915. Tobacco worker. He aliated to TKP
in 1934, and he came to USSR for training at the recommendation of the party in the
same year. After he graduated from KUTV, he was not sent to the country due to techni-
cal restrictions. He is dependent on the section’s aid. Petko has to be sent to his country
where we can take advantage of him.
Party representatıve … (Ferdi).
Personal deputy ofıcer … (Galcan).
/@E@47879@. 6@215B8:88-4@@ 6@
.   
5.4.7 The Autobiography (1)
    1909 ,    .   -
 .    ,  1914 . .
 . 1925 . .  2-     
 . , .       
 .  2   ,    
     .
1925 .         1934 .
 .
 1932 .     .  1934
.      .
    1934-1936 .   2- -
        .   
  .    .  14 . 
 .     .  21.II.1938 . 
14 .  2.IV.1939 .  , ..   
.    .   2547.
 .        
 .
       .
 : . ,  . 13, . 2.
 : … [ ].
15.I.1940 .
The Autobiography
Alekber [1] Ağaoğlu born in 1909, birthplace is Kara Biga [2], nationality Turkish. My
father’s social situation is shoemaker [3], he died in 1914. I am a worker. I have been work-
ing as a tobacco worker since 1925. I have two brothers in Turkey, and my mother works
in a tobacco factory. I got an education in my native language in a primary school. After
two years, I dropped out, because my parents, nancially, were not able to educate me.
I started to work in a tobacco factory in 1925 and worked until 1934.
/@E@47879@. 6@215B8:88-4@@ 6@
  
At the end of 1933, I have been accepted to the Communist Party of Turkey. At the
beginning of 1934 I was sent to USSR for political training.
I have been educated under the supervision of Comintern between 1934-1936, and after
I graduated from the two-year school, I have been sent to Central Asia, to work as the
assistant of a machinery repairman in the textile factory in Fergana city. I worked there
for 14 months. I have been arrested by the Fergana oce of NVKD in 1938, February 21.
I stayed in prison for 14 months. On the dismissal of the case, namely lack of crime ele-
ment, I have been released in 1939, April 2. Certicate of release: No. 2547.
Fergana oce of NKVD lost my passport, and I came to Moscow to get a new passport
and live.
Currently I am already in Comintern as a member of TKP.
January 14, 1940.
My Address: Moscow, Tverskaya Street 13, Room 2.
Copy correct with original: … [Illegible signature].
5.4.8 The Questionary Form
 
1. , ,  (). :  .
        .
   
  .
2.   . 1914 , , .  .
(   [] 1914).
1909 . ,   (
 []    []).
3.  .   .
4.   2   
 2  , , ,
 .
5.      .
    .
6.    .-.
7.  1934   ... .  .
/@E@47879@. 6@215B8:88-4@@ 6@
.   
22.    ,   . […].
28.   
) , ,   
)    ,   […].
The Questionnaire [4]
Questions: Answers:
1. Surname, name, father’s name
Real name is Mustafa Mehmet.
If there is any name change, the former
Yanko Ivanovich Petko.
and the reasons for change have to be
Alekber Ağaoğlu.
2. Birthplace and date of birth. 1914 (this is real date of birth [5]), Turkey,
Kara Biga.
1909, Azerbaijan, Şanha (the residence
permit for this year [6]).
3. Estate and social origin. Shoe-maker worker.
4. Education. Two years in a primary school in Turkey.
Two years in the KUTV, Sector A.
5. Which languages you know. Mother tongue Turkish.
I speak and read Russian little.
6. Your occupation. Textil worker, assistant master.
7. Party membership. 1934 member of TKP. Party card – none.
22. Nationality. From father side Gypsy. From mother side
Turkish. […]
28. Parents: Father Mother
a) Surname, name, fathers’ name. Mehmet Ümmü
b) Birthplace and date of birth. Greece, Yunanistan Serres […]
5.4.9 Autobiography (2)
.  ([]),  
 1915  [] .    (   
[]  ).  [] .    
/@E@47879@. 6@215B8:88-4@@ 6@
  
.  ,   .    
 .       []
 […]
The Autobiography [7]
Comrade Petko(Pseudonym), Mustafa Mehmet
I was born in Biga in 1915. My father was a shoe maker. (In the city, in the streets, he was
repairing shoes.) I am of Gypsy nationality. My father died before I was born. My mother
is alive, and working in Istanbul as a laundress [8]. I have two tobacco worker brothers in
İstanbul. One brother was connected to communists – distributed leaets […]
5.4.10 Reference
  , []   (    )  
 ,   , 1914 ..,  .  (), ,
,    1934 .     1934 ..
