Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
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#6 - JRL 7262
From: John Wilhelm <jhw@ams.org>
Subject: 1922 Exiled Russian Intellectuals
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2003

David Johnson, It was with great interest that I noted two items on your list (JRL #7260) about the 1922 exiled Russian intellectuals. Neither piece however indicated that economists were also among those arrested and deported at the time. On this score, I would like to share with your readers a brief account of that incident taken from my 1993 article (Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 45., No. 2, 1993, pp. 343-357) on Boris Brutzkus, whom I regard as the greatest Russian economist of the last century. I would be particularly interested in any additional information that anyone in Russia might know of on Brutzkus from the exhibition.

John Howard Wilhelm
E-mail address: jhw@ams.org

In August 1922 the Communist Party Congress declared a 'spiritual war' against bourgeois ideology. Mass arrests of intellectuals in Moscow and Petrograd followed. On 17 August 1922 a large proportion of the editorial staff of EKONOMIST, including Brutzkus, were arrested and thrown into the Cheka prison on Gorokhovaya Street in Petrograd. As Brutskus put it:

These prisoners had nothing to do with politics as such. They were professors -- of philosophy, jurisprudence, economics, even higher mathematics -- or well-known publicists and literary men who had hardly had a chance of publishing anything for four years past. But to be non-political is no protection against violence in a communist state, where not only deeds, but opinions can be regarded as criminal. Still, the communist rulers behaved with unusual leniency on this occasion, for we were merely ordered to quit the country with all possible haste. [Boris Brutzkus, ECONOMIC PLANNING IN SOVIET RUSSIA (London, Routledge, 1935), p. xvi.]

Brutzkus was expelled from the country in November 1922. New evidence shows that Brutzkus's expulsion was the result of direct orders from Lenin. [In a 17 July 1922 letter to Stalin, which was recently made available to the Library of Congress by the Government of the Russian Federation, Lenin ordered the deportation of all the EKONOMIST contributors, of whom Brutzkus was one. For a translated text of the letter see 'Lenin Orders Deportations', NEW YORK TIMES, 15 June 1992.]

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