latest major update 20060709
Pavlik Morozov, supposedly killed by "kulak" relatives for denouncing his father to Stalin's secret police (OGPU-NKVD), was adopted as a patron saint by the "Young Pioneers," the Soviet equivalent to the "Boy Scouts." His life exemplified the duty of all good Soviet citizens to become informers, even at the expense of family ties.
The photo (right) shows a famous statue of Pavlik Morozov, in a park named for him in Moscow, in the Krasnaya Presnya district about 2 kilometers west of the Kremlin. He is holding a flag. When the photo was taken in 1990, the park was immaculately maintained. I do not know if it has since been renamed, or if Pavlik's statue has been removed. More recent information would be welcome.
Catriona Kelly's account, Comrade Pavlik (2005)
Druzhnikov claims that surprisingly few hard facts about Morozov are generally known. Original source documents do not exist; even museums had only "pictures, books and newspaper clippings" [p. viii]. Below are some points selected from Druzhnikov's book:
(2) Nicknamed "Pasha" during his life, Pavel Trofimovich Morozov only received the nickname "Pavlik" from Soviet government propagandists after his death [p. 16].
(3) In 1932, Pavel was the oldest child (age 14?) of Trofim Sergeevich Morozov, elected chairman of the village council, and Tatyana Morozova. Other children were Aleksei (age 10), Fyodor (age 8), and Roman (age 4) [p. xi]. After about 10 years of marriage, Trofim had moved out to live with a mistress, Nina Amosova [p. 18]. This was unusual, but many villagers sympathized with the popular Trofim (thrice elected village chairman [pp. 27-28]), rather than Tatyana, widely disliked [pp. 18, 152].
(4) Pavel denounced only his father Trofim to Soviet authorities, not his mother Tatyana. Indeed, Druzhnikov makes the surprising revelation that Tatyana herself was the mastermind of the denunciation. She wanted to pressure her husband to leave his mistress, and return to her and the children [p. 19].
(5) It is unclear for what "crime" Trofim was denounced and sent to prison [pp. 20-24]. The story varied according to the needs of Collectivization and other Stalinist campaigns against the people. One version is that he provided documents to exiled peasants ("kulaks"), that allowed them to return home to European Russia [p. 20].
(6) Pavel's killing did not directly follow from the arrest and deportation of his father Trofim to a prison camp [p. 35]. Pavel lived for another year or two. Supposedly, he heroically set up a Bolshevist informer network against "kulak" activity in Gerasimovka, but the stories of both his informing and the investigation of his killing are full of contradictions [pp. 36-43]. Druzhnikov even considers it possible that a Soviet agent might have killed him, for use (like Sergei M. Kirov two years later) as a timely martyr [pp. 89-95].
Pavlik's younger brother Fyodor was killed with him [pp. 5-6], but was not widely publicized as a second martyr.
(6) On 25 November 1932 [p. 1], a 4-day [p. 11] show trial of Pavlik's accused murderers (Trofim's relatives) was held in Tavda [pp. 1-11]. Pavlik's grandfather Sergei was tortured by interrogators [p. 74], but perhaps not systematically enough to stick to his scripted admission of guilt through the trial [pp. 74-75]. Four defendants were found guilty (despite what Druzhnikov considers a complete lack of solid evidence) and quickly shot [p. 11]. Pavlik's father Trofim seems to have been quietly done away with in his remote labor camp soon after [pp. 31-32], but there is no hard evidence.
(7) Pavlik's mother Tatyana was and still is disliked in her native Gerasimovka [p. 152]. Stalin gave her a pension and a resort home in the Crimea, where she lived until her death in 1983.
(8) One of her surviving sons, Roman, died of wounds from World War II [p. 152]. The other, Aleksei, was convicted of espionage and imprisoned 1941-1951. The charge sounds implausible to Druzhnikov, who reports a relative's belief that Aleksei had made himself thoroughly unpopular among his Soviet Air Force comrades as a pushy "brother of a Pioneer hero." Supposedly they got him drunk, planted him with secret photographs, and called in SMERSH counterintelligence investigators [p. 153]. Whatever the facts of the case, this embarrassing deviation was carefully concealed by the Soviet press [p.153].
Among Kelly's conclusions:
(b) The description of the crime scene, with no proper attempt to hide the evidence, suggests the impulsive act of a teenager. Kelly apparently suspects Pavlik's 19-year-old cousin Danila Ivanovich Morozov, one of those who confessed, was tried, and executed. While Stalin's OGPU-NKVD would routinely torture if necessary to get confessions, Danila's confession sounded plausible.
There had been some bitter quarreling among different branches of the Morozov clan, though Kelly does not see it as a "kulak" issue of political significance. She notes that the Tavda area was habitually violent, even murderous. Kelly is doubtful about (late-arising) claims that Pavlik was running a "Young Pioneer" cell.
(3) The case file, while weak on forensics to pinpoint the guilty, was well-padded with denunciations for "kulak" propensities, hearsay, and letters from Young Pioneer organizations demanding the supreme measure.
(4) The decision to make Pavlik a national martyr for Collectivization (and other revolutionary struggles) came from the center (Moscow), from both the "Young Pioneer" bureaucracy and celebrated author Maxim Gorki. Comrade Stalin had little to do with it.
(2) Kelly notes that child-denouncers are sometimes admired in the West (pp. 9-10), eg:
(b) drug offenses: Here Kelly failed to note that child-informers are often an embarrassment for government Drug-Warriors, allowing libertarians to point out the analogy to Stalinism.
A fictional hero-child of the Hitler Youth. A film directed by Hans Steinhoff (1933) was even more popular than the original book by Karl Aloys Schenzinger (1932).
(2) The Tsarevich Dmitry, allegedly murdered by Boris Godunov ca. 1591 CE.
(3) The Romanov children shot by the Bolsheviks in 1918, especially Tsarevich Aleksei.
Kelly's book provides an extensive bibliography of Soviet literature about Pavlik. Among notable references were:
"Theories of totalitarianism are not so much incorrect as simply irrelevant to most of what went on in Germany or the Soviet Union in the 1930s. Each government wanted to control its people, totally if possible. But that desire must not be confused with what actually happened. ... Developing respectable adults meant placing responsibility for children's upbringing in the hands of the family, and this in turn meant that loyalty to the family had to be encouraged."
--Robert W. Thurston (a moderate "Revisionist"), "Life and Terror in Stalin's Russia, 1934-1941, Yale University Press, 1996; pp. xvii-xviii.
A seventh-grade textbook warns students to beware of a "wolf in sheep's clothing."
A laudatory Stalin-era review of a children's play about Pavlik Morozov.
Alexandrov and Alymov, "Song About a Hero-Pioneer" (Pavlik Morozov). [So far, only the words are provided. We hope to add the music later.]
Visit the Pavlik Morozov Fan club (still under construction)
On 21 Jan 2003, we found a Russian version of Druzhnikov's book posted at URL:
We do not know if it had the author's permission.
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