 1934 .   1936 .  ,     -
     .    .  
 ..  1936      
. .  1938     , 
  .   ,    ., .
10, . 4. 1940 .  .    .   .
  23. V. 41 .      250 . .
   .  ( )  4.II. 45 . 
,        5.VI.41 .
  . , 1.IV.[19]46 . .   
  300 . .
.       .
[Signature] … ().
17  1951 .
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.   
Alekber Ağaoğlu, [or] Mustafa Mehmet (known as Petko Yanko Ivanovich); according
to some evidence, he is a Turk, according to others, Gypsy. He was born in Biga (Turkey)
in 1914, a tobacco worker, a member of TKP since 1934. He came to USSR as a political
immigrant in 1934. He was trained in KUTV from 1934 July to 1936 June and then, worked
in Poveletski railway Rasskazovo station, Arzhansk Red Army Textile Factory. He started
to work in Dzerzhinsky Textile Factory in Fergana in 1936, December. In February, 1938,
he was arrested by NVKD, and released after the abatement. Then, he worked again in
Fergana, stayed on Pervomayskaya Street 10, apt 4., In 1940 he worked at Melange factory
in the city of Ivanovo. According to the testimony of comrade Sukharev dated May 23,
1941, Alekber Ağaoğlu got 250 rubles monetary aid.
In a petition of comrade Podchelimova (Alekber’s wife), she writes that Alekber
Ağaoğlu left Moscow on June 5, 1941.
At the recommendation of the comrade Gulyaev, Podchelimova started to get 300
rubles monthly as monetary aid again.
The Chair of the Department of Aid for Political Immigrants of the Executive Committee
of Soviet Society of Red Cross and CP USSR.
[Signature] … (Suetinova).
March 17, 1951.
1. The name Alekber in Russian original is ‘’ (Alipker).
2. Kara Biga. It is a sub-district in Biga, Çanakkale (Sezen, 2006, p. 273). The place name is mis-
spelled in Russian original as ‘ (Kara Bicha). The case of Mustafa Mamu’s family is
exceptional among the Roma Tobacco Workers majority of whom were born in Greece and came
to Turkey with the Turk-Greek Population Exchange in 1923-1924. However, he was born in Turkey
before the population exchange, and his family had left Greece during the previous waves of
3. Shoe-making or shoe-shining has been popular occupations of Roma in Turkey. After the change
of work organisation, which decreased the demand for qualied workers in tobacco manufacture,
many of the tobacco workers subsisted on this occupation (Yılgür, 2016).
4. Extract from the form. The answers are handwritten.
5. Note by another handwriting, probably added by a respective clerk.
6. Note by another handwriting, probably added by a respective clerk.
7. Extract from handwritten autobiography.
8. There was a mistake in the Turkish translation, which pointed as the occupation of Mustafa
Mamu’s mother a fortune-telling. I thank Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov for checking all
translations and corrections from Russian.
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  
Source: TÜSTAV, 495-266-198. Mustafa Mehmet (Alekber Ağaoğlu, Petko). Dosyası. I appreciate
Erden Akbulut, for informing me about the above document and TÜSTAV for granting rights of
Prepared for publication by Egemen Yılgür.
Mustafa Mamu was born into a tobacco worker family. He worked in a tobacco factory
and aliated with the Communist Party of Turkey in 1934. This trajectory which begins
within the family and peaks with the party aliation following a period of interaction
and informal training in tobacco factories is not rare and is not limited exclusively to him.
The culture, which was a combination of union leftist politics in Greece and the encoun-
ters with the local-left in Turkey, and which was the fundamental basis of a consider-
able tendency to participate in the activities mentioned above, surrounded the Gypsy
tobacco workers. What they experienced when they started to work in tobacco factories
reminded them of the stories told to them by their parents and grandparents. They were
already familiar with what to do when they faced an over-exploitation or suppression in
the factories. Thus, it was just a matter of time and personal capabilities for the individ-
ual tobacco workers to aliate themselves with the party or other leftist organisations.
The most-talented ones were involved in the party circle, and the party administration
conceived a few of them reliable enough to send for training in USSR, such as was the
case of Mustafa Mamu.
