Pavlik Morozov 1918(?)-1932

Copyright © 1999, 2006 by Hugo S. Cunningham

added 980302
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.


Yuri Druzhnikov

Yuri Druzhnikov wrote a biography of Pavlik Morozov, Informer 001, available both in English (
Transaction Publishers, New Bruswick NJ, 1994) and in Russian. Any page references below refer to Druzhnikov's English version.

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:

Catriona Kelly

In 2005, Catriona Kelly published her research on Pavlik Morozov, based on new information available since the fall of Soviet Communism:
Catriona Kelly, Comrade Pavlik: The Rise and Fall of a Soviet Boy Hero, Granta Books, London, 2005; cloth, 352 pp.

"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.

Additional Pavlik Morozov references

Return to home page of the Cyber-USSR

Return to home page of Hugo S. Cunningham