The evaluations of Mustafa Mamu concerning his ethnic background exemplies the
exible nature of the self-identication of Roma individuals (cf. Marushiakova & Popov,
1999). Identity itself and the discourses utilized to justify the identity claim can shift
under the inuence of various factors. The documents in the le indicate the diversity of
discourses on identity and origin adopted by Mustafa Mamu: A Turkish tobacco worker,
son of a Gypsy father and a Turkish mother, and ultimately a Gypsy.
Although all the details provided by Mustafa Mamu at diferent times may be fac-
tual, he appears to prioritise diferent ones as to compose new discourses whenever the
context changes. His mother might indeed have been a member of one of the more-
assimilated Roma sub-groups who were less-enthusiastic about declaring their Roma
origin. Thus, it becomes a matter of context in emphasising this point and in raising a
Turkish identity claim for her, or to ignore this small detail and proudly adopt a pure
Gypsy identity. While the former was logical in the early Republican Turkey where the
state urged its citizens to support its policy to create an ethnically homogenous nation
(Çağatay, 2002; Aslan, 2007; Ülker, 2007; Yeğen, 2007), the latter would seem attractive in
USSR where the state recognised Gypsies as a ‘nationality’ (O’Keefe, 2013; Marushiakova
& Popov, 2017c).
Egemen Yılgür
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Dictionary of Abbreviations and Neologisms in the USSR
Agitprop / APO. Department for Agitation and Propaganda at TsK VKP(b).
Artel. Producers’ Cooperative.
BSSR. Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.
ChK. Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage.
VChK. All-Russian ChK at the SNK RSFSR.
Detgiz. State Publishing House for Children’s Literature.
Fedkomzem. Federal Committee about Issues of Land at VTsIK.
Glavlit. General Directorate for Literature and Publishing.
Glavnauka. Central Administration for Scientific, Scholarly-Artistic, and Museum Institutions.
Gosizdat. State Publishing House.
Goslitizdat / GIKh. State Publishing House for Fiction Literature.
Gosplan. The State Planning Committee.
GPU. State Political Directorate at NKVD RSFSR.
Gubkom. Governorate Committee of VKP(b).
Obkom. Oblast Committee of VKP(b).
Raykom. Rayon Committee of VKP(b).
GUBONO. Governorate Department of Education.
GULAG. Main Directorate of Camps at NKVD.
Ispolkom. Executive Committee of Council of People’s Deputies.
Gubispolkom. Executive Committee of Governorate.
Krayispolkom. Executive Committee of Kray.
Oblispolkom / ObLIK. Executive Committee of Oblast.
Rayispolkom / RIK. Executive Committee of Rayon.
Knigocentr. Soviet Iinstitution for Books and Journals Distribution.
Kogiz. Bookselling Association of State Publishers.
Kolkhoz. Collective Farm.
Kolkhozsoyuz. Union of Agricultural Collectives.
Komsomol. Young Communist League.
RLKSM. Russian Lenin’s Young Communist League (in 1922 renamed to VLKSM).
VLKSM. All-Union Leninist Young Communist League.
Komzet. Committee for Settling Toiling Jews on the Land at Presidium of the VTsik.
Komintern. Communist International, known also as the Third International (1919-1943).
KP(b). Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Ukraine.
Kulak. Literally ‘fist’; this is how wealthy peasants, who put in economic dependence and exploited
their fellow peasants, were called in the early USSR.
KPB. Communist Party of Byelorussia.
KUTV. Communist University of the Toilers of the East.
Likbez. Campaign of Eradication of Illiteracy in Soviet Union.
LKSMB. Leninist Communist Youth League of BSSR.
Medgiz. State Medical Publishing House.
MONO. Moscow City’s Department for People’s Education.
Mossovet. Moscow City Soviet of People’s Deputies.
MOZO. Moscow Regional Agricultural Department.
MTS. Machine Tractor Station; a state enterprise for maintenance of agricultural machinery.
Narkomfin. People’s Commissariat of Finances of USSR.
Narkomnats. People’s Commissariat of Nationalities of the RSFSR.
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       
Narkompros. People’s Commissariat of Education of the RSFSR.
Narkomzem / NKZem / NKZ. People’s Commissariat of Agriculture of USSR.
Natsmen. Member of National Minority.
NKVD. People’s Commissariat of Internal Afairs of RSFSR.
Ogiz. Unied State Publishing House.
OGPU. Joint State Political Directorate at SNK USSR.
Orgburo. Organisational Bureau of TsK VKP(b).
Partizdat. Publishing House for Political Literature at the TsK VKP(b).
Pioneer. Member of the All-Union Pioneer Organisation, mass youth organisation in the Soviet
Politburo. Political Bureau of TsK VKP(b).
Profizdat. The Soviet Trade-unions Publishing House.
Pyatiletka. The ve-year plans for the development of the national economy of the USSR.
Rabfak. Workers’ Faculty; educational institution that prepared workers to higher education.
RKP(b). Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks), from 1925 renamed VKP(b).
ROSTA. Russian Telegraph Agency.
RSFSR. Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.
Selkhozbank. Agricultural Bank.
Selkhozgiz. State Publishing House of Agricultural Literature.
Selsoviet. Village council, local self-administration, a part of the Soviet system of administration.
Semiletka. Secondary school with seven years of education in the USSR.
SNK / Sovnarkom. Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR (from 1922 of the RSFSR).
Little Sovnarkom. Standing Committee to SNK.
Sovnatsmen. Education Department of National Minorities at Narkompros (1918-1921); renamed
Council for the Education of the Peoples of the Non-Russian Language (1921-1924); Central Council
for the Education of National Minorities of the RSFSR (1925-1929); Committee for the Education
of National Minorities of the RSFSR (1929-1934).
Sovnarkhoz. Soviet for National Economy.
SSP. Union of Soviet Writers.
TASS. Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union.
Tsentrizdat. Publishing House of the SNK RSFSR.
TsK KPSS. Central Committee of Communist Party of USSR.
TsK VKP(b). Central Committee of All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks).
TsIK. Central Executive Committee of SSSR.
SN TsIK. Council of Nationalities at TsIK SSSR.
TsIK UkrSSR – Central Executive Committee of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
Tsygkhimprom / Khimprom / Tsygkhimlabor. Gypsy artel for chemical products.
Tsygpishcheprom / Pishcheprom / Pishchepromartel. Gypsy artel for food products.
Uchpedgiz. State Pedagogical Publishing House of the Narkompros.
UkrSSR. Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
USSR. Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
UzSSR. Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic.
VKP(b). All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks).
VKSKhSH. Higher Communist Agricultural School.
VKSS. Higher Courses of Soviet Construction at the VTsIK.
VOKS. All-Union Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries.
VPK. All-Union Resettlement Committee.
Vsekopromsovet. All-Union Council of the Industrial Cooperation.
Vserabis. All-Union Professional Union of Art Workers.
VTsIK. All-Russian Central Executive Committee.
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1022 Dictionary of Abbreviations and Neologisms in the USSR
ON VTsIK. Department of Nationalities of VTsIK.
VSTs. All-Russian Union of Gypsies.
VTsSPS. All-Union Central Council of Professional Unions.
VUTsVK. All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee.
TsKNM VUTsVK. Central Committee for National Minorities of VUTsVK.
Yacheyka. A primary (lowest) level in the organisational structure of VKP(b).
ZU. Agricultural management.
KrayZU. Regional (on Kray level) agricultural management.
OblZU. Regional (on Oblast level) agricultural management.
RayZU. Regional (on Rayon level) agricultural management.
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NARB.     [National Archive of Republic of Belarus]: f. 6,
op. 1, d. 1195; f. 34/133, op. 1, d. 727; f. 701, op. 1, d. 14.
AMVR.       [Archive of the Ministry of Interior]:
f. 13, op. 1, .. 774.
SR.        Студии Романи [Archive of
Minority Studies Society Studii Romani]: f.  ; f.  ; f. 
; f.  ; f. ; f.  .
CSA.      [Arch ives State Agency – Central
State Archives]: f. 1, op. 8, a.e. 596; f. 264, op. 2, a.e. 8413; f. 1 B, op. 6, a.e. 235; f. 264 , op. 4, .. 506;
f. 264 , op. 5, .. 515; f. 264 , op. 2, .. 5204; f. 370, op. 6, .. 745; f. 264 , op. 5, .. 1109; f. 264,
op. 2, .. 9385; f. 264, op. 6, .. 1461; f. 190 , op. 3, .. 114; f. 2124 , op. 1, a.e. 108107.
DA Veliko Tarnovo.     [State Archive – Veliko Tarnovo]: f. 74 ,
op. 1, .. 61; f. 74 , op. 1, .. 62.
DA Burgas.   [State Archive – Burgas]: f. 102 , op. 1, .. 116
DA Kyustendil.   [State Archive – Kyustendil]: f. 35 K, op. 1, a.e. 21;
f. 35 K, op. 1, a.e. 150; f. 177, op. 1, .. 48, l. 156-201.
DA Montana.   [State Archive – Montana]: f. 3 , op. 1, a.e. 25; f. 79 ,
op. 1, a.e. 32; f. 79 , op. 1, .. 34; f. 79 , op. 1, .. 35.
DA Shumen.   [State Archive – Shumen]: f. 1119, op. 1, a.e. 11; f. 1605, op. 1,
a.e. 29.
DA Sliven.   – Sliven [State Archive – Sliven]: f. 44 , op. 1, .. 11; f. 44 , op. 1, ..
43; f. 157, op. 1, a.e. 11.
DA Soa.   [State Archive – Soa]: f. 1 , op. 4, a.e. 683; f. 1 , op. 2, ..
1848; f. 1 K, op. 4, a.e. 531; f. 170 , op. 1, .. 1.
DA Vratsa.   [State Archive – Vratsa]: f. 391, op. 1, .. 1- 4; f. 437 , op. 1,
.. 1; f. 484 , op. 1, .. 18; 484 , op. 1, .. 27; 484 , op. 1, .. 38; 484 , op. 1, .. 42; 484 ,
op. 1, .. 44.
NA BAN IEFEM.         
   [Scientic Archive of Bulgarian Academy of
Sciences – Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum]: No. 295 II.
Czech Republic
AKPR. Archiv Kanceláře prezidenta republiky [The Archive of the Presidents’ Oce]: f. Kanceláře
prezidenta republiky, H-Holdy, inv. č. 1838, sign. Hn 1489/28, kart. 3.
MZA. Moravský zemský archiv v Brně [Moravian Land Archives in Brno]: f. C 48 Krajský soud v
Uherském Hradišti, II. Manipulace, inv. č. 2184, sign. Vr VIII 2146/21, obž. 1632, kart. 448.
NA. Národní archiv v Praze [National Archives in Prague]: f. Ministerstvo školství a národní osvěty
(1918-1949), inv. č. 1622, sign. 13, cikánské školy 91, kart. 1474.; invent. č. 1624, sign. 13, k. 1480,
dopis Jánoše Bukó (16.09.1926).
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 
SOkAP. Státní okresní archiv Písek [State District Archive Písek]: SOkAP, f. Okresní úřad Písek,
inv. č. 1351, sign. III 7 R, kart. 758; f, kronika obce Nové Vsi – Čížová, s. 51; f. Okresní úřad Písek
presidiální spisy, karton č. 57; f. Okresní úřad Písek, karton č. 758.
ΓΑΚΑΝΣ. Γενικά Αρχεία του ΚράτουΑρχεία Νοµού Σερρών. [General State Archives – Archives
of Serres Prefecture]: Αρχείο τέω συµβολαιογράφου Σερρών Κ. Τριανταφυόπουλου. ΑΒΕ: 229,
ΑΕΕ: Συµβ. 2.1, κουτί 2, αρ. συµβ. 1496.
IAΥΕ ΚτΕ. Ιστορικό Αρχείο του Υπουργείου Εξωτερικών (τη Εάδα), Κοινωνία των Εθνών
[Historical Archive of Ministry of Foreign Afairs of Greece, League of Nations]: 1923, φάκελο
3, υποφάκελο 2, Νοµαρχία Σερρών.
IAΥΕΚΥ. Ιστορικό Αρχείο του Υπουργείου Εξωτερικών (τη Εάδα), Κεντρική υπηρεσία [Historical
Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Afairs of Greece, Central Service]: 1906, φάκελο 80,
υποφάκελο 1; 1912, φάκελο 122, υποφάκελο 5.
ΠΑ ΓΑ . Πρωτοδικείο Αθηνών, Γενικό Αρχείο. [First Instance Court of Athens, General Archive]:
Αριθ. 1 ΚΑΤΑΣΤΑΤΙΚΟΝ. Του Πανεηνίου Μορφωτικού Συόγου Εήνων Αθιάνων.
FSEK. Fővárosi Szabó Ervin Könyvtár [Ervin Szabó Metropolitan Library]: B 780/67.
MNL BKML. Magyar Nemzeti Levéltár Bács-Kiskun Megyei Levéltára [Hungarian National
Archives – Bács-Kiskun County Archives]: IV. 1939. 15;
MNLOL. Magyar Nemzeti Levéltár Országos Levéltára [National Archives of Hungary]: K-150-VII-5
1935/153 186/3777 cs.
LFKDA. Latviešu folkloras krātuves digitālais arhīvs. Jāņa Leimaņa čigānu folkloras vākums
[Digital Archives of Latvian Folklore. Romani Folklore Collection of Jānis Leimanis].
LNA LVVA. Latvijas Nacionālo arhīvu – Latvijas Valsts Vēstures arhīvs [Latvian National Archives
Latvian State Historical Archives]: 3724-1-3748-2; 3724-1-3748-5; 3724-1-3748-7; 1536-14-69-9; 3724-
1-3748-10; 3724-1-3748-11; 3724-1-3748-15; 3724-1-3748-16; 3724-1-3748-22; 3724-1-3748-28.
NDA. Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe [National Digital Archive]: Signature: 1-P-2312-4.
Republic of Moldova
APVF. Arhiva personală a lui Vasile Filat [Personal Archive of Vasile Filat]: Svetilnic.
AND MB. Arhivele Naţionale Direcţia – Municipiului Bucureşti [National Archives – Municipality
of Bucharest]: fond. Prefectura Poliţiei Capitalei, dos. 123/1933, f. 4, 9, 103; dos. 123/1933, f. 10;
dos. 123/1933, f. 3; dos. 123/1933, f. 54; dos. 123/1933, f. 56-65.
AN Dolj. Arhivele Nationale – jud. Dolj [National Archives – Dolj County]: fond. C. S. Nicolăescu-
ANIC. Arhivele Naţionale Istorice Centrale [Central National Historical Archives]: fond. Consiliul
Dirigent. Administraţia judeţeană şi comunală, dos. 79/1919, f. 49-49v; Colecţia Facsimile, f. 1322;
fond. Direcţia Generală a Poliţiei, dos. 34/1922-1938, f. 30-32; dos. 34/1922, f. 30; dos. 34/1922-1938,
f. 136; dos. 34/1932, f. 47; dos. 34/1932, f. 80; dos. 34/1932, f. 142; dos. 34/1922, f. 169; dos. 191, f. 12-14.
/@E@47879@. 6@215B8:88-4@@ 6@
Russian Federation
GARF.       [State Archive of the Russian
Fed eration ]: f. 259, op. 10, d. 2253; f. 259, op. 9, d. 4233; f. 259, op. 10, d. 1924; f. 385,
op. 17, d. 2037; f. 2306, op. 69, d. 1357; f. 393, op. 43, d. 1763; f. 393, op. 43 , d. 1770; f. 393,
op. 71, d. 6; f. 1235, o p. 119, d. 9; f. 1235, o p. 119, d. 10; f. 1 235, o p. 120, d. 27; f. 123 5, op. 121, d. 31;
f. 1235, op. 123, d. 27; f. 1235, op. 123, d. 28; f. 1235, op. 127, d. 8; f. 1235, op. 130, d. 5; f. 1235,
op. 140, d. 498; f. 1235, op. 140, d. 752; f. 3316, op. 19, d. 588; f. 3316, op. 20, d. 653; f. 3316,
op. 20, d. 698; f. P 3316, op. 28, d. 793; f. 3316 , op. 28, d. 794; f. P 3316, op. 64, d. 1637; f. 3260, op. 6,
d. 44; f. 7523, op. 17, d. 132; f. 9479. op. 1, d. 19; f. 9550, op. 2, d. 2010; f. 3316, op. 17, d. 188; f. 1235,
op. 1, d. 27, l. 94; f. 3, op. 1, d. 540; f. 5446, op. 57, d. 24; f. 10035, op. 1, d. 74091.
GASO.     [State Archive of Smolensk Oblast]:
2360, op. 1, sv. 181, d. 2067; 2360, op. 1, sv. 181, d. 2068; f. 2360, op. 1, sv. 130, d. 1482.
LANB.     [Personal Archive of Nikolay Bessonov]: f. 
; f.  .
OGMLT.      [Oryol State Literary
Museum of Turgenev]: f. 29, op. 1, d. 137; f. 29, op. 1, d. 156; f. 29, op. 1, d. 1364.
RGAE.     [Russian State Archive of Economics]:
f. 5675, op. 1, d. 142; f. 5675, op. 1, d. 143; f. 5675, op. 1, d. 144; f. 5675, op. 1, d. 146; f. 5675, op. 1,
d. 147; f. 5675. op. 1, d. 148; f. 5675, op. 1, d. 149; f. 5675, op. 1, d. 151; f. 5675, op. 1, d. 152; f. 5675, op. 1,
d. 157; f. 5675, op. 1, d. 179.
RGALI.      [Russian State Archive
of Literature and Art]: f. 673, op. 1, ed. khr. 454.
RGASPI.    -x  [Russian
State Archive of Socio-Political History]: f. 17, op. 114, d. 633; f. 17, op. 114, d. 837; f. 17, op. 3,
d. 1006; f. 17, op. 9, d. 3642.
.   [Archives of Yugoslavia]: . 37   j; . 63
 ,  , . 114; . 66   ,
. 2215-2233, . 2293-2297, . 2323-2326, . 2337, . 2338, . 2339, .
2483, . 2496, . 2514, . 2532, . 2515-2522, . 2365, . 3256; . 69
   ,   1919-1929 (1918-1933), . 86,
. 104, . 112-133, . 136, . 141, . 142; . 74  , . 37, . 39,
. 42, . 43, . 46, . 75, . 102, . 103; . 334  
, . 277, . 330, . 336.
IAB. j   [Historical Archive of Belgrade]: 1165 Zbirka fotograja.
LADA.     [Personal Archive of Dragoljub Acković].
AMK. Archív mesta Košice [The Košice City Archives]: f. Municipálne mesto Košice (1939-1944),
inv. č. 104, šk. 8, sp. č. II. 22636/39.
ŠAK. Štátný archív v Košiciach [State Archive in Košice]: f. Okresný úrad v Košiciach (1923-1939),
inv. č. 182, sign. 29359/1937, šk. 488; f. Košická župa, šk. č. 374; f. Krajský Súd v Košiciach, šk. 171.
SNA. Slovenský národný archív [Slovak National Archive]: f. Oddelenie Ministerstva vnútra v
Bratislave (1927-1928), šk. 88; f. Krajinský úrad v Bratislave (1928-1939), C.1 Admin. odd. 1931, inv.
č. 577, sign. -C.1-1931-8.1.2., šk. 885.
DAB. Devlet Arşivleri Başkanligi [State Archives Directorate]: DH.MKT.628.64.18.2.
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Abstract Minority rights began to be formally recognized in Finland, during the 1960’s. The Roma civil rights movement followed the international movement for human rights.The United Nations adopted the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 1965,1 partly due to the impact of the African-American civil rights movement. Although the Roma civil rights movement built upon this momentum, simultaneously with the positive commitment of international organizations, Roma activism has its foundations in the resistance to religious assimilation policies and practices from 1900. During the 1940’s criticisms were directed towards the state-sponsored, religious Gypsy Mission organisation, established in 1906 at Tampere. Roma agency and activism emerged as a counterweight to assimilation policies applied by the majority Finnish government. The first Roma association, Romanien Liitto – Romanengo Staggos was established by Ferdinand Nikkinen in 1953, as a response to and criticism of these ongoing policies. This Roma association didn’t achieve the influence and political position to improve the lives of Finnish Kaale Roma, but it was a basis for the work of the next Roma association, Mustalaisyhdistys, established in 1967, which reached an influential position and had an impact upon Roma policy and politics, some ten years after Romanengo Staggos. This second initiative made it possible for Roma to stand up for their equal rights. As a result, there are two characteristics of the Roma civil rights movement in 1960’s that can be distinguished; an action-based model, drawing inspiration from Swedish Roma activism and one that sought co-operation with the influential and skilled non-Roma, working together with Roma, for mutual goals. Simultaneously with international Roma issues after Finland joined the EU, Roma identity in Finland was emphasized and strengthened when, in 2003, a monument dedicated to Roma who died in the war between 1939-1945, was unveiled. The Finnish Roma inclusion strategy (2010-2017), states that, ‘The vision of the programme is that Finland will in 2017 be a forerunner in Europe, in promoting the equal treatment and the inclusion of the Roma population’. Although the first Roma strategy did little to recognise or address the dimension of migration, the next iteration of the policy aims to tackle the problems of migrant Roma from the EU. Today, the situation of the Roma from eastern, south-eastern and central Europe in Finland, resembles the situation of Finnish Roma in Sweden, in the past.
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This article traces the beginning of Romani literature. It focuses on the work of Alexander Germano in the context of the history of a unique Romani literacy project developed in the USSR before the Second World War. It shows the peculiarity of the Soviet Romani literature and in particular the personal activities and contributions of Germano, the man considered the progenitor of contemporary Romani literature (with works in all three main genres of literature: poetry, prose, and drama). The study is based on a number of years of archival work in a variety of archives in the Russian Federation and to a great extent in Alexander Germano’s personal archive, preserved in the town of Orel (Russian Federation). The documents studied allow us to clarify the blurred spots in his biography, to reveal his ethnic background and identity, and to highlight the reason for the success of the Romani literary project. The example of Germano shows that the beginning of a national literature depends on the significance and public impact of the literary work of a particular author, and is not necessarily related to the author’s ethnic origin and identity.
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The governments of the Horthy era did not formulate a central Gypsy policy and, consequently, the so-called ‘Gypsy issue’ fell fully into the hands of the assigned ministries and local authorities. The public authorities acted at their own discretion: Largely, they acted according to their basic tasks and understanding, or simply ignored the issue. As a result, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Welfare and Labour were the decisive authorities in this issue. Mainly law enforcement dealt with travelling Gypsies—a small portion of the estimated one hundred thousand Gypsies living in Hungary—the majority of whom lived in ‘colonies’ and were dealt with as an issue of public health. Regarding Gypsies, the same era is frequently judged by the legal action affecting these travellers and the often criticised measures regulating public security and health. The foundation of the Hungarian Gypsy Musicians’ National Association, which intended to represent the interests of nearly ten thousand Gypsy musicians, somewhat changed the picture that had developed, since the organisation enjoyed the full support of the heads of the Ministry of the Interior and the city of Budapest. Regulations were enacted to protect their interests and initiatives. Behind the patronage, one might note, was that after the Treaty of Trianon Gypsy music became part of irredentist ideology and the revisionist movement, and therefore the interests and claims of the Gypsy musicians fully fitted the age. The topic is very important for social inclusion today because Gypsy music continues to be considered part of Hungarian cultural heritage and thus gives Gypsies work and integration opportunities.
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The Kingdom of Serbia fought in three consecutive conflicts between 1912 and 1918. These events merged into a devastating experience of an all-out war, completely reshaping all aspects of contemporary life. As the first centenary of these events has recently shown, the memories of wartime still play a very prominent role in the Serbian national narrative. By 1915 around 20% of Serbian combatants belonged to some of the country’s minorities. Second class citizens on the social margins of society, the Serbian Roma constitute those whose wartime history is the least known to research and the public. However, the wartime diaries kept by Serbian soldiers are full of causal references to their Roma fellow combatants. This article provides an overview of the duties Roma soldiers played in the war, based on the perspective of Serbs who were fighting alongside them. The article tackles the general image and the position of the Roma population in the Kingdom of Serbia. In addition, the horrific challenges the war created for Serbian society are tackled from the perspective of those who were, already in peace time, in the most disadvantageous situation socially and economically. Overall, despite the unifying experience which the wartime suffering imposed on all citizens of the Kingdom, the old prejudices towards the Roma survived after 1918.
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In the interwar period, for the first time in their history, Romanian Roma managed to organise themselves on a modern basis, by forming Roma associations and unions, and issuing their own newspapers and programmes. In an effort to define themselves, they became politically active, claiming and negotiating rights. In my article I analyse the context of the interwar Roma movement, how Roma leaders of the time saw themselves and their movement, what programme(s) they had, and how they tried to achieve their goals. This was a serious challenge: As they were not self-sufficient, they heavily depended on support from Romanian institutions, and hence they had to act with caution in order to avoid any hostile reactions from the Romanian majority. Overall, the discourse of Roma elites in interwar Romania ranged between: 1) a national approach directed inwardly, toward the Roma, for ethnic mobilisation purposes, including calls to unite in order to acquire their rights, efforts to combat ethnic stigmatisation, discussions on ethnonyms (Gypsy vs. Roma) or on the importance of Roma in Romania and worldwide, the beginning of a national/ethnic mythology (past, origin, enslavement, heroization vs. victimization, etc.); and 2) a pragmatic approach directed outwardly, toward Romanian authorities and public opinion; rather than a national minority, Roma leaders presented the Roma as a social category with specific needs, due to their historical legacy. Of these two, throughout the interwar period, pragmatism prevailed. Special emphasis was placed on the issue of social inclusion, and on identifying specific problems and solutions (i.e., better access to education, settlement, deconstruction of prejudices, etc.).